Archive of ‘DIY or Buy Gift Guide’ category

My Christmas DIY or BUY Gift Guide: Real-Life Pretend Play Gift Ideas

 I wanted to make my Christmas Gift
Guide this year really useful!!
When I start thinking about our Christmas gift list..
I know I want to do a mix of gifts to BUY and DIY.
So I put together different sections of pretend play themes where you
can see toy options to buy, with a variety of prices, and mixing in
some DIY options for those feeling crafty!
I am a huge fan of real-life pretend play!
So I created all my categories of toys with that theme.

Each Category has it’s own graphic, for those of you wanting to
pin to pinterest something that catches your eye!
Gift Idea Categories: Doctor/Nurse, Mail Man, Little Artist, Vet, Little Mommy,
Fix it Guys & Girls, Pizzeria, Grocery, Ice Cream Shop and Little Cook!

Hopefully you can spot some things you want to BUY or DIY..
and then get in on the black friday deals!
Most of the items are found in major local stores(Target, Toys R Us & Walmart, etc.), 
Handmade items from etsy shops or blogged DIY Projects.
Happy gift giving everyone!

My girls LOVE playing doctor or nurse.
I plan on making the little nurse outfits for both of them. How ridiculously cute is it?!
Sophie spotted it while I was putting this post together… and with her reaction..
I knew I had to make that DIY happen. ;)
Both of my girls put “doctor” on their letter to santa…
I wasn’t able to find it online, but Target has a really cute pink kit with a clear briefcase.

Imaginarium Doctor Dress Up Set – Green 5-Piece – $21.99

Let’s Play Doctor Playset – $10

Dress up Nurse Costume – DIY

Fisher-Price Medical Kit – Pink – $14.99

Pretend Play: Doctor Kit – DIY 

Fisher-Price Medical Kit – $13.88


Even with it being cold outside..
the idea of Gardening is so fun for little ones!
My Sophie(4), especially loves it. She gathers up all her vegetable felt food in a basket..
and goes to work in her “Garden”.. which is..nothing… so, I’m thinking of making the
DIY garden on the bottom left below. I love the idea of using turf..
and having tubes that they can “plant” their flowers
in and then pick them! so sweet. And I love toys that keep kids busy.
I might kill every plant that I touch…But I think I can handle the fake ones. :)
Pretend Play Felt Food Garden Vegetable Box – $37.47
Little Tikes 2-in-1 Garden Cart and Wheelbarrow Play Set – $36.97
Just like Home Vegetables Playset – $9.99 
IKEA DUKTIG 14 Piece vegetable set – $7.99
American Plastic Toys Gardener Set – 5 Piece – $17.99
Fairy Fox, Felt Vegetables Garden–PDF Pattern via Email- DIY
IKEA DUKTIG 9 Piece Fruit Basket Set – $7.99
Pretend play garden box – DIY
Felt vegetables Tutorial – DIY

Sending and getting mail is so fun for kids!
We made the cardboard mailbox a while back.. 
and it is used almost every day at some point.
I never got around to painting it.. but I think it could be really cute pink or blue!
The little wooden mailbox is a splurge
but my sophia has always eyed that toy up at stores..
I know so many people who have it and love it!
Cardboard Mailbox Tutorial – DIY
Melissa & Doug Stamp and Sort Mailbox  – $29.99
Melissa & Doug My Own Mailbox – $19.99
Imaginative Play Toys, Mail Bag and Working Envelopes – $44
Felt Envelopes Tutorial – DIY
Angeles Mailbox – $74.99

 With a house of girls…
we play mommy a lot. I mean… a lot.
everything is mothered in our house. ;)
There are so many cute little mommy (or daddy) items out there..and lots of DIY’s!
We have the circo car seat and diaper bag full of goodies. they LOVE it.
This Christmas is going to be a big Mommy gift year I think..
especially with baby #3 arriving right before in november.
I really want to make up some felt diapers and the swaddlers! I think I’ll get my
mom in on that when she comes up to help out with baby. (are you reading this mom? :)
Car Carrier Circo – $17.39
Felt Baby Doll Diaper Pattern – DIY
Magic Bottle & Magic Sippy Cup – varies
Little Golden Book, Little Mommy – $3.39
Badger Toys Doll Highchair with Accessories – $18.99
Circo Stroller Baby Doll – $19.99
Doll Crib -DIY
Circo Diaper Bag Set – $15.49
Deluxe Doll Nursery, 10-Piece Play Set  – $29.97
Baby Doll Diapers, Set of Pink – $14

And here’s a whole nother batch of little mommy gifts!
I found so many great DIY projects..I couldn’t edit this list down.. had to share. ;)
Baby Doll Highchair – DIY
Play Circle Neat & Tidy Cleaning Set – $10.99
American Plastic Toys My Very Own Laundry Center – $19.99
Badger Basket Heirloom Doll Cradle – $29.97
Cardboard Box Washing Machine for dramatic play – DIY
Doll snuggler – DIY
Play Circle Vacuum Cleaner – $20.79
Play Circle Ironing Board & Iron – $20.79
Baby Doll Crib – DIY
Baby Doll Diaper Bag Tutorial – DIY
Child sized ironing board tutorial – DIY
Doll Diapers & Wipes Tutorial – DIY
Stuffed animal sleeping bags- DIY

