My Preschooler’s Birthday Wish List is Full of Fun New Gift Ideas for Summer

published Jun 1, 2021
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Credit: Fat Brain Toys and Maisonette

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I know exactly what toys my soon-to-be 5-year-old wants at all times — except for when her birthday actually rolls around. All the grandparents and aunties call to ask what to get her, and frankly — I’ve forgotten almost everything we talked about over the past year. 

So this year, I made a point of taking notes on my phone whenever my daughter expressed interest in anything, whether it be a new movie (hello, Descendants franchise, you can take our money now) or a new activity. We won’t get her all these items on her list, but they’re always good to keep on hand. After all, grandparents tend to make any holiday into a gifting opportunity. 

Here’s her birthday wish list, full of fun and sometimes random requests — because what else characterizes a preschooler more than that?

Doctor Bag

We play pretend doctor all the time at our house, which is no hardship for me, because I get to whine about my ailments while resting on the couch. How’s that for role reversal? This sweet kit has all the essentials for the M.D.s-in-training, including a little notebook for recording patients’ mysterious ailments. 

Star Wars Waffle Maker

Princess Leia and Chewbacca have been fixtures in our household this year — and we’re totally tickled that our daughter loves “Star Wars” as much as we do. I can’t wait to serve her a chocolate-chip waffle in the shape of everyone’s favorite beepy robot. 

Sky Nook

I have no idea where this came from, but my daughter talks about getting her very own hammock all the time. I can imagine her swinging from the trees in this little nook, curled up with her dollies or a book. 

Playdate Friend Doll

Speaking of dollies: Manhattan Toy always has the best (we have had our Stella doll since she was a baby!), but their Playdate Friends collection includes tiny stuffies for each doll. There will never be enough to cuddle with this sweet set. 

Paint Your Own Rock Pets

We love crafting time around here, and this kit is especially fun, because it’s easy to display. We’ll sprinkle these critters around our yards and get a giggle every time we see them. Bonus: this is a fun activity to take along when we’re traveling. 

Beginner Chapter Books 

We’ve been loving beginner chapter books for our bedtime stories. They’re more complex than picture books for this age group, and often have a bit more world-building and funny dialogue. My daughter begs for “just another chapter” every night, and we are usually more than ready to oblige. “Tales of Sasha” is about a flying horse who discovers her true identity — and lots of adventures along the way. The best part is that there are 11 books in the series, which means the adventures won’t have to stop for awhile.

Musical Tea Set

Surprisingly, our daughter doesn’t have a real tea set right now, aside from a very precious and breakable one we store for special occasions. This version plays “Swan Lake” and comes with a carrying case — because some of the best tea parties happen al fresco. 

Guess Who Game 

Our evening “Go Fish” rounds are wonderful, but we’re ready to upgrade to something with a bit more strategy. The classic “Guess Who” game has given me a ton of joy in my childhood, and I look forward to introducing my daughter to it too. 

Bluetooth Radio for Kids

We listen to The Descendants soundtracks approximately 1,000 times daily (there are three to choose from, yippee!), so I know my daughter will get extra joy out of blasting the songs on her own little radio. This version is water- and sand-resistant, making it perfect for a poolside or beachside dance party, and comes with a bluetooth hookup. Let those summer jams begin!

Butterfly Wings 

What kid doesn’t want to fly like a beautiful winged butterfly around the yard? These dress-up wings are fun and colorful, and of course, make for a great photo op for the family album. The best part? They’re very portable, so you can break them out at a park or in an open field for extra play space.

Her Own Flashlight

For a special treat, we sometimes take our family walks after the sun sets. We give our daughter a travel flashlight and let her use it to navigate (and make funny shapes in the sidewalk). This firefly version is very cute, with an easy-to-grip handle for kids, and a simple on/off switch.

Watering Can 

We’ll never get mistaken for gardeners in our family, but once in awhile, when the backyard begins to resemble a jungle, we do make an effort to weed and water. Our daughter’s favorite job is manning the hose, but this often means we get more drenched than the plants. Enter this watering can — just the right size for her hands, without a free-flowing stream that threatens to wreck havoc on the water bill.