Alternatives to Princess Activities that are Still Pink and "Pretty"

CONNECTION, featured, Relationships

I’ve mentioned my daughter is more than a little princess-obsessed and while I’ve made my peace with it and now am along for the (carriage) ride, it doesn’t stop me from trying to infiltrate her brain with non-princess-related ideas and attempt to make our playtime a little less royal. She, obviously, does tons of things that are non-princess oriented – riding bikes (with Ariel sitting on the front), cruising around on her red scooter (which she’s outfit with princess stickers), playing soccer and tag (while we call her “Elsa”). Okay, you can see why there might be tiny issue here…

So, I’ve been focused on finding activities for her that speak to her feminine side, which so obviously feeds her, but also have a bit more substance. It’s not that I don’t think there’s isn’t value in all the princess paraphanelia; I just want to be sure she’s getting a well-rounded (albeit pink) education. God, this mothering thing is a lot of work, isn’t it?

Here are a couple of ways we’re attempting to counteract the Princess effect.


Playing House:

We spend a whole lotta time “playing princesses”, but pretty soon we’re going to be playing “adorable little wood people.” In an attempt to draw her away from the castle, I downloaded these Smollhouses from Caravan Shoppe, which I’m hoping to have ready for Christmas. The little dollhouse folds away to practically nothing, and the only problem I can see is that it doesn’t come life sized (it’s pretty much my Barbie dream house).

alternative to princess book - isabella and princess and pig


Obviously there are a million great books out there, but I really wanted a book that showed great women doing interesting things; My Name is Not Isabella nails it. A little girl imagines herself as famous women throughout history (Rosa Parks, Sally Ride, Annie Oakley to name a few) while highlighting their accomplishments and gifts. Alice actually asked if our doctor knew Elizabeth (Blackwell, in case you’re not also on first name terms with her) so it is sinking in.

I love, love, love The Princess and the Pig. It’s hilarious and sweet and turns the typical princess tale on its head (a princess and a pig get swapped at birth with a very lovely, unexpected ending). We both always go for it, which is saying something, plus, if you like to do character voices it’s a serious winner.

alternatives to princess dresses - supergirl and kitty mask

Playing Dress-Up:

One of my favorite things about Alice is she loves a good ball gown, something I completely understand; if I had my way we’d both be tiara’d up every morning. However, a gal occasionally needs a break from all that tulle. So, we’ve added a Supergirl costume to the rotation, which has been a blast because “Shazam” and “Pow” are pretty fun to holler at your little brother. Turns out it’s also pretty fun to dress as a kitty, especially when it involves lapping milk out of a bowl and bossing your real life cat around.

doll alternative to Barbie - ladybug girl and lammie

Playing with Dolls:

We love Ladybug Girl around here. She has big emotions and is very, um, preschool with the way she handles life (Alice totally relates). And while I think a gal who can freeze a town is pretty cool, I’m all for a little girl who’s working hard at learning how to navigate the ups and downs of life.

I totally get why little kids want to dress up dolls; I would just rather they did it on a doll sporting a real life body. And now they can have that! Have you guys seen the Lammily doll? Not only is she made using typical human proportions, she has a fit body that looks strong. Her outfit is a little lame, but add a feather boa and she’s ready to go.


Building Things:

I am totally deficient in the building category. My Legos are almost always a box or a tower because I genuinely can’t think of anything to build. Because I don’t want to pass that along to Alice, we are definitely going to try out the Glodi Blocks’, a book and construction set featuring a little girl engineer who solves problems by building simple machines.

Roominate is awesome too because it takes dollhouses to another level. Girls can build multi-level houses and then wire them up, using basic circuitry, to make fans, windmills, and lamps come to life. WHAT?


Listening to Music:

You guys totally want to listen to “Let It Go” again, don’t you? Because I don’t know about you, but I just can’t get enough. Every time we get in the car I have to stop myself from yelling, “More Frozen, PLEASE.” O.M.G.

Now, I’m not going to claim that Jewel’s The Merry Goes Round or the Best of the Laurie Berkner Band is on par with G. Love (but is anything really?) or will make you look cool as you drive around your ‘hood. I will say both albums have excellent messages, are highly singable, and don’t make me want to bash my head against the steering wheel, which feels like a 5 star review under the circumstances.

What am I missing? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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