Every year it seems merchants around the country are trying new ways to vie the interests of their customers. With online shopping getting more and more easy, it’s no wonder that shoppers can choose anything from pomegranate scented candles to cashmere-lined pajamas with just a click of the mouse. But trying to find the right gift can be daunting as well as I usually go by the practice of buying gifts that the recipient wants rather than what I think they would like. I try to avoid buying gifts that the recipient will probably never use or goodness forbid, re-gift it!
But what about gifts for kids? Well, you can go the usual route of toys, but in the vein of trying to reduce waste around the world, why not give children something that’s good for the environment and good for them? Below I’ve listed gift ideas that are clever, fun, and reduces waste for this holiday season.
Inspiring gifts are filled with wonder and imagination. Give children gifts that inspire them to be who they are and help them grow into better individuals.
BOOKS – instead of just giving books, make it a fun sensory experience by including items that go well with the title or genre of the books. For instance, if you’re giving a child a book about cars, add a toy car or a bookmark with their favorite cars on it and include them in a box with the books. For teens, include themed bookmarks and some candy while they snuggle up on the couch to read their new books. I’m old fashioned when it comes to books. While I do love reading on my tablet, there’s just something tangible about holding a paper book in your hands while flipping through the pages and smelling the fresh press through each page. Children benefit much more when they can hold the book in their hands and connect with the natural feel of nature with paper.
Some great books for kids are:
Ages 0-3 – Picture books are great little treasures for children in this age group. They are filled with colorful drawings and larger text with clever stories. Books by Sesame Street, Dr. Seuss, and Eric Carle always makes delightful books for young children and teach important skills for young minds.
Ages 5-8 – In this age group, children are starting school and learning new words and sentence structure. Why not give them books that help them learn as well as make it fun? This is the best age for kids to start getting interested in reading as grasping new words make their young minds excited! Try books about science that includes fun and easy experiments, art books with inspirational drawings, and books about friendship.
Ages 9-12 – At this age, children are developing a bigger vocabulary and their interests can shift dramatically. Give them books that include a sense of wonder and imagination as well as fact-filled fiction and humorous books. Even books with pictures in them are still captivating in this age group because you still want kids to enjoy reading and not feel as a chore for school or homework.
Preteen to Teen – When kids are entering the teenage years, they have either developed a love for reading or hate it terribly. Keep the ones interested with exciting stories in specific genres. About this age, kids tend to like a favorite genre or two which can include fantasy, sci-fi, realistic fiction, and so forth. Box sets are also great for young teens because they could start a new set or fill up their existing collection. For latest titles, check out bookstores as they tend to put new titles towards the front of the store.
LEGO – This old fashioned toy is truly a wonder. Great for all ages, Lego sets come in a variety of interests including airplanes, movie-themes, holiday crafts, and so forth. Whether the child you’re buying for is trying Lego for the first time or is an expert builder, Lego is a gift that can last for many years and inspire many wonderful minds.
DIY – Do-It-Yourself gifts are great for kids that like hands-on crafting or to do with friends. DIY gifts can include anything from bath bombs to food crafts. You can create your own DIY kit for the recipient by including items that make a complete gift. For example, if you’re making a bath bomb, check out this easy Lavender bath bomb here: Proven Winners Lavender Bath Bombs. Just be sure to include a kit that they can either make on their own or with friends and family. Your DIY kit should be able to make either one gift or several so that kids can give them away as presents for others.
BEAUTY AND WELLNESS GIFTS:
Virtually everyone likes to be pampered now and then. From young children to older teenagers, feeling calm and relaxed is beneficial for their minds and bodies.
BATH AND BODY – Children as young as infants can benefit from naturally made bath and body products. Give them soothing and healing products that include lavender, calendula, and almond oil that nourishes and calms them. Great bath and body gifts include body lotion, body wash, organic cotton bathrobes and towels, and bubble bath. A couple of my favorite natural and organic brands are Weleda (https://www.weleda.com/) and Dolphin Organics (https://dolphinorganics.com/).
AROMATHERAPY – Aromatherapy isn’t just for adults. This ancient and wellness form or therapy is great for any age. Children can benefit from specific scents that can relax and calm them to preventing illnesses to giving them a clear mind. Some popular and beneficial scents include: lavender, peppermint, rosemary, ylang ylang, and geranium. Just be sure to use 100% essential oils instead of artificial fragrances which can be harmful to children. Use aromatherapy in baths, in lotions, and my favorite – essential oil diffusers. You can find diffusers at any natural grocery stores and online stores.
STUFFED ANIMALS – A good old-fashioned stuffed animal is always a well received gift. Find stuffed animals that match the child’s favorite animal or help an environmental cause by supporting a charity such as the World Wildlife Fund (https://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/Default.aspx) and the Sierra Club (https://www.sierraclub.org/ways-to-give).
UNCOMMON GIFTS: Kids can be fun and quirky so this holiday season give them unique and unusual gifts that help kids express themselves.
SKILL TOYS – Ever heard of toys that can actually help kids develop an untapped skill? Well, there are actually many products out there that were invented to do just that. These type of toys help with motor and cognitive skills and can be enjoyed over and over again. Skill toys include building blocks, build your own robot kits, and design your own comic books. Check out one of my most favorite sites: Uncommon Goods.
GARDENING – Gardening is both fun and therapeutic for kids. Give them a sense of nature by letting kids learn all about how plants grow and thrive. Planting indoors or outdoors teaches children about the life cycle of plants and that caring for nature is important for their future. Try growing easy and edible plants such as snow peas, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Grow seasonal plants so kids can enjoy their fresh harvest. A great idea is a gardening kit that includes some clay pots, seasonal seeds, a kid sized rake and shovel, and a decorative stake.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS – Ever heard of the saying, “music soothes the savage beast”? It stemmed from the fact that music (especially those that are instrumental) help calm children and can help them expand their creativity. Musical instruments should be appropriate for the age and because they can get quite expensive, start off with some toy sized instruments that are easy to hold and can actually create sounds.
So this holiday season, whether you’ve barely started shopping or are just finishing up, give children of all ages gifts that can take their creativity to new heights while teaching them that they don’t have to be wasteful with their presents. The ideas listed above can be enjoyed for many years and can even be passed down or donated to another child.
Happy Holidays and may you all have a wonderful New Year!
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Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.