Best Gifts (Toys) For Your Kids Of All Ages
It’s almost my nephew’s first birthday and as cute as that is, it can also be a bit troubling. I set out to find a gift that wouldn’t just add to a pile of toys (I’m not sure how many toys he has but I’m thinking he doesn’t have too many for now), and I also wanted it to be plastic-free, and maybe something that wouldn’t end up in a landfill later. And man, it was hard. It was actually kind of hard to find a kid’s toy or whatever that is not made of plastic, that he doesn’t have, or that is not super wasteful. I started to think that maybe other aunties and family members out there probably have the same problem (I hope so) so I compiled a small list of ideas that might be full-proof for gifting a child from 0-4 years old.
Nowadays kids have more toys than ever and sometimes even own more stuff than adults at times (Do they? I like to think that some do). There are many articles out there trying to warn parents about the dangers of kids having too much. Not only your child will play less and less the more toys you give to them, but in the process, it can be hard for them to be imaginative if surrounded by so much stuff, and that can impact their development and personality. (Who likes a spoiled brat?)
If you’re already a parent and you’re looking into how you can make your child accept living with less stuff, there are books out there that can help like “How to Unspoil Your Child Fast: A Speedy, Complete Guide to Contented Children and Happy Parents” by Richard Bromfield, Ph.D. from clinical faculty of Harvard Medical School. He writes about his experience and what he learned over 30 years of practice.
BOOKS ARE LIKE TREASURES
Buy books for the little ones! There are books for all ages and they can be easily donated to other kids. Do a little research before you pick one though, doesn’t cost you anything and that can be something that kid will learn, love and remember for life.
Shop at flea-markets and second-hand shops. In Amsterdam, they have second-hand shops just for kids stuff, which is great considering the short-life span that toys can have with kids.
If you have skills like sewing, wood-working, knitting, etc. you can make a gift yourself. It’s the ultimate thoughtfulness.
THE EXPERIENCE GIFT
Give something fun to do as a gift. It’s priceless and they will remember it forever if they have a good time.
If the options above are not for you, you can still shop smart
1. Stainless Steel Slinky
I was super happy when I found this slinky. When I grew up I remember playing with one all the time, and it had a rainbow color to it so that when it rolled down the stairs it turned into a beautiful sight. It was super fun until it would eventually break and my parents would buy a new one. Why? Because it was made of colored plastic material. This is made of Stainless steel, will last forever and it’s easy to clean and maintain. Endless fun for your kid and maybe even the next?
2. Wooden Stick Horse
All kids love to play with these, independent of gender. Plus it looks cool and very cowboy-ish, right? Or cowgirl. Or cow-what ever you define yourself. Except for cows really, because they can’t ride these.
3. Wooden Yo-Yo
Another kid’s favorite, but I be mindful of the weight of the wooden Yo-yo you will buy. They might be as light as a plastic one, or as heavy as a little rock. It looks cooler, you can paint over it with your own art (creative much?), it lasts longer and it’s easily recyclable and re-giftable.
4. Baby Bib
All babies need these because they love to drool and make a mess with their food. These are handmade by Cristina, in Eindhoven here in The Netherlands. She focuses on making quality bibs with organic cotton and they are all adorable, just like a baby.
5. Baby Leggings
Babies get cold too so these are good gifts because new parents can’t have enough of these since babies poop around the clock after a while and they always need an extra pair. Emma makes these cool ones and although she is from Scotland, she lives here in Amsterdam so yay for buying local. Handmade and made with organic cotton too.
6. Teether made of wood and cotton
This is the coolest thing I’ve found on my search for baby gifts. Instead of a plastic teether, this store by Evelien (also from Amsterdam) has wooden ones with crochet cover made from organic cotton. She also has wooden Yo-yos. Make sure to check her other shop where she sells t-shirt yarn. She even tries to make an extra effort to ship her orders in recycled boxes!