In the past few years, we have become more aware of the environmental impact of the things we buy and use. Many of us are trying to reduce the amount of plastic we consume - whether that's avoiding excess packaging or make an effort to buy more sustainable, long-lasting products. Whether you are looking for the perfect eco-aware birthday gift or if you're searching for ways to entertain the kids at home during lockdown, we have compiled a list of ethical, eco-friendly toys and gifts for children of all ages.
Dr Zigs Giant Bubble Kit
Age range: 4+
Blowing bubbles is a fond childhood memory for many of us - and Dr Zigs has created an amazing eco-friendly version. Dr Zigs is 100% made in the UK, and the eco-conscious company avoids making products with unnecessary plastics and chemicals. Not only is the wand made from sustainably sourced wood and unbleached cotton rope, but Dr Zigs bubble mixture is 10x concentrate, which drastically reduces the size and amount of packaging needed, so even a small bottle can make up to 1000 bubbles. The bubble mixture itself is fully biodegradable and free of palm oil and phosphates, and Dr Zigs sells bottles of their mixture separately so you can re-fill without needing to buy a whole kit. The wood and rope wands are built to last - but most importantly, they make brilliantly enormous bubbles!
Weaving Hope's Beautiful Fabric Toys
Age Range: 2 - 11
Weaving Hope makes beautiful eco-friendly textile toys, which support highly skilled, sustainable weavers and factories in Sri Lanka, making products that are certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation. Weaving Hope supports the skilled craftswomen that weave the cloth and sew the toys - and the range is full of fun, imaginative toys that kids are sure to love. Stuffed dinosaurs, crocodiles and turtles are available, as well as colourful princess dolls - but their toys for imaginative play are the star of the eco show. Made entirely out of textiles, the 30 piece cooking playset comes complete with a hob, pots and pans and a basket of groceries and ingredients for young chefs to use - and because it is made from fabric, it is soft, quiet and can be quickly folded away at the end of play. Other playsets include a beautiful all-fabric tea set, a baking set, a cookie jar and a cupcake tin - all made from sustainable hand-dyed and hand-woven Fair Trade cotton. The toys are fully biodegradable - but they are likely to avoid landfill altogether, instead becoming family heirlooms that are passed from one child to the next...
Good Things Gifts
Age Range: 0 - 15
Good Things Gifts is an online shop that is full of great ideas for eco-friendly toys and gifts. All of the products on the site are environmentally friendly, and they support good causes and fair working conditions. The website has a great range of fun and sustainable gifts and toys for the eco-conscious family - all of which are packed using 100% recyclable packaging.
The online shop is organised into useful categories, which make it easy to find the right gift whether you're looking for an eco gift for a baby or a teenager. As well as being split by age, the shop has split its products into other categories, including 'Vegan-Friendly products', 'Toys to Build, Make and Learn', 'Plastic-Free Products' and 'Dress Up and Decorate'. The shop even sells eco-friendly cards and wrapping papers, made from recycled paper, so stock up on supplies to use throughout the year. Alternatively, you can use the excellent gift-wrapping service to saving on postage and packaging. Good Things Gifts will wrap your gift and write a handwritten note in a card before sending the parcel directly to the birthday boy or girl.
Join the Toy Box Club
Age Range: 0-4
Toy Box Club is an eco-friendly toy subscription service for kids aged between 0 and 4. Young kids tend to play with a toy for a short time before growing bored of it or growing out of it - and so Toy Box Club ensures that your child always has access to an ever-changing group of fun, age-appropriate and gender-neutral books and toys. For £35 a month, you will receive a selection of toys and books straight to your door, which are 'on loan' to you until they are collected at the end of the month - when a new set of toys arrives in a 100% recyclable box. All of the toys and books are cleaned with eco-friendly products before being boxed up for the next child to play with - and the service means that your house isn't cluttered with lots of unloved toys. And don't worry - if your child falls in love with one of the toys, you can simply buy it from the club and keep it forever.
Kid-Eco Cardboard Playhouses
Age Range: 4 - 10
Designed and manufactured in the UK, Kid-Eco has a range of amazing playhouses for your little ones to assemble, decorate and play with. Made using recycled cardboard, the playhouses are both recyclable and biodegradable - but they also fold flat for easy storage, and they can be reassembled again and again. There are lots of designs to choose from, including a rocket, teepee, igloo and pyramid - and Kid-Eco make some of the best cardboard castles in the land, with several different styles and sizes, including a fortress, a garrison and a huge princess palace. Great for imaginative play, these eco-friendly playhouses can be set up inside or outdoors, and can be used by kids of all ages. The Kid-Eco range is extra sustainable thanks to its modular designs, which mean that damaged parts can be individually replaced without needing to throw the whole toy in the bin.
Babipur - the Ethical Shop for Kids
Age Range: 0 - 14
A beautiful collection of eco-friendly, ethical, fair trade toys and gifts - Babipur specialises in wooden toys and organic clothes for babies and children. As well as toys and gifts, the online shop also sells sustainable, eco-friendly everyday items, like reusable nappies and baby carriers. There is a huge range of organic clothing for kids aged 0 - 10 years, and the clothes are GOTS certified, meaning that the organic cotton is gentle on sensitive skin, as well as being eco friendly and ethically made. Search the amazing range of wooden toys, which includes wooden clutching and teething toys for babies, as well as a great range for older children, including brightly coloured play blocks, wooden cars and trucks, and a stylish wooden playhouse and accessories. There is also an excellent range of natural, eco arts and crafts supplies, including natural paints, clays, glue, tape and crayons - as well as craft kits and face paints.
Babipur is passionate about reducing waste and minimising packaging, and one of the ways they reduce their carbon footprint is to re-use all of the packing materials that they already have in their warehouse, up-cycling it to create 'wonky boxes' which are held together with paper-based tape.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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