The love of a parent knows no bounds and as a parent, you only want the best and safest options for your children. When we buy gifts for our kids, nieces and nephews, or our friend’s children it is important to keep in mind eco-friendly options that aren’t just great for the earth but also free of toxins and harmful chemicals.
Whether it’s for the upcoming holidays or birthdays be sure to read below the Eco Hubs options for eco friendly gifts for kids.
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Toys And Crafts
1. Kids Wagon
This super cute wagon from Wishbone Designs will sure put a smile on any young kids face, it has a cute little steering wheel to make your children feel part of the adventure and features a pull/push handle that you can store away when not in use and a dual side hand brake for those tricky downward hills. The wagon can hold up to 50kg, comes with a one-year warranty, and when you’re done with it you can easily donate it. Ages 1 to 10 years.
Bureo has created the perfect combination of fun and making a difference! This gift is great for the older kids who are getting into skateboarding or have already found their love for it, the deck is made from recycled fishing nets and the wheels are made from vegetable oil and recycled cores. This skateboard prevents 30 square feet of plastic fishnets from ever entering our oceans, is part of 1% for the plant and the company is B-corp Certified. Best for age 6 and up.
Protect the ocean and have fun while you’re doing it. Awesome! Get your hands on these scooters from Micro, they have a range of scooters from ride-on to two-wheeled for your older kids. Made from recycled fishing nets and recycled plastic bottles will help you reduce your impact and aid in tackling the oceans pollution crisis. The parts are also replaceable which is great because as you know, kids can be hard on their items, especially the ones they love. Want to join in with your kids? Don’t worry because Micro offers an adult scooter as well. They have options for 12 months+, 5 years+, and 10 years+.
Panda Brothers offer six unique items that are educational for young minds, you can pick up their screwdriver sensory bin that is made from natural wood, and your little one will be learning screw driving skills in no time with this! They also offer a wooden geoboard that shows you the picture of an umbrella (among other items) and you must place the bands around the pegs to create the shape. These toys are awesome if you’re looking for a natural educational gift that will keep your children entertained, bonus it ships in 1 – 3 business days. For 2, 3, 4, and 5-year-old kids.
5. Green Toys
Green Toys offer a variety of kids' items made from 100% recycled plastic for very reasonable prices. This company offers organic materials, so you don’t have to worry about harmful toxins being in these toys, made without BPA, phthalates, PVC, or external coatings. Green toys offer a variety of items like the ferry boat with mini cars, tea party sets, and garden sets. Ages vary depending on the choice of toy.
6. Plan Toys
Starting out as the first company to manufacture wooden toys from reclaimed rubberwood trees, Plan Toys has quickly become the go-to for the best plastic-free gifts for kids. Toys are offered from ages 6 months – 7 years and you can get great items like the sensory blocks, ramp racer, play workbench, and stand mixer toy. There is something for everyone on here and with so many options you’ll be able to find wooden toys for babies and young children. Plan Toys has fast shipping times (1-3 business days) and you will receive their eco-friendly toys in plastic-free boxes that are made from recycled content and all printed material like their tags are made from recycled paper and soy inks.
This wooden toy is perfect for little hands that have big imaginations, not only is the wood durable but it is coated in organic coconut oil and beeswax paste, so it is toxin free. Waves of Grains offers this product in four colors, Walnut, Cherry, Maple, and Mahogany; they are also registered as a small batch manufacturer with CPSC. It does take a little bit of time for this item to get to you but that is given to the small batch production, it is also worth noting that Etsy offsets carbon emissions from delivery and packaging when you purchase this product. Don’t forget to sign up for their email list also for 20% off your first order! All ages.
To say I am obsessed with this idea is an understatement, what a unique gift that not only is eco-friendly but teaches your little one a life skill. This grow kit includes six non-GMO basil, chives, and parsley seeds, three potting soil wafers, six biodegradable grow pots, and six wooden plant markers. It even comes with a dinosaur fact sheet for you dino obsessed little! This is the perfect way to teach your little ones how to grow their own herbs and use them to cook their food. Ages 4 and up.
An eco-friendly alternative to playdough? No way! This modeling clay comes in sizes of either 500 grams or 800 grams, the packaging is made from cardboard which you can use in your compost. All the colors are all natural and the clay is completely made from only food-grade ingredients, another great bonus about buying modeling clay from Ailefo is they have refills for those who have already purchased a cardboard tube. The self-life of an unopened tube is 1.5 years. Best for ages 18 months and up.
10. Green Kid Crafts
Wow! What can’t I say about Green Kid Crafts, empowering the young minds of children through nature-based STEAM activities and founded by environmental scientist Penny Bauder, these boxes will keep your kids busy for hours! Green kid’s crafts are in partnership with One Tree Planted and will plant one to free every order placed, they offset 100% of carbon dioxide emissions produced by their business, and they use sustainable materials. The boxes range from 3 – 12 years and up, giving you lots of options for all your kid's ages, and you can pick packages that you think might excite your kids from the ecosystem pack to the activist pack.
