Stop! Before you buy what the stores say is the latest item, watch your little girl at play…an old pillow becomes a doll bed, school is set up with stray pieces of paper and an old white board, and the doll (her student) is dressed in mismatched clothes… Does she really need the most expensive and the fanciest to be happy? Most of the time simple is better. Here are a couple ideas with the philosophy of buying one main item and then making/creating the items to facilitate imaginative play.
#1 Buy an 18 inch doll for your daughter’s main gift and then make the accessories. You can make clothes, hair accessories, jewelry, hats/scarves, a bed, etc. Here are a couple simple patterns for making pants and skirts for the doll:
Most of the time, I make clothes for the dolls from old clothes that are ruined. For example, I make jeans for the doll by cutting off jeans with holes in the knees and using the cut off pieces to make the pants. Then the hem and the side seam are already done for you. I used an old slip with lace around the bottom to create a skirt that my daughter’s doll wears almost constantly. She loves her doll so much we had to make her doll clothes that were in our school’s colors so the doll could wear them to ball games.
Crocheting hats and scarves is also fun. There are a lot of patterns on the internet for free.
#2 Find the items needed to make her school “perfect.” Maybe buy an easel or white board with colored markers, construction paper, glue, crayons, child safe scissors, and washable markers. Create your own set catered to her loves.
These were just a couple of ideas. Pay attention and you’ll figure out what your little girl would really like for Christmas…instead of what every commercial makes her think she wants. What do you want your child playing? Help make it happen.
I think Christmas presents are a success when they are still being played with a year later…I can tell you from experience that toys free from batteries and refill items are the way to go!