Hello again. Having just returned from a fortnight in Florida, I followed my own tips from my last blog and used the flight time to write this blog. As I had spent all of my holiday money, and a lot of my Dad’s hard earned money, during numerous shopping sprees, I thought I would come back with another inspirational, witty and award-winning blog on age appropriate Disney gift ideas for girls (catchy I know but I will think of a better title soon I promise).
My plan is to uncover a range of ideas that you have never really thought of before. I am going to split up my blog into age ranges and then list and explain a few presents that you might be interested in bringing home for your princess/daughter/niece/family friend etc. Being the quintessential Mother’s Daughter that I am, I was born to shop but when I was smaller, I had to rely on my cute smile and good behaviour to get the things I have highlighted. Also, please bear in mind fashions change and I cannot see any Daddy letting their Princess follow Miley Cyrus now; I know mine won’t!
Let’s begin with younger girls and work up my current status of teenage girl.
To be honest, I cannot exactly remember what I was into when I was only a year or two old. I have to rely on my Dad’s extensive photo collection, and I can also use my common sense to figure out what I was given. I have plenty of overflowing boxes stuffed with plush toys, Minnie Mouse handbags and Mickey related learning toys too. Nowadays, all I really want are Disney Dooney & Bourke handbags or sparkly Disney charms on a Pandora bracelet. Favourites change and I do feel a little sad when I realise a toddler would not want my “Marie” cat plush (from Aristocrats) to carry round all day until she (the cat, not the toddler) is dropped in a puddle and turns grey. Instead, all little girls now pine for Elsa Elsa Elsa Elsa Elsa Anna Elsa Elsa Elsa Olaf.
If you can get past Frozen related toys then one thing I did want to mention, which you may not have seen, are the wonderful Minnie Mouse purses and handbags that you can buy in Wal-Mart or Target. My grandparents bought one for me and I kept lots of goodies in it and still have it in my room today. At this young age plush is a must and a Minnie Mouse bigger than your Princess might sound a great idea, but from experience I think a smaller sized one which your daughter can carry around all day is far better.
If you are expecting another member of your family any time soon then maybe start them off some little Disney plushes. This is how Kieran and I were embedded into the Disney way. Let me share a lovely family story of how my Mum and Dad learned from a small mistake as new parents and then in trying to rectify it were rumbled by an inquisitive boy!
Before I was born, my Grandad “Books” (long story), bought me a small Mickey Mouse soft toy. He gave it to me the day I was born and yes “Mick Mick” still sleeps on my bed although a little over loved (he has never been washed as I never wanted him to lose his unique smell). He is an adored, cherished gift that I will keep forever. As a toddler, there were many times I was upset from a fall and Mick Mick saved the day. Learning from the failed attempts to prize him from me for washing, when my Mum was pregnant with Kieran, my folks bought two small Donald Duck soft toys. Kieran had one from day one and they hid the other. “D D” is Kieran’s bestie and probably always will be. To make sure D D went into the washing machine every few months he was swapped with the spare. Until one day Kieran was playing in his bedroom and found the “Other D D” and now he has both! (Note – add small padlock for your hiding place to your shopping list.)
**please note this is my opinion of what I would like/ have liked and might not be the law for every single child. It is just a guideline**
As baby Alex grew older (4yrs old) she fell in love with the mini princess figures. (I am not going to lie to you, I might still have them sitting in my wardrobe now, for nostalgic reasons only of course). For those who haven’t heard of these before, they are basically sets of plastic rubber dresses and a mini doll of a Disney princess that little girls can play with and collect.
Here are some pictures of them in the shops and my big blue box. They are priced around $17. For sets with a Prince and a Princess they are $19.95 and sets with just the Princess in a heart shaped carry case are $14.95. A word of warning – if you do have to travel home by aeroplane, be sure not to let little ones play with them during the flight because it can result in disappointment (OK I really mean tears) when one of Tinkerbelle’s signature bobble shoes goes missing!
Talking of disappointment, I have not seen an Elsa or Anna doll made yet in these cases; come on Disney my collection awaits. Anna and Elsa only seem to appear in the hard figures, as shown in the picture below.
I have one set of hard figures for the Princess and the Frog but, they are just not as much fun as you can’t change their outfits. It is also not the same when you play with all of the dolls together as the hard figurines are different in shape, size and weight to the plastic rubbery ones.
I think the Princess dresses deserve their own paragraph. They are quite obvious presents but what is often forgotten is all of the accessories that go with them. Princess outfits are for ages four to seven. Bigger sizes are available but really the size depends on the child’s height. I’m quite tall so was sad when I was about six and they didn’t fit me anymore. Although the official Disney costumes are lovely, they are expensive and can often be made of uncomfortable and heavy material. The Anna and Elsa dresses I saw on sale in the World of Disney were $69.95 and then if you wanted to add the tiaras and shoes the price increases sharply. Its not unknown for most Princess obsessed girls to want every single outfit, but this would be a hefty sum of just under $700 (plus tax) for the full collection of official
Disney Princess dresses for Ariel, Anna, Elsa, Tiana, Merida, Snow White, Aurora, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jasmine and Belle. Bear in mind that some people believe that Disney do not even have the nicest dresses. Other stores have alternative dresses that are more comfortable and cheaper. You will have to shop around as some of the really cheap substitutes are horrendous to look at, but the majority of them are pretty good imitations. It is good to look at all the dress options available as you may be able to afford more Princess’s outfits and accessories and can just mix and match with the official and not so official costumes.
