Green + Simple co-founders Erica Watson and Jenny Ringland share their recommendations for sustainable Christmas gift ideas for children.
It’s hard to believe Christmas is just around the corner, and with it comes the stress of buying the perfect gift. It can be pretty easy to fall into the trap of impulse purchasing but the good news is sustainably made, planet conscious gifts do exist. From craft to cuddlies, bikes and beyond, we’ve compiled a list of kids gifts that are kind to the planet, designed to last a lifetime, and most importantly, are goodies little ones will love.
OkoNorm Finger Paints
Your mini Picasso will love creating their masterpieces with these non-toxic finger paints from OkoNorm. Made with natural food colouring, they are are mixable and water soluble, and can be easily washed or rubbed off when dry.
Available from consciouscraft.uk
Toy Box Club Subscription
For a gift that keeps on giving well beyond the excitement of Christmas morning, the Toy Box Club subscription service will deliver a new box of age-appropriate, gender-neutral, fun and educational toys and books every month for as long as you choose. The toys are collected at the end of each month, cleaned using non-toxic Ecover cleaning products, and a new set is delivered in a 100% recyclable box.
Bajo Monochrome Cycle Ride-On
The perfect gift for an active toddler. Made from wood sourced sustainably in Poland, Bajo wooden bike is then painted in non-toxic paint and all timber waste is converted into kindling for fuel. This is ideal for early riders, bigger babies and young toddlers – they can even start riding before they can walk. Note for parents: the wheels are rubber coated to help children balance, plus it won’t scratch your floors.
Available at Babipur
Crayon Rocks Rocks in a Box
What could be better than rocks that are actually crayons? Kid heaven. Made from pure natural soy wax and coloured using mineral pigments, these ‘rocks in a box’ are one of our favourites. They look like a set of pet rocks, however are also cleverly designed to encourage development of a child’s tripod grip. Each box contains 64 rocks (crayons) in 16 colours.
Available at Conscious Craft
Cuddle and Kind, Noah the dog
When you buy one of these ethically and sustainably hand-woven, 100 per cent cotton dolls you’re buying 10 meals for disadvantaged children around the world. Each doll comes with its own birthday, a favourite quote and a goal of providing 1 million meals per year. If this isn’t the most feel-good doll to buy your kids for Christmas, we don’t know what is!
Available at Cuddle and Kind
Fjallraven Kanken classic forest grey and pink backpack
We love the ethos behind this Scandinavian hiking and outdoor adventure company, which is to ‘leave base camp better than we found it’. Their backpacks are predominately made from a combination of organic, renewable and recycled materials and designed to withstand anything you can throw at them (including being thrown around the playground). They feature a zip top, two side pockets, top carrying handles, and zip front pouch. And if your kids don’t approve, we’ll kindly take it off their hands.
Available at Fjallraven Kanken
Sebra Play Tool Bench
Encourage imaginative play with this handy little work bench that’s practically a work of art. The workbench includes a vice and saw made from plywood for budding builders while a host of other tools can also be purchased separately. Danish brand Sebra focuses on responsible sourcing of materials as well as innovative design. Little girls will also love their wooden prams and doll beds and their organic cotton range of textiles and convertible children’s furniture make great investment pieces.
Available at Sebra
Wishbone bike 2-in-1 – recycled edition
Wishbone convertible balance bikes are suitable for little ones aged 12-months to six years. They cleverly convert from baby walker to toddler trike to balance bike, and their standard bikes are constructed using sustainably-harvested birch wood and non-toxic glue. This Recycled Edition is made from 100% post-consumer recycled carpet with glass fibre for strength. And like all their products it will arrive at your door in recyclable packaging. Feel-good plus!
Available at Wish Bone Design
Green Toys Construction Trucks
Who would’ve thought old plastic milk bottles could be turned into a set of trucks that little boys dreams are made of? Green Toys Construction Trucks’ six-piece set includes a dump truck, scooper and mixer as well as three adorable pooches to help get the work done. These nifty vehicles are also non-toxic and free from external coatings, BPA, PVC and phthalates.
Available at Green Toys
Nobodinoz Arizona Tepee
Inside or out, kids will love to hide-and-go seek in this gorgeous tepee. It’s made from a combination of organic OEKO-Tex certified cotton, FSC certified wood and non-toxic finishes, so as well as being beautiful it’s also sustainably sourced. They’re designed in Barcelona and made in France and come in 15 different prints. We also love the Nevada and Phoenix teepees.
Available at Nubie
Plan Toys Creative Play House
Made from kiln-dried, natural rubberwood and Planwood (recycled rubberwood sawdust), this little doll house is the perfect replacement for plastic alternatives. Designed to be passed down to siblings, the three units can be arranged in 10 different ways so kids are only bound by their imagination. It also features solar panels (sure to pique the interest of budding eco warriors!) Plus it comes in non-toxic recyclable packing.
Available at Babipur
For more sustainable inspiration, including an interview with The Woolmark Company CEO Stuart McCullough, visit Green + Simple.
See our best sustainable babywear gallery.