Welcome to my third instalment of this year’s Christmas gift guide. Today’s all about ethical shopping for kids and surprising our children with presents that are environmentally-friendly BUT at the same time thoughtful and fun. I’ve once again reached out to a couple of my fellow green lifestyle bloggers who are Mamas too, and they shared with me wish lists for their kiddies.
When Claire from The Frugal Family shared with me her top three choices for gifts, she said something that resonates so much with me: “We really love Christmas, but with four young kids it could very easily and quickly become a plastic wonderland!” If you, like Claire, are concerned about the amount of plastic toys that your children may receive this Christmas from other members of the family, it may be a good idea to give them a few helpful hints about your preferences. After all, we all want to give presents that will make our recipients happy, right?
So what’s on Claire’s wish list for her children?
“We LOVE books here, and they are a great way to teach and share your values. We have got our four year old the lovely Duffy the Sea Turtle by Ellie Jackson and we also really like Jude Lennon and her Lamby adventures.”
“We always find one of these in our stockings, there is a huge range of projects you can support and many child-friendly topics at reasonable prices. Again, they make a great start on helping children to think about the wider world.” BUY NOW >>>
“Another easy option is Orchard Toys, a family-run British-based firm offering excellent quality games and puzzles. They last forever, have lots of ideas and options and are very reasonable. If you do lose the instructions or any pieces, they will send them out to you, and their customer service is excellent. We try to buy direct and often use them for gifts for other kids as they are so universally popular.” BUY NOW >>>
US-based blogger Savannah from Earth and Water definitely has a preference for wooden toys and I don’t blame her – they’re much more long-lasting and are more tactile for little hands to play with. If you want to opt for wooden toys, then do your research and ensure you buy ones that are made from sustainably-sourced wood.
So what’s on Savannah’s wish list?
Wooden Bulldozer Bed
“My son is obsessed with construction equipment. We want to get him a toddler bed since the converted crib he’s currently in will soon have a new occupant! You can find tons of plans to build your own bulldozer bed but we’re not that crafty. The only one we’ve found already made is by Toys-R-Us and has been discontinued [in the US] so we’ve been hard on the lookout for a second-hand one!”
Wooden Train Set
“There’s a wooden train set at Barnes and Noble, the local book store. Whenever we go in there, he makes a beeline for it and is completely satisfied playing there by himself no matter how long we’re in there. They’re pretty easy to come across but I’m looking for one second hand.” BUY NOW >>>
Wooden Tool Box
“My son had a plastic tool box that a grandparent had given him which he carried EVERYWHERE with him. It recently broke (surprise, surprise) so I’m looking for him a sturdy wooden one.” BUY NOW >>>
As for me, my top choices include the following gifts:
Holztiger animal figures
We already have about 10 of these beautifully-crafted animal figures but it would be lovely to get a few more. I’m particularly keen to use them to put together a few “story sacks” for Max to get him even more interested in reading books. He already loves sitting down to look and flick through his books but the idea of a story sack is so simple and lovely. If you haven’t heard of them before, they’re essentially actual toys that you use to bring a book/ story to life by using them whilst reading. My dear friend and fellow green lifestyle blogger Heather from A Reusable Life has some lovely story sacks featured on her Pinterest account so do check them out for a bit of inspiration.
Piccalilly Arctic Animal Onesie (for Max) and Little Green Radicals Falling Leaves Pyjamas (for Leo)
We try and buy clothes made from organic cotton where possible and affordable. Organic cotton is harvested in a more sustainable way and the production processes cause much less harm to the environment and is kinder to the skin. Both Picalilly and LGR cotton is 100% certified organic. Admittedly, it tends to be more expensive but you do get better, long-lasting quality so essentially, better value for your money. I’m just loving these gorgeous PJs for the boys – such cute designs, aren’t they?
The Art Tiffin subscription box, £10.95 per month* + free p&p
*if booked before 15 Dec 2017, then £12.95 per month
I just adore this monthly subscription box idea for encouraging children to appreciate art and use their imagination skills, as well as self-confidence, vocabulary and communication skills. Our Leo has always been very arty (knowing he’s been named after Leonardo da Vinci may have influenced that!) so this will be a perfect gift for him. These boxes are aimed at children aged 4-10, are inspired by the Montessori principles and designed by educational experts. What I really like about it as well is that there’s a progression ‘pathway’ from one month to the next, with each box themed around a specific artist or artwork. The range of activities inside the box is also meant to be broad so that the activities can be done at various points during the month. Oh, and did I mention that this self-contained box fits through the letterbox? Sounds amazing so keep an eye for a review in the New Year 🙂