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Eco-friendly kids bday party gifts

For Plastic-free July I am attempting to buy nothing new for the whole month.  Other than our broken potato peeler, my biggest challenge so far has been kids’ birthday party presents!  Unfortunately July seems to be the month that our kids turn super popular and get invited to birthday parties every weekend, and along with the parties, come the presents.  They’re one of the few things that I’m not comfortable buying second hand.  But never one to renege on a challenge, I have researched my little heart out and come up with some great DIY options, as well as some other awesome eco-friendly gift ideas for kids.  Check out the full list below!

DIY Options

Recipe Jars - cake / brownie / cupcakes in a jar, pancake in a bottle

Lego travel kits


Playdough kit with some second hand cutters

Beeswax wraps - from fabric they'll love

Bath bombs

Lip balm

Colouring book of photos

Photo book

Dress up box of fabulous thrifted finds

Fairy Garden

Seeds and pot

Long Lasting Kids' Gifts



Quality wooden toys

Board Games

Wooden jigsaw puzzles

Musical instruments

Experience Kids' Gifts

Vouchers - movies, ten-pin bowling, mini golf, ice-skating etc

Passes - museum, zoo, waterpark, themepark, climbing walls, trampoline park

Tickets to a show, concert or sports match

Memberships - toy library, zoo etc

Movie Night Kit - Put together a box filled with popcorn, a jar of lollies and gift cards for pizza and movie rentals

Lessons - music, swimming, dance, sports, art or horseriding

Ecofriendly Kids' Gifts

Reusable water balloons - yes it's a real thing!

Peg people made to look like their own family - this could be a gift that you add a new 'peg' to each birthday. Check out EllyPeg, or if you're the arty type - make them yourself.

Guilt-free glitter -  get the sparkle without the pollution

A bento lunchbox with compartments (no need for clingfilm!)

Wooden flower press

Gardening kit/gloves/seeds

Drink bottle

Honey sticks

DIY kits - like make your own flashlight or speaker by Sharper Thinker

Anything from Trade Aid

Support local and handmade where possible

For Babies

A Plunket/Wellchild Book Cover - unique and personalised

A living tree gift to grow alongside baby - check out

-Heuristic play box (homemade or store bought)

Good quality wooden toys that will last a lifetime (like these wooden cars made from mill off-cuts), or start a collection of classic wooden animals which you can add to in future gifts

Growth Chart

Something practical! A baby soap, DIY reusable wipes kit, a voucher for/pack of Little & Brave compostable nappies (Auckland only at this stage)

I find that the more toys my children get, the less value they place on them, and the more they want!  This is such a great way to teach the next generation about what is truly important, quality over quantity, looking after things and consumerism in general.  Do you have any other great tips for eco-friendly toys? I'd love to hear about them in the comment below, or on facebook or instagram!

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