Gift Guide: The Best Princess-Themed Gifts For Your Little Princess
Greetings! We're so glad you've landed on one of our incredible 2016 What Moms Love Gift Guides for Kids. If you’re in the midst of frantically searching for the perfect toy for your child (or niece, or nephew, or friend’s kid, or…well, you get the picture) you can breathe a sigh of relief, because this is where you’ll find it. The gift that will not only get gasps of excitement when opening, but one that won’t be relegated to the bottom of a deep, dark storage bin.
In case you’re not familiar with our guides, we work year-round testing toys with kids of all ages and stages, and feature only the ones that repeatedly knocked their socks off. We arrange these gems in our different guides based on a child’s interests because we asked parents how they typically shop, and the overwhelming response was that they search for what their child is currently obsessing over – you know, that one “category” they just can’t get enough of.
For you, you must be on the hunt for that perfect Princess gift for your wanna-be royal majesty, yes?
Well the magical world of princesses is all fun and games until you go searching for a princess themed gift. Then you’re hit with thousands of choices, with overpriced cheap plastic leading the charge.
Luckily, our guide will navigate you through it so your princess gift will be fit for a, well, princess. We’ve found all the princess gems in categories like princess dolls and doll houses, arts and crafts, building toys, imaginative play and books. There are no duds on here, only gifts that will be played with, worn, or used from “once upon a time” all the way to “the end”.
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*recommended ages are from manufacturers; prices may vary from what is listed
Princess Peg Dolls By Happy Camper Kids (5 dolls for $40)
You can’t help but smile at these stunning 3 ½” Princess Peg Dolls, and they’re so unique that we had a feeding-frenzy of little girl toy-testers trying to play with them. Hand-painted and sealed with non-toxic paint, these remind us of the wooden Fisher Price Little People (that were actually little!) we played with as a child. They’re the perfect size for any doll house (check out our recommended picks for Princess Castles in the next section), and the simplicity of them is oh-so refreshing - not a sequin, sparkle or petticoat in sight. These make a one-of-a-kind gift that will be treasured by any young girl. (editor’s note: I can’t wait to give these to my daughter for Christmas!)
Disney Princess Toddler Collection (age 3+), $19.99
The Disney Princess Toddler collection features all your child’s favorite princesses as younger toddler versions of themselves. These dolls really attract the 3-5 year olds with their larger-than-life reflective eyes (although we’ve seen 8 year olds happily playing with them as well), and if your child will fit into a size 3T-4T make sure to get the Disney Princess Doll and Dress Combo (age 3+, $45.98), which comes with a matching princess dress.
Another favorite in this collection is the Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Singing Doll (age 3+, $28.59). Press Elsa's magical necklace and she’ll recite popular phrases from the movie like “Do you wanna build a snowman”, or raise her arm to hear her sing “Let it Go” and watch her dress light up. This one takes a leap of faith from mom (luckily the song lasts only 32 seconds, but that can seem like an eternity on the 45th time around…and sorry, there’s no volume control!), but the look of amazement and sheer joy on your little girl’s face as she looks into those big Elsa eyes may just be worth it.
Disney Princess Royal Doll Collection (age 3+), $77.10
Another must-have for any wannabe princess’ collection, are the Barbie-style Disney princess dolls, which come in this amazing Royal Doll Collection pack. It includes all of their favorites (make sure to get the one that is updated with Anna and Elsa), and the sheer size of the box makes for a really, really impressive gift!
Disney Princess 20" Plush Doll (age 2+), approx. $25-30
If you’re looking for something a bit more huggable – perhaps for a younger girl, or someone who likes to take their princesses to bed – we’ve found these 20” Disney Princess Plush Dolls to be a total hit. They are the perfect size for picking up and twirling around, and this is exactly what our testers did, pretending they were at the royal ball together. These also come in a smaller 11” size, but for our group of 3-6 year olds, the larger size got the bigger thumbs up.