11. Indoor Gym
Made by Avenlur Kids this play gym is a must-have for toddlers and children, it comes in two different sizes (medium and large) so it can fit your space perfectly and is handcrafted using natural wood. This is a 6-in-1 playset that includes a mini rock-climbing wall, slide, monkey bars, rope ladder, and wooden swing. The best part for parents is that it is easy to assemble, and the reviews confirm this. This item ships out in one business day, so it’s perfect if you’re in a time crunch. Age 3 and up, with supervision.
12. Modern Nursery
Simply stunning eco-friendly, non-toxic, and organic products that you can feel good about, Modern Nursery will absolutely have something if you’re looking to gift someone or even spoil yourself with sustainable nursery furniture. They have everything for a nursery on here so if you’re looking for a changing table to complete the room or going for a big-ticket item like the crib, you can rest easy knowing that these products are made from organic material that will keep your child safe and cozy. Be sure to check out their organic kid mattresses and rocking chairs!
13. Lorena Canals
This company makes modern and honestly adorable decor for your little ones. If you’re looking to give someone a piece of decor that can finish off a nursery or help decorate a child's room, this is a great place to find rugs, wall art, and baskets. Lorena Canals uses natural cotton and nontoxic dyes to handcraft their items, this makes their items light, soft, and flexible.
14. Hanna Andersson
Clothing is always a go-to when you’re stumped for ideas or just simply want to avoid buying another toy. Hanna Andersson offers beautifully made organic baby clothes, all the garments are 100% GOTS certified organic or OEKO-TEX certified, they are a Fair Trade company and uphold a strict code of conduct for the supply partners they work with. Don’t worry, they offer some great items for your older ones too so you can make this a one-stop shop! 0-12 years old.
For affordable organic baby clothes, this is a great go-to! Pact is a fan favorite at The Eco Hub, it’s no secret that I love their eco-friendly socks, maternity wear, and pajamas, so baby clothes were bound to make the list. Their line of baby clothes is made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton that is made in a Fair Trade certified facility, and anything that contains dyes are low-impact and eco-friendly. A bonus to buying from Pact is that they have a “Give Back. Wear Forward” program that allows you to deliver your gently used clothes to nonprofits in need as well as reduce the footprint from packaging by reusing old boxes.
I am swooning over how cute these booties are! These little guys would be the perfect baby shower gift that is unique and sustainable. The booties are sure to make a statement with designs like unicorn, puppy, fish, dinosaur, and bunny (just to name a few), made from 100% sheep’s wool and handcrafted. These booties are perfect for babies 0 – 12 months, the soles are soft and not recommended for infants who can walk. Made Trade also carries a variety of other items if you’re looking for something a little extra to add to your gift.
17. Baby Joy
A Canadian-owned business based out of Toronto, Baby Joy is family owned and is inspired by zero waste and no plastic, here you will find some wonderful zero waste gift ideas for your young ones. They carry items like personalized items, baby clothes, bedding, and toys, all these items are made from 100% organic cotton with Azo-free dyes, and their toys are primarily made from sustainable wood or natural rubber. Check out their zero-waste gift baskets that you can customize. This is great if you are going for zero-waste baby products.
18. Finn + Emma
Finn + Emma can be your next favorite one-stop shop, this store offers cute apparel, gear, and toys for your littles. From baby play mats to macrame swings, you will absolutely find something special to give your little one that is sure to give them joy and is safe and sustainable for the environment. Finn + Emma pride itself on using 100% organic cotton, kid-friendly dyes, and all-natural wood for its products.
19. Under the Nile
Under the Nile offers some adorable organic clothing options for babies as well as some toys for them as well. With items made from 100% organic Egyptian cotton that bears the GOTS certification, these garments will be soft and comfortable on your baby's delicate skin. Under the Nile is a certified Fair Trade facility and ensures their toys and clothing are free of pesticides or chemicals through the whole process. You can find the perfect gift here for your littles whether it’s a cute new outfit, blankets, burp clothes, or their scraptopus (“scarp” because it is made from leftover materials from other production).
Gift For Everyday Use
The Pottery Barn Kids have such beautiful items but the best part is that they feature clearly labeled items that are made from recycled materials. On this page you will find practical sustainable gifts for kids that carry the recycled symbol, they have a variety of backpacks and lunch kits that would be a great gift for any kid, you can even customize them with their name. These will make a gift that can be used repeatedly through the years.
