Looking for a good gift for my two nieces!
March 23, 2021 8:54 PM   Subscribe

I haven't seen my two adorable nieces in forever and want to send them some gifts. Can you help me think of some awesome things?

They are 7 and 3 - the 7 year old is bright and precocious, but also LOVES her little sister a ton and they play together well. They have apparently been requesting outdoor toys (they have a yard), books with outside-type activities, and arts-and-crafts. They like legos and the little one is very into pretend play right now.

I'd love some suggestions of new hit toys/books, or tried & true classics!
posted by Paper rabies to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Do they have The Princess In Black series by Shannon Hale? Lots of action-packed sequences for acting out. The author also has a new stand-alone picture book out, Itty Bitty Kitty-Corn (a tiny kitty that wants to be a unicorn), that my nieces are loving.
posted by rogerroger at 9:41 PM on March 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

My kids love paint by stickers books, mess free markers (delayed appearance of color is a hit) and aqua beads.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:03 PM on March 23, 2021

posted by Toddles at 10:32 PM on March 23, 2021

posted by nouvelle-personne at 11:43 PM on March 23, 2021

Best answer: How are their imaginations and writing? I was thinking about Rory's Story Cubes (which I use myself, even if I'm not a kid).
posted by kschang at 11:45 PM on March 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: hop balls
posted by brujita at 1:49 AM on March 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

My Gdaus are a teensie bit older, and I am cheap. So I made up an illustrated First Reader booklet: A is for aardvark, B is for breakfast, C is for courgette, D is for dancers, E is for etc. It went down well because unique and personalised. I haven't yet ripped a big sis li'l sis story with their names substituted but the thort is the deed and Easter is upcoming.
posted by BobTheScientist at 1:51 AM on March 24, 2021

I recently started "sticker club" with my 2 nieces, ages 5 and 2 - I bought the old fashioned magnetic 3-ring-binder-type photo albums with self-sticking clear oversheets (like the kinds we had as kids) online from Amazon, and then went to the dollar store and went HAM on stickers (you can also find fabulous stickers from Amazon or Violette).

Then I showed my older niece how to open the plastic "protective" sheath to put her stickers in (organizing however she wants) and how we can trade, and create whole sheets for our friends, and add photos... she LOVED IT.

My 2 year old niece just enjoyed telling me what every sticker was as she put them on top of the plastic sheath (she's doing her own thing).

I can't tell you how much fun we're having - sticker club is a success. I've probably spent way too much on smelly stickers and puffy and novelty stickers, but it's the gift that keeps on giving.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 3:42 AM on March 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

Play silks?
Some kind of science outdoor set? Like one of those jars with a magnifying glass to look at cool bugs and stuff?
A small tent?
posted by speakeasy at 3:48 AM on March 24, 2021

Best answer: We’ve been sending our nephews (same ages) KiwiCo Crates this year and they are a HIT! Bonus: they get to FaceTime us to show their creation, which is so much fun for us to see.
posted by third word on a random page at 4:32 AM on March 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure about the seven year old, but my three year old loves his tonka dump truck. The toy lawn mower is also surprisingly popular.
posted by carolr at 4:53 AM on March 24, 2021

Dress-up clothes, hats, capes, sparkly shoes to act out the stories they love. Much of this can be bought from thrift stores, or if you can access a neighborhood organization like Nextdoor or buy nothing. I usually hand wash and drip dry before gifting. People often just give this kind of stuff away. Used Halloween costumes can be wonderful, too, though these days tend to be cartoon or movie characters. They often come with masks, which can be fun for the kids. Sometimes I arrive to find Batman and Elsa and Dora the Explorer in conversation.
posted by citygirl at 5:05 AM on March 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Stomp rockets
If they’re in an area where it is weather appropriate or about to become weather appropriate a kiddie pool and a sprinkler
Magnifying glasses/binoculars
A tent - either play or real so they can have backyard camp outs
An assortment of balls - soccer, whiffle, kickball, yoga ball, etc.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:45 AM on March 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Dollhouse or dollhouse furniture, accessories, people!

It could be a hit for life, as many adults enjoy miniatures. I still have my childhood dollhouse and I thrifted another vintage dollhouse a decade ago. I love rearranging the furniture endlessly.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 6:41 AM on March 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Kiwi crates as mentioned above were a huge hit with my niece and nephew.

Would also recommend some sort of fortbuilding kit (like this -- but there are a lot available), that could be used indoor or outdoor.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 8:29 AM on March 24, 2021

Best answer: Those fabric fort-building kits that pixiecrinkle links to are AWESOME. I have four kids, teens now, but they played with ours up through ten years old at least.

They pack away well, the kids' hands are the right ize for them, and if you have enough parts they can make huuuuge things. You can also add tunnels and more segments.

Highy recommended.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:57 AM on March 24, 2021

Response by poster: These are all amazing suggestions (my heart just about exploded re: Dressed to Kill's "sticker club", omg) - the top choices are things that fit the bill most closely and that are easy for me to ship. Thanks all!!!
posted by Paper rabies at 10:30 PM on March 24, 2021

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