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Smart, green and eco-conscious gift ideas for kids

Smart, green and eco-conscious gift ideas for kids

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A roundup of our favourite planet-friendly presents.

A roundup of our favourite planet-friendly presents.

Smart, green and eco-conscious gift ideas for kids
As any new parent does, I had lofty aspirations of never letting my child watch too much television and not buying endless toys, especially plastic ones. Fast-forward three years, and here we are 30 minutes deep into an episode of Paw Patrol and there are a fair number of toys strewn around my house – most of them plastic. These toys will never decompose and essentially last much longer than my son will ever have a need for.

But let’s be honest, finding quality, affordable eco-conscious kids toys is not as easy as it could or should be. So in an effort to be more conscious of what I buy my tiny human this festive season, I’ve done some searching and come up with a list of my favourite planet-friendly gifts.

For babies and toddlers

PlanToys wooden toys

A beautiful selection of educational sustainable wooden toys. Their goal is to help babies and toddler practice and develop their fine motor and cognitive skills in a fun and sustainable way. They do not cut down any trees for production, but manufacture toys from reclaimed rubberwood, which would otherwise be burned.

A cardboard Wendy house

These sweet cardboard Wendy houses come flat packed and are quick and easy to assemble. It offers hours of fun by encouraging creative and imaginative play. Allow your little one to decorate and paint (with natural paints and crayons – just scroll down) to their heart’s content; and remember to recycle it when you no longer have a need for it.

Magic Wood treehouse

These sweet wooden doll houses are easy to assemble and dismantle and encourage creative and imaginative play. Every piece is handmade, and have slight variations as they are made by raw wood. The furniture and the dolls are not included but you can find both at Lev Logisk. Magic Wood is a Polish company and uses only sustainable wood when making their toys.

Green Toys

Is there anything cooler than toys made from post-consumer plastic? This brand works hard to keep huge amounts of waste from landfills and creates great eco-conscious toys that range from submarines and dump trucks to doctor’s kits and more.

Fluffy hot water bottle from Sänger

Know a child in need of a super cute teddy? Or even better a fluffy hot water bottle? Levlogisk sells four different Sänger hot water bottles – a dog, a sheep, a rabbit and a cow. Perfect to for kids to snuggle up with during cold winter nights. They are all washable, plastic free and made using natural rubber.

Chocolate Milkshake Baby rattle

Looking for a cute gift for a baby? How about this handmade crochet baby rattle? The rattle is certified Fairtrade and made by a women’s cooperative in Bangladesh – by buying their products you are supporting the women and their families to build a better future.

For arts and crafts

Ökonorm environment friendly watercolours

Looking for some planet-loving paint to decorate with? This paint is made from strictly naturally occurring pigments (from plants and vegetables) and is safe, sustainable and easy to clean. A perfect combo, really. Though it might be an idea to protect the kids’ clothes while they are busy. Ökonorm also makes finger paint and sustainable plant-based crayons.

The Wild Hearts clay kit

Give the kids a chance to get creative with this organic modelling clay. The wax comes in different colours, has a pleasant smell and is completely safe. If the kids would like to keep their artwork, the clay can be dried in the oven for 2-5 hours depending on the size of the artwork. The clay comes in recyclable aluminum boxes and makes the perfect gift for kids aged three and up. For children that love baking The Wild Hearts also offers wannabe kitchen equipment for kids in sustainable wood, such as this rolling pin.

Wooden bird feeder

Know some kids who would love to build something, and then sit back and enjoy the fact that someone is using their masterpiece? This bird feeder building set has everything you need, including suction cups to make it easy to place the bird feeder on your window. It is delivered in a metal giftbox. You only need to remember to buy food for the birds.  

Buy secondhand

You can find a lot of quality toys (and books) secondhand on Finn.no or at various secondhand shops at a fraction of the price. It is a great way to make Christmas more sustainable. If you have older kids, they can also be encouraged to give away toys they no longer play with to the younger ones.

Gift an experience

A great option for older kids and teenagers is to gift them with something not material but rather an experience. Ideas like makeup lessons and surf lessons are fun and a little different.  Another idea is to give them a membership to Miljøagentene, the children's organization for environmental protection, which aims to make kids believe in themselves, the future and that they can make a difference.

Giving back

Giving back during the holidays is a great way to teach and foster empathy and generosity towards others in our children, and also a great way to start a special new family tradition. For younger kids, you can encourage them to each pick a toy (or two) and donate it to kids in need. Older children can be encouraged to get involved in charities. Or if you’re able to, your whole family can pick a charity that means something to all of you and make a donation.