La Loba Studio Handcrafted Princess Doll (age 3+), $69
Now if your child doesn't mind her princess being the non-Disney variety, we absolutely adore these handmade soft princess dolls from the Etsy shop La Loba (in fact, we featured them in our Best Babies, Dolls and Doll Accessory Guide too!). Each 19" doll comes with a removable crown, and a fun double-sided printed fabric cape and removable skirt. You can even do a custom order to make the doll resemble your child or add a personalized name patch. Extra outfits including skirts, tops and PJs are also available for dress-up play.
Disney Princess MagiClip Collection (age 5+), $34.90
These MagiClip Princesses are a must-must-must-buy! Each doll has a magical dress that opens with a light squeeze so the doll can be slipped in and out for wardrobe changes. They are super easy to operate (kids older than 2 will not have a problem), and our girls love to mix and match the dresses.
Thanks to their oversized ball gowns, they stand up easily and are the perfect size for smaller doll houses. We have given this set as a gift to many little girls over the years, and it’s always gotten rave reviews. Make sure it’s on your list to give this year!
a home fit for a princess
KidKraft Princess Castle Dollhouse (age 3+), $50
We can’t get enough of this KidKraft Princess Castle – it’s the perfect sized for your child’s first dollhouse, and has just the right splash of pink. Its best feature is that it can be folded open for play, and closed at clean-up time – saving space and keeping accessories safely stored. It comes with four 5” wooden dolls (king, queen, prince, and yep, princess) and 14 other pieces including 2 thrones, a horse carriage and 2 horses. Our girls’ had the MagiClip dolls (on our list above) feeling right at home in this Castle too.
RELATED: To see our other recommended dollhouses (that aren’t princess-focused), click over to our: Best Dollhouses and Accessories For Your Doll-Obsessed Little Girl (or Boy!)
Playmobil Princess Fantasy Castle (age 4+), $177.50
Playmobil is known for their high-quality themed playsets with lots of great details (if you have boys, their City Action, Knights and Pirates collections are awesome!), and they certainly don’t disappoint with their Princess Fantasy Castle. With a gilded entrance gate, velvet-lined staircase, spinning dance floor and the tower’s secret hideout, our testers were exploring every detail for hours. This is a toy that can turn any ordinary figurine into a Royal, and will spark loads of creative and imaginative play.
For extra fun, add on some of their additional characters and furniture packs. The Royal Bed Chamber with Cradle (includes the elusive baby!) and Royal Banquet Room (includes a smaller Prince and Princess) are the ones to pick.
arts and crafts
Creative Education of Canada - Color Me Princess Cape (age 3+), $23.95
This awesome Color Me Princess Cape gives you two presents in one: a detailed coloring project, and a fun prop for imaginative play. The cape comes printed with outlines of fairy-tale images (crowns, castles and unicorns, oh my!) that your child can bring to life with the 8 included permanent markers (yes, permanent, so keep that in mind when buying for younger children).
It has a velcro closure at the neck for easy on and off, and can also be reversed to show the pink satin lining if they want to go for a more elegant look. A super fun project that all the girls we had working on it desparately wanted to take home. (And psst - there’s also awesome Fairy and Superhero versions)
Play-Doh Royal Palace Featuring Disney Princess (age 3+), $12.85
The Royal Palace is hands-down the best Play-Doh set for princess lovers. It has tons of cool features and will keep them engaged for long chunks of time (you may even be able to sit down with a hot cup o’ Joe). It comes with Cinderella and Ariel figures and 2 dress molds that can be squeezed around them to create magnificent sparkling ball gowns (thanks to the included Sparkle ‘Doh). Your kids can embellish them using the little molds on the castle, and then twirl the princesses on a platform to show off their creations. You can also press out a long stream of Rapunzel’s “hair” from the top of the tower which kept our 4-year testers completely fascinated.
