Sustainable Gifts You Can Make (Or Buy) For Kids

Posted by on Apr 16, 2024

Print this Post


For anyone concerned about the efficient use sustainable resources, gifts can seem pretty frivolous. Plastic toys opened on Christmas morning may be forgotten by the afternoon. Polyester clothes can be cute but also leach toxins and micro-plastics. Mylar balloons are fun, yet designed to wind up in the trash. 

That doesn’t mean you need to be a Scrooge. With some careful planning, those birthday, Christmas and Hanukkah presents can be fun and ethical eco-friendly gifts for children

There’s more than one way give gifts that instill an appreciation for mother nature. Some presents utilize sustainable or recycled materials. Others, like grow kits, celebrate the power of nature and the need to properly care for it. To delight children as well as educate them on the importance of caring about the planet, here are some awesome gifts you can make or buy that they’ll love.

Sustainable clothing

make booties with sustainable wool
One Australian study reported that humans consume almost five grams of micro-plastic a week, much of which comes from food packaging. That’s almost like swallowing a credit card every seven days. Microplastics that get in the ocean from pollution like laundry washoff can’t be scooped out with a fishing net. 

One way to cut down on micro-plastics in the environment is to opt for sustainable clothing rather than the pint size fast fashion often found in the children’s section. Of course, when you make booties or a sweater by hand, you can choose the materials. On CraftFoxes, we have numerous patterns to knit, sew or crochet children's apparel. It’s not too tough to make the materials for these projects sustainable. For example, Lion Brand's Re-Up yarn is made out of recycled cotton. The company’s Re-Spun line is fabricated out of recycled polyester. (Yes, it’s still polyester, albeit recycled.)

If you don’t have time to make children’s clothing (of course, we understand), there are artisans on Etsy who sew pajamas, shirts and other clothing items out of vintage material, organic cotton and sustainable wools. Borobabi children’s clothing company allows you to buy, rent or return their sustainable garments (their business model is circular retail).

Grow Kits

grow kits can make great eco-friendly gifts for kids
Giving a grow kit to a kid can accomplish a few things. 1) Gardeners can share their love for a hobby that can last a lifetime. 2) Cultivating plants is an excellent way to teach about the science and wonder that’s a part of a plant’s life cycle. Photosynthesis is pretty magical at any age. 3) Tending to a seedling can be a nice low-stakes way to give a child responsibility. Perhaps the chore like plant watering can be a first step toward bigger assignments such as taking care of a pet.

Creativity for Kids makes several different types of grow kits, including ones for fostering sunflowers and designing a terrarium. The Dan & Darci Paint and Plant Flower Kit gives you the supplies to paint a planter and grow marigolds, cosmos, and zinnias. Home Grown makes a Vegetable Grow Kit that makes it possible to cultivate tomatoes, eggplants and other edibles.

Toys with Upcycled Materials

cardboard box toys
Plenty of gifts can be made from discarded items you find around the house. Making a toy from upcycled materials is fun and educational. CraftFoxes has instructions for several fun projects that can be made for or with kids, including Cardboard Laptop and Cardboard Camping Tent from the the book “Cardboard Creations for Kids.” Amanda Kingloff, author of "Project Kid," demonstrates how to turn an old shampoo bottle into a rocket and an empty juice box into an owl. Such projects are fun and low-cost.

Toys Made with Natural and Sustainable Materials

LEGO like Mokulock toy wood blocks
These days, plenty of companies are building toys made from sustainable materials. Plan Toys manufactures an eco-friendly wooden Xylophone. The Name Train Town Set has wooden locomotives and tunnels for kids to drive them through. The Japanese company Mokulock makes LEGO-like bricks out of trees that can be sustainably harvested. Many classic toys, such as the Brio Labyrinth, have been etched out of wood for decades.

Log-in to Post a Comment: Craftfoxes shadow Google shadow


  • by foxyred8
    User profile

    Sustainable gifts for kids are a wonderful idea! Handmade items like knitted toys or upcycled crafts add a personal touch. For buying sustainable gifts, Poshmark Canada offers a variety of eco-friendly options. It's great to see more choices that are kind to the environment and special for kids. What sustainable gift ideas do you love?

  • by zarajon
    User profile

    Sustainable gifts for kids offer meaningful alternatives that prioritize the planet and promote eco-conscious living. From DIY outsource real estate image stitching services crafts using recycled materials to responsibly sourced toys and educational experiences, these gifts instill values of conservation and stewardship while sparking joy and creativity in children.

  • by zoeyaddison
    User profile

    As an advocate for sustainable living, I firmly believe in nurturing eco-conscious habits from a young age. Whether crafting homemade toys from recycled materials or vintage clothing stores selecting responsibly sourced products, encouraging sustainable gifts for kids fosters environmental stewardship and instills valuable lessons about consumption and conservation.