- Holidays and Celebrations
Gift ideas for Young Girls: Families with Children from China
For Girls Ages 1-5
Looking for gift ideas for young girls ages 1-5?
Here you'll find all kinds of great books as well as beautiful dancing props and cute panda items.
Just keep scrolling down to browse the site.
All Things Panda
There's nothing quite so cute-and-cuddly-looking as a panda bear.
Here are a few gifts that go outside the norm of the traditional stuffed animal: puppets, umbrellas, and Pez dispensers.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The children’s department where I work has dozens of puppets from this company, Fokmanis. They are soft and very realistic.
Great for imaginative play.
Isn’t this little guy cute? Can’t you see him peeking out of the stocking on Christmas morning?
My daughter slept with her fuzzy little Webkinz panda for 3 years.
Each Webkinz comes with a code that lets the recipient open up the online Webkinz world. Besides playing games, the girls can connect with their friends online, send messages, and exchange virtual gifts that they accrue with points they win playing the games.
It’s a way for the youngsters to be social online in a very controlled and safe environment.
Cute Panda Umbrella
This umbrella does all the things you'd expect: it keeps off rain, snow, sleet, sun.
But its main value is being the cutest prop you've ever had in a photo. There's just something adorable about a little one peeking out from an umbrella. It's adorable times ten when they are peeking out from a panda umbrella.
Great Gift Books for Young Girls
Books are a perfect gift for young children. They are naturally drawn to the bright pictures, and love cuddling up in a parents' or grandparents' lap for a story. (If you're sending these books from afar, consider making a tape of you reading the book so that your little recipients can hear your voice while they follow along in the book.)
I'll put my children's librarian hat on here and tell you that studies have shown that children who learn to love stories are much more successful at reading later on in school. Makes sense, right?
The following books are the ones I have chosen as the very best of the ones out there, the ones with beautiful illustrations and engaging stories that children will ask for again and again.
Click the link below to get to the site.
- Best Books for Families with Children Adopted from China
These books cover adoption and Chinese culture for moms, dads, kids, tweens, and teens. Below you will find links to sites that list dozens of books for kids, adults, families, and classrooms.
Videos for Young Girls
Though most of us don't want our girls on a steady diet of television, there are those times when having a DVD to pop in can give us some much-needed time to do essential work.
These videos help to teach our children concepts, impart a little information about China along the way and help our girls to see that being smart is cool.
Ni Hao Kai-Lan
Geared to pre-schoolers, Kai-Lan is the Chinese successor to Nickelodeon's wildly popular Dora the Explorer. Like Dora, Kai-Lan encourages watchers to interact with the story using by doing certain actions or saying certain words.
Children can learn a surprising amount of language from these videos, from "hello" and "goodbye" to numbers and other concepts. From time to time, the characters speak in full sentences ("How are you?" "Let's go") and it wouldn't surprise me if kids who watch Kai-Lan have a leg up on other kids at Chinese language classes. The videos also introduce kids to Chinese foods and customs.
Mulan--A Heroine for Our Girls
This is a set that includes both of the Mulan movies.
They may be a little long for toddlers, but i've found that girls from preschool on up enjoy the story and the music.
I'd argue that Mulan is the best of Disney's heroines. Yes, she's brave and beautiful, but most of all she's smart. Early on in the movie, notice how she sizes up a chessboard and makes a move. It looks like a five-second throwaway, but the writers are signalling a major theme of the movie. It's her brains that get her the respect of the soldiers, and she thinks her way to victory over the evil invaders in the climactic scene. That's the role model I want to have for my daughter.
The artwork is lovely, and I'm especially fond of the brush painting in the opening credits.
Now that my daughter is 14 and in high school, I think of dragon/Eddie Murphy's line "Our baby's all grown up and saving China."
Mulan II, in the manner of sequels, is a bit less than the first movie, but still quite watchable.
Toys for Young Girls
Dancing props have been a big hit at our China camp markets. The girls love twirling and spinning with the fans, handkerchiefs, and ribbons.
I couldn't resist adding another super-cute umbrella.
Here, you'll also find other items for imaginative play: a stir-fry cooking set and a variety of dolls.
Once your girl masters the art of twirling this handkerchief on her finger, she'll proudly show you all she can do.
At our China camp, some of the dancers used this prop, and soon all the girls had to have their own dancing handkerchief.
This ribbon has a swivel end, which is important if you don't want your ribbon all tangled up and wound around itself.
Ladybugs have become a symbol of good luck in the Chinese adoption community.
Stories of its origin vary. Some say that Guangzhou had an unusually large number of ladybugs in the late 1990’s and it was seen as a good omen for adoptive families. Other recount stories of people who have seen the first ladybug of the season, and their adoption referral followed close behind.
Whatever its origin, we know the color red is considered good luck in China. And these adorable ladybug umbrellas will be charming in photos of your kids—as well as keeping off the rain, snow, and sun.
Stir-Fry Slicing Set
Toy food is a perennial favorite, and this little kit lets the children pretend to chop and stir.
Plus, it has lots of healthy veggies.
Mulan Dolls and Accessories
Before we even received my daughter's referral photo, Target had a sale on Mulan dolls and their assorted accessories. I bought quite a few things and wondered if we were being foolish, buying a bunch of dolls for a girl who might not even be interested in them 4 years into the future.
It turned out she loved them-there's a fascination with dressing and undressing them (also helps with small motor skills.) I found myself wishing I had bought even more.
I liked the fact that my daughter had Barbies with all types of hair and skin tones. Barbies have gotten a bad rap (she does have impossible dimensions), but they were designed as an alternative to baby dolls, letting girls aspire to be something in addition to a mother.
It was nice to see Mulan join the princess pantheon, along with Jasmine, Pocahontas and Tiana.
Mulan was in the army. Princess clothes are nice, but she needs something for climbing and sword practice.
If you don't want the collection to be all female, this fellow has quite a bit more going for him than Ken.
Find More on ChinaSprout
Unfortunately, I don’t have a way to link the items on this shopping site, but I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about this online store.
ChinaSprout.com sells all kinds of things related to Chinese language and culture. Don’t miss the adorable panda purses for the little girls. They are soft as can be and feature a little panda head on one side and a little panda tail on the other. People at our Chinese market favored the black purses since they didn’t show dirt as much.
Do you have a great gift idea for young girl? Tell us about it!