Saturday, November 16, 2019

Rule the Holiday! Best Pretend Play Toys Gift Guide - Holiday Gift Guide 2019




Pretend Play is so important! I have rounded up my top picks that facilitate growth through play for gift ideas for toddlers to little kids. We were many of the items in this gift guide to review throughout the year or we have tested them out at various toy fairs like New York Toy Fair, TTPM Spring and Holiday Showcases, and The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite and Holiday of Play. If you're looking for more gift ideas, please check out the rest of my Rule the Holiday Gift Guide, and more ideas are at my Holiday Gift Shop storefront on Amazon!






Ambulance and Doctor's Kit Play Set by Green Toys Is there a doctor in the house? Your kiddo will enjoy toting around this ultra-cool ambulance that also acts as a great pretend to play toy for their dolls. Kids can diagnose their patients using the medical kit that includes a bunch of medical tools made of all recycled products. My kids love this set. My youngest son loves to zoom around the ambulance and put other toys inside. My oldest son plays a medical doctor’s office with his toys. Amazon $35 Ages 2 - 8 years



Let's Pretend Shopkeeper Stand by KidKraft was a favorite for my son Marcello at The Toy Insider's Sweet Suite 2019. Winner of 2019 National Parenting Product Award, this set ticks off all of the boxes to help promote pretend play. Standing at nearly four feet tall, this set is the perfect height for toddlers and little kids, made for ages three to eight.  Let's Pretend Shopkeeper Stand provides everything kiddo could ask for to open up their very own fruit stand, farmer's market, curbside smoothie shop, or any other shop your kiddo ponders up. The chalkboard sign allows for continuous changes. The lower chalkboard is great for a mock menu to showcase prices and the shop's offerings with colorful magnetic numbers and food signs. The counter is the perfect spot for the smoothie set, and the lower shelf and basket provides ample storage space. Purchases can be calculated using a new method payment system, a pretend tablet! With over 60 pieces to enjoy, I can't imagine a set like this collecting dust. The price is justified as it includes loads of accessories and has the well made, KidKraft craftmanship. 
KidKraft $129.99 (Use code SHOP20 for an additional 20% off) | Walmart $129.98



Suitables are wearable costumes for kids!  Whenever we get a package in the mail, my sons go nuts! They don’t want the contents inside of the box, they would much rather play with the actual box itself. I have only been a mom for a little over six years, and I can safely say that five of the six years has been preserving cardboard creations my kiddos have made. Now the geniuses over at Suitables (toddler/father team) have taken this idea and turned it into a full costume for pretend play! Children can become an airplane, bulldozer, train, space shuttle, Cinderella’s carriage, and more! Complete the look with your kiddo's Halloween costume to give one-time use costumes new life again and again with Suitables. This requires some building (some builds are noted as taking up to 30 minutes). If this is a Christmas morning gift or birthday gift, I would suggest having it built before, so play can commence immediately! However, Suitables encourages that adults share the building experience with the kids as the instructions are kid-friendly! Suitables, $39.99 each - fits ages two to seven. Sizing from Suitables: Suitables opening dimensions are at least 9.75" wide by 8" long (front-to-back). Most designs are 10" wide by 9" front-to-back. The typical maximum waist/hip size that will fit is 26-27".

Black and Decker Gift Sets Black + Decker Tool Belt Set is a great gift for your little builder! Encourage pretend play with a pretend tool belt and tools set, where kids can open up their own Mr. and Ms. Fix-It company! The set is sizable and includes so many realistic tools for your little one to imagine and role play! Jakks Pacific, Amazon $13.95 Ages 3+





Baby Shark Family Tempo Puppets by WowWee- Have a fun puppet show with the Baby Shark Tempo Puppets that come in all three family styles. Children will learn the tempo of the music as the puppet sings slowly when the puppet is moved slowly, and then will sing faster when the puppet is moved faster. Plus, children respond very well to puppets, and will speak to a puppet even if they know an adult is talking through them, which is a great way to facilitate comfort with nervous kids or to just get them to eat their dinner. WowWee, Amazon $14.88 

Baby Shark Bath Squirters - A bath time favorite in my house is the Baby Shark bath squirters. Included in this set are Mommy, Daddy, and Baby Shark and an orange fish. The bath toys are easy to clean and are of great quality. WowWee, Amazon $8.99


Baby Shark tent by Playhut Baby Shark fans will enjoy this little tent and tunnel set that not only provides a great pretend play scene, it also has baby shark characters all over it. When playtime is over, the tent and tunnel fold up flat for easy storage. Amazon $33.42







Toy Story Buzz Lightyear Star Command Center Buzz Become Buzz Lightyear and explore Sector 7 of the Gamma Squadron with this amazing playset. Pretend play is so important and this toy truly sparks the imagination. With three ways to play kids can take off into hyperspace, or stand upright and man the controls, and then switch it to a functional desk for study time. Every space ranger needs to do homework after all. Amazon $99.00 



Pair this set with a Buzz Lightyear blaster Amazon $14.99






Go head to toe in full Buzz Lightyear with this nearly true to the movie costume. Amazon $21.82










Toy Story 4 RV Tent Go on a road trip from home in this super cool RV featuring the characters from Toy Story 4.  The tent opens up to a large RV style hideaway that kids will love crawling through. When playtime is over, it folds up flat for easy storage. This product has been hard for me to locate! I found something similar and cheaper if you can’t find it yourself below. Amazon $36.99




Little Tikes RV Camper Pop Up Tent - I haven’t reviewed it myself but the savings cannot be beaten. You get a Big Bang for your buck with this item. It includes the pop-up RV tent and blows up accessories like a dog, campfire, and marshmallow sticks. This provides a great play starter like a pretend camping experience, or pretend BBQ! Target $19.94 

Rainglow Unicorn Vet Moose Toys Rainglow has two functions, happy and sick, and includes a bunch of accessories to get feeling better. By promoting pretend play and building social skills, kids will enjoy taking care of their cuddly unicorn. Rainglow’s expressive face will give kids the impression that she’s really alive.  Walmart $39.97 | Amazon $39.97 Note: Target is selling this toy for $59.99, and the cost savings are not present, so I'm not linking until the price goes down!