A few other Princess-themed Arts & Crafts sets that got high-ratings with our royal cherubs were:
- OrbFactory Princess SparkleUps (age 5+), $9.95
- The Orb Factory PlushCraft Princess Pillow (age 5+), $13.65
- Sticky Mosaics Princess (age 6+), $16.99
- Melissa & Doug Design Your Own Princess Wand (age 4+), $6.75
- Melissa & Doug Disney Princess Wooden Stamp Set (age 4+), $8.99
- Melissa & Doug Reusable Princess Castle Sticker Pad (age 3+), $4.99
Lego Duplo Disney Princess Collection (age 2+), $35
The Duplo Disney Princess Collection is an incredible Lego set for any Princess lover. It comes with not one, not two, but THREE different princesses and their coordinating homes (Cinderella and her castle, Ariel and her grotto, and Snow White and her Cottage). Ariel’s undersea world includes a great slide which really ups the play-factor, and your kids will love bringing the princesses around to visit each other’s home. The sweet spot for this set would be ages 3-5, although even those kids who have moved onto the smaller Legos will still enjoy this one.
Plan Toys Fairy Tale Blocks (age 3+), $26.99
This beautifully crafted set of wooden Fairy Tale Blocks is one of the toys that our little princesses keep going back to again and again – and the creations they made were truly out of a fairytale. The 35-piece set also includes a prince, carriage and 2 horses which can be put together to cart the prince around. We added in our most-favorite 60-piece Melissa & Doug Wooden Block Set and the castles got even bigger and more complex, and even the Magiclip Princesses were able to move in!
Melissa & Doug Pink Palace 3D Puzzle (Ages 6+), $9.98
Is it a puzzle? Is it a dollhouse? Yes and yes! This incredible Pink Palace 3D Puzzle becomes a useable dollhouse (with figures, furniture and a carriage) when assembled. Our detail-oriented 6-year old was able to follow the instructions to fit together the 100+ cardboard pieces (which are all color, shape and number coded) with no glue, scissors or Mom required!
And after they’re done building, they are so proud of the incredible play house they created. Sure it won’t last forever (although ours is still going strong), but for under $10 (yep, you read that right) you will certainly get your money’s worth.
Lego Disney Arendelle Castle Celebration (age 6+), $47.99
If you’re looking to buy one larger Lego set, have it be this one, the Arendelle Castle Celebration. For one, it’s from Frozen, which automatically gets you Ooos and Ahhhs. And once it’s built, it doubles as an amazing dollhouse for the included Elsa, Anna and Olaf figures with separate bedrooms and living spaces with incredible details and yep, a slide!
Two other Lego Princess sets we love for their playability are from their awesome Juniors line:
- Lego Juniors Princess Play Castle (age 4+), $39.99
- Lego Juniors Cinderella’s Carriage (age 4+), $21.99
RELATED: For more Lego recommendations, click over to Gift Guide: The Best Building Toys For Kids (From Blocks To Robots)
Box Creations Corrugated Play Castle (age 2+), $49.95
Just watch your kids’ faces light up after building this incredible castle, fit for any little princess or Knight in shining armor. They will need a little help with the assembly, but it’s quick and simple to do, and with the locking tabs and thick cardboard, it actually turns out to be quite durable. (editor’s note: we’ve had a Box Creations for over a year and it is still going strong…and it’s held up to some rough and tumble play!)
Not only do they get a huge “fort” perfect for princess tea parties and sleepovers, but they actually get to decorate it as well. The set comes with 4 markers (but you can use any ol’ Crayolas) and just enough pre-printed details to spark their creativity. This one will keep them “locked up” for hours on end, and we’ve found it’s the first thing used during play dates.
There's also a fun Princess Carriage too!
Disney Princess Dress-up Trunk (age 3+), $29.99
Every little girl needs this Disney Princess Dress-up Trunk. It will transform them into the most beautiful of princesses with 21 pieces that includes shirts, skirts, headbands, bracelets, rings, earrings and a necklace – which can be tucked away in the Princess-decorated storage trunk when dress-up time is over. Sized to fit kids in the 4-6 range, we think this is the perfect gift for any 3-6 year old.
5-minute Princess Stories (age 3+, $10)
If your little girl wants to hear new tales about all her favorite characters like Cinderella, Belle and Rapunzel, this beautifully illustrated book of 5-minute Princess Stories (which they are, we timed them!) is a perfect way to drift off into their royal slumber. There's also a 5-minute Frozen Stories for those that just can't get enough of Anna and Elsa.