Fix it time! I am seriously considering making..
or getting my husband to make.. one of these tool tables below!
My girls are always drawn to those things at friend’s houses.
And I have to hide my tape measurer from them.. they are fascinated by it. I think a kid friendly version might be good to have. :) I put the hammering toy on this list…
only because sienna loves it so much whenever we go to IKEA.
I’m not sure I could handle that in our house… all the time.. ;)
Pretend & Play Tape Measure – $8.99
Children’s Tool Bench – DIY
American Plastic Toys My Very Own Tool Bench – $19.99
Melissa & Doug Role-Play Costume Set – Construction Worker – $22.49
IKEA  MULA Toy hammering block – $5.99
Little Tikes Little HandiWorker Workhorse – $24.99
The Home Depot Helmet with Headlamp – $9.99
The Home Depot Deluxe Toolbox – $9.74
Children’s Tool Bench – DIY
IKEA DUKTIG Toolbelt with soft toys – $7.99

I came across the felt dog treats and almost died!!
So cute! My girls are really into animals.. and doctor… so playing vet is the perfect combo!
I have seen some cute DIY stuffed animal band aids out there too.
I think my girls would flip over the little cage and vet kit!
Barbie Vet Care Playset – $69.99
The Felted Pear, Felt Dog Food Bag and Dry Food - $21
Time 4 Toyz Vet Set With Dog – $15
 The Felted Pear, Felt Pretend Dog Bone Treat Toy – $18
Vet Dramatic Play – DIY

Do you have a little artist in your house?? We have the IKEA easel and love it. And the monster crayon bag?!? adorable. There are so many great ways to showcase and carry around your little ones crayons! and I think every kid loves crayons..and loves putting them in something.
My sienna fills up purses and baskets all day long.
She would love having a spot for each crayon and then taking it to church with us!
Countryside Gifts LLC, Organic Wooden Semi Truck Crayon Holder – $24.95
IKEA MÅLA Easel – $14.99
Crayon Holder – DIY
IKEA MÅLA Long sleeve apron – $3.99
Made by Mum, Organic Elephant Art Wallet – $29.36
Toddler Apron – DIY
Felt Crayon Holder – DIY
Crayon Monster Art Tote Tutorial – DIY
Paper from Heaven, Childrens Crayon Roll – Retro Medallion – $11
My Very Own House – $33.99

Love these gift ideas for your little chef!
We have a little kitchen area in our Play Room and the girls are in there every day..
cooking up something yummy! Sharing a link to my felt food in this round up.
I made up a bunch of stuff one year..most of them really easy to do!
I love when the girls bring me a plate full of yummy felt donuts, cookies,
bacon and lettuce. perfect snack combo. ;)
I loveeee the elephant apron. it’s too adorable.
Elebob Yellow Toddler Apron by raenne on Etsy – $12
IKEA DUKTIG Mini-kitchen - $79.99
KidKraft Tasty Treats 125 Piece Pretend Food Play Set – $16
Three Dutch Divas, Toddler Tangled Apron – $25
Play Circle Master Chef’s Apron Set – $10.49
Felt Food Tutorials – DIY
Just Like Home Microwave Oven – Pink – $14.99
Nightstand to Play Kitchen – DIY
American Plastic Toys Cookin’ Kitchen with 22 accessories – $40
IKEA Hack Play Kitchen – DIY

Kids love the idea of buying stuff…
putting stuff into their cart!
Here’s some cute and fun grocery themed items..
I love the felt money. and the little grocery basket…. $8.99?? love it.
My sienna would carry that around all day!

Learning Resources Pretend and Play Supermarket Checkout – $38.99
Just Like Home 40 Piece Shopping Basket – Red – $8.99
American Plastic Toys My Very Own Shop and Play Market Set – $24
Grocery Sack – DIY
Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart – $69.99
Felt Play Money LittleFruits Dollars Handcrafted Toy Pretend Play Set of 4 – $16
Learning Resources Pretend and Play Supermarket Set – $17.59
IKEA Play Grocery Stand – DIY
American Plastics 15-Piece Deluxe Shopping Cart with Play Food – $8.70
Building Idea for pretend grocery – DIY
 Printable Pretend Play Grocery Lists – DIY
Melissa & Doug Grocery Store Stand – $80.63
I scream, You scream,
We all scream for Ice Cream!
I think some of these items are soo cute! I love the idea of filling up
containers with different colors of play dough and making cute labels. 
Shared my ice cream felt board in this set.. I’m not selling them at this time,
But hope you can get some inspiration to make your own!
My girls LOVE stacking up the flavors.
Sienna sometimes licks the felt..still working on that. ;)
Ice Cream Float Dishes with spoons – Set of 4 – $9.40
 Melissa & Doug® Ice Cream Parlor Pretend Play Set – $29.98
Play Circle Sprinkles Ice Cream Parlour – $14.99
Felt Ice Cream Tutorial – DIY
Fisher-Price Servin’ Surprise Food Set – Ice Cream  – $14.99
Ice Cream Felt Board Activity Set – DIY
Learning Resources Rainbow Color Cones – $13.99
Changing Table to Ice cream Parlor – DIY
Ice cream Parlor – DIY
Playdough Ice cream Flavors – DIY

Pizza and kids… it just goes together!
My girls love the felt Pizza I made them. I love the idea of little ones being able to count
the toppings as they put them on… or making their pizza up just how they want it!
And kids love the pizza shop fun of taking orders and making the delivery. :)
The Felted Pear, Felt Food- Whole PIzza Set – $22
Small World Toys My-Oh-My-Pizza Pie – $20.39
Learning Resources Pretend & Play Pizza Shop – $35.99
Felt Pizza Kit – DIY
Pretend Play Pizza Shop Menu Set – $45
Melissa & Doug Felt Food – Pizza Set – $13.29
Easy Felt Pizza Inspiration – DIY
Play Pizza shop tutorial – DIY


Thanks for checking out my
Christmas Gift Guide for 2012!
Happy gifting everyone!

The Busy Budgeting Mama