Children’s holiday parties and little gift-giving opportunities surround me. If you are trying to keep your kids’ holidays low-impact, our Kids store features new ideas for economically and environmentally-friendly celebrations.
Did your children leave shoes out this morning for Sinterklaas? Are you waiting to put your shoes or stockings out for Odin, Santa Claus, or the Three Kings? Will your children get a small Hanukkah gift tonight?
Many cultures give children small gifts during the winter holidays. Rather than lots of cheap throwaway gifts, I encourage grandparents and friends to give fewer gifts that my children will enjoy over time. I noticed yesterday that my son was playing with a wooden puzzle that he got last year. He carried it all day and kept his hands busy. It’s just a string of colorful wooden blocks, but it is exactly the kind of small toy I am looking for when I leave holiday gifts for my children.
I love open-ended gifts that encourage creative play. One of the best and longest-lasting holiday gifts I ever gave my children was play cloths. Ten years later, we still use these cloths for dress up, decoration, gift wrapping, and more.
Especially when adults are going to sit around and talk, children will need a way to occupy themselves. Silk crowns and hair garlands take children into their own imaginative space.
Fun Children’s Kits
Sure, you could just gift your child lip balm or soap as a gift, but a kit to make lip balm or soap can be a fun way to encourage a new kind of creative thinking. When a child is engaged in making decisions (“Do I like flower smells or spicy smells?”), they become more engage in the outcome.
In my family, everyone does puzzles over the holidays. My diningroom table is already covered with a huge puzzle. When the big kids and adults are figuring out how to fit thousands of pieces together, the smaller children might enjoy a simpler puzzle. Our wooden puzzles are great because they aren’t about fitting pieces together one way but about playing with color and fitting together simple shapes.
When it comes to children’s party favors, I try to stick with a similar approach. I figure it is better to give one nice party favor than to encourage every children to haul home a big bag of loot.
Dress-up and art supplies are great for parties because they can be incorporated into the party activities. Our Soy Crayon Rocks, for example, come in party box size or loot bag size, with a little muslin bag for carrying home. Body paints can be used at the party then taken home to dress up again. A wooden slide whistle and rhythm sticks can be used to make beautiful music at the party then become the child’s party gift.
A party craft can also become a part gift. We carry an unfinished wood magic wand. Children can decorate their wands as a party activity, play with the wands during party games, then take the wands home to continue the magic. A gift that each child has personalized that way can be a much more lasting thank you.
We are continuing to add to our Green Celebrations products. Please tell us what you are looking for as you plan green parties for children.