When looking at buying birthday gifts for children, I always look for something that is a more than just single use. I try and buy useful things like clothing, stationary, baking equipment, games or books. Where possible, gifts that are not covered in non- recyclable plastic film that goes immediately in the bin or in laminated boxes and pouches that can’t then be recycled after they are finished with them.
When I was in my favourite shop Hobbycraft this week, I picked up a couple of recycled and recyclable puzzles by Clemontoni. They will go away in a present cupboard for when we next need a birthday gift (that’s if my 4 year old doesn’t spot them first as he loves a good puzzle). The way the cupboard works in our house is that I top it up as and when I see things I feel are appropriately eco and then my children get to choose a gift for their friend from what is in the box. This empowers them to make a choice from an already pre- selected gifts and avoids having to take them to a shop and the pester power that they all know how to use.
Not only are these puzzle using recycled and biodegradable paper, but they carry an eco message too of education through play. Each box contains a little heart shaped card with a different eco activity, for example, some seed paper for making a plant grow. It contains a secret message of an experiment and I really love this. I have purposefully not taken a picture of it as I think is a little marvel inside should remain a little secret to be discovered. It encourages curiosity and a love for caring for the planet.
So many times I have seen ‘eco’ as being ‘basic’ and striped back and I find it frustrating that they often come across as being somehow less appealing for kids. For many items I do get there is a need to do that, reducing unnecessary things, but also think there is no fun in it. These puzzles are fun and eco!
I shall be looking out for more of these puzzles and other similar present ideas for our present box. For some other ideas using seed paper on cards, check out the page on love is…?