Gift Ideas (7 Good and 7 Bad) for Little Girls

I’m linking up again at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.  Thanks for hosting, Jen!

I’ve been thinking a lot about toys these days–toys my kids play with, toys I trip over, toys that get taken out in the morning and then don’t get touched all day until I put them away at night.  Also I’ve seen a lot of gift guides around the blogosphere (so why do we need another one?).  I dunno, anyway here is

A Gift Guide for Girls Ages 1-3

— 1 —

Don’t get this:

I thought all little girls play with toy kitchens, but mine don’t, at least not yet. This was the first of my many costly errors in Christmas shopping for Girl 1.

Instead get this:

Playhouse created by Saintly Husband from very large cardboard box

Playhouse created by Saintly Husband from very large cardboard box

Truth be told Girl 1 only played in the box-playhouse when I sat my pregnant butt on the cold hard floor inside it and played, “Knock, knock, who’s there, come in” over and over and over.  But if you could spend $120 on a large toy your child won’t amuse herself with, or $0 on a large toy your child won’t amuse herself with, which would you choose?

— 2 —

Don’t get this:

These velcro wooden fruits and veggies are soooo cool because they have a realistic crunchy sound and feel when you “slice” them.  At least that’s what all the adults in our family thought on Christmas when they passed them around for spontaneous play therapy sessions.  Girl 1?  Not so much.  Now the produce gets (1) sliced once and only once when other kids come over to play, (2) immediately dropped to the floor where (3) Girl 2 chews on them until I pick them up off the floor a month later.  Repeat steps 1 through 3.

Instead get:

Fruits and veggies apparently are no fun, but Girl 1 has no end of fun offering me these “doughnuts.”  And Girl 2 can chew on them, too.

— 3 —

Don’t get this:

This shopping cart was no end of fun for Girl 1 when we visited her little friends who had one.  It immediately became boring once she got one of her own.

Instead get:

I wouldn’t recommend paying the $50 that this dress is priced at, but the 50 cents that I paid at a rummage sale  for a similar dress-up dress was totally and completely worth it. In fact, even the $5 I paid for the coordinating tiara was worth it.  Girl 1 wears this get-up every single day, and entertains herself for long stretches of time singing and dancing to herself in front of a mirror.  Sweet.

— 4 —

Don’t get this:

Just don’t.

Instead get:

Classic.  Girl 1 keeps going back to these, and now Girl 2 enjoys whacking them together.  They are a pain to pick up but worth it.  I like this Walmart variety because they are bigger and easier for Girl 1 to stack than the smaller Fisher Price ones I remember.

— 5 —

Don’t get this:

This is a really horrible bunch of drivel pretending to be a book.

Instead get:

This is a pretend book that doesn’t really pretend to be a real book.  Plastic toys that light up and make annoying “music” are taboo in some circles, but this has been a favorite ever since Aunt Lizzie got this for Girl 1 almost three years ago.  Now Girl 2 loves it, and Girl 1 still plays with it sometimes.  Totally worth the annoyingness.

— 6 —

Don’t get this:

Finger-painting set

Ai yi yi.  Why would you want to do this to yourself?

Instead get:

Four words: one piece, no mess.

— 7 —

Don’t get this:

Obnoxiousness posturing as education.  Girl 1 was bored and didn’t watch the whole thing through.

Instead get:

One reviewer on Amazon said it all: “The acting is horrible and the songs will stay in your head forever [but]   if you ever had to entertain a toddler or preschooler all day every day you will love this video.”  True ‘dat.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


9 thoughts on “Gift Ideas (7 Good and 7 Bad) for Little Girls

  1. Obnoxiousness posturing as education.

    thank you. best description of dora and diego ever. Why do they yell in a monotone and then exhort your child to speak to the TV?

  2. LOVE this post! I’d totally play with that kitchen, it looks awesome! *I* agree with you about Dora…however, C loves it. Sigh. I let her watch it (on play it now on Netflix) while I take a shower in the morning and she actually stays out of trouble the entire 22 minutes (just enough time to shower, dress, and start the morning chores!) . She points to every Dora she sees so I did succumb to purchasing some Dora fabric and am attempting to make a quilt for her for Christmas.

  3. Can I just say “Amen” to the blocks and the “Wee Sing?” My children have gotten more mileage out of those two items than scores of flash-in-the-pan electronic toys that were all the rage at some point. Nicely done.

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