Kids love the holidays- for the cheer, the joy, the abundance of cookies, but mostly, for the gifts. This year, why not give green gifts that are healthy, educational, and eco-friendly. The little ones will love them, and you’ll feel great about giving them. Warning: excessive cuteness ahead…
BABY ELEPHANT – $22 Does it get any cuter than this? Handmade by artisans in rural Kenya, the adorable little elephant is is made from natural wool yarn, natural vegetable-based dyes, and is sure charm anyone; big or small.
KIDSONROOF PLAYHOUSES- 20-40 EURO Every kid loves a playhouse. And now with the simple cardboard House and MobileHome from Kidsonroof, you can feel good about buying one for the kid in your life. Kidsonroof donates 5% of its profits to Unicef projects, and you end up with a great gift for your child or younger sibling- a hideaway, fortress, dollhouse, or secret place to hide from monsters. Choose from the larger-sized House, which arrives as a blank slate of white cardboard, just asking to be painted, drawn on, and covered in stickers, or the more portable MobileHome, a perfectly-sized cottage for your child’s family of teddy bears.
THIS INTO THAT DIY PROJECT BOOKS- $12 in Target stores Tiffany Threadgould (aka Tiffany Tomato Designs) knows how to turn trash into treasure. And now with her brand new book series of This Into That DIY Recycling projects, your kids can follow in her footsteps. From turning cereal boxes into table soccer, t-shirts into belts, and soda bottles into jewelry holders, these books are chock-full of great projects that encourage recycling and repurposing everyday materials. Series includes Fabric Fashions, Garbage Games, and Plastic Pizzazz. + $12 in Target stores
OEUF HUG-ME SWEATER- $88 Oeuf is a line of sustainable products for babies and small children. The company tagline is “good design for all ages”, and some of their precious essential knits are designed around the concept of knitting people together through clothing. The ‘hug me’ sweater and ’squeeze me’ mittens, which feature child-size mitten pockets sewn into the garment, are the perfect designs for connecting parent and child. Oeuf’s knitwear is made from azo-free dyed alpaca wool, hand knit in a fair trade relationship between the NYC based company and a group of knitters in Bolivia.
SECTOR 9 BAMBOO SKATEBOARDS- $119-$179 While you may not love the idea of your child tearing down the street on his brand new skateboard, you’ll feel great knowing that it’s made from super-sustainable bamboo. These kid-sized boards from Sector 9 come in short and long-board versions and prove that bamboo isn’t just for housewares and flooring anymore!
OWL BACKPACK- $54 Handmade by artisans in rural Kenya, the perfectly-sized and super-fuzzy owl backpack will have your child toting in eco-friendly style. The pack is made from natural wool yarn, natural vegetable-based dyes, and is the perfect size for all your child’s sleepover goodies- toothbrush, books, and pajamas.
SPEESEES CLOTHING- $16 AND UP Speesees clothing line for babies and small children isn’t just ridiculously cute, it’s clothing with a conscience. The company’s mission is to be “fun, fair and organic,” both in the products they make and the way they do business. All their clothes are manufactured under Fair Trade Practices and made from organically grown, handpicked cotton. What’s more, 1% of all online retail orders go towards educational supplies and resources for the children who attend Zari Pada, the local elementary school in the village where Speesees is manufactured. And if that weren’t enough, the clothes are just so darn cute. We love the witty “human” t-shirt and the super-stylish flap skirts.
DUBBLE FAIR-TRADE CHOCOLATE- £0.50 While the idea of your children on a chocolate-induced sugar high Christmas morning may make you crazy, knowing that Dubble chocolate benefits over 45,000 cocoa farmers of the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana should put you at ease. Farmers are guaranteed a fair and stable price, and the chocolate is so delicious you may just have to eat it yourself. To save the kids from cavities, of course. + £0.50 a bar from A Lot Of Chocolate
HAVE FRIES WILL TRAVEL- $11 They say that the books you read as a child are the most important and influential. Get your kids thinking green from the start, with the endearing story of Rock, an eco-rap singer, who buys Tiny, a smelly diesel car, at a used car lot. Rock converts Tiny to run on biodiesel, and the two embark on an exciting roadtrip visiting senators, soybean farmers, and encouraging others to use biodiesel all along the way. With an introduction by Daryl Hannah and Grassolean Solutions founder Charris Ford, the book is a great story with an important lesson for the little ones.
SIGG BOTTLES- $17 Get rid of those old-school “sippy” cups and upgrade to these colorful and durable SIGG bottles. Recommended for ages 2 and up, these reusable bottles are made from a solvent-free, eco-friendly powder base coating and a completely inert inner lining that will never leach harmful chemicals. Plus, we love the colorful graphics and super-functional flip-top.
MAKE-YOUR-OWN CHEWING GUM KIT- $13.50 The kids will love making their own bubble gum from scratch, and you’ll love them learning about rainforest preservation while doing it. The kit is both fun and educational, and comes with everything you need to be blowing bubbles in no time: pelletized Chicle (natural tree gum), peppermint and tutti fruiti flavoring, confectionery sugar, and corn syrup.
ANIMAL PUZZLE- $98 Designed by Aoi Huber Kono and manufactured in Switzerland, this adorable animal puzzle uses sustainably-harvested maple wood and non-toxic plants to provide hours of entertainment. Six puzzles in one, the puzzle’s six sides include an elephant, monkey, lion, owl, rabbit, and bear. Or get creative with your own animal hybrids like a “monk-owl” or “elephabbit.”
RUBBERWOOD TOY KITS- $24 and up These adorable little figurines from ImagiPlay come in themed kits and are made from eco-friendly rubberwood and non-toxic lacquers. Grown primarily for their sap, rubber trees are cut down in their prime, and their wood often ends up unused and wasted. From the collection of woodland animals to the arctic and rainforest collections, the figurines give the rubber trees one more chance to be put to good use. + $24 and up from Worldwide Child
MIYIM STUFFED ANIMALS- $35 What better way for your kids to enjoy the holidays than to snuggle up next to the fire with their favorite cuddly stuffed animal? MiYim plush toys are one part adorable, one part pure and organic, made from only the best organic cotton, grown free of chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides. What’s more, the soft colors are acheived through the company’s PureWaterWash process, which brightens the natural cotton using entirely plant-derived dyes (the pale yellow hues come from gardenias). We love the Peaceful Dreams collection of sleeping bears, dogs, and lambs that will make great naptime companions for your little ones.