Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10 Things Thursday: 10 Things to Buy for Kids

The Story Behind 10 Things Thursdays

For most of us there will be some level of gift shopping to do in the coming weeks. On each of the next 10 Thursdays, up until the day before Christmas Eve, it is my goal to present 10 ideas, in 10 different themes, for eco-friendly gifting. Many suggestions will be places I know or products I've purchased or received. One hundred ideas by no means makes a comprehensive list. But it's a start. Suggestions for future lists are most welcome. Here is List 2:

10 Things to Buy for Kids

1. Dress-Up Clothes and Accessories for Their Persona of the Day: baseball player, cowgirl/boy, princess…  Some of these can be purchased. Some items could come from your personal collection (think old hats, handbags, vests) or from a secondhand store. Just be mindful of small pieces that could come loose or fabric that could wrap too tightly around a neck. There are also various themed sets available.

Green Sprouts Organic Velour Finger Puppet 3pc Set-Farm Girls
2. Green Sprouts Organic Finger Puppets from iPlay

3. Kid-Sized Tools
Themes include: BakingGardeningRepair. Again, be mindful of small parts and follow the manufacturer's age recommendations. Check out the Montessori Services store for some great examples.

4. Petroleum-Free Crayons. Prang makes a line from American-grown soybeans. The website claims the crayons are brighter, “lipstick smooth,” and flake less than the usual wax (petroleum) crayons. They are also more eco-friendly.


5.  Ravensburger Puzzles. These are of a quality that can be handed down for generations (providing you don't lose track of any pieces). I have kept an extraordinary 2-sided puzzle of a cityscape. One side depicts the city at its busiest time of day: on the reverse is the same scene at night. The company also offers board games for the very young to the adult. For fun family evenings, I recommend Labyrinth. You can shop online, but the website has a store locator.

Turtle Fur Monster Earflap Hat - Kids 2011 - Navy6. Anything Turtle Fur. These high-quality products are made in Vermont from 100% acrylic brushed fleece knitted in the USA. There are plenty of products to charm the very young (like this monster hat), and styles from the subdued to the wacky to appeal to every teenage taste (well, almost). The website has an extensive catalogue and a store locator, but the site itself is wholesale only. A number of items are available through Amazon.

7. Board or Card Games. Gift one of your traditional favorites such as Candy Land, Monopoly, or Scrabble. Or try something new like Bohnanza (ages 8+ up, best with 5 players) or The Great Dalmuti (ages 8+up, best with 6-7 players ).


8. Optical Toys such as a Kaleidoscope or a Dragonfly Eye. Kaleidoscopes to You has a wonderful assortment of gifts like these.

Treasure Island (Color Illustrated by N.C. Wyeth)9. A Classic Book. Gift one of your favorites along with a note about what the book meant to you. Classic volumes with N.C. Wyeth illustrations are one way to go. But also look into a series called “The Whole Story,” a series published by Viking, which not only illustrates the tale, but supplies supplemental notes and graphics in the sidebars. Those who are not interested can skip them, but some readers will enjoy the material that illuminates the time and setting of the story. Around the World in Eighty Days and White Fang were two volumes that brought a lot of pleasure to our home.

10. Something to Use Outside: A ball for a favorite sport, a frisbee, a hula hoop, a jumprope. Anything to encourage exercise.

11. An iTunes Gift Card. Most teenagers like music and it can be difficult to guess their taste or what they have in their collection. By letting them choose their downloads, you can't fail.Teens are also known to be particular about their apparel. An Amazon Gift Card or a gift card to their favorite store also works well. Trust me, I know.


  1. I love the source for organic crayons. Classic crayons give off a vapor that can induce vomiting if you open the box in an enclosed space like the back seat of a car. How many small children have been told they had car sickness when it was really their new box of crayons that they got to keep quiet on a long trip? -Cynthia

  2. Cynthia, I never thought of that. But I was a kid who got carsick no matter what. I still can't read in a car, never mind color. Thanks for the comment.