Give the gift of guilt-free sustainable playtime.
The festive season is all about giving and children are always the most excited recipients. Because of this, we often tend to go a little crazy on buying gifts for kids. Excitement and gratitude are a delight to behold. But all of that joy can come at a cost – not only in terms of wrapping but also in terms of plastic. In addition, the poor quality of such toys leads to quick disposal and unnecessary waste. Here’s our pick of some of the best eco-friendly toys that will get a big reaction while having a small impact.
1. Budding Bear Storage Bucket
The thing about getting all of those new toys and presents is that they leave your home looking like a tornado’s hit. That’s why you need attractive storage options, so you can bundle everything away at the day’s end. With a 30L capacity, this sweet-faced bear caddy is easy to clean and folds down flat when not in use. Best of all, it’s 100% made from organically sourced, recycled felt material. As well as being hardwearing, it also contains non-toxic chemical free dyes. Additionally, all of its packaging is 100% recyclable.
2. Wooden Balancing Blocks
These wooden blocks look more like design objects than toys. Actually, that’s something you can use them for once your children have outgrown them. Rather than lurid colours, these don’t have paint or varnish: just the lovely texture of Latvian Ash. Additionally, they are handmade, shaped into tactile multi-sided blocks. Great for developing hand-eye coordination and motor skills, as well as developing natural curiosity.
3. Sensory Trust Go Find It Game
This card game encourages children to get outside and pay attention to nature and the world around them using all of their senses. At different times of year, it will offer a different experience. A Cornish charity developed this game to help marginalised groups gain access to nature. So when you buy it, you know that you are helping less able people to get outside, as well as boosting your own time outdoors.
4. Dantoy Tipper Truck
Ninety percent sugarcane is the secret ingredient to this tipper truck, which offers hours of sandpit fun. Not only is sugarcane 100% sustainable; additionally, the truck is 100% recyclable. So even though the truck is durable and will last a long time, it won’t create landfill when it’s no longer wanted.
5. Nature Activity Pack
There will never be a dull moment with this plastic-free gift. Inside, there are activity suggestions, seed bombs and a sketchpad. Additionally, there are cards to send to family and friends. After all, kindness to the world starts with kindness at home. It’s a lovely gift to encourage children to get outside, practise mindfulness and immerse themselves in nature.
6. Wooden Stacking Toy
There are sixteen pieces in this Scandi take on the traditional wooden stacking toy. The variety of shapes stimulates young minds and the colours are soothing. Additionally, the toy is made from FSC labelled wood, which means that it comes from responsibly managed forests. It’s a beautiful gift for ages 18 months and upwards.
7. Colouring Pencils
Twenty pencils, ten colours. The genius of this is that you won’t have fights to contend with when one child is using the blue and another one NEEDS BLUE NOW. The best thing about these pencils, though? They are made from 100% recycled newspaper. Don’t fear that they’re flimsy — they last 2 to 3 times longer than their wooden counterparts.
8. Bamboo Dinner Set
Wooden bamboo fibre means that this cute dinner set is free from toxins, and that it’s eco-friendly and biodegradable. No, it’s not strictly a toy, but we all know that getting youngsters enthused about mealtimes is essential! Additionally, the sweet jungle design inspires curiosity about the natural world and fosters a love of animals.
For every parent or carer who’s posting photos of their DIY craft efforts with children, there are twenty berating themselves for not making homemade dough. Not everybody needs to do that, though. Kids will have just as much fun with these four tubs, in four bright colours. Additionally, the ingredients are organic flour and mineral-based colourant: safe, non-toxic creativity awaits.
10. Recycled Paper Bead Maker
The recycling bin will never be quite so full after you buy this clever contraption. Hours of creative fun lie ahead: just insert discarded paper from magazines and newspapers to make colourful beads. Children can then make these into gifts for friends and family. The result? That’s not just a kid’s present sorted – that’s you taken care of for a few years, too.