I love Christmas.
I love our Advent traditions. I love giving and receiving gifts.
Last year, I made a large list of gifts for preschoolers. Most of them were things that Grace was getting, but a few were things that she already had.
This year, I decided to put that list together with other assorted things we own and like.
Like last year, every item on this list is something that I have or would spend my money on. I have not included anything because it was given to me by a company or PR rep; that is not my style. If I have received a product free, I noted that below, but I only included the item because it is something that Grace (or Joe and I) really love and use often.
Last year, Joe and I decided to limit Grace's Christmas to 5 gifts. I deluded myself into believing that the 17 things I'd purchased really were 5, but in retrospect, that was absurd.
Still, I limited myself better last year than I had the year before. I'll do better this year than I did last year. (Right now, I have exactly 5 non-stocking gifts for her, and I'm done shopping. Unless I find a set of dinosaurs that I really like. And then I'll really be done for good.)
I struggle with my shopping addiction. I joke about it, but it's true. It's a constant battle.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Preschool Girls
- New pajamas - Our family tradition is that Grace gets two presents to open on Christmas Eve. They are her gifts from Joe and I; one always contains new jammies. She wears those new pajamas to bed, and all of our Christmas morning pictures feature her cute new pajamas. This year, she's getting two pairs of Disney princess pajamas.
- Kodak Easy Share - I got Grace a kids' camera last year, and it was terrible. The batteries died every hour, the camera took horrible, dark, blurry pictures, the internal memory would allow her to take only 8 pictures at a time, and I ended up hiding it (or did I throw it out?) because it frustrated Grace so much. She's still very into taking pictures, and the ones she takes with my camera are decent. I got her a Kodak Easy Share with a case, spare batteries, and an SD card for $60 during a short online sale at Walmart.com.
This camera will be her second Christmas Eve gift from her dad and me.
- Little People A to Z Learning Zoo Playset - Grace has been asking for this toy set since the summer. I hesitated a long time because I think she might be too big for it, but she's still asking for it. I bought it.
If it turns out that she is too big for it, I know she'll play with it with the new baby some day soon.
- Playmobil's Big City Zoo Set - Grace adores animals, and her future vocation of choice is veterinarian (and has been for at least a year). Especially in light of the Little People Zoo above, we wanted to get Grace a zoo set that would be more developmentally appropriate and grow up with her. This one might be a wee bit above her right now, but I know she'll appreciate the animals and play with it. We also picked up a couple of add-on sets - the koala/kangaroo and the gazelle/cheetah.
- LEGO Duplo Basic Bricks - These are the larger Lego blocks, sized just right for little hands. We have a small set already, and Grace has become very interested in them over the last couple of months. We chose this set because it will add more than 80 basic blocks to her Lego stash.
- Weebles - We received the Playskool Weebles Treehouse (and some other Weebles toys and figures) for a review campaign. Initially, I thought Grace was too old for them, and that she would be over them quickly. That hasn't been the case. Grace plays with the Weebles every single day. She experiments with them, finding ways to make them spin around and turn over and wobble all over the place.
- A fabulous dollhouse - We got the Loving Family Grand Dollhouse at a yard sale over the summer for $5. Since then, we've picked up different pieces (including the family) at the toy store. My mom and sister are getting a bunch of the furniture for Grace for Christmas (at my request).
- Littlest Pet Shop Swim & Sand Adventure set - I picked this up because Grace adores her Little Pets, and this set has a hermit crab and a bunch of ice cream cones in it.
- Candyland - This is the game that we all played as kids. Joe and I got this for a couple of dollars at a Christmastime sale last year or the year before. It's been hanging out in the gift closet until Grace was ready for it. I think she is, and I can't wait to play with her.
- A baby doll - Our favorite brand of baby doll is the Little Mommy Newborn. They are cute and relatively small. Grace has three of them, Nina, Emma, and Rosie, and she carries one or two of them most everywhere she goes.
