As kids grow up in today's age, they’ll inevitably find themselves bombarded by messages from advertisers to grab the next trendy toy. It can be hard to avoid plastic amongst all this and find eco-friendly toys great for eco kids and the environment. Hence, when gifting the kids and children in your life, here’s our selection of the 16 best eco-friendly gifts for kids to inspire your environmentally friendly gift choices.
Plastic waste threatens whether we can expect our children to have a chance to appreciate the natural environment in the same way we might have done when growing up. Thirteen million tons of plastic pollution enter our oceans every year.
As adults, many of us are now working to combat the scourge of plastic pollution. We can all play a role in reducing our reliance on single-use plastics.
And we can also choose to help the next generation grow up aware of the environmental challenges we face. It can be pretty challenging; walking into any department store, toy shop, or supermarket will reveal aisles and shelves of cheap plastic toys and packaging.
Therefore, our eco-friendly gift ideas for kids look to nature, wood, and experiences. Since we all have choices, choosing gifts made by sustainable brands should be one way to help protect the environment for our kids.
16 Eco-Friendly Gifts for Kids and Plastic-Free Gift Ideas
1. Green Kid Crafts
Founded over a decade ago, Green Kids Crafts has been delivering subscription boxes full of eco-friendly art and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) projects kids love. They have sent out over 1.5 million of them in that time.
With input from teachers and subject matter experts, each box contains projects, kits, and toys that encourage learning through active play.
You can choose a box for your child's interests, from science to bees, animals, and more. Further, they've designed boxes for kids of all ages, from toddlers (3+) to older kids (10+). Each box is packaged to reduce waste from renewable or recyclable materials and offset shipping emissions. The contents are not only educational and fun but also made from sustainable materials.
They've also won loads of awards and are certified by Green America; no greenwashing here, which makes these a great eco-friendly gift.
2. Frugi Organic Cotton Hat
Many of the clothes we wear contain some form of plastic, such as polyester or nylon.
And particularly for kids, it can be hard to find all-natural clothes, especially when a million fast fashion items are fighting for a share of your wallet.
Thus, Frugi is an excellent eco-find. They have an extensive range of sustainably sourced organic products that would all prove great gift ideas. Our pick is this colorful bobble hat which would suit either boys or girls.
There are plenty of other choices, too, all made from sustainable fabrics. From a colorful knit, organic t, or most others you might need in sustainable clothing lines for young kids, their online store stacks up to provide loads of sustainable gifts for kids' choices. Frugi produces its goods in a fair trade certified factory, where workers are paid fairly.
3. Everything Knots Book and Hemp Rope
Encourage the kids in your life to get outdoors and make things with the Everything Knots Book. Great for building huts or getting them involved in climbing hiking, and other outdoor activities. Or simply applying themselves to the challenge of learning them all.
A fun yet straightforward eco-friendly gift idea that will not only keep them busy but will also encourage their independent learning.
Accompany it with some durable hemp craft rope, and you might well inspire the next eco-minded famous outdoor adventurer— green toys and gifts for eco kids that keep giving.
The Everything Knots And Hemp Craft Rope on Amazon:
4. Plan Toys Wooden Toys
Plan toys are all about creating child-safe wooden green toys using environmentally sustainable principles. Plan makes their colorful wooden products from all-natural organic, recycled rubberwood and water-based dyes, and as such, they’re brilliant non-toxic green toys and make amazing eco-friendly gifts for kids.
We’ve featured a classic wooden xylophone as one of our favorite eco-friendly gifts. And alongside their super cute solid wood assortment of fruits and vegetables. So encourage eating right and being plastic-free at the same time with these classic gifts for kids.
5. Art Supplies & Crafts Supplies
Eco-kids can make all sorts of amazing things when you let their imagination run wild, and there’s a ready supply of eco-friendly crafts supplies on hand.
We’ve got a whole list over here of eco-friendly pens and pencils for the budding artist. At the same time, old favorites like wax crayons and chalk are non-toxic and environmentally sound gift ideas.
For older kids, a great gift idea is a kit of eco-friendly art supplies. Go for natural recycled yarn or paper and inspire the children's creativity with a how-to craft book. Even better, go for an e-book to accompany arts supplies to mix and match the perfect eco-friendly gifts for kids. Who knows, gifting art supplies might just inspire the next Monet of Banksy.
6. Casualbox Organic Cotton Beanie
For other head-wear gift choices, check out these organic cotton beanies designed and made with love in Osaka, Japan. Handmade in a range of colors, from neutral creams and browns featured to brighter reds and oranges. These make perfect winter gifts made from organic materials for eco kids and little ones.
7. Tavva Stainless Steel Lunch Boxes
Kickstart healthy habits for life with these stainless steel kids’ lunch boxes. The brand also has a selection of snack-sized containers perfect for healthy treats.
BBC Good Food does a nice line in healthy lunch ideas for kids if you require inspiration as to what to pack into these handy lunch boxes. And TAVVA, who manufactures these boxes, has an Instagram account filled with more ideas.