As any new parent does, I had lofty aspirations of never letting my child watch too much television and not buying endless toys, especially plastic ones. Fast-forward three years, and here we are 30 minutes deep into an episode of Paw Patrol and there are a fair number of toys strewn around my house – most of them plastic. These toys will never decompose and essentially last much longer than my son will ever have a need for.

But let’s be honest, finding quality, affordable eco-conscious kids toys is not as easy as it could or should be. So in an effort to be more conscious of what I buy my tiny human this festive season, I’ve done some searching and come up with a list of my favourite planet-friendly gifts.

For babies and toddlers

PlanToys wooden toys

A beautiful selection of educational sustainable wooden toys. Their goal is to help babies and toddler practice and develop their fine motor and cognitive skills in a fun and sustainable way. They do not cut down any trees for production, but manufacture toys from reclaimed rubberwood, which would otherwise be burned.

A cardboard Wendy house

These sweet cardboard Wendy houses come flat packed and are quick and easy to assemble. It offers hours of fun by encouraging creative and imaginative play. Allow your little one to decorate and paint (with natural paints and crayons – just scroll down) to their heart’s content; and remember to recycle it when you no longer have a need for it.

Magic Wood treehouse

These sweet wooden doll houses are easy to assemble and dismantle and encourage creative and imaginative play. Every piece is handmade, and have slight variations as they are made by raw wood. The furniture and the dolls are not included but you can find both at Lev Logisk. Magic Wood is a Polish company and uses only sustainable wood when making their toys.

Green Toys

Is there anything cooler than toys made from post-consumer plastic? This brand works hard to keep huge amounts of waste from landfills and creates great eco-conscious toys that range from submarines and dump trucks to doctor’s kits and more.

Fluffy hot water bottle from Sänger

Know a child in need of a super cute teddy? Or even better a fluffy hot water bottle? Levlogisk sells four different Sänger hot water bottles – a dog, a sheep, a rabbit and a cow. Perfect to for kids to snuggle up with during cold winter nights. They are all washable, plastic free and made using natural rubber.

Chocolate Milkshake Baby rattle

Looking for a cute gift for a baby? How about this handmade crochet baby rattle? The rattle is certified Fairtrade and made by a women’s cooperative in Bangladesh – by buying their products you are supporting the women and their families to build a better future.

For arts and crafts

Ökonorm environment friendly watercolours

Looking for some planet-loving paint to decorate with? This paint is made from strictly naturally occurring pigments (from plants and vegetables) and is safe, sustainable and easy to clean. A perfect combo, really. Though it might be an idea to protect the kids’ clothes while they are busy. Ökonorm also makes finger paint and sustainable plant-based crayons.

The Wild Hearts clay kit

Give the kids a chance to get creative with this organic modelling clay. The wax comes in different colours, has a pleasant smell and is completely safe. If the kids would like to keep their artwork, the clay can be dried in the oven for 2-5 hours depending on the size of the artwork. The clay comes in recyclable aluminum boxes and makes the perfect gift for kids aged three and up. For children that love baking The Wild Hearts also offers wannabe kitchen equipment for kids in sustainable wood, such as this rolling pin.

Wooden bird feeder

Know some kids who would love to build something, and then sit back and enjoy the fact that someone is using their masterpiece? This bird feeder building set has everything you need, including suction cups to make it easy to place the bird feeder on your window. It is delivered in a metal giftbox. You only need to remember to buy food for the birds.  

Buy secondhand

You can find a lot of quality toys (and books) secondhand on Finn.no or at various secondhand shops at a fraction of the price. It is a great way to make Christmas more sustainable. If you have older kids, they can also be encouraged to give away toys they no longer play with to the younger ones.

Gift an experience

A great option for older kids and teenagers is to gift them with something not material but rather an experience. Ideas like makeup lessons and surf lessons are fun and a little different.  Another idea is to give them a membership to Miljøagentene, the children's organization for environmental protection, which aims to make kids believe in themselves, the future and that they can make a difference.

Giving back

Giving back during the holidays is a great way to teach and foster empathy and generosity towards others in our children, and also a great way to start a special new family tradition. For younger kids, you can encourage them to each pick a toy (or two) and donate it to kids in need. Older children can be encouraged to get involved in charities. Or if you’re able to, your whole family can pick a charity that means something to all of you and make a donation.

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