Eco-friendly gifts for kids that cost under $25
Gift shopping can be hard.
Trying to find something kids will like that is also environmentally friendly, and affordable? Very hard!
There is nothing better than giving the “winning” gift, the one that they open up and start playing with even though they haven’t finished opening the rest of the presents. That is what I strive for, so I can be the coolest aunt around! If I can help them learn about saving the planet and help them realize that the Earth is cool too, all the better.
As an aunt of kids ranging in age from 1 year to 25 years, I know all about gift shopping for kids! The young ones are pretty easy, you’re basically just shopping for whatever you think is cutest, or maybe what will help their development along the best. But when they start to develop opinions and personalities it gets a lot trickier.
So I did my research and found some gift ideas that won’t break the budget, but just might get the kids to go crazy.
Although there is some overlap between the age ranges, I will break it down by age group.
Gifts for Infants
As I mentioned before. Gifts for infants are usually more for the adult or for the development of the child. They might be very practical, like the hat and mittens below. Or they might be more fun. The puppets shown here are a great example because they allow you to interact with the child, strengthening your bond with them, while also helping the child develop I feel like these could fall into the toddler or preschooler age range too, but since I like the idea of cuddling your infant while telling them stories with a puppet, I put them here.
These hand puppets encourage interaction and imagination. Options include dog, elephant, bunny-rabbit, moose & dragon. These puppets are made of 100% polar fleece that is composed mostly of recycled plastic water bottles
Warm Fuzzy Hat & Mittens– $22.95 for both regular price
- This Sherpa Ear Flap Hat, made from 100% organic cotton, will keep Baby so warm! $14.95 (on sale for $7.95 as I write this)
- Organic Cotton Baby Mittens – $8.00 (on sale for $4.95 as I write this)
Toys for Toddlers & Preschoolers
Toys for these age groups should stimulate imagination and be hands on. So for this group, I chose the Eco-Kids line of play dough, finger paints, and crayons. Your favorite kids can use their imagination, make a mess and have fun!
If you don’t fear a little mess you can have BIG fun with these finger paints. The ingredients used are natural and organic fruit, plant and vegetable extracts including annatto seed, blue shade vegetable, curcumin, purple sweet potato, red cabbage, rice flour and earth clay. The pigments come as a powder and you just add water to make a paint.
Also from the Eco-Kids line, this play dough is all natural. Kid- and Earth-friendly (and carpet friendly since it washes out with water). If it costs a little more than that Playdough that smells like glue, it makes up for it by lasting longer: if this dough dries out overnight, you can refresh it by adding a little olive or veggie oil and kneading it back to life.
Recommended for age 3+
These crayons, made from all natural ingredients, are shaped like rocks to give young hands an easy grip. Eco-Crayons are handmade using all natural wax and mineral pigments. Set includes 8 earthy-colored crayons: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown and pink.
Fun Gifts for School-Aged Children
Now we are getting into the funs ages where little ones start to improve fine motor skills and their imaginations just run wild. For this group I am focusing on crafty projects that will keep them entertained while they build and then long after while they enjoy their creation. This also helps them learn to take pride in their work.
If you live in a colder climate, you understand the frustration of giving little kids a gift that can’t really be enjoyed until the weather warms. If you know what I’m talking about then you’ll understand why I am so excited to have found this little gem that is absolutely perfect for cold weather. This also gets you some time with them helping them craft the fairies, then off to an imagined winter adventure they’ll go!
The fabrics used for this adorable pup are all cut from scraps of reclaimed wool sweaters! This means that no two kits are exactly the same. Everything needed to make the dog is included in the kit, sewing thread, and needle, patterns, instructions, everything. Bonus! The box can be made into a dog house for Scrappy! This one really checks off my list of gift giving wants and needs. The same company also does hand puppet making kits.
Cool Gifts for Tweens
Tweens can be tricky, but definitely not as tough as teens! The most luck I have had with my nieces and nephews in this group was either cold-hard-cash or something that required some crafting (although I doubt they’d call it that). Since we are heading into the winter holidays, I am still trying to stick to some indoor projects, but I’ve found some good ones!
This one isn’t 100% on the indoor list, I’ll give it a 3 out of 5 mugs of cocoa (that’s like stars in winter terms). But if you had given me this kit when I was 10 or 12 you would have been an absolute rock-star in my eyes! SO it’s going on the list! Plus, it does require coloring (colored pencils included) so giving it before the thaw is a good idea because the kids might be so excited to find the treasure that they don’t want to do the coloring first.
Archeology was another fascination of mine at this age, so this one is a bit nostalgic for me. It definitely scores all five mugs of cocoa on the indoor play scale. But it is not as high on the eco-friendly scale. I am cutting some slack because this kind of experience in youth helps create an attachment to the environment and that can only be beneficial … plus it’s really cool. I have posted a question to the Earth Easy staff about this one, to see why they consider it Earth-friendly.
Recycled Plastic Indoor Gardening Kit – $22.99 (on sale for $12.95 as I write this)
This garden kit gets top marks for indoor fun and Earth-saving (heroic) ability. Made from recycled milk jugs, this kit will give your favorite tween a long-term project to help them survive the winter (preferably without being on a screen the whole time). Seeds included are for: Teddy Bear Sunflower, Basil, Zinnia)
Early education about nature and biology are the number one way we can ensure the next generation grows up to be just as passionate about protecting the environment as we are. So, like the fossil kit, I elect this as an eco-friendly gift for its ability to educate the kids. Not only does this come with the parts and instructions to build a microscope, but it also comes with different experiments that the microscope can be used for.
Unfortunately, my experience in gift giving for teens has been that cash, or gift cards for social stuff like going to the movies has proven most effective over the years.
If you are going to be daring and venture into the gift buying arena for these difficult subjects, be sure you know them well. Or ask for a list.
One suggestion I will make for a male or female of the teenage persuasion is Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.
You read that right, I said boy or girl. Again, use your best judgment based on what you know about the teen, but I know a fair amount of young men who use the Lush face scrubs and washes. Lush also makes shaving stuff.
Please note: I am in no way affiliated with Lush, but I am happy to recommend them because of their practices and values.
One stop shopping
If you clicked a few of the product links above you may have noticed that they are all coming from the same source: EarthEasy.com
While searching for gifts I happened upon this site and was really impressed with their story and mission. Plus I found a lot of useful products and info on their site. So I have chosen to affiliate with them and promote their products. I hope you’ll check out their site, and see what all my fuss is about!