16 Gifts that Won’t End Up in the Landfill

Posted by Libby Anderson on

If you found yourself here -- we’d guess you desire to love your little AND our planet well this holiday season. Kudos to you mama! We’ve put together a list of 16 items that are ethically sourced, environmentally conscious, and built to last! Best of all -- most of these items can be creatively repurposed through a huge age range, and we’ve got a few tips on how to spark imagination for each one!

1. Dinosaur Blocks

  • Made using sustainable midwestern basswood
  • 100% made in the USA
  • Two printed sides reveal an illustration and size. Two more sides show the time period and geographic area.
  • Babies: Nursery decor, creative talk, sensory touch/feeling for little hands (They’re printed with non-toxic, mouth safe inks, but are not meant for teething!)
  • Kids: Talk about dinosaurs/colors, practice stacking, learn about fossils!


    2. Inchimals

    • Includes 12 blocks - 1 inch lady bug, 2 inch frog, 3 inch mouse, 4 inch rabbit, 5 inch penguin, 6 inch tiger, 7 inch bear, 8 inch snake, 9 inch monkey, 10 inch ostrich, 11 inch elephant, 12 inch giraffe
    • Babies: Stand Inchimal blocks side by side or stack neatly to promote fine motor control. (they adhere to all safety requirements, so baby can put them in their mouth, too!)
    • Kids: introduce vocabulary - shorter, taller, longer, height, length, distance, perimeter, animal sounds, colors, or dramatic play
    • Advanced: Learn addition and subtraction concepts! (+ wipe off puzzle book features 100 puzzles)


    3. Color ’N Eggs 

    • The Color N Eggs Puzzle is a wooden puzzle, language learning toy, and character play-set all in one!
    • Great first puzzle and helps develop fine motor and problem solving skills
    • Introduces colors in English & Spanish
    • Babies: explore textures (smooth rounded edge, bumpy edge, etc)
    • Kids: work on the puzzle together, practice colors in spanish and english, or use them for dramatic play (ex: can you tell a story with these eggs?)



    4. Slumberkins

    • Woman-owned and mom-made
    • Designed by a therapist and educator, each collection supports important emotional skills
    • Babies: Slumberkins are intentionally designed without any small, detachable plastic pieces -- so baby can snuggle, touch, and play without worry
    • Kids: Spark conversation about emotions, also includes affirmation card and board book to read/talk about together



    5. Suction Kupz

    • Set of 6 colorful silicone cups that feature suction cups on the bottom
    • Encourages fine motor skills, spatial reasoning, creativity, exploration, experimentation
    • Play in the tub, playroom, or at the table
    • Babies: play with these cups as teethers (made from 100% food-grade silicone)
    • Kids: practice stacking, experimenting, exploring surfaces to suction to, or just drinking juice. 



    6. Whoosh Bubble Bath

    • This isn’t so much of a toy, but it is something that littles of all ages will love! (bonus: the pouch is recyclable and resealable!)
    • Bubble Whoosh™ is a hand-made, skin-healthy, hypo-allergenic bubble bath powder that is serious fun 
    • Great for babies first bubble bath (eczema-safe!)
    • These bubbles are not only safe for sensitive skin, but they also may provide temporary relief from eczema, rashes, sunburn and dry skin conditions



    7. “Friendly” Rattle

    • All Pebble products are made by Hathay Bunano. Hathay Bunano, meaning hand made or hand knitted in Bangla, is a non-profit fair trade organisation in Bangladesh. 
    • Pebble is helping women out of poverty and putting smiles on faces worldwide!
    • Babies: first stuffed toy, has a rattle too!
    • Kids: use these friendly buddies during imaginative play with other dolls, cars, or other stuffed animals. (duck duck goose is always fun with stuffed toys, too!)



    8. "Crocopotamus" Board Book By Mary Murphy

    • Sturdy board-book pages open to the left and the right for easy manipulation by little hands
    • Babies: learning about colors/animals, visual stimulation (put book in front of baby during tummy time)
    • Kids: create incredible critters and silly animal names, talk about what sounds each animal might make!



    9. Bollie Ladybug Kickball

    • Ladybug ball is perfect for throwing, catching, kicking and bouncing activities
    • Made of durable rubber
    • Babies: allow baby to look at or feel ball during tummy time, you can also roll back and forth once baby is sitting up
    • Kids: Classic ball for playground or backyard games




    10. Pebbles

    • Nature-inspired wooden toys encourage play that is delightfully unstructured and open-ended
    • Each piece is carefully handcrafted to be unique. No two pieces are alike.
    • Features earth-friendly materials from sustainable wood + child safe paints and finishes
    • Baby: Place pebbles around baby during sitting/tummy time. Allow baby to reach, explore, and feel textures
    • Kids: Practice stacking, spark imagination (zero instructions means endless possibilities)



    11. Lemon Vines Baltic Amber Necklace

    • Lemon Vines Amber is 100% genuine certified Baltic Amber.
    • Choose clasp and sized based on age (pop safety or screw clasps available//11 in, 13 in, or 14 sizes available)
    • Babies: amber's healing properties will reduce inflammation and calm the baby, without resorting to over the counter medications. All of our teething necklaces are finished with softly rounded shapes. Each bead is individually knotted onto the necklace, to ensure your child's safety!
    • Kids: Stylish necklace that still sports healing properties to promote general wellness



      12. Putty Bear

      • Woman/Family owned company
      • Available in three colors: Coral, Grey, and Cream
      • A keepsake minky oh-so-soft stuffed bear children of all ages will love!
      • Baby: Gift to baby for a teddy bear that will be treasured for years to come
      • Kid: Gift to kids as a new friend to add to the crew!



      13. Read-to-Me Tot Tower

      • 10 sturdy blocks to nest, stack, and tumble down
      • Builds large motor skills
      • Babies: Creative talk (describe what you see, baby loves your voice!) while baby explores with eyes and hands (or mouth… the inks used are non-toxic!) 
      • Kids: One side of each block asks a question to get kids talking. Where do you live? Do you have brown shoes? Children are introduced to numbers, shapes, animals, seasons and colors when they stack this Tot Tower


      14. My First Puzzles (3, 4, 6, & 8 Pieces)

      • Available in beautiful Mermaid, Space, and Deep Sea themes!
      • As children master the 3 piece puzzle they can then progress to the 4, 6 and 8 piece. 4 puzzles are included
      • Babies: while puzzles might not be the best for babies, you can still let baby watch you piece the puzzles together while they sit or play during tummy time! Babies love watching new things, especially when it’s people they love doing them! Don’t forget to talk about what you’re doing, too :)
      • Kids: Practice piecing together puzzles, tell a story with the four pictures!


      15. My First Ocean Buddies

      • Adorable Crab, Whale, Sea Horse, and Turtle available
      • Made of all natural rubber -- no more moldy bath toys! 
      • Can be used as a bath toy, rattle, teether, or all three!
      • Babies: Have baby shake to hear rattle; this promotes an understand of cause and effect relationships
      • Kids: Use as a fun addition to bath time play! Give names, tell stories, and more!



      16. Stacking Fir Tree

      • Inspire logical thinking, imaginative play, and developing fine motor skills with this adorable wooden Stacking Fir Tree!
      • Set includes a base with pole, tree trunk + 4 stacking rings, and a cute bird to top it off!
      • Made from renewable rubber tree wood and hand painted with non-toxic chemical-free paint
      • Babies: Touch and feel smooth wood surface, explore colors, and begin learning about stacking
      • Kids: add this adorable tree to you collection of stacking toys or incorporate into imaginative play as is


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