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Gift Ideas for Elementary School Girls: Families with Children from China

Updated on December 1, 2015

For Girls Ages 5-8

Here are some gift ideas for elementary girls ages 5-8.

Here you'll find ideas that have a tie to China, from books to DVD's to colorful dancing props.

If you're looking for other ages/genders, you'll see links at the bottom of the site for younger and older girls, and moms and dads.

Image Credit

Panda-Inspired Gifts

Panda preserve in Vienna: photo credit: Manfred Werner
Panda preserve in Vienna: photo credit: Manfred Werner

Anything as cute and cuddly as a panda makes a great gift. Here you'll find that items that go beyond the traditional stuffed panda: panda puppets, Pez dispensers, and a sturdy panda game.

Photo credit: Manfred Werner

Soft Toys: Panda Puppets

This is the brand of puppet we use for our puppet shows at the children's library. They are sturdy, soft, and realistic.

Puppets are great for imaginative play.

This panda puppet is about the size of a toddler, and I actually use this little fellow as a stand-in for a baby when I'm doing a storytime for moms and their babies at the library where I work.

The Folkmanis puppets are known for being realistic, and this one does look just like a little panda when it sits on your lap. One benefit is that it doesn't actually weigh as much as an actual panda. My daughter had the chance to hold a toddler panda in her lap when she visited China on a homeland tour. When I asked her how it was, she replied, "Heavy!" Though they are cute and fuzzy, pandas are big animals that can weigh quite a bit, even when small.

The panda minders reportedly brush honey on the panda's paws when they are having them pose for photos with people. The panda is too interested in getting the honey to bite or scratch the people they are with.

We've had two of these large panda puppets at the library for about 15 years now, and they've held up well, keeping their color and shape.

Folkmanis Mini Panda Finger Puppet
Folkmanis Mini Panda Finger Puppet

This cute little guy makes a great stocking stuffer.


Pandabo Game

Hape Pandabo Kid's Game in Bamboo
Hape Pandabo Kid's Game in Bamboo

In this game players take turns balancing different sizes of bamboo on the panda's tummy.

Pieces are nontoxic and made with renewable bamboo.


Panda Umbrella

Get this for your child to keep off the rain and snow, but mostly get it for the adorable pictures you can take.

Imagine your kid/s in front of the tree, peeking out from under this charming panda umbrella.

Musical Spinning Candle

We first saw these candles in the gift shop at our daughter's Chinese school. More than just a candle, they are an event in itself.

When you light the wick, a flame shoots up, the petals open, and the candle begins to spin and play the "Happy Birthday" song. (You can disable the song, if you want to.)

Partygoers will remember the candle as much as any other activities.

Video of the Musical Spinning Candle

This video shows how to light the candle and how it plays and spins.

Note that you want to make sure you don't have anything directly over the candle.

If you don't want it to play "Happy Birthday," the box gives you directions for cutting the wire so that the song doesn't play.

Chinese Yo-Yo

The Chinese Yo-yo works a little differently from the traditional one. The person handling it rolls the yo-yo back and forth on a string attached to two sticks. Like any yo-yo it takes a while to get the hang of it. Once you do, there are lots of tricks you can practice.

The Diabolo brand is one of the best, inexpensive ones we've found to carry in our China market.

See It Done: Chinese Yo-yo on YouTube

The fellow in this video provides a nice, clear, short tutorial on how to handle a Chinese yoyo.

He also give some tips on doing a simple trick.

Dancing Props

If your girl likes to dance to music, she’ll love having one of these colorful props. See the videos below for dances that show how each one works.

See It Done: Chinese Ribbon Dance on YouTube

This short little video of a ribbon dance will show you some of the movements your girl can practice with her ribbon.

See It Done: Chinese Fan Dance on YouTube

You can see how Chinese dancing fans move in this video.

The fabric goes past the spine, for a fluttery effect.

See It Done: Chinese Handkerchief Dance on YouTube

In this sweet little dance, a group of girls show the different techniques for using handkerchiefs.

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      sybil watson 4 years ago

      What a lovely idea for a lens - I'm sure adoptive parents will appreciate these ideas.