The Paper Bag Princess (age 4+), approx $6
We love this empowering princess book so much, we want to give it to every young girl we know. The story centers on a Princess who becomes a hero when she rescues her kidnapped Prince from a Dragon. But when she gets an unruly response from him regarding her messy appearance, she does something that we would hope our daughters would do in this situation: gives him a piece of her mind! This modern tale teaches an important lesson about relationships and will leave you and your daughter saying “you go girl”!
Princess in Black Series (age 5+), approx $5
We love this series so much we highlighted it in our popular post 7 Read-Aloud Chapter Book Series to Successfully Introduce Your Kids To Chapters (And Have Them Begging For “Just One More…”). The books feature Princess Magnolia, who you think is a typical princess in a pink puffy dress, but really she’s the Princess in Black – a caped crusader who fights off monsters and hungry bunnies! The books include full-color illustrations and provide a great message: you can be girly but still kick some serious butt.
Check out a few of our other favorite Princess books that have strong positive messages for girls. These should all be required reading and make a great gift!
- Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke (age 4+)
- Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole (age 4+)
- The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke (age 3+)
- The Very Fairy Princess series by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton (age 3+)
We are in serious love with these unique Disney Princess prints from Marco Friend via Etsy. They are the most tasteful representations of the Disney princesses we’ve come across, and we’d actually be happy to hang them in their rooms (that kiddy poster, not so much). They can be printed on white canvas or burlap in a variety of different sizes (and will even take custom orders). We showed these prints to groups of girls ranging in age from 3 to 13, and they all gave the same response: “I want those for MY room!"
If you wanted to live "happily ever after" with this guide, be sure to click over and visit one of the other 2016 What Moms Love Gift Guides For Kids:
- The Best Vehicle Toys For Car, Truck and Construction Junkies
- The Best Building Toys For Kids (From Blocks To Robots)
- The Best Gross Motor Indoor Toys For Active Kids (To Get That Energy Out!)
- The Very Best Babies, Dolls & Doll Accessories For All Ages & Stages
- The Best Doll Houses & Accessories For Your Doll-Obsessed Girl (or Boy!)
- 200+ Unique Stocking Stuffers For Babies To Teens (That Aren't Junk!)
And we're in the midst of testing products for new guides that will be released in 2017:
- The Best Arts & Crafts For Boys & Girls
- The Best Board Games For Solo, Sibling and Family Play
- The Best Toys For Super Hero & Star Wars Fanatics
Make sure you don't miss them by subscribing to our newsletter and we'll let you know the moment they launch. We’ll also let you know of any exclusive discounts or special deals on any of the toys included on our list:
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And if that’s not enough, if you’d prefer to gift something that isn’t a toy but rather an experience that will stay with them for a lifetime, an educational present that can expand their horizons, a fun practical item that can be used every day, or a sentimental treasure with deeper meaning, head over to our Unrivaled Guide To Non-Toy Gifts. 200+ Presents For Kids Of All Ages (That Aren’t Toys!)
This ultimate guide includes 5 parts:
- Non-Toy Gifts For Learning & Expanding Horizons
- Non-Toy Gifts To Spark Creativity, Imagination & Special Interests
- Non-Toy Gifts That Are Practical (But Far From Boring)
- Non-Toy Gifts For Making Memories
- Non-Toy Gifts To Receive In The Mailbox
BONUS! Free Printable Coupon Book
If you haven't made it to our Making Memories guide yet, we don't want you to miss out on our free printable coupon book. This includes 12 super fun coupons in Christmas, Hanukkah and Birthday designs that your kids will go gaga over. Plus blank templates for you to personalize your own. These make a wonderful stocking stuffer! Get more details and get the link to download here.
And one last thing (promise), if you'd like to give a gift to your child that's also secretly a gift for you, you've got to get our special report: 10 Screen-Free Toys For Guaranteed Quiet Time That Will Let You Relax, Recharge Or Put The Laundry Away. These magical toys will get your kids playing by themselves for 60 minutes every day. No joke.
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