Gifts for girls ages 3 to 5: Girls at this age love to keep busy, especially with interactive projects that involve adults or other friends. Consider an art supply or craft kit filled with stickers, glitter pens, or Wikki Stix. To give her some fun adventure time, look for a play tent decked out as a castle or country house. Girls at this age might also enjoy a Webkins pet that she can snuggle at home and care for in a virtual world on the computer. Stocking stuffer ideas include hair clips, small dolls or stuffed animals, or crazy-colored tights.
Gifts for girls ages 6 to 8: Girls at this age have a diverse array of interests. For girls who love to be outdoors, select a kite with beautiful pinwheels, a pair of roller skates, or a boogie board for the beach. For crafty girls, consider a scrapbooking set to help them record their memories or a bead kit to make friendship bracelets. For budding scientists, try a crystal growing kit or a rainforest rock garden. Stocking stuffer ideas include hair bands, colorful acrylic rings, or personalized stamps and labels.
Gifts for girls ages 9 to 12: Preteen girls love to record and keep their memories. Get her started with her own digital camera (in pink or purple, of course), a beautiful locking journal or diary to keep her secrets, or a brightly colored stationery set. For athletic types, give her a pair of Ray-Bans or a new sports bag. And for the aspiring world traveler, get her a rolling suitcase and a cute set of luggage tags. Stocking stuffers can include key chains, small photo albums, or a funky-colored watch.
For all ages, consider these gifts that will last all year round:
Memberships: Give a membership to a local cultural institution such as a zoo, science center, children’s museum, aquarium, or activity gardens. Make sure that the attraction is close enough to be convenient so that the kids get the most out of the membership for the year.
Magazines: Give a subscription to a children’s magazine that will keep her entertained with new issues arriving in the mail all year round. For ages 3 to 8, look for Highlights, National Geographic Little Kids, and Zoobooks. For ages 9 to 12, look for Muse (sponsored by the Smithsonian), Ask (arts and science for kids), Calliope (a fun introduction to world history), Discovery Girls, and Girls’ Life.
Books: Get her hooked on a series where she can identify with a character or let her imagination run wild. For ages 3-5, look for the Frances books by Russell Hoban, the Charlie and Lola books by Lauren Child, or the Taro Gomi activity books. For ages 6 to 8, try the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary or the Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren. For ages 9-12, look for the American Girl series, the Fairy Chronicles by J.H. Sweet, or the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder;
A day on the town: Give her a gift she will remember all year – the gift of time with you. Create a gift certificate promising a day at the movies, a date for a high tea at a fancy hotel, or dinner at a special restaurant. After all, what really counts is the thought you put into it – and the time that she will enjoy spending with you.