This is an awesome idea if you’re trying to encourage young readers and don’t want to give a toy as a gift. You’ll need a subscription but the first order ships within 48 hours and is just $2 for shipping! What you will find in this monthly subscription box are two age-appropriate hardcover books and one activity book which are all picked based on the preferences you pick for the person you’re buying for. On the first of every month, you will get your order, it is worth mentioning that every month you are re-billed on the 10th or 15th so keep that in mind after you subscribe. You can also update your preferences as the kids get older or their tastes change. To keep up with being environmentally friendly, be sure to reuse old books, donate them, or recycle them.
A great stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season, or a great addition to a gift basket you might be putting together. These eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes’ that you can personalize are a real crowd pleaser, with rainbow bristles and a sturdy bamboo base brushing your little one’s teeth is about to get a whole lot more fun. You can easily request the seller to put your child’s name on the end of the toothbrush, and they ship out in 3 – 5 business days which is great if you’re a last-minute shopper.
Why Consider Sustainable Toys and Gifts?
Back in the 80s toys were made from toxic materials like lead, cadmium, and arsenic, as times have changed these materials have become banned by safety laws but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still harmful materials in your children’s toys and gifts. Always be on the lookout for lead, PVC, and phthalates, BPA and BPS (bisphenols), flame retardant chemicals, and formaldehyde. All those chemicals can be commonly found in soft flexible plastic, anything with artificial smells to them, toys with false hair, play tents, and toys made up of composite wood, or acrylic paint.
Reducing toxins that enter your home and especially items that your children interact with is crucial, the long-term effects of some of the toxins mentioned above include cancer, and immune system issues, and have been linked to reproductive problems. If you’re a parent you know how fast you can go through toys whether they are hard on their toys from continual use or their interest in that toy has gone away and they are onto the next thing, which means you’re constantly buying new things and increasing your carbon footprint.
The toy industry contributes 40 tons of plastic for every one million in revenues, which makes toys the most plastic-intensive industry in the world. The World Counts states that “In a test of 248 different toys 92% were categorized as a serious risk due to the hazardous chemicals like phthalates”. Information like that makes it imperative that protecting our children starts with buying non-toxic gifts for kids.
How to Choose Eco friendly Gifts for Kids?
Shopping for sustainable gifts can be tricky, we look for brands that not only have sustainable materials but also participate in ethical sourcing practices and demonstrate corporate responsibility. These three criteria make up the most important aspects of sourcing ethically and can help you easily identify the best eco-friendly gifts for kids.
What materials are used?
It’s no secret that at The Eco Hub we love natural and ethically sourced materials, anything that you can trace back to where it originated from without the use of manufactured chemicals, dyes, and other synthetic materials. Look for items like organic cotton, hemp, and ethically sourced wool and latex. There are synthetic materials that are good because they are biodegradable materials like Modal, Lyocell, and Tencel, all these materials are great and can be found in sustainable clothing and even be used for soft plush toys for children and babies.
How are the materials sourced?
Ethical sourcing means that the products are created and finalized under safe and fair working conditions, these items do not come from sweatshops, labor laws are not violated, and fair pay is given to the workers. Outsourcing production has become a common practice in the world we live in due to the lower cost and cheaper labor, but rarely are these workers taken care of and treated with respect. To verify that gifts are coming from ethical places a good rule of thumb is to look for certification like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production). Other certifications to look for when sourcing your next gift are GRS(Global Recycled Standards), OEKO-Tex 100, and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). As for labor standards, having the Fair Trade certification is a great sign.
What is the company's Corporate Responsibility?
Corporate responsibility is the extra little things brands do to ensure they are being as environmentally friendly as possible, this could be using 100% compostable packaging, being carbon-neutral when shipping their products to you, it can also be re-using textiles that couldn’t be used in the original process of making your item. Looking for companies who go this little bit extra can identify who is greenwashing and it really highlights companies’ commitment to the environment.
A final word on eco-friendly kid’s gifts
It can be overwhelming these days to make sure that you are only buying the best, most sustainable options when it comes to your kids, from baby laundry detergent to school supplies, you only want the best for your kids and being sustainable and eco-friendly is high on your priority list. As many of you already know, children change their mind often, as they make friends and develop their choice and taste in toys and clothing can change quickly, ensuring that you buy eco-friendly options can really help reduce the impact that the toy industry has on the environment. Not only is switching up traditional toys with sustainable alternatives a great way to reduce that pesky carbon footprint, but you can also teach your children young about the importance of being eco-friendly.
A lot of companies out there are trying to switch things up and become more eco-friendly which is awesome to see, make sure to look for the certifications mentioned earlier to help you navigate through sustainability. Be sure to also check out more items from the brands that were named as well. What I find cool might be different from what you think is cool for your kids and there are a lot of options from each brand.
I hope that these options for eco-friendly kid’s gifts helped spark some inspiration for you and that you can put a huge smile across a little one’s face when you give them something unique!
At The Eco Hub we try our best to come up with as many options as possible but sometimes brands and items get left out, if you have any suggestions or if there is a brand you like that wasn’t mentioned, leave a comment down below!
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