You Say It’s Your Birthday

Dudes, my tiny smooshy baby is turning three! Unfortunately, I have absolutely NO idea what to get her for presents.

She isn’t the type of kid who doesn’t care about stuff or presents, so don’t be one of those people to tell me it doesn’t matter what I get her and she won’t care or notice.  I WILL CARE SLASH NOTICE AND SO WILL SHE. (AHEM ERIK). Actually, I don’t think she’d notice if we didn’t get her anything on her birthday (although how sad is that)  but she is definitely PRO opening presents and she will oooh and ahhhh over things she likes.

Part of the problem is that we just went through a massive toy clean out, so I am reluctant to add a bunch of junk that no one will play with to the piles of junk I just got rid of at Goodwill.

The other part of the problem is that she’s still sort of…she likes everything, but also very specific things.  Mostly she likes animals.  She’s obsessed with My Little Ponies, she really likes Diego, and she does enjoy girly things like dresses and poofy skirts more than Eli, for example.  But mostly she LOVES animals.  She will look at a book about snakes for hours and hours. She will choose to play ponies over any other thing.

My first idea is that even though she probably won’t really get that this is a present is that on her birthday we will take her to the zoo and this will count as a present.  I bet she loves that.

So that’s idea number one: The Hated Zoo Trip.

Idea Number Two: I already bought this dress, even though it’s a little high on my frippery scale, because we spent two hours in the mall last Thursday and this was the thing that made her stop in front of the window and say “OOOOOOOOOOH”.  I defy you not to buy the thing that makes your smooshy curly haired baby girl stop dead, pause, and gasp in front of it.

gymboree dress

Other things I am debating:

This Princess Celestia Doll.

princess celestia

Now I think we can all agree that no My Little Pony Collection is complete sans Princess Celestia, but the problem with this is that this is the “Promised Huge Thing You Can Get If You Pee On the Potty” and I don’t know what to do about that if I give it to her for her birthday.  Make no mistake though, she would LOVE this.

I have also been eyeing this horse barn thing, because I’m wondering if she could use to carry around her ponies.  She does seem to love a good horse.  Fyi, we already had the Melissa and Doug Folding Up Barn and we gave it away because no one gave two shits about it in this house.  It’s sort of boring though.  It’s no Princess Celestia.

horse barn

Then I am wondering if she’d like a Cozy Coupe.

cozy coupe

I’ve always wanted to buy one of these (maybe “I” want a Cozy Coupe) but we have a large selection of ride-on crap that no one rides on, and I don’t want to add a giant pink piece of plastic to it.  However I like the appeal of being all “LOOK AT YOUR BIG PINK PRESENT OOOOOH!” but you know. She might never use it after that. So I’m waffling.  (We have a tricycle. No one rides it.)

The last idea I have is this Cinderella doll and carriage. It appears to be plastic junk, it’s probably going to ruin my child’s life by giving her some kind of weird princess complex, and yet every time she sees the commercial for it, she asks to watch it over and over again.  Hmmmmm.

cinderella carriage cinderella

So these are my terrible ideas of what to buy a three year old for her birthday.  Anyone have any better ones?  We have art supplies up the wazoo. We do not need books, we can barely contain the ones we have. I am not buying any more stuffed animals.  She has a doll house, she has baby dolls, she has play food, we have wooden blocks, she had a toy kitchen that she never played with, she has tons of dress up clothes, she has a water table, we have loads of train tracks, god these kids are spoiled.


22 Responses

  1. FP Little People have a bunch of animal sets. Zoo, Zoo Train, etc. And you can get a lot of animals individually, too, at least on Amazon. Or those Toobz things full of animals aren’t so babyish. I know you said no stuffed animals but we have a set of beanie babies that are in heavy use, good for playing school etc. (although I paid crazy much for them because they are Peppa Pig, but you could get a handful of other ones cheaper.)

    No on the Cozy Coupe – it’s cute but she will outgrow it very soon and then it’s just giant clutter. (although you could craigslist it.) Also her brother may insist on trying to ride on the roof of it and other such dangerous things. My kids have been into a Big Wheel at someone else’s house recently.

  2. Hi there,

    Been reading for a bit and enjoy your honesty. I have a 3 year old boy who is the exact same way about things (his current obsession is “oak balls”)

    A couple of thoughts/ideas…

    You can totally get those cozy coupes on craigslist or at garage sales and then you don’t feel like crap when your kids don’t use them (mine rarely does until a friend comes over and then the fight is on!)

    or peruse your local craiglist for a cool toy that could use a new home but you won’t feel like you are buying more crap to add to the crap pile

    Maybe a trip to someplace where you can interact with animals more? Pet Adoption Fair or Little Farm in Berkeley (I think you are in California)?

  3. So you know I have the other animal-obsessed child. Something she really loves playing with is this:

    We’ve had it for a couple of years now and she likes A) playing vet, B) opening doors with keys, and C) locking up animals and then “saving” them. It’s at Target.

