This post was most recently updated on March 4th, 2020
Buying gifts for children can be a challenge, especially if you are looking for children that seem to have everything, or if you are trying to give an eco-friendly gift to a child. Below are a few greener alternatives and useful gifts.
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Many parents spend this time of year working out what they will be getting for their children at Christmas and working out a budget to suit. Below are some low/no plastic, high positive memory, ideas for both Christmas and Birthday.
These plastic free gift ideas for kids have been inspired by the eco friendly gifts that my children have been given over the years.
Plastic free gift ideas for kids
- Memberships. Zoo, science museum, children’s museum, etc. These are particularly great for family gifts! Many young families want to enjoy day outings, but affording them can be a challenge, so give them the gift of a yearly membership.
- Subscriptions. Kids enjoy getting things in the mail. Why not encourage their reading by getting them a magazine subscription for something they are interested in!
- Events. Movie tickets, tickets to a play, concert or sports event are really exciting! Having an event to look forward to makes the rest of life more enjoyable.
- Activities. Mini golf, bowling, skating rink. These are so much fun! And a big part of the fun is going together. Children love spending time with the adults in their lives, they want to see you enjoying your time as well as enjoying them.
- Classes. Music, dance, riding, drawing, classes are a great way to encourage children in their interests and let them know that you pay attention to them and what they enjoy.
- Recipe and Ingredients. Kids love cooking with their parents. Baking something special or cooking dinner is an ideal time to spend together and learn life skills. Print out a recipe, purchase all the ingredients and set a date for cooking together. Or do a cookie in a jar gift.
- Children’s Baking Set – for baking with. Offer to teach them how to use it.
- Crafting Date. Our daughter loves making crafts. I do too, I really do enjoy the creative aspect. But I rarely take time out to do it with her. These crafting dates mean the world to our creative little child. Keep a basket of craft supplies and get out a book from the library for inspiration.
- Arts and Craft supplies. If your craft box is running low, stock up a little on things you need. Add in something fun the kids haven’t used before. A gift of art and craft supplies often brings on the imagination and kids can’t wait to get to work!
- Coupons. An envelope of coupons that they can “spend” at any time: I’ll do one chore – no questions asked, movie and popcorn night, you pick the movie!, 1:1 game of cards or basketball (whatever the child’s interest is in), sit and read a book with me, Stay up 1/2 hour past bedtime.
- Restaurant Gift Card. Dinner, ice cream, coffee, cupcake- whatever suits their fancy! Give them the freedom of inviting whoever they wish: it may be mom or dad, it may be a grandparent, aunt or even teacher that they would like to spend more time with.
- Dress Up Clothes. These do need to be limited, but 2 dresses and couple play scarves can get hours and hours of play!
- Calendar. Many children like to know what is going on, what day it is, how many days until ____. They can write down their own classes, appointments, play dates, etc. And if they ask you, send them to their calendar so they can get used to being in control of their own schedule. You can even schedule “spontaneous days”, so they know that something different will happen that day. Trust me, it will help them enjoy the spontaneous outings!
- Books. We get a lot of books from the library, but there are some that I just can’t find there, or it takes us longer to read through. My girls love the Saddle Club books!
- Clothes. When kids only have a certain amount of clothes, they often enjoy getting clothes. Make it a point to get something that fits their style. That may mean western clothes, super-hero, fancy dresses, etc.
- Snacks. If your child is a foodie, they will love this! Some homemade granola or cookies made just for them is a special treat!
- Telling Time. The average child these days doesn’t know how to read analogue or finds it takes too long to think about it, so they search for a digital watch. Getting them a cool watch makes them want to be able to tell time on it.
- Games and Puzzles. Games and puzzles are great activities for when kids have to be indoors. It’s a good practice to have individual quiet times during the day, and having a puzzle to sit and work on by themselves helps brain development and problem-solving skills.
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