Compact gifts for a 4 year old girl?
August 6, 2013 8:40 PM   Subscribe

My wonderful niece is turning 4 soon and I'd like to mail her a small gift along with a birthday card. What are some good gifts under $40 for a girl that age, that are small and easy to mail? Bonus points if it fits in an envelope. A few more details inside.

My niece is very sweet and outgoing, and loves traditionally "girly" stuff -- by her request, her 4th birthday party (which I sadly cannot attend) will be princess-unicorn-rainbow themed. Any ideas for something I can send that's a little more exciting than just a birthday card? I'd also prefer to avoid sending cash or a gift card.
posted by averageamateur to Human Relations (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I would make a letter from a real, live unicorn. Write something cute describing the unicorn's day in fancy cursive, sign with a silver hoofprint, and fill the envelope with glitter. Then I'd include some sort of unicorn costume jewelry purchased at low cost from etsy as a token of friendship.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:53 PM on August 6, 2013 [21 favorites]

Stickers are always a win.
Elaborate pop-up book of a fairy tale or similar story?
Paper dolls?

But on preview, letter from a unicorn is an awesome idea.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:55 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Are stickers still cool at all? When I was that age (in the early 90s), I had an aunt that would send me all kinds of stickers and I thought it was the best. Maybe you could splurge on a few packs of the super shiny holographic ones? Or some stick on earrings? If you want brick-and-mortar, your local teacher's store may have some good ones too.

Although this would all play second fiddle to a letter from a unicorn, on preview.
posted by shortskirtlongjacket at 8:59 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Fairy Tale Shadow Puppets
posted by waterlily at 9:06 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

How about Canned Unicorn Meat or a Unicorn T-Shirt that shows the prime cuts? (sunshine, love, kisses etc)
posted by Sophont at 9:08 PM on August 6, 2013

Best answer: I got this for a little girl who turned four last year.

I wanted something that would pique her curiousity and interest. She was as fascinated by the butterfly design as by how things looked through it. Absolutely made my day!

(Her birthday party was also princess themed, with so much pink that you could faint. The gift was very unusual with everything else but clearly had the desired effect.)
posted by xm at 9:13 PM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

Google: papercraft toys..find some good ones, print them out and mail with maybe some art supplies. . Glitter and sequins and whatnot. There's lots of great free model kits out there.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:13 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Dover has a ton of other princess, dress-up, etc themed coloring books, stained glass kits etc.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:30 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also those growing pill toys (you know, capsule that you put into water and it turns into a hand-sized dinosaur) are fun for that age.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:31 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

A lot of the princesses from 'My Little Pony' are alicorns (unicorns with wings) -- and they're princesses.

So maybe a coloring book
Or sticker book
Or a DVD

There's also Lisa Frank. She's a bit trippy but she has rainbow unicorns and I think you can get some of her stuff at Urban Outfitters.
posted by Dimes at 9:42 PM on August 6, 2013

Nthing the letter from a unicorn idea - I used to actually do this (but I was a fairy, not a unicorn) and send tiny hand written letters going on about all my awesome busy fairy day, and I think I sent stuff like seeds and fairy wands. So much fun to do, I'm glad for the reminder so I can do this for my own small, fairy-unicorn-princess loving girl.
posted by Kaleidoscope at 10:02 PM on August 6, 2013

Oh, and I've used this wonderful site before for beautiful cut out fairies and dragons: Phee NcFaddell.
posted by Kaleidoscope at 10:04 PM on August 6, 2013

Best answer: OHMYGOODNESS if you go for the first comment? Find a "pocket unicorn" talking birthday card to put the letter/whatever in (I am obviously +1ing that because I work in a toy store and have yet to see a 4 year old girl NOT ecstatic about unicorns).
posted by rideunicorns at 11:35 PM on August 6, 2013

How crafty are you? Can you draw? When I was around that age, my mom made me a homemade paper doll out of cardstock, with cut-out princess outfits drawn on patterned paper. The princess had a horse companion whose "outfits" were a fancy saddle and some kind of necklace/amulet. I LOVED them and kept them around in a binder for quite a long time.
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 2:22 AM on August 7, 2013

Best answer: Pro tip: PLEASE let her parents know if a glitter-filled letter or package is coming! The last thing you want to do is have the moment ruined by an adult's accidental "Ah dammit, the vacuum cleaner's downstairs..."
posted by gnomeloaf at 8:12 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: The unicorn card idea is so perfect and wonderful that I wish my niece's birthday was sooner so I could send it now! Thank you all for the fantastic suggestions, I will try to update with the card I make (despite my disturbing lack of artistic ability).
posted by averageamateur at 8:31 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

One of the little little neices LOVED sparkly ribbons - I sent her an envelope stuffed full of them, and she walks around twirling them, ties them to her stuffies, attaches them to the rails on her bed, etc. OBVIOUS caveats apply that you don't give her something she could use to accidentally hang herself, but seeing my little neice dance around in big circles twirling ribbons was worth the price of postage.
posted by ersatzkat at 11:02 AM on August 7, 2013

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