This next point is not really a gift, its, more of a souvenir. I am sure every reader has a few of these on a lanyard, hat or cork board. Yes, its Disney pins and I think they are so adorable.
Collecting Disney pins is both a pleasure and pain for us. They are small, relatively inexpensive and contagious. If you collect, trade or just have a few as souvenir memories they are a great fun and a wonderful gift for any child.
I have a corkboard that I have filled with my favourite Disney pins, I am not an extreme collector and I do not by any means have a complete set; but I definitely love them. I think that they are a lovely addition to my bedroom art and I like how I can pick and choose individual pins. Many of mine were presents for memories or pins I purchased myself to remind me of something. For example, if I went on Big Thunder Mountain in Disney’s Magic Kingdom and something really significant happened while I was waiting in line with my family, like my brother dropping his hat out of the side open windows in the queuing area, then I would go and buy a Big Thunder Mountain pin to remember that moment. Some might say that is super cliché but I think it is cute. My parents often bought me character pins after I had met characters for the first time and that was a sweet thoughtful present to get from them. I first started trading and collecting pins when I was around six after our USA neighbours kindly gave me pin trading starter kit which came with a lanyard, a selection of Tinkerbelle pins and a lanyard weight pin since then I feel like each of my pins has its own story.
As previously mentioned, I went through a Hannah Montana Fan craze (that ‘swiftly’ moved on to Taylor Swift who is the ultimate music queen – but enough about that now). This lasted for a couple of years from age six to eight. Of course not every child is going to worship Hannah because she is now non-existent and the endless re-runs on the Disney Channel have ceased so no further comment to be made there. But during this phase of my life the only presents I wanted in the stores were to do with Miss Montana. I recall having a themed guitar and the so many microphones that you could mime along with. This was also the point I actually became interested in fashion, make-up and nail polish and I had Hannah Montana make-up palettes and I wanted to grow up to be just like her. The Beautifully by Disney collection of Make-up is relatively inexpensive and is themed around Princesses and enchanted magical colours. This was also about the time I became obsessed with Disney bags. I had a Disney Nerd bag and matching purse. The list is endless and includes various Princess rucksacks and Mickey messenger bags.
When I was nine, I started to enjoy board games and puzzles a lot more. I have never understood what suddenly turned me into a jigsaw/ board game fanatic but something did. My Dad, being born in 1971, purchased a lot of the Walt Disney World 40th celebration merchandise, and I had both the special anniversary edition jigsaws and Monopoly. My personal favourite board game was ‘Disney Guess Who?’ and favourite jigsaw was a Thomas Kinkade paintings of Cinderella Castle that had been made into a beautiful and quite satisfying 1000 piece puzzle. If your child does go through a strange board game phase like this I recommend a ‘puzzle board roll up’ mat. These are not specifically from Disney but they keep your house tidy while you are in the middle of completing a jigsaw.
I’ve wanted to go to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique since I could walk. I was a huge Hannah Montana fan and for a while Disney offered a Hannah inspired makeover at the boutique. I wanted to go so bad! But my Dad found a nicer costume than the one Disney offered and that was my Christmas present. I know that it is not the same but you have to pay a lot of money for the boutique experience. I did get to visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on-board the Disney Fantasy cruise ship when it was transformed into “The Pirate’s League” so I finally got to have my special makeover. We bought our own pirate costumes and just had the make-up and accessory package on Pirate Night. It was amazing and the best thing was, it was a total surprise and a very thoughtful gift. It is really easy to surprise your child with this sort of activity for a special occasion.
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique hairstyles are not too difficult to imitate. I have created a ‘tiara bun’ many times for visits to the various Walt Disney World parks. As long as you have lots of hairspray it should stay in during your tenth ride on Space Mountain. You could always use a Hot Bun ($9.99 – Wal-Mart) or a Hair Donut (various prices are sizes but cheaper than hot bun), a Sparkly Bun Tiara ($12.95 – World of Disney), GoodMark Glitter Spray hair and body ($2.24 – Wal-Mart) and then bobby pins/hair grips to secure. I was given all of these in a gift set that a family friend made for me for my 9th birthday. It is not overly expensive but was a thoughtful and well received present.
I am really into Disney jewellery and accessories right now. The good thing about these is that there are a range of different pieces for a range of prices. From Disney costume jewellery to the new Pandora range. I have the cheaper ones for now but working towards the Pandora. The jewellery section of World of Disney is like a Mecca for me. There are cheaper sets of earrings and necklaces that use the colour coding prices ranges of the Disney Pin Trading range. I have the hanging pink earrings and the January birthday studs, both in Mickey shapes. Going up a few price points there are very pretty cubic zirconia Sterling Silver Mickey earrings for $45 which are lovely, I was very lucky to get a pair of these for my 12th birthday. For a while you could get Chamilia Disney charms for your charm bracelet and my Mum and Aunt Cherie have lots. Now Disney have entered into a partnership with Pandora for an entire jewellery range. I want I want I want.
I hope that this gives a good view on the sorts of things that different aged girls might like as a gift. If you have any questions or queries on any of the items I have mentioned or even on areas I haven’t covered, then please leave a comment below and I will answer it.