Mothering Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

· Registered
2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dh and I are pretty conservative compared to most families we know when it comes to buying toys - we have almost nothing that uses batteries, and most of dd's toys are open-ended, such as dolls, art materials, a wooden train set, dress-up clothes, and so on.

After a few playdates at other children's homes, though, I realized that a lot of the toys dd has no longer interest her, even though they are still appropriate for her age. For example, she's got a huge collection of toy animal figures (yeah, we have plenty of plastic) but just never ever plays with them anymore, maybe because she's had them since she was two!

So with Hanukkah and her birthday coming soon, I'd really like to start thinking of a toy overhaul. Right now, she tends to play with the same types of things over and over, mostly dolls of different types and dress-up clothes, and she enjoys drawing a lot, too. Games are always good, because that gets me and her dad playing, too - she's an only child.

Does anyone have recommendations for a five-year-old girl who has NO interest in building toys, but loves to make up stories with her dolls, loves to sing, dance, and draw, and is an only child? What do your daughters (and sons) enjoy?

· Registered
4,905 Posts
Just brainstorming, but here goes....

Puppet theatre and puppets, musical instruments, small kitchen with implements, small "housekeeping" items, binoculars and bird book, "grow your own" ant farm, ladybugs, butterflies, easel, play tent (if there's an IKEA near you they have one that's a castle..cute), tea set, potholder loom and loops, knitting mushroom (also know as a corker), modeling clay/Playdough and shaping/cutting stuff, climbing stuff, trampoline......

· Registered
240 Posts
My daughter is three so I don't know that I can be a big help. I did make a note of all the toys suggested in "You Are Your Child's First Teacher". These are suppose to be good from birth to age seven, so there might be some good stuff here for you. Things marked with a + are considered must haves for all kids. I hope this helps!

+little wooden house
+box with hinged lid
+small wagon

toy shelves
several balls of different sizes (cloth or felt)
containers with lids
box/basket with 12 different safe objects (large wooden spool, shell, driftwood, rock)
low four wheel straddling toy
water toys
push toys
wooden blocks of different sized trees
toy telephone
wooden toys with moving parts
wooden nesting dolls
large empty cardboard boxes
tissue paper parachutes
wooden animals (shape just hinted at)
rocking horse

children's harp
nature table
nature table cloths

table puppets

toys stove with burners and knobs
kid sized dishes
toy cupboard and sink with doors
wooden fruit
wooden bread
workbench with vise, hammer, saw, and nails

blanket stand with cloth drape
box of colored pieces of cloth (1-2 yards)
costume area with crowns, cat ears, veils, dog ears, bunny ears, sailor hat, farmer hat, train engineer, pegs with shelf for hats, capes, tunics
dress up clothing

doll - simple and all natural
doll corner with cradle, high chair, drawers for clothing, basket lined with fabric
stand up dolls

books with parts that move
books with stiff pages
fairy tales
nursery rhymes
"The House That Jack Built"
"Little Tappen"
"The Three Billy Goats Gruff"
"The Little Red Hen"
"The Gingerbread Boy"

water colors
child sized table and chairs
painting/coloring/crafting area
water colors by Stockmar in red, yellow, and blue
2 3/4 inch flat brushes
3 small jars
pint sized jars for storing and rinsing
wooden/masonite board 16"x20"x1/4"
clean sponge
beeswax crayons block shaped by Stockmar
beeswax for modeling by Stockmar
sewing basket

wading pool
low container for water play
sand box
outdoor swing
pin wheel
teeter totter
geo dome
balancing board
sand toys
wooden slide
climbing toy
tree house

· Registered
831 Posts
As a five year old, dd loved her doll's house. We chose the one from Playmobil because we wanted to have something that the grandparents and other relatives could contribute to, even though they live far away and have fairly limited shopping opportunities. There are beautiful wooden ones, though, if you don't want plastic.

Large toys are also wonderful. I'm thinking about bikes, toboggans, skates, and the like.

An easel or a big bag of craft supplies as well as an "ideas book" for inspiration would be a big hit with some girls I know. We gave a big bag of craft stuff to a friend of dd's and her mother commented that since it was a gift, the child could use it the way she wanted to, rather than in the careful way her mother thought she should use it. I'm not much of an artist, but our kids have always been able to "waste" the craft supplies the way they want, but that isn't the case in all families, so I'm making the suggestion of giving your child stuff to "waste" in her own artistic way!