- My Learning Tower - This isn't really a toy; it's so much better. We received Grace's Learning Tower for a review in 2009. We have always loved it, from the very first day. Over a year later, Grace still climbs up into it almost every day, and she helps cook and do dishes. We all hang out in the kitchen, and that time together is priceless. (Read my full Learning Tower review from 2009)
- Little People Nativity Set - Oh, how I love these Little People. Everybody I've mentioned them to loves them, too. If you are even remotely inclined, you should get the nativity set for your family. We start decorating for Christmas during Thanksgiving weekend, allowing Grace to interact with the ideas of Christmas well in advance of the holiday. We kept the nativity figures out most of the year because Grace played with them so much.
- A train set and a train table - We got a name-brand Thomas set for Grace last year, and we easily spent $500 over the course of 2009/2010 on trains and accessories. She doesn't play with her trains as often as I'd like, but she does play with them.Ã‚ If she didn't have so many toys, she'd probably play with it more often.
- I included our favorite Christmas books and movies in a separate post.
- Anything from this book list or this book list would make an awesome Christmas present for a child in this age group.
- The Snowman - This book has no words. None. It's a series of wonderfully illustrated scenes about a little boy who makes an enormous snowman. During the night, the boy and the snowman have a great adventure. Grace and I like to take turns telling the story.
- Sadie and the Snowman - I am horribly disappointed that this book is out of print, though there are copies floating around the used book market. At the beginning of the story, Sadie builds a snowman. Like all snowmen, it melts. The next time it snows, though, she's able to roll a bit of the old one into a snowball to make a new snowman. She keeps reworking the same snowman all winter, and then finds a way to save it through the summer for the next year.
- Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening - This is my most favorite poem ever. The illustrations are superb, and they show the poem exactly as I've always envisioned it. Full of forest creatures, Grace loves it, too.
- Kumon workbooks - We have quite a collection of these, and Grace loves all of them. Some focus on coloring, on counting, on tracing, and a variety of other subjects. Grace's favorite is the cutting book.
- Wee Sing Bible Songs - Oh, how I love this CD. Grace and I listen to it almost everywhere we go. The songs are mostly songs I remember singing in Vacation Bible School. Today, my mom told me that she remembers singing a lot of them in Sunday School.
I love it, even when Grace sings me Bible songs at 4:24 in the morning.
- Wee Sing Sing-Alongs- This is my second favorite CD to play in the car. Some of the songs have a Christian slant, but most of them are traditional nursery rhymes and songs.
All Wee Sing CDs come with a book that contains the music and lyrics to every song on the CD. When we move past the banging stage and into the real playing music stage, we'll be playing some of these songs on Grace's keyboard.
- Ornaments - Another of our family traditions is to give Grace an ornament that represents her interests each year. I had fully intended to get her a ballet ornament - right up until she quit the week of Halloween. Instead, I picked up a box of Disney Princess ornaments (from the Seasons from Hallmark brand at CVS). Even though princesses aren't my thing, they are Grace's favorite this year. She will be delighted.
- Gloves or mittens - You know, the really inexpensive stretchy kind, so I don't feel bad when 3 pairs get lost in one winter.
- Socks - I love the kids' socks in the dollar bins at Target. I've found Smurfs, Tinkerbell, Snoopy, Disney Princess, and other characters there for a buck.
- Cool plates & bowls - I also got these in the dollar bins at Target. One set has dinosaurs on it and other is jungle animals.
- A kaleidoscope - Not a real kaleidoscope, but a toy one. I found it for a couple of bucks somewhere.
- Coloring books - These were either from the Dollar Store or the dollar bins at Target.
- Glittery headbands - From (where else?) the dollar bins at Target
- Dress up gear - I picked up a pair of princess gloves, a plastic princess necklace and ring, and a princess purse.
- Dot paint - A lot of homeschool resources recommend dot paints, and Grace used them a lot at preschool (when she was still going). My only dilemma is whether to get this set of rainbow colors
or this set of brilliant colors. I'm leaning toward the one with pink and purple, since those are Grace's favorite colors.
What are your gift ideas?
I didn't try to make a comprehensive list; feel free to add your suggestions below.