Andrea Ridout has compiled a list of creative gift ideas for kids. Above, the Perot Museum in Dallas is offering a Gift Membership discount through Dec. 31. Courtesy of The Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
Dec. 8, 2023
The holidays are a big deal to kids. And there's nothing more fun than surprising them with some cool stuff that make them go "Wow!" Christmas is also a great opportunity to set the eco-friendly bar when it comes to gift giving. Check out these environmentally conscious items — perfect for the budding greenies in your life.
LITTLE BIT OF TEXAS
Have a new Texan in the family? Let everyone know where they came from!
The garments are made from 100 percent Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton. Choose newborn size to 12 months in pink, blue, white or black.
These metal monarch magnets sell for $5 each. Courtesy of Made in Texas.
You will be supporting regional businesses as this Corpus Christi-based company creates, designs and sells products crafted by small businesses, makers, artisans and designers from across our great state.
Window to the Wild's two-hour Trainer for a Day workshops are offered at a special price of $100 until Dec. 24. Courtesy of Window to the Wild.
When I was a kid, a dream gift for me would have been to spend the day with wild birds, holding an owl on a gloved hand, speaking to a hawk in their own language and getting to know a buzzard up close and personal as they engage in natural behaviors.
Well now this dream can be a reality for a special young person in your life.
Window to the Wild is a local treasure, run by Simon and Lindsey McNeny who have trained wild birds for wildlife parks, zoos and even the State Fair of Texas.
They offer a unique chance to be a Trainer For a Day at their beautiful facility just east of DFW. Each two-hour session of educational fun will allow your young ornithologist to not only learn about beautiful birds but also help train some natural behaviors.
This workshop is for ages 12 and up. $100 until Dec. 24! (Regularly priced $150.) Kids under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a paying party that is over 18 years of age.
Get a glimpse into Window to the Wild's Trainer for a Day program. Courtesy of Window to the Wild.
White Rock Soap Gallery sells Lump of Coal products for those on the naughty list. Courtesy of WRSG.
For everyone who’s been naughty this year, this delightful trio will make a fun gift (and maybe a humorous hint) for the young and old.
Crafted by hand at the North Pole Apothecary Workshop in Dallas by the White Rock Soap Gallery elves, the Lump of Coal Soap ($12) is made with soothing shea butter. The clean-burning Lump of Coal Soy Wax Candle ($16) evokes nostalgic holiday memories. While the Bag of Coal Soy Wax Melts ($16) burn cleanly in your wax melter. Both emit the same lovely Santa's Pipe scent, a warm holiday fragrance with top notes of vanilla, golden tobacco and wintery undertones of balsam and cinder. It's sure to get you in the holiday mood!
All available or a limited time only at White Rock Soap Gallery. See locations. Call ahead to confirm these items are in stock before making a trip to the stores — although they are loaded with tons of other wonderful holiday goodies!
Former elementary school teacher and landscape architect, Kerry Renta, created a delightful book that allows the reader to become part of each project as they color their way from cover to cover.
Every gardening lesson reflects the actual projects that Renta shared with his own students. Kids aged 5 to 10 will learn how to grow their own plants such as a sunflower, watching what happens both above and below ground as it grows. The book includes a parents’ guide to help your child get the most from their own gardening experiences.
At bookstores around town and BarnesandNoble.com.
Pair A Texas Kid's First Gardening Book up with some kid-sized gardening tools to make a green outdoor basket that any child will love!
We recommend this toolset with watering can, rake and shovel from Green Toys, made from 100-percent recycled plastic. It's dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. No BPA, phthalates, PVC or external coatings. $12.99 at Target, Whole Foods and Amazon as well as smaller shops around town.
A collection of 10 vegetable seed packs that are easy to grow in containers and small areas. $28. Courtesy of Botanical Interests.
Don’t forget the seeds! Find a variety of organic, kid-friendly seeds from Botanical Interests. Older kids will enjoy choosing their own from flowers, veggies and even fun projects. like birdhouse gourds.
To all of the grownups out there: get a free seed-inspired desktop wallpaper calendar. Sign up here.
THE DRAGON WHISPERER
The Dragon Trainer playlet is made of a sturdy, high-quality, durable and thick cardboard-based and recyclable material Courtesy of Playper.
Harness a dragon for the holidays! Binky, the baby dragon is learning to fly and needs your child’s help.
Former creative types from Disney, LucasFilm, and Netflix started Playper to create toys that are sustainable, fun and recyclable at end of life.
The sets are made from PlayperBoard, a sturdy, high-quality, durable and thick cardboard-based material.
The Binky playset boasts three characters and nine accessories, including a dragon, grooming and feeding station, a trophy and faucet that attaches to the station, dragon food, hurdles, a target for fire-breathing practice, and more.
Each Playper toy combines the mental stimulation of a puzzle with creative play. Ideal for STEAM and STEM learning.
This vet play set will help foster your child's love of animals. Courtesy of Ten Little.
Like most nature-loving little kids, I wanted to be a vet when I grew up. Didn’t you?
