Please note I may make a small commission from a few of these links, but all opinions expressed are authentic.
It’s really very tempting to head to Amazon, throw a bunch of toys in your “Cart” and call it a day when it comes to shopping for kids. I get it. But, shopping small for the kids will not only help a small shop struggling during the pandemic, you’re also much more likely to find a gift that is actually cool. This list focuses on items that are gentle on the environment (some are even actively good for it), and are pieces you’ll want to pass down rather than throw in the trash.
This Seed Slinger Wilderness Restoration Kit is one of those toys that I as a parent will steal for myself. Head out for a hike, and the entire family will be sure to have fun slinging seeds. I also love this kit because it encourages kids to connect with nature and understand the importance of reforestation, all while having a blast (pun intended). I am providing an affiliate link to ModSprout’s main page. Simply search “Seed Slinger” and you will automatically get 15% off of your order by using this link. $25 USD
This rubberwood and plywood van is a feel-good purchase all around: it supports a small shop, the environment, and is so damn cute you’ll want to display it rather than hide it in a toy bin. I simply couldn’t resist the vintage charm of this van. It just had to make the list. Indigo Jamm Casey Camper Van Toy is offered by Curated Home Decor. $68 USD
HUDSON THE POLAR BEAR FROM CUDDLE + KIND
These adorable stuffed animals from Cuddle + Kind are not only exceptionally well-crafted, but are also exceptionally generous. With each doll purchased, Cuddle + Kind donates 10 meals to children in need. In an average year, 1 in 5 American children go hungry. In 2020, that figure is far worse. But Cuddle + Kind spreads the generosity around the world, and that’s the kind of doll I can put my money behind. Starting at $55 USD
TINY ZEBRA FACE ALPARGATA FROM TOMS
It’s difficult to properly dive into all the charitable ways TOMS donates 1/3 of their profits, but don’t take my word for it. Beyond donating a pair of shoes for every shoe bought, TOMS has amassed a global and massive COVID-19 Global Giving Fund. You’ll never feel so good about popping the cutest zebra shoes ever into your cart. $28 USD
RAINBOW ORNAMENT FROM THE JUNGALOW
Every year, I find a few cute ornaments to use as either stocking stuffers or gift toppers and this rainbow one is just perfect for the kids. The Jungalow also plants two trees for every product purchased, and this rainbow ornament in particular supports KAZI, an organization ensuring fair wages for thousands of workers in Rwanda, Ghana and Uganda. Made from natural fibers and offered by The Jungalow. $12 USD
LITTLE PEOPLE BIG DREAMS – GRETA THUNBERG
I’m going to throw all of you Amazon Prime subscribers a bone (and, yes, I am one myself), and share a book from my ALL-TIME favorite children’s book series that can be purchased with a single click. I just re-watched Greta Thunberg’s UN Climate Action Summit speech with my seven year-old. I bawled (despite watching it twenty times), and my seven year-old’s eyes lit up with inspiration. Every kid needs to know about Greta, and this stunningly illustrated book is the perfect way to deliver all the Greta goods. $11 USD
ECOBIRDY CHARLIE CHAIR OFFERED BY GOODEE
This chair has been on MY Wish List for nearly a year. This EcoBirdy chair comes in five speckled terrazzo colors, each as incredible as the next, and if you’re really looking to splurge there is a coordinating table available, too. Beyond the incredible design of the chair, my favorite part is the fact that the chair is created from recycled plastics. A WIN-WIN! $199 USD
SEED LOLLIPOPS BY MODERN SPROUT
My kids are absolutely obsessed with these Seed Lollipops. The perfect stocking stuffer or gift topper, any kid of any age will be excited to plant their lollipops and watch them grow. You can choose from a 3-pack of pollinator plants, or culinary plants. I love the idea of starting the culinary kit indoors to grow some herbs to carry you through the winter. After planting your pops, keep track by using the sticks as a plant marker. I am sharing an affiliate link to Modern Sprout – anything purchased through this link will automatically get you 15% OFF. $15 USD
My kids are nearly five years apart, so it’s rare that I am able to find toys that they both love playing with. This eco-dough, though, is a major hit with both of them (ages 3 and nearly 8). My favorite part of this eco-dough is that it is made with herbs and it smells SO GOOD that I regularly encourage my kids to play with it. $16 USD
PRETEND PLAY DOLL STROLLER BY PLANTOYS
This doll stroller is not only incredibly chic, it’s made of sustainably harvested rubberwood. It’s crafted by PlanToys, a company that donates not only to a local Children’s Museum in Thailand, but also to local reforestation projects. Recommended for ages 2 and up. $120 USD
And there you have it! My top ten gifts for kids in 2020. Whether it’s eco-friendly, supporting a charity, or supporting a small business, each item on the list is something you can feel good about buying.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s list, which will focus on gifts for your favorite caffeine addict.