This Is My New Go-To Kid Gift

published Jun 22, 2023
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Two kids in a wolf and little red riding hood costumes
Credit: Great Pretenders

Kid gifts have always sort of stumped me, but I’ve found a new go-to kid gift that solves many of my gift-giving problems.

Here’s why kid gifts feel so hard to me: After a child gets the classics like Duplos, Brio trains, and Magna-Tiles, it’s hard to know what kind of toy will be loved and played with often —  and would be welcomed by the parents. My son, for example, would gleefully receive another stuffed animal, but his collection has already outgrown its dedicated bin, yet I don’t like to receive or give these because they’re also the hardest to hand down or donate later on.

As a small space dweller, I’m also mindful not to give anything too big. I try to avoid things that are pure plastic because I know they are eventually landfill bound, but I also know that if I buy kids the beautiful wood toys you find in boutiques, they’re not super likely to get played with. See? Kid gifts are surprisingly tricky!

So, I was super-excited when I spotted a rack of dress up clothes in a toy shop last December. The rack was filled with capes that looked genuinely cool: Think a shimmery unicorn cape and headband and metallic dragon capes. I instantly knew my son and his cousins would love them. 

Credit: Great Pretenders

Come Christmas morning the capes, which hail from the brand Great Pretenders, were a huge hit: The kids wore them all day. In the six months since then, the costumes have seen tons of use. My son often puts his on before school just because; on a recent visit to my sister’s house, I found my niece just hanging out in her unicorn cape

Credit: Great Pretenders

I like the Great Pretenders capes more than most of our other dress up clothes because they are so easy to get on and off—yet so completely transformational. Stretchy superhero suits are often hard to get on over clothes and the super hero cape on its own is often unsatisfying; likewise, a princess dress feels bulky worn over day-to-day clothing (FYI Great Pretenders does sell plenty of princess dresses too). The Great Pretenders’ capes have great volume and special materials that really make a kid feel like they are in costume, even if they are still wearing their everyday clothes. This easy fit also means it’s a breeze to buy the capes as gifts: You can’t go too wrong with the sizing.

A final reason I love Great Pretenders is that it’s an independent, women-founded brand with a team of over 75% women. I’m not the kind of shopper who makes every purchase based on a company’s story, but when a brand is one I want to support, it makes me that much more likely to choose them again and again. 

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