This post contains affiliate links.
Since I am shopping for Kaia (she’s 4 1/2), I thought I’d share a few of her favorite things to help anyone looking for ideas for kids! All of these items have a purpose and won’t be just another thing for you to step on or throw in a storage container. We have plenty of those types of toys and Kaia almost never plays with them. They are literally collecting dust. Some of them haven’t even been unpacked in our move from a few months back.
Kaia has gotten so much use out of this ice cream counter! It provides hours of imaginative play, creative role playing, and also helps with math and understanding money concepts. The counter comes with an adorable ice cream menu and play money!
Santa brought Kaia this play kitchen a couple of years ago. She was 2.5 years old at the time. This is another pick that’s gotten SO much good use out of it! It’s been well worth the money we paid for it. Add to your kitchen with play food, plates, utensils, and cookware and your little one will never get bored!
This puzzle is another favorite. Kaia likes to take it apart and put it back together over and over again. I like that it’s not too hard for her so I don’t have to supervise closely and help each step of the way. It’s a gorgeous puzzle, and she learns about different countries and cultures.
Candy Land Game
Everyone who spends time with kids needs Candy Land in their lives! We have the classic version, but we’ve played the newer one at my mom’s house. I never realized how much board games occupied my time as a child! It’s fun to pass on the tradition of playing board games to Kaia! It’s also a great tool to teach children how to wait their turn, follow the rules of the game, and gracefully win…and lose.
ThinkFun Zingo Bingo is another favorite game in our house! It’s so good for early readers, and kids don’t even realize how much they are learning. They are just having fun.
Read Along Storybooks with CDs
We’ve found read along books with CDs to be great for car trips! We keep a stack of books in the car, and Kaia “reads” along with them when we are driving from here to there. Kaia is reading on a beginner level, and she still needs help with many words. I can’t help her while I’m driving, so these books have been helpful! We got most of our books with CDs from the library and the Scholastic book club, but I really want to try these Disney storybooks! Kaia will definitely get a few under the tree this year.
Children’s Card Games like Go Fish – this one is a set of four games with hands-free card holders for little hands
Kaia loves card games especially Go Fish! It’s easy for her to understand and she can work on her numbers, too. We got the Melissa & Doug card games pack, but I’m thinking I want to order this set for her. The M&D cards are jumbo sized and hard for her to hold in one hand. These have card holders and seem better suited for smaller hands!
Kaia got this exact bike for her birthday earlier this year. She loves it, and has spent countless hours riding it around the neighborhood. I went back and forth over getting her a balance bike, but the truth is that she never showed interest in a balance bike. She was really excited about this bike though, so we went with it! It might take her longer to get rid of those training wheels, but she’s happy with her bicycle.
The Bitty Baby Doll is, by far, Kaia’s favorite doll. All the other baby dolls have come and gone, but she still plays with this one and sleeps with it, too. I had the same one as a kid, and it’s still around and in really good shape (which speaks to the quality of the product).