Jane got a lot of great gifts for her birthday this year, so I thought I'd catalog her favorites as a gift guide for people looking to shop for a 4-year-old or gift guide for preschoolers. (Some affiliate links used, but not all.)
Jane got some great books yesterday, Make Way for Ducklings and This Book Just Ate My Dog. Books are always a safe bet for Jane, and we didn't have a copy of either. She got other books and a National Geographic Little Kids subscription. I highly recommend mag subscriptions as gifts for kids because it encourages reading and gives them something fun in the mail each month. We also really like High Five, and Disney Jr. is OK (I pay for both of those).
A great toy that she got was this Minnie Mouse magnetic dress up doll. It's similar to her Minnie Mouse snap-on dress up doll (from a consignment sale last year), but definitely the magnetic one would be easier for littler hands to manipulate. I also got her a Melissa & Doug mermaid magnetic dress up doll on clearance at Target that has been a big hit too. It's basically the same idea (and I should have saved it for Christmas or just the gift closet/to give to another friend for a birthday).
Thomas toys are a safe bet for Jane, although your mileage may vary from kid-to-kid of course. One thing to be careful of is noting which type of track the train is for. We have a wooden train track, but some of the trains I've bought her (or even requested on her wish list) aren't the right size for that track. They're still fun to roll around on the floor, especially her favorite characters, but kind of a dumb move on my part. I'm not sure if they make all engines in wooden track versions, and they're probably more expensive. Grandma Dale hit a two-fer by getting her a Thomas book! And Gingie got her a right-for-wooden track Annie and Clarabel that have been seeing a lot of play on the expansion pack of track we got her.
Jane is also VERY into outer space. I got her this space book, and we've been reading a chapter at a time. She got a neat space floor puzzle, and yesterday a friend gave her a lantern/starlight projector thing that is really cool, especially in a dark room.
Jane loves Frozen, even though we haven't watched the movie very recently. She got a Frozen book and a game that has been a lot of fun. It's basically Trouble with the Frozen characters and a few extra rules. I wasn't sure if Jane would be into it, but she loves it. And Shawn and I don't mind playing with her (unlike some of the other games -- not a big fan of Candyland or Chutes & Ladders).
This bath building block set has been really good too -- different than the usual bath crayons that make a mess but everything dries easily since it's just foam blocks. She also had a great time decorating this Melissa & Doug jewelry box and storing a necklace that came with her new Sofia costume, which was a gift from Aunt B.
Art supplies are always smart, and Jane got an assortment of stickers and sticker books plus this cool Color by Dot book that we still need to crack open, also from Aunt B.
Basically my kid is spoiled and got a lot of really great presents from lots of people who love her. The best gift is probably an investment in her college savings fund, but it's hard to recommend that when it's so fun to shop and get a more immediate gratification from her as she falls in love with a toy or book and plays with or reads it nonstop.
Maybe I should also do a post from Jane's wish list. That includes a $400 ride-on car and huge Barbie dream house (we don't even have any Barbie dolls!). We'll see how desperate I get as NaBloPoMo rolls along.