With the holidays right around the corner (next month - AHHH!), you're probably wondering what in the world to get your kids! When our kids first moved into our home, I was stuck on what to buy. What do you buy a kid who doesn't know what they want? Then, I found this - and it turned out to be the best gift for my five year old daughter!
Why is the Our Generation Doll the Best Gift for a Five Year Old?
We brought "Hazel" home from Target on Sister's fifth birthday. I grew up in the major American Girl Doll generation, but there was no way I was spending that kind of money without seeing how she took care of the doll first. I caught wind of the Target version and instantly fell in love! It wasn't the exact same as the American Girl Doll, but it was just enough and in my budget. Here's why we love Target's Our Generation Doll for our five year old.
Reason #1: Target's Price & Quality
American Girl Dolls can cost over $100! For a doll of that quality, I wouldn't expect anything less. They also provide an amazing experience in their own stores, if you're lucky enough to live near one, so that's an added benefit for the price you'll be paying. Target's Our Generation dolls are sold in stores and online, so it's not much of an experience, but the price is right!
The dolls range from $25 to $30, depending on the set you choose. While you cannot customize their features or appearance, you can get one that's pretty close. When I saw Hazel on their website, I nearly cried! It looked so much like Sister, and it came with a puppy - double perfect!! For a fraction of the price of AG, I could buy a doll, the dog trainer set, and a ballerina set for her to change into it when Sister was practicing her ballet.
For the price, you would think the dolls won't hold up to the ways of a five year old. They're rough and dirty, but hear me out - they're amazing! It's been almost a year, and the only thing we've had to do was give Hazel a trim. I'm pretty sure that's more user error from my daughter brushing her hair so violently... The clothes have held up to the test of time, and the doll looks nearly brand new. And Sister plays with her DAILY! You really can't ask for more!
Reason #2: Our Generation Accessories and Extras
Target sells a large range of accessories, outfits, and extras for the dolls. They're not exclusive of one set or doll to another. Hazel is a dog trainer by day and a ballerina by night. She works as a vet on the weekends, too! Fast forward a month after Hazel arrived, Sister felt she desperately needed a horse. Now, she's also a responsible horse owner. It literally doesn't matter what set Hazel came with - it only mattered what my five year old wanted her to be that day! And in the normal fashion of a five year old's brain, she changes her clothes multiple times a day.
We're thinking about getting Sister the Our Generation Jeep they sell in order to match her Momma for Christmas. But there are plenty of outfits and sets to choose from, so the possibilities are endless. Not to mention, Amazon, Michael's, and other stores sell 18 inch doll accessories, too! Several stores sell matching PJs, which Sister just adores!
Reason #3: Learning
One of the major reasons I loved American Girl Dolls growing up was the stories and books that came along with them. I loved learning history through them! I felt like I had my own piece of history on my lap, and I would play make believe along with the stories. I had no idea that I was learning, but I was!
Target's Our Generation dolls don't have stories or historical purposes, but I feel like they provide something even better: open-ended possibilities! Hazel has been the dog trainer, the ballerina, and the vet. But she's also been a student while Sister teaches her math and science. She's listened to lectures on the importance of using our words (though she still hasn't gotten the hang of that yet). Hazel has been the friend Sister practices social stories with and the friend she's leaned on when time are tough. She's gotten her hair pulled when Sister learned how to braid hair, and she receives new clothes as Sister's learning to sew.
The Our Generation dolls allow children to be a parent, a caregiver, a teacher, and a friend. It goes beyond just being a doll. Because of the price, it's a little less scary for her to learn how to braid or cut hair. I don't mind her experimenting with Hazel so much, because I didn't spend a fortune on her. But my favorite part is when Sister chooses to be the teacher. She will sit with Hazel for hours telling her all about what we learned during the day, and I can see the skills/concepts she's mastered. She was the perfect tool to use when we were doing our animal science unit study!
Our Generation is the best!
I didn't have to spend a lot, and my daughter gets hours of play time! She saves her money from birthdays, holidays, and chores to buy Hazel extra supplies and outfits. It's been such an amazing learning experience for her to earn and save her own money in order to buy Hazel something nice. It's sweet, and she's practicing buying her own children or friends gifts.