  4. Cute ideas…and I still have some of my Little Ponies (although none are as lovely as Princess Celestia). 🙂
    You mentioned the zoo for her birthday (and you may have already considered this), but what about a family pass/membership for a year? It wouldn’t be strictly for her, but she’d probably get to go most often. A lot of zoos have programs where your membership gets you admission to other zoos – so you could try other places nearby or visit a zoo while on vacation.
    Good luck deciding – and happy birthday to your girl! 🙂

  5. I have boys but I understand your problem. I would say no to the cozy coupe because at 3 she’ll outgrow it very soon. The ponies look cute and I second the vet kit from Target. I love the idea of experience gifts like the zoo or other fun place but kids need to open something.

  6. Cinderella or the dress. Save Princess Celestia for the potty. I am leaning toward Cinderella because I adored Cinderella as a child and was not allowed to have more than one doll and I think it ruined me forever and ever. PRO DOLLS.

  7. We have that horse barn! And yes, it’s…boring. Also, even my nearly 4-year-old can’t get the horses back in their spots so I have to do it. I do like it as a toy, though. It’s better than more plastic crap. And Paul (almost 2) loves the horsies.

  8. Oh, man, we seriously have the same children. Having an older brother has made my smooshy girl immune to a lot of the stuff I think her peers become obsessed with (ie, Disney Princess) which makes it HARD to shop for her – which I just had to do a couple of weeks ago for her big 3rd b-day. We got that exact barn with ponies and it was a hit, for about a week. But mileage may vary, seeing as how your girl loves My Little Pony. I walked, zombie like up and down the aisles of Target trying to pick something for my beloved girl and was stumped. I ended up getting a tea set ( and that is still going strong… as is the fully functional Buzz Lightyear doll that her brother picked for her. So, yeah, 3 year old girls are a MYSTERY.

  9. One of my daughter’s friends gave her a Skip Hop child-sized backpack (the ladybug one) for her third birthday. It’s been through two years of preschool and carted around various collections of toys and she still adores it. Bonus: you can use it to train her to start carrying her own crap and get it out of her bag 😉

  10. Get the Cozy Coupe. Hands down the best present we’ve purchased and it only took us 3 kids to finally do it. It was our youngest sons Santa gift and although at the time he was a little young (14 months) his older siblings (3&6) loved it. Now all 3 of them play with it daily and I imagine it will get a lot of mileage this summer.

  11. My nieces and nephews (ages 1 – 6) fight like evil devils over the equivalent of the cozy coupe at my inlaws. Also, they fight over the red wagon. But, you know what I want? The purple plasma car (currently available on Amazon for $41.89 marked down from $69.99). It is beyond awesome and BONUS! adults 220 pounds and under can ride it. I’m gonna buy one of my nieces or nephews one of those bad boys juts so Aunt NGS can then take it from them and ride it.

    Ummm…plus you can get it in pink if you have to. It’s more expensive, though. $48.99. They jack up the prices on pink stuff, you know.

    • We got a plasma car, and it really is a pretty solid toy. Like NGS said, even adults can cruise around on it (could be fun at the neighborhood happy hours!). But I can understand if you’d rather not invite more riding toys into your house. I’m currently trying to decide what to get my soon-to-be three-year-old son…kids, man. It’s always something!

  12. see if there is a Disney on Ice event coming to your area soon, get her tickets and a silly Disney/Princess shirt to wear (so she has something to open). Oh- they have MLP toothpaste (our Krogers sells it)…small, practical and wrap-able!

  13. We bought our 3 YO the “swimming” Dora mermaid on amazon. She loves it and it has made bath time even more fun. Plus her 6 YO cousin wants it so that makes it extra cool. I think our girl would love the Cinderella doll the movie is a fav of hers.

  14. Anna is a huge MLP fan. I recommend the baby Skyla and/or baby Apple Sprout… They look weird to me and talk which is annoying but she loves them. Also I got her a $10 twilight plush at Walmart and she loves it.

  15. Duplos? My almost-3yo loves to play with his. There are ones with a bunch of animals, and now they even have princess ones. We’re a mostly train and truck house but the Duplos seem to a big hit with both genders.

  16. Magna Tiles are a favorite of my 2.5 year old. What about those Calico Critters? That was a favorite of MINE when I was a kid! Glad to see they’re still around 🙂

  17. I just saw a suggestion the other day for a subscription to Ranger Rick Jr for a little one. I think the age limit they give is like 4-9, but if she loves animals it might fit the bill! I think it’s like $20, so no huge investment. Bonus: no plastic.

  18. Things Anna loved at her third birthday. Any princess or fairy dress up outfit. The more sparkles and jazz the better. Extra Anna points if it “goes all the way to my toes”. Magic wands. My little pony stuff. High heel princess shoes. My guess is that you have most of this stuff.

  19. Uh, her Auntie Maggie is TOTALLY getting her a pony, except when Auntie Maggie went to look at all the ponies the only one she knew for sure Katie had was Porkie Pie or whatever that stupid name is, because that is the name Auntie Maggie loved to hear over and over BUT DO NOT FEAR, ANOTHER PONY IS HEADED YOUR WAY.

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