Monday, November 19, 2012

Three Fun and Sustainable Gifts for Kids

The Climate Crusader is sharing three green holiday gifts that are sure to be a hit.

I'm already thinking about what to get my kids for Christmas this year. While the holiday is still a little more than a month away, I don't relish the idea of battling the crowds and doing a lot of last-minute holiday shopping. Also, I prefer to do much of my shopping online, since I've found a much wider variety of eco-friendly gifts there than I do at the mall. This requires a little planning ahead, which is why I'm working on it now.

As a mom, one of the things that I run up against over the holidays is keeping the season sustainable, while also making it magical for my children. The truth is that my children have a strong love for beepy plastic toys with blinky lights. I can't really blame them. I remember being five years old and liking the same things myself. Each year I try to come up with something that I can fill good about giving, and that my children will enjoy receiving. Here are three of my personal favourites.

1. Eco-Friendly Art Supplies

My children love to create, and there are a lot of great, sustainable options when it comes to paper, crayons and pencil crayons. From soy crayons perfect for little fingers to paint made from dirt to recycled art paper, there's something for every age and ability. Plus, you get bonus points because you're nurturing your child's creativity. What's not to love?

2. Dress-Up Clothes

What kid doesn't love to dress up? Dress-up clothes can make for hours of fun, plus lots of smiles from strangers when your four-year-old insists on leaving the house wearing his cowboy costume. Second-hand stores are treasure troves when it comes to outfitting your own little princess, pirate or doctor-in-training. If you want to go higher-end, there are lots of online shops that sell gorgeous dress-up clothes made from natural materials. Etsy is also a great option.

3. Cardboard Play Furniture

Last year my kids and I were lucky enough to try out a cardboard playhouse, made by Boutique Cascades here in Canada. Made with 100% recycled cardboard, it was itself recyclable and biodegradable. My kids painted on it, drew on it, ate snacks inside it, and more. There are lots of other manufacturers of cardboard play furniture, which ranges from playhouses to puppet theaters to tables and chairs. It's all totally fun and totally eco-friendly.

What about you - what are your favourite eco-friendly holiday gifts for the little people in your life? We can all use more ideas!

1 comment:

Betsy (Eco-novice) said...

Anything from a thrift store (second-hand books, puzzles, games). I actually have not had awesome luck with finding dress up stuff at the thrift store. I also love getting stuff made of natural materials (wood, cotton, wool) from Etsy.

I've eyed those cardboard houses/ castles/ etc. May spring for one one of these days -- I suppose you could make your own out of an old appliance box or wardrobe box (we moved recently).


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