Shopping for preschoolers is so much fun! They’re learning so much about the world everyday that they understand the practical use of toys and games, but they’re still so free and full of light to stay creative and curious. My daughter is in this stage right now, and doing every day life is so exciting to her … but Christmas and other holidays? Those are truly next level! Per the usual, this Preschooler Gift Guide (ages 3-5 years old) was curated with the help of Harper. All of these are toys we own or she will own after Christmas (glad she can’t read yet)!
1. Dot Art Kit: Who knew old bingo markers would become all the rage?! Maybe it’s the paint-like markers or the concentration needed to get the dots inside the circles, but I’ve never met a preschooler who didn’t love this activity! This kit comes with the art pages as well, which is nice when they don’t want to free form. And, yes … they’re washable!
2. Candy Land: This classic board game is so much fun … I have such fond memories playing myself, and I can’t wait to share this game with Harper this Christmas. Don’t forget Hi Ho Cherry O and Chutes and Ladders too!
3. Kitchen Set: If you were to calculate the toys Harper plays with the most often, this is definitely at the top of her list. She LOVES her play kitchen and makes her dolls / bunny / all of us meals as I prepare meals in the real kitchen. We have ours setup in the family room close by, so it’s a lot of paralell play that keeps her occupied while I need to get things done. Plus it’s so beautiful, it doesn’t really even look like a toy! Don’t forget the play food, pots and pans, and kitchen accessories. And of course the shopping cart too!
4. Digital Camera: This digital camera is so special to my daughter: it goes everywhere with us and is filled with real life memories she captured herself. It’s SO sweet to watch her take the pics and even sweeter to see them from her perspective. This camera is amazing because it’s made for young kids, so it’s durable. Be sure to get the memory card and camera case too!
5. Art Easel: All children are amazing artists and having materials at their disposal really fosters their interest in it! Harper got this art easel for Christmas as a 3 year old, and it’s really solidified her passion in becoming a painter someday. Melissa & Doug always does such a wonderful job with all that they do, and their art easel is great quality. We keep ours on our covered porch overlooking our garden, and it’s held up very well! It’s adjustable, has a white board on one side and a magnetic chalk board on the other with clasps to hold the rolled paper in place. Make sure you pick up the matching art supplies, roll of paper and magnetic animals and letters too!
6. Play-do kit: Such a fun way to get sensory play in: play-do! This is always a top activity for play dates … this age group can’t get enough of the squishy / fun play, and it’s not nearly as messy as slime.
7. Guitar: Building on to a thorough instrument collection as I’ve outlined in both my Baby’s First Christmas Gift Guide and the Gift Guide for Toddlers, having a kid-sized miniature guitar is so fun! It doesn’t matter if you know how to play guitar yourself to teach them (I certainly do not), because it’s really just all about exposure and play. This one is so sweet with a heart shape inside.
8. Bike with Training Wheels: Whether you start your toddler or preschooler off on a “big kid bike,” as we call it, or with a tricycle like we did, bikes are always a fun present to get! This one is great because there are many different sizes depending on how old your child is, so lots of flexibility. And it has a basket … because you have to have a basket!
9. Calico Critters Starter House: We stumbled into the Calico Critters world, but we’re so glad we did! They’re miniature animals families with the most adorable accessories and homes. This house is a great starter home, and I definitely recommend choosing an animal set to start with as well. Feel free to browse … they’re are all SO sweet, and Harper collects them all.
10. Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit: This was served to me as an Instagram ad, and I dove in on full research about the concept. I’m definitely not pro screen time for littles, especially small screens like phones and tablets, but this is different and unique. While you do need an iPad to make the kit work, this Osmo is basically a STEM kit, teaching your preschooler how to use technology to create their tangible world. This set is perfect for this age group and covers the basic foundations for all things science, tech and math. This is definitely on Harper’s Christmas list this year!
11. Microphone w Stand: Get your phones out and ready to record: this gift is so sweet because your preschooler won’t be able to stop singing into it (sorry in advance). I like this microphone because it has a stand so they can play another instrument as well, and it has great features like volume control, background music and even applause. So sweet!
12. Tic Tac Toe Game: This giant tic tac toe game is a fun twist to the old classic. It’s super portable, travels well and is a great size for teaching littles all about the strategy behind the game.
13. Gardening Kit: At this age, all kids love to garden if you present them the opportunity, and this gardening kit is so fun! Seeds and soil are optional add ons. 🙂
14. Leap Frog Jump Start: This is a fun way to integrate technology and hand eye coordination without the screen time, and Harper loves it! It occupies her for hours because she can read and play independently (and usually prefers to). You’ll need the Jump Start system and books to begin. This starter set of books is perfect for preschoolers, and there are other sets you can get all the way up through age 8. Note: we have the older model linked here and are so happy with it! Leap Frog came out with an updated 3D version of the Jump Start, and I’ve heard mixed reviews. The regular jump start is still available, and I can’t recommend it enough!
15. Alarm Clock: If you’re wanting to teach your preschooler about time and when to wake up and when to go to sleep, we love this alarm clock! It changes colors based on the time of day and is so sweet! Harper often rushes to see “if the clock is awake” first thing.
16. Frozen II Set: It’s nearly impossible to walk into any retail store without seeing Frozen II galore, and there’s no doubt the preschooler in your life is all about it (heck, I am too after seeing the movie!). This is a simple set that will be sure to be a big hit!
17. Let’s Go Fishing Game: Another classic game from the 80’s … this fishing game is so fun to play! Sometimes we use our fingers, sometimes the poles, but we always have lots of laughs and fun!
18. STEM Magnetic Blocks: Another creative way to get the STEM benefits without screen time (because it is possible) … I love the idea of these magnetic blocks and am gifting these to Harper this year too!
19. Wellie Wishers Doll from American Girl: I don’t know about you, but I grew up IDOLIZING American Girl and about flipped out when I got my own doll for Christmas one year (Samantha, of course). My step daughters loved their American Girl dolls as well, and I’m beyond thrilled to get Harper started. Instead of going all in on the full size 18″ traditional and more expensive doll, we opted for this smaller 14″ Wellie Wisher doll, which is meant for younger girls: 3-7. It’s more durable, all focused on the outdoors / nature / friendship and truly embodies how we’re raising Harper.
If your preschooler already has a Wellie Wisher doll, and you’re looking for some accessories, these are my top picks: Playhouse, Clothing, and books. I maaaaay have already peeped all of Harper’s Wellie Wishers things, and they are all SO well made, the epitome of American Girl.
20. Teepee: Perfect as a reading nook, time in corner or just fun little playhouse, a teepee will be a welcomed addition to your preschooler’s world. We gave Harper one for her 3rd birthday, and she LOVED it! This one comes with fairy lights and windows, and it’s so magical! Add some pillows, stuffed animals and books, and you’ll have made her holiday!
Hope you enjoyed my Gift Guide for the Preschool Girl! Let me know if this list helped you get some shopping done in the comments below! Merry Christmas!