They make the lids from silicone that is non-toxic, and BPA-free, and they come with a lifetime warranty. Perfect for starting them out with healthy and green-living lunches.
Related: We have more eco-friendly lunch boxes and bags to choose from for sustainable gift ideas.
8. Brio Labyrinth
The brio Labyrinth is a classic puzzle game of skill and dexterity. It’s certainly not a new game that has been around since 1946. Brio has sold over 3 million copies worldwide, which suggests it's well worth a look in your search for eco-friendly kids presents.
Wooden eco-friendly toys like this can last an age and make excellent all-natural gifts. Furthermore, they can also help develop fine motor skills and hand-to-eye coordination. No eco-conscious parent needs plastic toys with one of these on hand for hours of entertainment.
All of Brio’s wood is traceable and sourced from responsibly managed forests.
Related: We have a bunch more eco-friendly games a click away.
9. Fun Memberships
Gifts of memberships to zoos, science museums, and children’s museums give kids a fun reason to leave the house. They are also very educational and inspire kids to explore topics in science and history.
Bringing up kids to be aware of the environment and our impact on it has to be a good thing for all concerned. So take a look too at gifting a National Geographic Junior Membership. An annual subscription will encourage kids to read up about nature and our amazing planet.
It comes as a digital-only subscription, too, for less paper and packaging and therefore enhanced eco-friendly cred. Suitable, of course, for kids who have access to an iPad or similar. Aside from your own kids, you're most likely to enjoy this one too!
10. Maple Landmark Wooden Name Train
Gift a name train wooden toy set. They make this name train set from eco-friendly materials, including sustainably harvested wood materials, dyed with non-toxic paints free from harmful chemicals. There’s a decent chance one of these eco-friendly, sustainable toys will take pride and place on his or her dresser for many years to come.
11. Fruit Tree
A fruit tree may seem a little peculiar as a gift for eco kids. Yet, we think it’s a great way of having them learn about where food comes from. So, for example, gift kids their very own citrus tree, which you can plant and enjoy growing together.
If all goes well, it’ll bear fruit before too long, and therefore green gifts that grow can help educate them about the opportunity for more sustainable living. Here there’s no concern about recycled materials or how eco-friendly the manufacturer is when you choose eco-friendly gifts that grow. They are great sustainable alternatives to all the other commercial products, for they’re pure nature.
12. Go on a Nature Walk Together
Gift the gift of nature by finding a natural area near you. Kids love getting outdoors, and for many, it will be a welcome excuse to leave devices at home. Accompany a date in the diary to explore the outdoors together with a book about nature - loads better than plastic gifts the toy industry wants you to buy.
We've selected a couple for you to inspire their discovery of the outdoors. There are many other nature books for kids online, chose one that's right and related to nature near you coupled with nature exploring walks. Many of these books help educate about conservation issues; walk and talk, and you’ll have lined up one of those near-perfect eco-friendly gifts for kids.
Kids Books & Guides to Nature on Amazon:
13. Ailefo Organic Modelling Clay
Playing with plasticine is so much fun for young and old. The problem, of course, is that most of what you’ll find out there is actually plastic. As such, most modeling clay designed for imaginative play doesn't make the cut for an eco-friendly kids’ gift guide. Or help young ones appreciate a plastic-free lifestyle.
Enter Ailefo. Made in Denmark, they make their range of organically certified eco-friendly clay from natural food-grade ingredients.
Sadly they’re not 100% plastic-free eco-friendly toys, as plastic tubs keep the clay moist in their packaging. However, as an environmentally aware business, their paper tube comes from 100% recycled packaging, and they use water-based glues for the labels.
14. Personalized Eco Toothbrushes
These super cute eco-friendly toothbrushes are gifts personalized with his or her name and made using sustainable manufacturing processes from Bamboo. Nylon bristles make them not strictly 100% plastic-free, but they certainly beat the mass-produced plastic sorts.
Looking for more dental hygiene inspiration? We've 14 more best bamboo toothbrushes a click away.
15. Birthstone Necklace for Her
Every little girl likes to dress up a bit, and metal jewelry is a great way to give plastic-free for her. For kids, we love these cute birthstone necklaces. You can personalize the letter and choose a birthstone to suit her for the perfect gift. The birthstones are Swarovski crystals, and the chains come in either silver or gold. Naturally non-toxic, no recycled plastic to be seen, and gifts that she’ll love.
Not quite right? Etsy has a great selection of jewelry to inspire your eco-friendly gifts for kids selection that will suit loved ones as they get a bit older. Click here to view their range.
16. Vivobarefoot for Kids
Vivobarefoot is on a mission to disrupt the shoe business. They aim to develop shoes that allow feet to move as intended and that have zero impact on the environment.
Vivoebarefoot uses vegan and environmentally friendly materials as alternatives to leather and plastic-based synthetics that make up a lot of our footwear. They also use recycled plastic bottles and PET plastic, rescuing some of their products from landfills.
They come with tough rubber soles, which are great for active kids. In addition, they have excellent grip for a range of outdoor pursuits.
Given this sustainable brand's recycling credentials, they also come with a worthy story to tell.