Finding the perfect eco-friendly gift for kids can be a challenge.
Ideally, The gift should be something the child will play with for more than five minutes, made with sustainable, non-toxic materials, and built to last and encourage creative play, movement, better health and wellness, and/or exploration.
That’s why the team at Gaia Herbs has created our special 2023 gift guide of 20 eco-friendly gift ideas for healthy, active kids.
Besides the ideas below, we’ve also built a Gift Finder tool to help you find the perfect Gaia Herbs for yourself or your loved ones (including kids!) this holiday season.
20 Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Healthy, Active Kids
Most children already have too many toys and often not enough space to store them.
We’ve kept these challenges in mind when creating this list of eco-friendly gifts for kids.
Here, you’ll find various health-focused and fun gifts that encourage movement, exercise, learning, exploration, and artistry.
1: A Real Foods Cooking Class or Cookbook with Kids Cooking Tools
We aren’t recommending many screen-based gifts in this list.
However, thanks to the internet, various kid’s cooking classes now teach essential culinary skills children can use right away.
These classes may require some parental supervision depending on the child’s age, but others require very little and encourage self-directed learning.
Kids Cook Real Food is a popular course among health-conscious parents as it teaches all the basic cooking skills using healthy and nutritious whole foods.
Pair this gift with a kid’s cooking tool set, like a chopper, lettuce chopper, and cutting board, and it’s sure to be a hit among children and their parents.
Keeping kids healthy during the long winter months can be a challenge. That’s why Gaia Herbs created their best-selling Elderberry Gummies in a kid’s formula.
These tasty little gems are sweetened only with real fruit, taste delicious, and make great stocking stuffers.
3. Kids Weighted Blanket
Wintertime is the perfect time to cozy up with a blanket and a good book.
Instead of a run-of-the-mill cartoon character blanket, give kids over 4 the gift of a calming, kid-sized, eco-friendly weighted blanket.
Weighted blankets are popular among parents and caregivers because their natural weight helps promote calm while keeping kiddos toasty warm.
In searching for an eco-friendly option, look for a blanket made from natural fibers, such as cotton, wool, or hemp, that does not contain flame retardants or synthetic fabrics that may release microplastics into wash water.
This article from the Sleep Foundation has some good options.
Pair this with their favorite book, and you’ve got a winning gift that will keep on giving.
4: Adopt/Sponsor a Whale or Other Marine Life
Animal-loving children will jump at the chance to “adopt”/sponsor a whale or other marine creature.
Organizations such as the Oceanic Societies Adopt a Whale Program or Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) allow you to “adopt” or technically sponsor an animal for a whole year, which helps pay for their conservation efforts.
In exchange, they will send an adoption packet photo and other information about the specific whale or marine creature, and some programs send updates throughout the year or will let you track your whale or marine creature.
5: An Indoor Gym That Attaches to a Doorway
This may be the best gift for anyone living in a cold climate with active children.
These indoor gyms attach to a doorway, like a doorway gym or pull-up system, and have attachments for swings, rings, and other acrobatic devices.
They’re a bit of an investment but would be an excellent gift for any active family.
Most health-conscious parents keep a bottle of elderberry syrup in the cupboard or fridge.
Gaia Kids Black Elderberry Syrup is a favorite among parents and children for its great flavor and immune support that keeps children feeling their best.*
Lightly sweetened with organic cane sugar and pure honey and naturally preserved with lemon juice, this gift will be appreciated by crunchy parents and their discerning children.
7. A Portable Swing
Did you know they now make foldable, portable mesh swings that can be packed up in any bag or backpack and support children large and small?
Well, they do, and they make excellent gifts.
A portable swing is an excellent gift for families who travel, do not have room for a large playset in the yard, or need a swing that’s easy to install wherever needed.
To keep things eco-friendly, look for portable swings made from tough materials and eco-conscious companies that will last years.
8: An Herb and Flower Press Kit
Arts and crafts supplies are great gifts, but most are made of non-renewable materials and will wind up in the trash.
Instead, consider an herb and flower press kit as an alternative for the crafty and earthy child.
There are endless varieties of kits to choose from, allowing children to create artwork, such as pictures, collages, and cards, using natural herbs and flowers.
9: A Zen Board
These calming boards allow children and adults to relax while they paint on a blank board with a paintbrush and water. The picture disappears once the water dries, which means the board can be enjoyed and reused for years.