I second the suggestion of a trampoline. We bought a small one for dd's fifth birthday, and it has had many hours of rainy-day use and still looks good after nearly four years. We'll donate it to our favourite nursery school when we're done with it.

Dress-up clothes are very important, and not just the ones you think your dd might want, but ones for the guests to wear, too. My ds would be happy to don a knight's costume if he were visiting your house, and your dd might be happy to be Jeanne d'Arc in the meantime. (Look for these after Hallowe'en, when they go on 90% discount.)

My dd has always loved being given some extra-nice clothes that verge on dressup because they indulge a fantasy that she is actually involved with. For her 9th birthday in two weeks, I will give her a ballet-wrap sweater that I knit and a tutu. She is very serious about ballet this year, and I think my gift shows my support for her enthusiasm. We will be giving ds (who is 5 years old) a hockey jersey from the local team this year for Christmas because he is a big fan of the team and of the game.

There are some very nice computer games as well. Two that I recommend are "Madeline's European Adventures" and "Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster". They both have the child on a quest. We also enjoy the Usborne Books' Puzzle Books.

As for her old toys, one thing that I have found is that it is important to have only a few toys around at once, and that if we have a large supply of toys, it is up to me to rotate them. If there are too many toys, it is overwhelming to choose what to play with. Also, some toys only work with a particular playmate. At our house, the chess set is good when Mom is around, and Lego is good when Dad is around.

· Registered
4,450 Posts
I was also thinking of games and puzzles. While not exactly "building toys," you may be able to get her to explore imporrtant critical thinking skills and spatial relations through these, especially if you or dh play them with her. Otherwise, stick with the dolls and craft stuff... lol, that's all I did as a little girl!

· Registered
432 Posts
At that age my favorite things in the WHOLE world was cooking and dolls and "playing house"!! Maybe a tea/coffee set or some of the fantastic "little kitchen" things from IKEA!!

We didnt have money for "fancy" growing up, I think my parents would have gone plastic/electronic etc if we had, but we had FAB toys anyway!! My Dad built a small wood cabinet with a sink/bucket in it and Mom painted a cupboard to look like a stove! We had all sorts of "goodwill" kitchen items too. My Dad also built a puppet theater and Mom made sock-puppets [and peanut-shell puppets, and pea-pop puppets, etc]. The most amazing thing though was a 2 story 4 room "doll house" that was carpeted, painted, and wallpapered with remnents. Furniture was again "goodwill" type or boxes with fabric etc.

Also, another fun thing, we had a "house" that was an old 2-man tent with pillows, comforter, and boxes. Worth HOURS of fun!! Best present I ever recieved though was a 4' tall Raggedy Ann doll recieved for my 4th birthday!! I still have and love her.]

I hope some of these idea spark for your family!! Good Luck!!

PS. Hubby has a great book called "The Father's Almanac" [and I have the companion "The Mother's Almanac"] and it is filled with easy-to-do home-made projects/presents for kids.

· Registered
2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the suggestions, and keep 'em coming!

I think she would love a tent to play camping...I'm thinking of one of those bed tents, maybe. I worry that they'll have that synthetic smell - wish they made them in cotton!

I'm also thinking of doing something my mom did for me at that age - she traced my body on a sheet and made me a life-sized rag doll dressed in my clothes! I had that thing for YEARS - and I'll sheepishly admit that I pretended it was a boy and practice my kissing on it when I got too old to play dolls!

I hate to admit this, but I think DD would love a detailed plastic dollhouse, even though she has a nice wooden one. She plays with the wooden one, but she goes nuts every time she sees the other kind in a store or at a friend's house. The playmobil ones are awesome, but sheesh, are they expensive...anyone have any others that they like that won't break the bank?

· Registered
831 Posts
Yes! A tent is a great gift. Dd got one for her 5th birthday and loved it for about 2 years. It is stuffy, though. Maybe you could make one that hangs from a hook on the ceiling and is made from something light-weight. Also, large sheets hung over chairs or a wooden frame make a grand fort. You could tie-dye or find suitable fabric.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.