Last year I posted about gifts we have bought or have been given to us over the years that have been solid gold with all three girls, so I thought I'd continue the tradition this year. It can be overwhelming for me this time of year with the click-click-buy-buy all around, so putting this list together actually helps me stay focused when I buy for them and look at what we have that's been popular, what hasn't worked, and what seems too repetitive. It's fascinating what they gravitate towards over and over again. I especially love it when I see the 9 year old go back to the toys for the 4 year old—I always loved playing with toys for younger kids when I was that age. It felt rebellious and thrilling at the same time.
So here's a new batch of hits in our house—
Every sticker book in this series is insanely popular here. They are inexpensive, have great graphics, and after the putting all the stickers on, the girls keep them to look through and draw from. I have a few friends with daughters obsessed with this series.
This abridged and illustrated book came for Sadie a few years back and she still can't put it down. It's a great early primer to Dickens. It's bleak, depressing, and perfect for her morbid interests.
There is a girl version of this too. It's really well made. The pieces can get lost, so we keep it in a ziplock. The parts are realistic, which means there is much discussion when they get to the naked level, of course! It's been a huge hit with all the kids.
Every book in this series (there are quite a few) has been great for us. We have read about 5 so far. I read them out loud, but my 9 year old can read them alone with no problem. The biographies are well done, they don't gloss over dirty details, making them much more interesting.
The girls fell for these juggling sticks at da Vinci Days. The tend to work better outside or in a big room. There is also whacking potential, but they are still really fun and addictive to use.
I bought this years ago for my eldest girl and all 3 girls have loved it. It's only one doll, a Topsy Turvy doll, and they love telling stories with it. There are other characters as well by the same company. This definitely will go in my "save for my grandchildren" box.
Most of these toys I have bought at small independent toy shops here in Portland over the years (shop local!) I haven't seen them in any big chain toy stores. I've linked to them on amazon, but you can try calling your local toy shop first to see if they have them in stock.