There are few things better than experiencing the holidays through the eyes of a child. The wonder of sparkling lights, the excitement about novel experiences, and of course, the joy of gifts are where memories are made. When it comes to selecting gifts for kids, choose toys and games that amuse and charm the little ones without harming the environment they will grow up in.
Your gift recipient will only know the scooter is a lot of fun. You’ll know it was made from recycled plastic pulled from the ocean. There are two models of the Micro kickboard. The Mini Deluxe Eco incorporates fishing nets, ropes, and trawls that have been removed from the marine environment and diverted from the landfill. It’s intended for children ages 2-5, up to 110 lbs. All parts are replaceable to minimize waste if repairs are needed. The Maxi Deluxe Eco is basically a skateboard with a safety handle for more control. A portion of all sales goes to 1% for the Planet.
A rattle isn’t just a rattle if it’s made from plastic or chemically-laden materials. Ensure a soft and safe toy with this knitted baby rattle. Available in several color options, these plush toys are knitted from 100% cotton, so only natural materials go into the baby’s mouth. It’s handmade from a Fair Trade vendor and features curved edges along with a subtle rattle sound. Fair Trade certification not only offers transparency around the product’s place of origin but supports otherwise marginalized communities by connecting them to a buying network.
Make a Pact to gift clothing made from 100% organic cotton. Choose from Christmas morning jammies, shorts, tees, pants, socks, underwear and more. Pact selects GOTS-certified materials and supports organic farming through Fair Trade, which guarantees fair wages and safe working conditions for providers around the world.
Let your child’s imagination blossom in the culinary world with a safe kitchen that’s just their size. Camden Rose offers its thoroughly safety-tested mini-kitchens in maple or cherry and all items are plastic-free.
Classic wood toys receive an upgrade at Plan Toys, where the company relies on natural materials and waste from lumber processes. Leftover sawdust is turned into a product called PlanWood, which is used in some of the wooden cars, animals, fruit, shape sorter puzzles, miniature furniture, trains, tools and other Plan Toys products. In addition to monitoring each product for child safety, environmentally-friendly wood is embellished with water-based, chemical-free colors and E-Zero glue.
The founders of ökoNORM come from a background in working with companies focused on environmental protection, citizens’ initiatives and social politics. As a result, all products in the company are a result of a priority to create high-quality, environmentally friendly and non-toxic products made from sustainable resources. Kids may not know the finger paints, watercolors, chalk, wax crayons, glue, colored pencils and play clay are made with the safety of them and the planet in mind, but you will.
You’d think there’s nothing more basic than classic wood toys, yet when you go shopping, you may realize how difficult it is to find them. All Tender Leaf toys are individually designed in-house and meet the safety standards EN71, ASTM F963 and AS/NZS ISO. The company relies on a family-run factory in Indonesia and works closely with them to ensure quality craftsmanship that will last a lifetime. All toys are made from reclaimed rubberwood, a by-product of the latex industry, and trees are replanted with every purchase. Toys are hand-painted using non-toxic products, inspected, and wrapped in paper before shipping in recycled cardboard boxes. Tender Leaf lets kids explore space, trains, animals, gardening, castles, forests, dolls and more.
Playdough is a ubiquitous part of childhood. You can even easily make your own at home. When Playdough playtime is the activity at hand, make it more fun with this assortment of 100% hardwood tools for flattening, shaping, cutting and texturing.
Games make for a fun evening with friends or with family after the holiday meal has been cleared. But plastic, chemicals and excessive packaging can contribute to environmental waste and pollution. Big Potato Games gives you entertainment without the eco-guilt. Through a ‘One game, one tree’ commitment, BPG works with the Eden Reforestation Project and Ecologi to plant a tree for every game sold. The result of the initiative is mangrove trees planted in Madagascar and improved reforestation in Mozambique and Kenya.
Images via Micro Kickboard, Welljourn, Amazon, Pact, Camden Rose, Plan Toys, ökoNORM, Tender Leaf, KOOKAROO, Big Potato Games
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Grab these eco-friendly gifts for kids before they’re gone is written by Dawn Hammon for inhabitat.com