1. Crafty things
Most children this age are into arts and crafts- don't think this is just for girls. Coloring books, bead sets, collage kits, even kits for making their own puzzles and play houses have been huge hits in this house. The great thing about crafty gifts is you can go with a pre-made kit designed for a specific project, or you can just head to the dollar store and pick up some pens, paper, stickers, and anything else you like and give the kids free reign- there are benefits to both and I guarantee the kids will be equally thrilled with either option.
2. Building things
It doesn't get much more quintessential than building blocks. Wood blocks, lego's, and magnetic blocks have all been popular with my preschoolers, and they even combine different blocks to come up with some legitimately awesome creations!
Pretend play is a big part of learning and fun at this age. My girls were thrilled to get some tutu's from their ballerina aunt, and some jewelry, purses, and nail polish from other friends and family. Pretending to be different kinds of people is fun, but pretending to be like the adults in their lives is by far the most popular choice! A set of school teacher items was another popular gift.
Dolls can be tricky- there are some really great ones out there (check out my favorites below) but there are some not-so-great ones too. The biggest consideration with dolls, and any other pretend play toys, is what kind of people they encourage children to pretend to be, and what kinds of people, places, things, and ideas those toys will likely expose them to. Done right, though, dolls are fantastic. My girls love their new dolls and insist on putting them to bed before they go to sleep, and getting them ready before they themselves start getting ready for school in the morning (so I guess that's actually a pro and a con...).
I know this probably seems out-of-place in this list, but I'm not gonna lie, I got my girls umbrellas this Christmas and it is one of their favorite gifts! If you think about it, having their own umbrella that they can use on their own is kindof a big deal! This is the perfect age to get them their own umbrella- just be sure to get one that is age and size appropriate :)
6. Clothes and books
Want more specific recommendations? Here are some of the items my girls received and loved this year! Click on the picture to read more about each item.