Dress-up play is fun from day one: from your child’s earliest trinkets and costumes to full-fledged teen fashion, kids never get tired of experimenting with new looks. And the only thing that makes a new look better is if you created it yourself. Today’s roundup explores our selection of toys and gifts that let kids of all ages create their own jewelry, accessories, and more!
FOR LITTLE KIDS
Creative Education of Canada, Color Me Princess Cape Set; ages 3-6
The best princess cape is the one you design yourself: kids can color in castles, crowns, stars, and butterflies with color-fast markers, and then play dress-up to their hearts’ content. If they want to switch up their look, there’s pink satin on the other side!
Creativity for Kids Fashion Headbands; ages 5 and up
Perfect for playdates: add sticky jewels, ribbons, flowers, feathers, and more to cute and colorful satin headbands! (Smaller children will need adult help.)
Alex Pops Craft 3 Sparkly Bracelets, ages 5 and up
A simple craft for a rainy day: customize three fat bangles with lots and lots and lots of sparkle, and then show them off to all your friends!
Alex Little Hands Crafty Fashion Show, ages 3-5
Use punch-out collage pieces, stickers, crayons, buttons, pipe cleaners, and more to prepare four giant paper dolls for their runway debut! Then, stage your own fashion show.
Charmazing Be Charmed Charm Bracelet Kit, ages 8 & up
Charmazing Color Me Up Charm Bracelet Kit, ages 8 & up
Charmazing Full of Charms! Charm Bracelet Kit, ages 8 & up
With these kits, you can design your own sparkly arm candy with a variety of charms and beads, and then explore the world of Charmazing online with the free app!
Klutz Glitter Clay Charms, ages 8 & up
Follow the simple directions to use polymer clay to make adorable custom creations. Have an adult pop them in the oven when you’re done, and then add special glitter glaze to make them sparkle and shine!
Alex My Pearl Jewelry, ages 8 & up
For the distinguished mini-fashionista: this kit lets kids weave lovely faux pearls into sophisticated accessories to wear and share.
i-loom Friendship Bracelet Starter Pack, ages 8 & up
Finally: the friendship bracelet maker of the future! The loom attaches to your iPad to keep your threads organized, and directs you through the creation of a dizzying variety of patterns. Kids can start simple, experiment with knotting techniques, and eventually boost their skills to create truly impressive bracelets!
Creativity for Kids Flower Crowns, ages 7 & up
Make groovy retro flower crowns with realistic bohemian blooms! Just twist the flowers around the twig bases, and then bling ‘em up with golden shimmer accent paint.
Creativity for Kids Headband & Bracelet Studio, ages 7 & up
Another great playdate activity: this set lets kids make over 16 stretchy headbands and bracelets, with plenty of design suggestions. Use the stamps, beads, and bows to decorate the accessories for a personalized look.
Alex Deluxe Hair Chalk Salon, ages 8 & up
Wild colors are in for all ages, and this is an easy way to let your kid personalize her look when she’s not quite ready for real hair dye: just rub the chalks firmly into her hair to get some fun color that washes out easily with shampoo.
Alex Toys Ombre Hair FX Spa, ages 8 & up
More washable color, so kids can sport a different look every day: a special chalk applicator lets little stylists blend pink, purple, and teal to create fun and hip hair effects. To make it last a little longer, set the chalk with hair spray!
Creativity for Kids Feather Fashions, ages 7 & up
More bohemian chic for tweens and teens: create wild, glamorous hair clips, headbands, and hair extensions with a variety of real feathers (inspected and certified by the US Division of Fish & Wildlife, thank you very much). This is a great craft for a birthday party, since the kids will love creating and then wearing their feathery bling!
Alex Toys Sketch It Nail Pens Salon, ages 8 & up
Use color-in appliqués, two-tip nail pens, and sparkly gems to create a unique look that’s sturdy enough to last a while! Perfect for a sleepover party.
Alex Super Mani Pedi Party, ages 6 & up
Really, all of the items in this category are playdate-perfect and sleepover-sassy: it’s probably fun to use all of the salon products in this kit on your own, but it’s a lot more fun to paint your nails and add glitter and appliqués while sharing some gossip with all of your pals.
Creativity for Kids Pretty Pedicure Salon, ages 9 & up
Or, just focus on making those toesies look just right: it has loads of real spa accessories, including an inflatable pedicure pool, spa slippers, toe separators, a nail buffer and file, and more. Plus, nail polish, nail art, glitter (of course), and a convenient tote to keep it all contained!