Eco Friendly Gifts For Kids

We’re at that time of year again when the world goes crazy and everyone starts spending a small fortune buying a lot of stuff most kids don’t really need!

My daughter was the first grandchild on my husbands side, when she was born we got so many clothes and toys it was crazy.

We were well and truly bombarded.

 

She had outfits I dressed her in once, took a photo, sent the photo to the kind gift giver…and then she never wore it again. And it was a similar situation with toys, honestly no child needs 30 cuddly toys and 15 rattles.

 

So if you’re reading this list as a wonderful friend or family member of someone whose about to have or just had a baby, or your friends have kids or you have grandkids please hear me out.

 

I know that cuddly bunny is just so so fluffy and cute…but please move away from the bunny! Trust me, if you want to be the person with the cool present your friends and family remember…buy something else.

 

We’re going to share with you some of our favourite more eco-friendly options just click on the photos for current pricing details, (the majority of these we own ourselves) so here goes…

 

Best Presents for New Parents

 

 

 

  • A book they can fill in as a keepsake, we have a few of these and love recording memories for our kids that we know they can read one day.

 

 

  • Funny Thing My Kids Say, to record all the hilarious things kids come out with. My kids are 6 and 4 so this book already has a few gems inside it in our household, like when at 2 years old my daughter insisted she now needed her own house key!!

 

 

 

  • Or one for a new Grandmother or Grandfather – A Journal from Grandma/Grandad, we purchased one of these for many Mother In Law and some of the things she wrote my Husband didn’t even know about. Really a great way to pass on stories over generations.

 

 

 


The Gifts Every Parent Needs

 

The Unbreakable Water Bottle

 

When my daughter was small she had a habit at the end of a tantrum to get her water bottle and launch it through the air like a missile, I honestly lost count of the number of bottles we went through in those first few years!

 

And then my son was born and his nickname was “Alexander the Destroyer” by this time we’d learnt some serious drinking hardware was required. Thankfully we learnt about Kleen Kanteen, we’ve now had our kids bottles 4+ years and they’re still going strong. We’ve had to replace a cap on one but so far that’s it.

 

A Magic Plate!! (to get them to eat more veggies)

 

As most parents will know, the battle to get kids to eat healthy is always a struggle. I stumbled across this cute plate by the Simply Happy Kitchen that shows what portions of each food type kids should eat.

 

My kids love it and my daughter is always quick to point out in case I’ve put food in the wrong section. Once all the food is gone the kids love trying to work out what all the different items are and what they’re doing on the picture.

We’ve found this a great tool to help kids understand the importance of a balanced diet and to learn more about the different types of fruits, veg and proteins that are available and how they look.

Simply Happy Kitchen plate

They also have a great books that my kids love too!

 

 

 

Cute Cutlery

 

 

Little cutlery sets make it so much easier for kids to get to grips with using forks and knives before they graduate to an adult size set. There are lots of options out there, we love WMF for their simple and hard wearing designs.

 

My kids both received a set from family friends at birth, and at their Grandparents they use sets from when my Husband and his Brother were small. Our two have sets with different pictures so they love that they have their own things to use at dinnertime and my 4 year old loves to get his cutlery out and lay the table for us all.

 


 

Toys (arrggghhhh!!)

 

As a parent I can tell you, I’m not overly thrilled when people buy my kids toys! I realise that sounds a bit ungrateful but we live a fairly minimalist lifestyle, plus there are certain types of toys we don’t want our kids overly exposed to.

 

Let’s just say that most gifts that require batteries tend to magically disappear in our household.

 

But if you REALLY feel you must buy a toy for any children in your life, here’s a few eco-friendly options our kids have loved…

 

Green Toys

 

 

 

Made from 100% recycled plastic and packaged only in 100% recycled cardboard are amazing, on top of that the toys are really well made and have even survived numerous bashing’s from my 4 year old.

 

 

Tegu Blocks

 

Where to start with this company?

Are they cheap…no?

Will they last a lifetime…yes?

Are they amazing fun…yes?

What makes these blocks different from other wooden blocks is that they also contain magnets, making the creative possibilities even greater.

 

We loved them so much we ended up buying two sets, they’re something we really love to play with together as a family – whether it’s building the tallest tower, making the fastest race car or guess the animal – Tegu blocks never fail to keep the kids and us adults entertained.

 

And what’s more, not only are these blocks loads of fun they also come from a company with a great ethos…

 

  • “Made from a hardwood found in abundance in Honduras’ forests. This species is not endangered, but even so we are of course careful about how it is harvested – we want it to be abundant for our great-great-grandchildren too!”

 

  • Production takes place in Honduras and “Tegu is committed to using its business to bless Honduras, one of the poorest nations in the western hemisphere. When you purchase our toys you’re helping create stable jobs. Improving the livelihoods of not only our current 200 employees at the factory in Honduras but at least 361 family members that rely on them.”

 

And if that’s not enough reason already, if you ever don’t need the product anymore they ask you to ship the items back to them and they will cover the shipping to ensure their products can be recycled and not sent unnecessarily to landfill (and to be clear this isn’t likely to ever happen so it’s a very big IF)

 


Nature Gifts for Little Adventurers

 

Hape Nature Fun Detective Set

 

It’s so important to get kids out and about exploring in nature, one thing that’s really helped our family with that is getting the kids there own little nature sets. They pack all their bits into a backpack and off we go for the day with them wandering along picking up things they find to examine with their magnifying glass or using the whistle to let each other know there’s a bird to check out close by.

 

Make your own insect house

 

There are all different sets like this available now as making insect houses seems to have become a well known activity for kids in schools and within communities. Our son got this cool set for Christmas, he loved sticking it together and we’re happy to say a number of little insect families appear to have become our neighbours!

 

 


Non-Material gifts

 

The great thing about living overseas for many years has been that, for the most part, we managed to discourage people from sending huge boxes of things over to us.

 

One thing that’s worked out great with people that want to buy gifts, is asking instead of sending physical gifts to arrange things for us to do as a family or something to do together with the gift giver whenever we see them next.

 

Here’s a few ideas we’ve loved….

 

  • Tickets to a movie, theatre show or sporting event

 

  • Membership to a theme park or museum they love

 

  • Vouchers for a cool restaurant or a family activity like climbing or go-karting

 

  • Donation to a charity – it’s especially good if you find one that gives the child an update from time to time. Here’s a few our kids have loved…

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this list has given you some inspiration, we’d love to hear any more suggestions you can share in the comments.

Rebecca xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rebecca Flecken

Mother of 2, Wife of 1 - the Founder and Owner of Saja Soul. Self confessed book worm and tea lover!