On Black Friday, I saw many pictures of parents buying cheap plastic toys for half off at stores across the nation. I was sad that we elbow our way through crowds to buy cheap toys made by ill-paid people in other countries when there are so many wonderful, well-made toys to be had by craftsman. Not that I live by that standard completely myself. I truthfully have many plastic toys in my house, many given as presents or hand-me-downs from my childhood. But I have recently started to look into more eco-responsible, toxin-free children’s toys. There are so many beautiful things to be had! This year, why not consider some of these lovely things!
First, a perfect gift for a toddler is this rattle/tumbling toy. This is one of my favorites. When I say “rattle” I don’t mean a small rattle. This is 5 inches long and pretty large. Aria, my 13 month old daughter, tested it out for me. I watched as she rolled it along the floor, tried to take the balls out of the rattle, and shook it with delight. I concluded from her response that this toy should be really popular with toddlers! And I think that the beautiful craftsmanship is definitely worth the $21 dollars it costs. Here is more information.
Smiling Tree Toys: “Handcrafted from locally sourced walnut, sanded until silky smooth, and finished with our very own blend of beeswax and organic camelina oil (a relative of flaxseed), both fresh off our family’s land. It doesn’t get any more eco-local than that!”
Smiling Tree Toys also has many other wonderful handcrafted toys.
The other week my friend came over with her kids and we got out some typical finger paint. My friend, who knows how much I care about a non-toxin lifestyle eyed the brightly dyed paint and commented that she was surprised/amused that I didn’t have some hippie, all-natural finger paint. Well, after her kids started eating the finger paint, I decided that an all-natural finger paint would be a great idea! Enter Wee Can Too’s all-natural, allergy sensitive, edible finger paint. Yup, that’s right, edible. Instead of sketchy dyes, these paints are colored with real food, like blueberries and beets. And if your kids taste the paint? Definitely safe. How cool is that?
Now, this is more expensive than other finger paints. But you get what you pay for. I think that this finger-paint is perfect for toddlers. Note: Because of the rice cereal in it, it isn’t as smooth as regular paint so an older children might get a little frustrated when trying to make “art” with it.
If that’s not wild enough, they also carry edible veggie chalk! These are also dyed with all natural food based dyes and made with nontoxic and edible ingredients! It’s been really wet lately, so I didn’t get a chance to try these out on our driveway, but I am putting them away for a dry day.
Yesterday, I mentioned Hazelaid’s amazing Baltic Amber necklaces. Well, not only can you buy these wonderful necklaces for adults, but you can also buy them for children. But another amazing jewelry piece you can buy from them is their unique hazelwood necklaces and bracelets. These are also available for both adults and children. What’s so special about hazelwood? ”
“Hazelwood has the medicinal property of neutralizing the body’s acidity. It is an ancient remedy first used by aboriginal people to reduce their babies’ teething pain. It relieves or prevents ailments such as acid reflux, eczema, heartburn, constipation & acne. In order to receive a therapeutic benefit the necklace must be worn as much as possible.These hazelwood necklaces are made from the branches of hazelwood trees alternated with various beads for ornamentation. No chemicals of any kind (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.) are used to grow the hazelwood trees these necklaces are made from. The necklaces are handmade – from the gathering of the wood to the stringing of the beads.”
While I don’t use these necklaces for any ailment specifically, I think they are just fun necklaces for kids to have (my daughter loves them), and it’s an added bonus that they were traditionally used to promote health and prevent certain ailments. My sister has had good success in using hazelwood necklaces for eczema for her son! Buy them here.
And this sweet little lamb is made out of 100% cotton and wool. How’s that for a safe toy for your children!
This personalized wooden spoon for babies and toddlers is a unique and fun gift! It would make a great stocking stuffer. “These smooth wooden spoons are carved from sustainable harvested US sugar maple and inscribed with your choice of name or design. A perfect new baby gift or a fun party favor for slightly older children. Fun for play kitchens or real kitchens. I finish them with your choice of a vegan organic oil or a beeswax polish. Both food safe. Tied with raffia and wrapped in colorful recycled tissue paper for your presentation.” Purchase here.
Finally, for my Christian readers with daughters, these beautiful paper doll collections are a breath of fresh air after too much “princess” toys and role models. They are collections of ladies from the Christian faith. And I love all of the historical costumes! My five year old, princess-adoring daughter, has loved them. I love too that they were created by a young sister team. Purchase here.
Other ideas from already featured gifts:
Stirs the Soul honey or date sweetened raw chocolate bars are a delicious treat to slip into a stocking no matter how old or young you are!
GlassDharma’s glass straws are a delight to children.I love that my five year old isn’t using plastic straws, and it is so much better for the environment too!
One last thought: I really wanted to avoid buying a bunch of cheap plastic toys for my children’s stockings, so this year I am going to fill my daughter’s stocking with craft supplies! She loves making crafts and I know that this will give her hours of fun, be a more “green” option, and it was a cheap option for us as well!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on eco-friendly gifts for children!