My pint-sized 3-year-old has an ever-growing imagination that never ceases to amaze her mama. I love watching her makeup stories and scenarios with her dolls and play dough sets. And experiencing her singing and dancing around the house in her Frozen costumes will literally never get old.
Per a reader request, here are some of her favorite toys right now! If you have any other recs for her age, send them along.
Young Wild & Friedman Box: We bought the baking kit from this mom-owned brand at the beginning of quarantine when the thought of entertaining a then-two-year-old inside all day every day seemed impossible. Six months later and we still play with this non-toxic play dough sensory kit very regularly. Amalia likes to pretend it’s someone’s birthday every week and we decorate cupcakes together. It’s very sweet and she loves it. I oddly have way too much fun with this one too.
TinkerTots Boxes: A friend of a friend started this subscription service company and when I first heard about it I thought it sounded ok but would never have signed up if it hadn’t come with such a strong recommendation. We’ve now received three boxes and love them every time! Each box comes with a set of activities (or “projects” as Amalia calls them) that are both educational and fun.
Hey Clay: My aunt gave us a Hey Clay set and we’ve had so much fun making the tiny monsters and dinosaurs with it. You download an app and it teaches you how to make different animals with the clay in the box. It’s fun because Amalia gets to be part of each step and she loves seeing the final product. At age 3 it definitely requires parental help though.
Frozen Castle: This castle is the only thing she asked from us for her birthday so because she’s an only child and we’re suckers, we bought it. It took me a full two hours to put together but it was worth it because she loves it.
American Girl Doll: My mom bought Amalia her first American Girl Doll for her birthday and it is the pride and joy of her life. She puts PJs on the doll (also named Amalia, naturally) before bed and dresses her for school every morning. Target has a knock-off line of dolls that are much more affordable and luckily for me their clothes fit the American Girl Dolls too.
Sticker Dolly Dressing Sticker Books: Amalia got one of these sticker books as a random gift from a friend a few weeks ago and it provides constant entertainment. She loves dressing the princesses and fairies in their sticker outfits. The stickers are all reusable so she switches the skirts and shoes and hats between the figures on the pages and can sit for an hour straight with this one. Great find!
Magnetic Dress-Up Dolls: Clearly dress-up is her thing because she loves to dress these magnetic dolls that remind me of the paper dolls of my own childhood.
Necklace Activity Set: She makes me one of these necklaces every night before dinner. I don’t know why she’s so into it but she is!
Picnic Basket: This sweet little basket is the gift that keeps on giving. She got it for Christmas last year and it continues to be a hit. She loves to set up picnics and tea parties with it.
Unicorn (pictured above): Amalia loves to ride on this unicorn when she’s dressed as Elsa but also loves to brush it’s hair and pretend to put makeup on it.
Costumes: As you can probably tell by now if you watch my Instagram stories, Amalia loves to dress up. Her current favorite costumes are Elsa and Anna dresses (obviously) but she also loves to dress up as Doc McStuffins and give all of her stuffed animals check-ups. Pro-tip for costumes is to size up so they can wear it for longer periods of time. I’m also trying to convince Anel to buy this Kristoff costume and surprise her in it one day. How amazing would that be?