Every year without fail, some friends with kids the same ages as mine all start chatting about what we’re getting our kids for Christmas and birthdays. I decided to put together a gift guide for girls to share some of the ideas that have been a hit with my daughter and nieces over the years!
My memory isn’t always the best, though, so I’m going to skip the infant and toddler years. Those toys change so fast anyways, that anything I would recommend is probably outdated by now!
Butterfly Garden– My daughter loved this because it was a long-term project that was so rewarding once it was time to release the butterflies! She was just precious taking care of it and checking in on them! This is actually a picture of my niece’s butterfly being released with my daughter front and center! We’ve had a few of these gifts in our family and they amaze us every time!
Malia House- I received this as a review, but it really is as amazing as the reviews say! It’s perfect for a kid who likes to build and storytell. You can create a different house every time with magnetic panels that you can mix and match. It also works with Magna-Tiles for even more building fun! This is one of those toys that even older siblings will enjoy and want to help with, and what’s better than seeing your kids working together! One of my favorite parts as a mom, is that when it’s not in use, it can be folded up and put back in the box! I don’t know of any other dollhouse that takes up so little storage space! This makes it the perfect toy to put back in its tiny, compact box and take it with you if you’re traveling! It would provide hours of entertainment and take up barely any luggage space!
Mind-Blowing Science Kit– If you’re child is into hands-on learning that’s fun, this was one of our favorite kits! The whole family got involved and it was a great rainy day activity!
Ukelele– My daughter has loved ukeleles since she was about 4. She’s 13 now, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a day where she doesn’t pull out her ukelele. I’m not sure I get it, but she loves it! She walks around the house playing, sits out in her hammock playing, takes it to friends’ houses… ALL.THE.TIME. with this ukelele!
The Color Kitchen– The perfect time to get your kids in the kitchen is when they’re young! They still think it’s a treat and it’s great quality time spent with you! There’s no better way to get them interested than with a cookbook/coloring book! This one is filled with yummy recipes that are easy enough for kids to make themselves, and then they can color in the pictures while they wait for it to bake! Grab her an apron and some colored pencils to go with it and you’ve got the perfect, practical gift!
Mancala– One of her elementary teachers had this game as a math station. She loved it and asked for it as a Christmas gift that year. Many years later, we still play it! All 4 of us can get pretty competitive with this one!
National Geographic for Kids– We get each of our kids a magazine subscription for one of their gifts. National Geographic for Kids has always been a huge hit. I love that it’s a gift that lasts all year and brings them a little excitement each month when it arrives!
Beatles Piano Book– All through elementary school, my daughter played piano. One of the ways we got her excited for playing was by getting her this Beatles practice book and a Michael Jackson one. She loved learning how to play some of her favorite songs! I wish she still played! I’d be getting her this Star Wars one that looks amazing!
And while I even think some of those gifts were cool as an adult, the rest are more for the tween/teen crowd!
Tweens and Teens
HP Sprocket Portable Printer– This seems to be the hot item this year for tweens and teens. We got ours a few months ago and took it to Jamaica with us. We visited a local school and let the kids take pictures and print them out. It was the first time some of them had seen pictures of themselves and they were amazed!! The app on your phone is so simple to use to edit and crop pictures, and the pictures print out super quickly. Now that we’ve had the pictures displayed for a few months, I’m even more in love with it because the colors are just as sharp! I haven’t noticed any fading! I highly recommend this! Be sure to grab it quickly, though, because I know they’ve been selling out lots of places!
Salon Beauty Cart– She uses this thing every single day for over a year now! So easy for her roll it into her room if her brother needs the bathroom so it helps avoid bickering too! Score!
Dispenser for Shower– I know this seems silly, but my daughter loves pretending she lives in a hotel! She’s had this for 2 years and insisted we bring it with us when we moved. My niece slept over one night and went home saying she wanted one of these in her shower. (Plus, it makes it easier for me to clean the shower without moving bottles out of the way!)
Practice Mannequin Head– This is another gift that my daughter has had for about 2 years and still pulls out very frequently! She loves watching YouTube tutorials on makeup, but we don’t really allow her to wear makeup yet. This head is the perfect compromise! She can practice all she wants, uses a baby wipe to start over, and we aren’t fighting with her all the time about makeup!
Instax Mini- I feel like I should include this, because she owns it (see above picture), and she really does love it. I’m kind of on the fence with this one. It’s a fun, retro gadget that gives instant results. So I really do get the appeal. My issue is those instant results. She’s not exactly a fantastic photographer yet, so I wish there was the option to view the photographs and delete the bad ones rather than them printing instantly. I can’t tell you how many she’s printed out that are pretty much all black, and she just throws it away. The film isn’t cheap either! It takes great outdoor photos, but the inside photos aren’t the best. I really do get why it’s such a popular item and kids love it, but my vote is for the Sprocket up above all the way! It’s much more portable, you can edit before printing, add text and end up with the same size photo!
Sharpie Brush Pens– My daughter and I are both really into watching Instagram videos on handlettering. It’s a fun activity that we can do together- watching the videos and then practicing our technique. These Sharpie pens are her favorites to use because of the fun colors, and Sharpies are just always cool for young girls. I personally prefer the Tombow pens, but my teen always reaches for the Sharpies. I also recommend getting a practice book that shows techniques and worksheets to do.
Watercolor Pencils– This is a new one that she asked for this year, so no review yet of how much she uses them or how well they work! But I picked it up with a watercolor pad, and if she doesn’t use it, I think I might try it!
Milkshake Maker– For a short period of time, we owned an ice cream shop. My daughter LOVED this milkshake maker! I’m debating getting her another one for Christmas this year. She still loves milkshakes, but my wallet doesn’t agree. Plus, there are enough protein shakes and fruit smoothies made in this house, that the whole family could enjoy this gift!