Dramatic Play Gift Guide for Toddlers

Dramatic Play Gift Guide-A great list of pretend play toys that are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Tutu? Check. Purse? Check. Shopping Cart full of food? Check. Doctor Set? Check. Another tutu around your neck? HUH?

This is the typical scene that plays out in my house many times a day. Little Miss 2.5 absolutely LOVES playing dress up and grocery store and doctor and so on. Dramatic play is her jam and I absolutely love finding fun and unique gifts for her that she can use during her all day every day pretend play adventures.

Dramatic Play Gift Guide-A great list of pretend play toys that are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

If your little ones are anything like Little Miss and love to play pretend, I have created a great list of unique pretend play gifts, grouped into sections, that will be perfect for underneath the Christmas tree this year. 
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Dramatic Play Gift Guide-Gifts for the Little Chef-Pretend play kitchen and grocery store toys

1. Play Kitchen  || Let me tell you. This was perhaps the very best, most used gift we have ever given our kids. It is used daily and even the Little Man 9 months has been having fun playing with it alongside his big sister. While it does take some time to assemble it is well made and has withstood a year of toddler play and is loved by all our toddler and preschool aged friends when they come to play.

2. Play Food || I am a sucker for wooden or non plastic play food; however, if you are looking for a quick way to build up your little ones play food collection this set is a great set to have and has so many different options for your little one to play with.

3. Wooden play food || We own so many Melissa & Doug products I feel like we could be a walking billboard for them. We absolute love this food groups food set (I use the wooden baskets for all sorts of tot school activities) and this pizza set and cookie set may end up under our Christmas tree this year.

4. Felt Play Food || Felt food is another great alternative to the plastic food and stands up to toddlers. We love this magnetic ice cream set and this awesome tea party set, complete with felt donuts.

5. Chef Hat & Apron || Of course your Little Chef will need the appropriate gear to be the next great chef. I will be making the kids some for in the stockings, there are some adorable handmade options on Etsy. Do you have a Minnie Mouse obsessed little? Or maybe a Frozen fanatic? Or maybe you are looking for a plain set and this one from Amazon is perfect.

6. Grocery Cart || And if you are going to be a little chef, you have to make sure you take a trip to the grocery store and what could be more perfect than this adorable metal shopping cart. This thing has put on some mileage since she got it as a gift last Christmas and is well worth the money. If you are looking for a cheaper option this Little Tykes cart is loved by many of our toddler friends.

Dramatic Play Gift Guide-Gifts for the Little Mommy & Daddy-Baby Pretend Play

1. Doll Baby || There are so many different baby dolls to choose from and I am sure one isn’t enough if your little ones love playing babies. We all have different needs and come from different backgrounds so choosing a doll that is perfect for your child’s age, race, etc is definitely important. We have several different sizes, colors, and materials of dolls and they are all loved and played with daily.

2. Car Seat || It is so fun to see Little Miss’ imagination develop and she loves imitating me. Once we get home from different activities we do outside of the house, Little Miss sets off to reenact our entire day from start to finish including putting her baby in the car seat and getting it all ready to go, which as of late includes bundling up with hats and blankets. She proceeds to put the baby in her car (aka the couch) and drive wherever we are going, be it the store, a playdate etc. It is the cutest thing and our baby carseat is definitely a loved part of her day right now. Ours came as part of the set we got below, but here is one similar.

3. Stroller, Pack n Play, Highchair || Last summer we picked up a baby doll sized set for Little Miss to play with and it was the perfect thing for her as we introduced her to her new little brother. To this day she absolutely LOVES being a little mommy to her babies. She imitates me constantly and it is the cutest thing. Kids love being like grown ups and this set is the perfect addition to your little ones house dramatic play area.

4. Baby Necessities Set || You can’t take care of a baby without the necessities and this little set is the perfect all in one set that includes a little of everything. My favorite part is the little potty which is perfect for when you have a potty training toddler who is a bit (read super) stubborn. Having baby sit on the potty right alongside your little one may just help if your little love is a strong willed little thing.

5. Diapers || While the baby necessities kit above includes some reusable cloth diapers, having some real diapers, especially if you have a baby in the house, is the perfect way to help your little one feel included. We designated a couple diapers to solely play diapers and she has used them over and over again and knows those are hers and the ones for brother are his.

Dramatic Play Gift Guide-dress up, pretend play and more
1. Princess Dress Up || Do you have a little one who LOVES princesses? I absolutely love this princess dress up trunk. Or maybe you are looking for something a little more unique like these fun character/princess aprons.  Our baskets are overflowing with fun princess dresses we have found after Halloween or at yard sales.

2. Superhero Dress Up || Or maybe you have a superhero lover in your house? I absolutely love these personalized superhero name capes.

3. Community Helpers Dress Up || Little ones love dressing up and I often find they love dressing up in different community helpers outfits. This is such a perfect way for them to learn about all the different jobs members of our community do and they get to have fun while doing it. Firefigthers, doctor/nurses, and construction workers are some of our favorite dress up sets we have. Don’t forget the doctor kit to go with your doctor outfit or the tool bench and tool set for the construction workers outfit.

4. Campfire || Oftentimes when you think of pretend play you think of dressing up or playing babies or kitchen, but there are so many different forms of pretend play we often forget about. I absolutely love this felt campfire set. It will not only be the perfect addition to our Little Guys woodland adventure big boy room, but the kids will get so much use out of it, and who doesn’t love roasting marshmallows right?

5. Felt Garden || I am sure by spring you are all probably itching to get outside and escape the indoors, but oftentimes the rain keeps us in so why not bring the outdoors in with this adorable felt garden set. It will help with those winter blues and is a great introduction to plants and planting a garden.


I hope this gave you some ideas fun new ideas to add to your pretend play activities in your house. We love so many of these items and cannot wait to add many more to our pretend play station.

Be sure to check out this amazing collection of  50+ +-gift guides for all the kids in your life. There is something for everyone.


1 comment

  1. What a great list. These are the types of toys that kids will use again and again.