by Siobhan Carroll, braevehearts blog
And just like that, Christmas is upon us! It’s a bit of a doozie in our house because my oldest daughter’s
birthday falls near thanksgiving, so there are double the presents, double the fun!
Or, double the pink headache.
My daughter has never been a girly girl. She wouldn’t wear dresses between the ages of 2 and 5. She has never cared for dolls or dress-up. She likes art projects, action-based toys, and activity workbooks. Her younger sister loves Spiderman and pirates. So what to get the girl in your life who doesn’t care for princesses in a world of pink and purple sparkle vomit? Here are some suggestions:
For Your Little Engineer:
GoldiBlox has been quite the headliner recently, but allow me to be a hipster for a moment and point out that I knew about it before it was cool. We were Kickstarter donors back when Goldie was a twinkle in Debbie Sterling’s eye. Debbie is a Stanford engineer who wanted to get the next generation of STEM girls started early, and developed this toy to get girls building, testing and creating machines. My girls really enjoy it, but know that for the 5 and under set a grown-up will have to assist. Get in on the ground floor now- SIX additional toys are planned for Christmas 2014 (think carnivals, tree houses, and lighting things up)! $29.99 at GoldieBlox.com
For Your Non-Dressy Dresser:
True Story: Maeve, my oldest daughter, was about two and half and we were headed to my nieces’ First Communion, which warranted dresses for her and me as well as my other niece, and we were all driving to the church. Out of nowhere, an utterly appalled Maeve yells “Mommy! I don’t have pants on! And YOU don’t have pants on! And Johanna doesn’t have pants on! Daddy, do YOU have pants on?!”. Hilarious and indicative of her attitude toward dresses up until about six months ago.
If your girl likes to be a girl and also likes trucks, dinosaurs and Pi, check out Princess Awesome. Dresses for infants through toddler sizes in patterns with trucks, the periodic table of elements, pirates, dinosaurs
and more. Just check out this little cutie patootie and her train onesie dress. There are some I would like in grown-up sizes!. Princess Awesome is just getting started so not all sizes and patterns are available but please give their site a look and see what might be there for your little conductor or paleontologist! Prices from $18 to $50.
For Your Girl Who Wants a Regular Old T-shirt:
Another great idea for the girl who isn’t into the pink. Check out these T-shirts and hoodies with cool imagery minus the froufrou embellishment at Girls Will Be. This Eep Op Woot shirt will be under the tree for my 3 year old this year! Prices from $24 to $30 at www.girlswillbehq.com
For The Kid Addicted to Your iPad:
I don’t feel so bad about it forking over the iPad for some quiet time thanks to Tiggly. This app created specifically for pre-schoolers means they get to play with everyone’s favorite toy while also refining motor skills and learning about shapes and colors. Tiggly comes with four magnetized shapes (circle, triangle, square and star) used in conjunction with three apps (Safari, Stamp, and Draw). Make animals on a farm, penguins with an igloo, or just draw and animate little creatures all your own. Here are my little peanuts playing (quietly!) with Tiggly! Warning: you may not get your iPad back. $29.95 at tiggly.com, also available at Apple stores.
For Your Little Astronaut:
Rocketship “Dollhouse”: I love this. Take your traditional dollhouse, combine it with a cool rocketship shape and this is what you get. At $95.00 on Amazon it will make a great joint gift for our girls and the solid construction means it will last until daughter #3 gets her little mitts on it. I might play with this after they go to sleep. Kidcraft Rocketship Playset at Amazon.
I’m very encouraged by the push for gender-neutral toys in the marketplace, and although they make up a small share it is a good sign of things to come. Manufacturers now make things like Tinker Toys and Legos in “girl” colors and styles and I am resisting the urge to purchase those because it is frankly, dumb. There are no girl or boy toys, just toys. And maybe if they just showed a girl playing with plain old Lincoln Logs that would just be enough.
In the meantime I hope you found these suggestions helpful and happy holiday to you all!