Let me preface this post with, I am not an Alex Toys affiliate, whatsoever!* My previous post about the Alex Toys’ craft kits were purely coincidental!
A few months back, I bought the Alex Toys – Learn To Dress Kitty on Amazon. Lana was starting to show curiosity toward buttons, zippers and snaps, so Dress Up Kitty seemed like a perfect fit. Normally, I wouldn’t pick an obvious gendered toy, but in this case, Kitty wasn’t terribly “girly.” Alex Toys does have the Learn to Dress Monkey as an option too. For months, Lana would randomly play with Kitty, but about a week ago, Kitty became her favorite toy. Kitty has been going with Lana in the car, to my aunt’s house, pretend plays with Lana, and even sleeps with Lana. Kitty sits next to Lana during bedtime storytime, and we remove Kitty’s shoes for bedtime! At first, my husband was worried we were allowing something bad, but I explained that this is great for her to pretend and use her imagination with Kitty. Somehow Kitty has also assisted in calming the sleeping issues we have had recently. Once when Lana was hysterical during bedtime, after asking Lana if she was scared, she hugged me and then I asked Kitty the same thing. Lana immediately started gently petting Kitty, followed by a huge. It was so sweet and innocent! Maybe I am screwing Lana up by personifying Kitty, but I am trying to teach Lana how to express what she is feeling. Lana laid down and hugged Kitty all night.
I’ve seen Lana reading to Kitty, showing her how to color, talking to Kitty while playing and even sharing a cup of pretend tea with her. Hopefully I am not writing about Lana in 12 years and how she won’t part with Kitty on her first day of Junior High. I kid!
While researching for this post’s images and media, I stumbled upon a fairly hilarious Alex Toys’ item. GIANT Dress Up Kitty! Lana’s Kitty is already almost as big as her, I can’t even fathom a GIANT one?!!? For nearly $200??? That’s terrifying and expensive! Can you imagine waking up to a giant kitty looking at you?? Maybe I have seen too many Puppetmasters or Chucky movies?
But, on the upside, today I discovered that on Alex Toys’ website, they have free printables and a great search function by age and type in their toy section. That being said, Amazon and Target usually have better prices, Kitty is nearly $44 on Alex Toys’ site and in contrast is $29 on Amazon. Today, I did read the reviews for Kitty on Amazon and people mention the snaps coming off or being poorly made, we haven’t had any issues related to that, but I will agree with other reviewers that the button is frustratingly difficult for little hands. Here is the promo video of Monkey & Kitty by Alex Toys:
There are many other brands and options, some with well known characters, like say Elmo as a dress up, learning toy. Montessori has gear for sale that is supposedly superior to Kitty and all dress up dolls (based off reviews out there by Montessori teachers, so that’s biased). You can find the Montessori frames all over the internet, but here is an example off youtube:
For a comprehensive overview of the stages of learning to dress themselves, I find this the more encompassing and informative:
All in all, Lana is only 19 months, so I am not as concerned with imposing the Montessori ways or spending a ton of time trying to get her to figure out buttons and zippers (she can unzip my purse now, egads!), so Kitty works well for now. As time progresses, I will look at other options if she isn’t where she should be developmentally. But for now… I leave you with a picture of Lana in my trainers:
*disclaimer – nappies + milk is an Amazon Affiliate to help pay for the site costs