My daughter just received her third birthday party invitation this month. And though I don’t believe we are obligated to attend every party we are invited to, I am also very conscious of how happy children are when all of their friends show up at their parties (heck, not just kids–don’t all of us like to have our friends show up for us?) so I do my best to get my children to these events if we can make room for them in our schedule.
Aside from finding the time to attend though, the biggest stressor for me is finding the right gift! Shopping for my own kids is easy since they bombard me every day with all of the things they’d love to have. It’s much harder to buy for a child you hardly know. And for those of you who are new to this game, don’t rely on your child to fill you in. For most of their young lives, our children are completely self-absorbed. So, they will either be honest and tell you they have no idea what their friend wants or they will assume their friend wants all the same things they do.
A Gift Closet Helps You Be Prepared For A Party Invitation
Also, having barely carved out time to attend the party, I rarely have time to also squeeze in a shopping trip. Thus, I rely heavily on my gift closet, which I try to keep stocked for occasions just like these. Whenever I stumble upon a great deal for a gift item, I snatch it up (or several, if it’s a great gift at a great price) and stash it away until I need it.
With party invitation in hand, I headed to the gift closet to see what I had that might please a soon-to-be 8-year old girl. I found an entire shelf of various Barbie dolls that I then remembered having purchased when I had happened upon a great well-stocked selection at Walmart earlier this summer. At Walmart, I knew I was getting a great price, so I took advantage of the vast selection while it was there to ensure that we didn’t end up giving the same Barbie doll to every girl in my daughter’s second grade class. I didn’t purchase EVERY Barbie doll since there were so many to choose from, but I did end up with an entire closet shelf of different dolls. You can check out Walmart’s entire selection of Barbie dolls here.
Why are Barbie dolls great gifts for girls?
I know there are a lot of people who complain about her unrealistic dimensions, but no girl I have ever personally known wants a Barbie doll so she can emulate her body shape and proportions. Almost every type of figurine would be unaccaptable if judged by the realism standard. Have you ever seen an animal that has a head as large as those found on the Littlest Pet Shop toys? Transformers, Little People, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and yes, Barbies, are TOYS meant to facilitate imagination play.
Barbie dolls allow girls to create conversations, scenarios, and storylines using Barbie (and perhaps Barbie’s friends, accessories, and clothes) to craft the scenes, either alone or with friends. The child isn’t fed the story by a television or computer, only her own imagination. And Barbie lets girls fantasize about almost any future, whether it be homemaker or doctor. There are even Barbie dolls designed to help girls act out their favorite characters from popular shows and movies (e.g. Wizard of Oz, Hunger Games) or envision their college life (e.g. University of Arkansas, University of Kentucky).
Finally, my favorite reason to stock Barbie dolls in the gift closet is that she’s a great gift for girls in such a broad age range. Girls as young as four love her just as much as girls who are nine. Though the double digit girls start to pretend they are too old for Barbies, many tweens do still enjoy them. There aren’t many other girl toys that span such a wide age range so well.