The Top 5: Toys for Girls that Go the Distance

After the interest in The Top 5: Toys for Boys that Go the Distance, I am very pleased to be posting The Top 5: Toys for Girls that Go the Distance.

Obviously, I am somewhat unqualified to write this post, so my dear friend Mandy has generously offered her wisdom and experience. Between Mandy and I, we are a complete Brady Bunch. Mandy has three adorable girls – gorgeous twin nine year olds and a delicious 4 year old. Mandy has worked with/around babies and young children for much of her working life (including at sleep school) and is currently working in one of Melbourne’s most fabulous children’s furniture and toy shops where she regularly helps people buy great gifts for girls.

If you would like to follow more of Mandy and her girls’ shenanigans, check her out on Instagram or Twitter @mandyhosesheknows.

1. The Little People (Fisher Price)

Little People Girls September 2013 097

It is difficult to articulate how much my twin girls have played with their Little People over the last eight years. They played with them year after year, for years. They lined them up, played with them in the sandpit, in water play and in the bath. They even took them on holidays (if you should ever meet my girls, please don’t mention the pig we lost in Warrnambool).

With twin girls, we were spoilt by gifts from grandparents so we ended up with so many lovely sets.  Our favourite sets are the Nativity which I bring out at Christmas time and the Royal Wedding set which we ordered online in time for Kate and Will’s wedding.

2. Water Play Activity Centre

Girls September 2013 076

We were given a water play activity centre when my twins were two years old. Six years later, this toy is still an absolute favourite in the spring/summer months.  Over the years, I have added colour  and bubbles to the water, they have added the water to the sandpit to make mud pies and of course they have brought their Little People over as well. This really has been a terrific outside toy for my girls but would obviously also suit boys. There are various places where you can buy water play activity centres including Toys R Us and online toy retailers such as this one.

3. Costumes

Costumes Girls September 2013 041

When your daughter is 4 years old, I would highly recommend that you buy her a most magnificent costume. This is because you will need to be happy to see her wear it to every single party she is invited to, because she will only want to wear this, for about 2 years! There are lots of places to buy great girls’ costumes from including markets, Toyworld, Cotton On, Gas and online retailers. I bought the tutu from Cotton On Kids, the bee costume from Pink Poppy and the mermaid costume from the Yarra Glen market.

4. A Crimper


Yes, I know it’s an 80’s thing, but we REALLY love our crimper.  For our first school disco, I crimped the girls’ hair and it was a great hit.  We have also invited other friends over for a “crimping”. Even our 2 year old has had a teeny tiny crimped ponytail for her turn on the dance floor.  With a crimper, crazy hair day at school is always done. You can pick up a crimper at various retailers of hair products including online here.

5. Trainset

Girls September 2013 012-1

You might be surprised that I have included this, but all of my girls have loved our Imaginarium Girl’s Around Town Railway otherwise known as the purple and pink train set from Toys R Us. It really has been a great toy in our house.

For those of you with boys and girls, you will be happy to hear that it is also compatible with Thomas The Tank Engine trains, so this train set is a definite winner.

Honourable Mentions

An honourable mention must go to Cup Cake Nail Polish (pictured below). It is very popular at our place. It is water based and washes off, so there are no issues with the girls applying it themselves. It is available online here or at Parenthood.


Also, an honourable mention must go to play doh. We have spent many hours playing this. I use the recipe on the back of the Cream of Tartar packet which does not require cooking (it uses boiling water instead). The girls also love using big chalk on the driveway. It keeps them happy for ages and is an inexpensive activity.


What do your girls love playing with? What would you say are your girls’ top 5 toys?

  • Michelle’s Family

    That’s a great girl list for activities I don’t think you left anything out.. :)

  • Vanessa

    Thanks Michelle! Hopefully, there is something for everyone.

  • Charlotte Stilve

    Great list and “Little People” would be top of my list too. Lots of fun and enjoyed by different ages and durable. In fact, it’s one of the only toys I plan on keeping to hand down to my girls. Great work Mandy!

    • Vanessa

      Fantastic Charlotte. Thank you and yes, well done Mandy!

    • Mandysgirls

      Thankyou, I am keeping them all too!

  • Frog Goose & Bear

    Great ideas Mandy! I second the idea that every four year old loves a costume and will want to wear it everywhere!! I had crimper in the 80’s – didn’t realise they were still around! My girls would looooove that!

    • Vanessa

      Thanks FG&B. Told you the 80s were back!

  • Carly

    Lots of great ideas Mandy :)

    • Vanessa

      Thanks Carly!

  • Rachel from Redcliffe Style

    I completely agree with all these toys!! I have two girls now ages 7 & 9 and we got heaps of use from these. Little People, buy them when they are babies and they will keep them and use them for EVA. Great post! Rachel xx

    • Vanessa

      Thanks Rachel. Looks like the Little People are the way to go! Might have to add them to Master 2’s Christmas list too. x

  • Mel

    Good to hear the little people go the distance, we debated getting the nativity set last year but didn’t so might invest this year!

    • Vanessa

      It’s so cute Mel. I am going to get one for my boys!

  • Ash

    Great post, thanks heaps for the ideas! The only other thing I would add is our nearly 3 year old girl loves Duplo, and we are starting to see some girl orientated ones come out! That being said, we are often asked to build houses with the duplo, so I wish they made a big house set.

    • Vanessa

      Thank you Ash! Duplo is so great for the little ones, boy or girl. I think there is a lot of cross over between girls and boys when they are little Ash, so it might be worth checking out my post on boys toys as well.

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  • Chrisitne Gavin

    Couldn’t have believed I would have read it until the end, but there you have it, even though I don’t have young children I found it most entertaining & informative. So this is a blog.. Thank you.

    • Vanessa

      Thanks Christine! That is a great compliment. Thanks for reading and for the lovely feedback.

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  • Rachael Gopal

    Fantastic blog! You’ve provided many ideas, and this is something I will re-look at for birthdays and other gifts. I’m going to buy the sprinkler, bubbles and outside water play set for my young girls. Thank you :)

    • Vanessa

      Oh that’s fab to hear Rach! Thank you. Hope the girls enjoy their outside play time now and forever more! x