This is a great way to keep children (and guests) busy while adults prepare meals or snacks and also helps them relax and be creative.
10: A Houseplant + Their Own Watering Can
Small children love to receive gifts they can engage with and tend to by themselves while emulating adults.
A non-toxic houseplant and small indoor watering can fulfill all these desires while helping small children beautify their space and promote a love of nature.
Gaia Herbs Cough Syrup Kids is a great-tasting, all-natural cough syrup formulated with honey, Black Elderberry, and Ivy Leaf that soothes, supports immune and respiratory function, and helps kids breathe easy.*
It also makes a great stocking stuffer.
12. A DIY Natural Lip Balm or Bath Bomb Kit
Crafty kids love the opportunity to make their own personal care products.
However, most DIY lip balm or bath product kits contain potentially toxic ingredients like synthetic fragrances, surfactants, and petroleum products.
Instead, look for DIY kits from eco-friendly brands dedicated to non-toxic ingredients.
For example, this Bath Bomb Kit from Kiss contains everything they’ll need to make round bath bombs, including the molds and tools, plus all non-toxic ingredients like Epsom Salts, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), citric acid (a natural preservative), witch hazel, and natural fragrance.
They also make a non-toxic lip balm kit with safflower oil, shea butter, and beeswax beads (check with parents and/or suggest they skip adding the “natural flavor”).
13. Slackline or Obstacle Course Kit
These gifts are ideal for nearly any size backyard and will keep children (and adults) busy for hours.
The slackline is a long tightrope made with two-inch webbing positioned fairly close to the ground.
It helps kids and adults with balance and is installed with two anchors, such as trees or posts.
There are single-line slacklines (for older kids or adults) or double-line slacklines—one line for the feet and one to hang onto with your hands (for younger children).
Obstacle courses, also sometimes known as ninja obstacle courses, are like portable playsets on speed, with several acrobatic, balancing, climbing, and strength exercises that will keep kids challenged while keeping things fun.
14: Wooden Toys
Wooden toys are a no-brainer for younger kids as they’re more eco-friendly, last longer, and are not made with the same chemicals as many plastic versions.
Most wooden toy companies already source from sustainably managed forests, but do check the labels to confirm.
Popular wooden toys for younger children include:
- Wooden people
- Wooden marble tracks
- Stackable wooden rainbows
- Cleaning sets
- Cars and trucks
- Push toys
- Bow and arrow sets
- And many others
Like wooden toys, play silks are a staple in many holistic alternative educational models, like Montessori and Waldorf.
These silks come in various sizes and gentle colors that can be transformed into capes, baby blankets, costumes, artwork, juggling tools, canopies, and used for many other creative play purposes.
16. A Dirt Kitchen
Dirt kitchens are versions of play kitchens made for the outdoors.
They typically have stainless steel sinks and counters and come with buckets, shovels, pots, and pans for creating mud pies, mud soups, mud biscuits; you get the idea.
You can find several versions on Etsy, big e-commerce sites, natural toy makers, or you can build your own.
17. A Pod Swing
Pod swings are flexible tent-like seats you can hang from a tree or playset. Some come with a cushion for added comfort.
Children of all ages will enjoy curling up in these cocoon-like seats to read a book, play hide and seek, draw or write, swing, and daydream.
18. Organic Cotton Pajamas
Although the trend is changing, it is not uncommon for children’s pajamas to be made with cheap, non-breathable polyester and lined with flame-retardant chemicals, which have been linked to ill health effects.
Not exactly what a caring parent would want their child sleeping in! This is why health and eco-conscious families will appreciate a nice set of organic cotton PJs.
Fortunately, organic cotton pajamas aren’t as expensive as they used to be, and many brands run sales around the holidays.
Some eco-conscious brands to consider include:
- Hanna Andersson
- Burt’s Bees
Even large retailers, like Target and the Gap, offer organic pajamas for kids.
19. Audiobook Subscription
Most parents, even those who limit screen time, adore using audiobooks to entertain their children while traveling and during times of illness.
An audiobook subscription makes an excellent gift for these purposes, and it’s zero-waste.
20. Beeswax Tub Crayons
Tub toys are essential for young children, but most kids already have plenty to choose from.
Enter the beeswax tub crayon, an eco-friendly tub toy that magically disappears as it is used and will keep kids entertained for hours.
Honeysticks is a popular brand made from non-toxic, eco-friendly ingredients, no fragrances, and natural dyes.