Ryan’s World Costume Chest  Kids can be apart of Ryan’s World with this fun and totally organized pretend play costume chest. It comes with three costumes and they all fit in the chest after playtime is over. If you have friends and siblings playing all three costumes come complete so everyone has a chance to dress up. Walmart $39.82

Disney Princess Dress Up Trunk (Amazon Exclusive) by Jakks Pacific - With 21 pieces included, there are enough outfits for four Princesses to join in on the fun! Also included are jewelry pieces, stickers, and even a fancy storage box to keep these treasures tucked neatly away once pretend play is over. Amazon $32.08



Toy Story 4 Buzz Lightyear Play Tent Pop up into hyperactive hyperdrive with this adorable play tent. Perfect for space-saving, this pop-up tent will promote pretend play and won’t break the bank. Walmart  $12.99



Little Mermaid Ariel Playdate Princess Ariel wants to be where the people are, and she really will be part of your world as she is 32” tall! From head to toe, she is true to Disney Princess-life with her iconic flowing, red hair, dinglehopper in hands, and sequined mermaid tail, this doll is ready to play! Ariel is fully articulated and for a large doll, she sincerely poses with ease to help recreate key scenes of this wonderful “tail” that celebrates its 30th anniversary this month. Make her a part of your world, and help create the scene for a wonderful play date.  Amazon  $54.99 | Target $54.99 (on sale now, save extra with 5% RedCard savings)

Little Mermaid Lights and Music Vanity by Jakks Pacific is a wonderful toy to help promote pretend play. Pretend to be Under the Sea and keep your precious treasures untold safe in the vanity’s drawer. Dance to Under the Sea with Sebastian as he pops up once the vanity is opened; he’s always watching out for Ariel. Life is the bubbles with the vanity mirror as it is surrounded by light up bubbles. Included in this set are adorable accessories for your kiddo to get dolled up including a play curling iron, dinglehopper brush, clip-on clamshell earrings, hair ties, and more! Target $59.99 | Walmart . 






Little Mermaid 4-in-1 Stroller for $59.99 is truly a fun and innovative stroller! My son absolutely loves this stroller and travels around the house with baby Ariel like it’s his baby. Playing pretend with a baby doll (not included) is a wonderful activity to help engage and encourage self-expression, empathy, improves socialization, and more. Plus this stroller is a toy that is four in one as it blows bubbles, has a neat activity tray with Flounder, turns from a stroller to a bouncer, and more! This stroller is the perfect size for toddlers and their older siblings to get in on the fun, too.  





Pair The Little Mermaid 4-in-1 stroller with The Little Mermaid Diaper Bag and the My Disney Nursery Baby Clothes and Accessories sets to complete this collection for $19.99 and $16.99 on Amazon, respectively.













Antsy Pants Unicorn Bowling - Bowling is truly a game of skill, so it is the perfect indoor or outdoor toy for toddlers and little kids! The Unicorn Bowling Set by Antsy Pants mixes fantasy and skill together with the adorable kid-friendly unicorn bowling pins, and a kid-sized pink bowling ball. Play indoors or outdoors! Antsy Pants is known for promoting pretend play with their whimsical playsets, outdoor toys, and more, so this bowling set is no exception. Great for all ages, toddlers and kids will hone their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, agility, concentration, and judgment. Antsy Pants also supports KaBoom a non-profit that builds playgrounds in poverty-stricken neighborhoods across America. Target $24.99



Antsy Pants Stepping Stones Kids will strengthen their balance by hopping from one colored stone to another. Call out the stone colors and turn this fun way to strengthen core muscles into a full-body, standing game of twister! Add in that extra challenge of not falling off of the stone into the “hot lava” will keep kids engaged, laughing, and strengthening their bodies all at the same time! Stack them up for easy storage once playtime is over. You can play with the Stepping Stones indoors, too. Indoor play can be a bit more toned down by color sorting with other toys, or even stacking them. Will it fall challenge? Wobble Challenge, perhaps? Target $19.99 Ages four and up 



The Gym Mat has always been somewhat of the be all end all of the physical play. You can use the mat to become a Pretend Olympic gymnast! Go for gold in the All-Around Tumbling Floor Exercises. I have bronze in Just Rolling All-Around. Seriously, these durable, colorful mats will inspire to move in ways your kiddo didn’t know he or she could! With the soft mat to catch their fall, it gives them that added feeling of invincibility. Add the mat as a grand finale of a makeshift obstacle course, so kids can get the sillies out by rolling and wiggling around. Target $39.99 Ages four and up


Watch this space for more added gifts to help promote pretend play! Did you click through and buy through my links? Thank you so much! You RULE the holiday for sure! 

Some links contain affiliate links! Clicking through is free for you to do, and much appreciated by a coffee-crazed mama!







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