Play-Inspired Kids Gift Guide! – something they WANT!

Hi everyone!

I am sharing three gift guides in a row for you! If you follow along with me on Instagram, then you may have heard me share in my stories our motto for gift buying for our kiddos that I stole from one of my sweet friends.

The motto is simple and keeps the gifts modest, which is exactly what we want:

“something they want, something they need, and something to read.”

So, within that we got a few gifts for each of them, and that has helped keep gifts reasonable and given a sense of direction for the gift buying for them! This play-inspired gift guide would definitely fall under the “something they want” category, and when I say play, I mean a play that inspires imagination, creativity, social-emotional development within themselves and with others while playing, and lots of “real life” play. I hope this gives you a few more ideas for your babes while you shop on amazon or target over the weekend! That two-day prime shipping is seriously where its at! We had all of our prime boxes show up yesterday, and it was so nice to not have to go from store to store. I used to prefer shopping in store… but since becoming a mom of two… online shopping is totally my new favorite way to shop. Ok, ok, back to the gift guide. Here we go!


Doing crafts to playing “school” or “teacher”, your little one will enjoy an easel! What I love about this one is that it has the chalkboard and whiteboard on both sides, has storage underneath, but also has the built in scroll for craft paper at the top, so when they want to create something, the paper is already there ready to simply pull down and start painting or drawing on! It comes with a “spill proof” cup holder for paint or water cups in one of the trays… I’ll let you know how spill-proof it is though! 😉

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This is the newer version of the Magnolia Hearth and Hand dollhouse but we love ours, which is this original one, too! She will sit and play and play with this uninterrupted and promotes imagination as she plays and acts out the dolls and animals or whatever other toy she’s brought over to join the party! 🙂

The one thing about these dollhouses is that they do not come with people or tons of accessories, but my MIL found a great brand that has dolls that are the perfectly appropriate size for the dollhouse! I get asked about them often, so here they are:

Doll Family Set

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Doll Pet Set

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Doll Patio Set

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There are tons of other accessories if you start searching this brand! They have the cutest little workout set and nursery set, too!

Play Food Crate Set

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Gotta start teaching them those food groups early, right? 😉 This would be great for your play kitchen, but can also serve as a very doable sorting activity for the child!

Play Food Cutting Set

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You may already have a kitchen set for your little one, and if you don’t ikea has a great one we love to play with! BUT- you may not have engaging things for it. C received this cutting food set as a gift from a family member, and she LOVES it! Uses them all the time as she’s “cooking” in her kitchen!

Some other fun accessories we love to go along with our kitchen are:

Keurig Coffee Set

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Real-life Looking Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

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Cookie Baking Set

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C has the Hearth and Hand cookie baking set, but this one is almost identical with a few extra fun things… needless to say, C “bakes” cookies for me almost every day! …it’s the best! 😉

And a few other items I’m eyeing for C and T to go along with their kitchen…

Dust, Sweep, and Mop Set

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C already loves to take our actual broom and mop to “clean” with, so I think she’d love something like this! I also think she’d like this:

Cleaning Caddy Set

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Modern Kids Table

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With all that play in the kitchen… a solid table to serve whomever you’re cooking for OR whenever we play “restaurant” is great to have! C loves to snack here too, and having a little table like this was so, SO helpful when Tommy was born, so she could eat and get at her water bottle or other things easily if I had my hands full. My MIL bought this for her for her birthday, and it is the cutest little modern table! We use it SO much!

Veterinary Toy Set

One last set that is inexpensive, but I think a child would love… veterinarian and doctor play sets! We love using our doctor set, and I think the veterinary set would be just as engaging!

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Picasso Tiles

These Picasso tiles are SO engaging for children and promotes so much creativity and imagination in the things they are making with them. They are versatile, and can easily be included in any STEM-based activities for your kiddos. My students absolutely loved these when I was teaching!

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Personalized Name Puzzle

These puzzles have so many great functions! Not only is it just a puzzle that works on memory development for the child, but you can also use this to work on name recognition, letter recognition, color recognition, and even a little number recognition if your child has more than one of the same letter in their name and simply counting how many letters are in their name! C received this as a first birthday present from a family member, and we love it!

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Okay! That’s the “play-inspired” “something they want” list! I hope this gives you a few more ideas for your little ones as you finish up your gift buying. I’ll be sharing “something they need” on my next kids gift guide soon!

with love,

from courtney

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