Encourage your little one’s respect for animals with this Vet Pretend Play Set by Ten Little. The set includes a vaccine bottle, stethoscope, thermometer, syringe, cone of shame, bandage, X-ray films and a handy travel bag — everything that your youngster needs to practice their skills on a menagerie of stuffed animals.
Ten Little was launched by a pair of moms who wanted more sustainable make-believe for their own daughters. All are made with eco-friendly manufacturing processes. Made of chemical-free rubberwood, formaldehyde-free glue, organic pigments and water-based dyes.
Ages 3+. $35 at better toystores or TenLittle.com.
LOUNGE IN LUXURY
The Anywhere Chair from Pottery Barn Kids are GREENGUARD Gold Certified. Courtesy of Pottery Barn Kids.
Kids love having their own space to read and relax. Pottery Barn Kids’ comfy, best-selling Anywhere Chair is on sale now and can help create a special spot just for your little ones. Designed with a kid-friendly handle, plush padding and soft, sustainably-grown cotton fabric, this lightweight lounger is easy for even toddlers to tote around the house.
Choose from three sizes: My First, Kids and Oversized, on sale for a limited time from $99 - $169. Removable, machine-washable slipcover.
BUILT TO LAST
TEGU wooden building blocks feature a magnet inside that allows them to stick together. Courtesy of TEGU.
My attorney, Parul Das, has two beautiful children, both of whom love learning as much as playing. Parul and her husband invest in better quality toys that will last a lifetime.
One of their family favorites is TEGU Blocks, wooden building blocks with a magnet inside that allows them to stick together. Your kids can enjoy creating the tallest tower in Holiday Town with these durable blocks that will last so long, they’ll pass them along to their own children.
Parents will appreciate that TEGU supports economically-challenged families in Honduras. Tegu toys are made from eco-friendly Huesito (Spanish for “little bone”) hardwood that is sustainably harvested from the forests of Honduras. After harvesting, local Honduran cooperatives help the forest’s natural regeneration to create a circular and sustainable process.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is offering 20 percent off Gift Memberships through Dec. 31. Courtesy of the Perot Museum.
Gift Membership for two people, after 20 percent discount, starts at just $104. (If you purchase online, note the discount is applied at checkout.)
Visit the museum all year long including award-winning exhibits on birds, dinosaurs, the natural history of Texas, gemstones, and so much more!
All members receive free general admission, a 10-percent discount in the Cafe and the Museum Shop and $5 parking. An added bonus — members get reciprocal general admission to hundreds of museums and science centers through the Association of Science and Technology Travel Passport Program.
You can also learn about the museum structure’s LEED, Green Globes and Sustainable Sites Initiative and the two huge 25,000 gallon cisterns that provide irrigation to the building’s landscaping. The roof is covered by native plants, which reflect the natural history of Texas. PerotMuseum.org.
Before you go, be sure to watch this video of the Perot’s construction, including setting up the dinosaur exhibit! Courtesy of the Perot Museum.
When I owned my hardware store years ago, the Freakers came to visit and I and my family have been hooked on them ever since.
Freakers drink "socks" are made from plastic trash picked up off the coast of Mexico. Courtesy of Facebook.
These nifty “socks” for hot or cold drinks will capture your heart as they keep your drinks at the perfect temp – and they are great stocking stuffers.
Freaker’s new Slippy designs are a blast. Their super stretchiness allows them to fit on every size cup. Choose from dozens of patterns that all help save the ocean, including one that says “Save the Ocean” LOL.
Some kid favorites include adorable kitties, pink flamingos, a scary shark and several holiday patterns. The look is fun but the message is serious.
The yarn for Freakers Slippy’s is spun from plastic trash picked up off the coast of Mexico. The Freakers themselves are made in the “FREAKIN’ USA” and will fit everything from a sippy cup to a large Nalgene. $7.99 each. As seen on Shark Tank. FreakerUSA.com.
RECHARGE YOUR SMILE
If there’s one thing that I’ve tried to impress on my own kids, it’s to take care of your teeth. Healthy teeth and gums affect us so much more than we might think.
The Washington Post says, “Poor oral hygiene is associated with an increased risk for myriad health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and early death.”
GuruNanda's Rechargeable Portable Water Flosser ($29.99) is a water stream flossing system that promotes healthier gums and a brighter smile in a snap.
Safe for users with braces or other dental appliances, it’s also a thoughtful gift for teenagers, college students or even older folks.
The compact design is convenient to use at home or on the go. Battery recharges in just four hours and can last up to 21 days of daily use.
Pair it up with GuruNanda Concentrated Mouthwash and you’ve got the perfect oral care combo. A single two-fluid oz. bottle ($8.78) has as many 10 “servings” of 16-oz. bottles of conventional mouthwash. And the bottles are made of recycled plastic!
The product contains no alcohol, fluoride, preservatives, gluten or toxic chemicals and it is not tested on animals. Both available Walmart and Walmart.com.
2023 GREEN GIFT GUIDE SERIES
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