Need some ideas for no plastic gift ideas for children? I’m with you. Birthday parties, Christmas presents, gifts brought by visiting relatives, children get a lot of stuff. And if you have young children like me, this stuff amounts to a lot over the months and years. Boxes full of toy cars, action figures and dolls and a lot of plastic you’d rather not have in your house. It’s messy and half of it the kids don’t even play with. I bet most parents would agree. Still, a child’s birthday or Christmas requires a gift as you don’t want to see sad faces. How about not adding to the heap of expensive commercial plastic toys, but bringing something imaginative instead? Here are some suggestions I love.
A Craft & bead box for creative little hands
Got a cute vintage tin or a wooden box with a lid? Or how about pimping up an old shoe box? A lot of children around the age of 5-8 or older love to make things like bracelets or necklaces, so create a beautiful treasure box for them! Fill a box with old beads, ribbons, buttons, scrap fabric and string and let their imagination do the rest. I know I would have loved to receive a box full of things like that. Not got anything lying around? For £16.95 you can buy a colourful, read-made wooden bead box from Etsy.
Non-plastic gifts for kids: wooden Kapla construction sets
My kids love Kapla. It’s been around for decades, and it is such a simple concept; a box of small equally shaped wooden slats of the same size. You can stack them to build towers, use them to create large shaped on the floor, make houses, animals, bridges, anything. It’s wonderful stuff. Smallable sells a 100pc box for 30€. One of the best, guilt free, eco-friendly Christmas gifts for kids. Go for it.
Eco-friendly Christmas gifts for kids: Colouring posters
Colouring books, always a winner. This super cool street art colouring poster would go down very well with my boys, that’s for sure. At 10€ a perfect stocking filler too.
Wooden Board games and other family fun
I must admit, I’ve never really been one for games, but being a parent I kind of had to get into it. Snakes and ladders, Ludo, Memory, Uno, you name it, my kids love it. I don’t know whether it’s the game itself or the fact that you are playing it with them and they can beat you, but I sure score some brownie points when I get on the floor or around the table for a board game. We were given a great wooden Snakes and Ladders/Ludo combo board a few years back and it gets used every week. Definitely not something that will end up in the forgotten toys corner any time soon. Charity and second-hand shops usually have games in stock, so worth checking. If you rather invest in something high quality and new as a gift for the family to enjoy together for years to come, then Etsy is a good bet for eco-friendly Christmas gifts.
Toys for motor and balancing skills for younger kids
How cute are these cats? Your toddler will love trying to stack them on top of the mummy cat and see how they tumble down. Bored of stacking? They’ll easily turn the figures into a play set. Find these and other stacking sets over on Smallable. This set costs €19.
Gorgeous Montessori rainbow stacking set
This may just look like a set for early learners, but I was surprised to see my six-year-old playing with a similar set over a friend’s house the other day. Instead of only stacking them, he turned the blocks into tunnels for cars, flipped them sideways to make them into little toy car parking spaces and upside down to find they make excellent ramps and sea-saws for play figures. No instruction book need, just let their imagination flow! This set is €25 over on Smallable.