It’s the holiday season and practicing conscious parenting can become slightly more difficult. There are stockings to be filled, traditions to be honored, gifts to be given. Before you give into the buying craziness, consider taking a more conscious approach with meaningful gifts for kids.
As a reminder, to your child, there’s no better gift than spending quality time with you. A fun activity, a unique experience, something that you can enjoy along with your child while creating lasting memories. (Sign up here to be in the know about the best trips, tours and activities for families.)
We also understand there’s something magical about watching a child unwrap that special gift…. We totally get it. But how about making it a meaningful one? A gift that is fun and educational and that will do more than just add another layer of clutter to our busy lives?
Meaningful Gifts for Kids
The question we should ask ourselves is: Are the gifts we give to our children aligned with those important lessons we want to teach them as conscious parenting advocates?
In this post, we saw how there’s usually a significant disconnect between what we say we want our children to learn and what our children perceive we want based on our words and actions. I believe the same applies when it comes to the gifts we choose. How often do we just buy into marketing campaigns and the latest trends?
How about making a conscious decision this year and finding gifts that nurture the values we want to instill in our children? Gifts that nurtures good global citizens and little travelers?
Here’s our ultimate guide to meaningful gifts for kids this holiday season. These gift ideas will foster the very traits we’d like our children to express. They’re perfect for conscious parenting advocates hoping to spread some holiday cheer:
Gifts that nurture KINDNESS and COMPASSION
If your child is anything like mine, she’s begging for a puppy or pet hamster. Pets are an amazing way to teach these lessons, but it’s certainly not for everyone. Should you not be ready for the commitment of a pet, there are other gift ideas that nurture kindness and compassion.
Save the Children is an incredible organization. Dedicated to ensuring every child, everywhere, has a healthy start, they provide kids with the opportunity to learn and remain protected from harm. They are a top-rated nonprofit organization. 86 percent of their funds go directly to program services.
You and your kids will fall in love with Cuddle + Kind’s adorable line of dolls. From mermaids to reindeers, penguins to bunnies, they’re hand-knit in Peru by female artisans. Made of premium cotton, they feel cuddly and ultra-soft. They’re also certified non-toxic and meet or exceed all US and Canadian safety ratings. Cuddle + Kind has partnered with the World Food Program USA and the Children’s Hunger Fund to provide 10 meals to children in need with every doll purchase.
These backpacks are fun and stylish. Best of all, the company was created to address the immediate needs of American children. Through their #GiveBackPack campaign, for each backpack purchased, a bag filled with essential “tools for success” is hand-delivered to a U.S. child in need.
These magnetic wooden blocks come in a vibrant assortment of colors and are sustainably sourced. For every tree harvested by the company, they plant 983 more to replace it. Tegu remains committed to fostering positive social impact through business. They’ve brought humane working conditions to their Central American location. This includes a living wage and long-term career growth and development. They’ve also partnered locally to provide education for the children of employees at the Tegucigalpa City Dump.
Yoobi’s art and school supplies come in the vibrant colors of the rainbow. From pencils to paints, glitter to stickers, they’ve got everything your kids need for hours of inspiration and creation. But did you know that with every purchase of Yoobi products, you give to underprivileged schools? Yoobi works with the Kids in Need Foundation to provide essential supplies to classrooms across the U.S. To date, they’ve positively impacted four million students.
Handcrafted by artisans around the world, Pura Vida’s line of colorful handmade bracelets will delight your school-aged kids. A mix between friendship and charm bracelets, they come in a wide variety of hues and designs. But no two bracelets are alike. The proceeds from their Charity Collection bracelet sales fund non-profits around the world. So far, they’ve donated more than $1,534,879.20.
B. Toys is a manufacturer on a mission. They strive to create better toys, ones that inspire individuality and creativity. They’ve reduced their environmental footprint with recycled materials, waste minimization, and toy packaging that’s irresistibly cute and designed for reuse. A portion of each sale goes to the Free the Children Fund. The fund’s mission is to liberate children from exploitation, poverty, and economic helplessness.
Gifts that foster INDEPENDENCE
Yes, you want your child to make their own bed, brush their teeth, and shower on their own, right? Here are other gift ideas that are incredibly fun, educational and are sure to foster independence.
Gifts that stimulate CURIOSITY
Kids have an amazing sense of wonder. It’s up to us to keep that curiosity alive and give them wings. Books are always a great bet. We’re avid fans of the National Geographic Readers collection. This fun series taps into children’s natural curiosity, covering planets, volcanoes, animals and more. And the images are, of course, magnificent.
Here are a couple of other gift ideas for curious children:
Gifts that promote RESOURCEFULNESS and INGENUITY
It is never too early to start learning coding skills or basic electronics. There are great games out there who are entertaining and enriching for little and big kids.
The Snap Circuits Electronics Discovery Kit offers kids 8 and up a hands-on introduction to how electrical circuits work to run the everyday devices.
The Robot Turtles Game teaches programming fundamentals to kids ages 4 and up
Gifts that teach PERSEVERANCE
Games and puzzles engage children in the thinking process, improving their logical thinking and analytical reasoning. They are also a wonderful tool to teach kids to persevere and have a growth mindset.
Here are a few examples that are challenging for kids and adults alike:
Gifts that promote CREATIVITY
Here are a few of our favorites:
Magna tiles last a lifetime and provide hours of creative play.
Q-BA-Maze 2.0 helps children embrace their creativity while designing engineering wonders.
3D Doodler allows kids to “draw in the air” and bring ideas to life in 3D!
Gifts that inspire MINDFULNESS and CONNECTION
Awhile back, I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Newman, author of Conscious Bedtime Stories. His books have been a hit at our household. They inspire valuable lessons and are filled with love and wisdom. A perfect way to connect with your child at the end of the day.
A fun and bright kids yoga mat is also a great addition to any child’s room.
Gifts that promote GLOBAL AWARENESS:
It is never too early to expose kids to the world and different cultures. A few ideas for inspiration:
Maps and globes encourage global learning and a sense of wonder.
This one transforms into a constellations map at night for double the magic.
A Little Passports Subscription is also a perfect gift for little explorers.
Imagine your child’s delight each month when they receive a new box filled with fun and educational activities, toys, and souvenirs from a different part of the globe. Little Passports’ award-winning subscriptions will get your kids excited about travel. They’ve partnered with educators and parents to deliver adventure and discovery each month. Kits are geared towards kids ages 5 – 10 and subscriptions can be ordered for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or a year.
Don’t forget National Geographic books like this Little Kids First Big Book of the World…
And subscriptions to their captivating children’s magazines National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Little Kids
Filled with vibrant photos and fun stories, National Geographic Kids will entertain and captivate your little ones while teaching them about wildlife around the world. The magazine comes in two versions, National Geographic Little Kids (for ages 3-6) and National Geographic Kids (for ages 6 and up). National Geographic remains dedicated to expanding awareness about wildlife and the environment and supports exploration, critical research, and education programs worldwide.
Meaningful Gifts for Kids
Do you have any meaningful gifts for kids you’d like to add? We’d love to hear about them. What is the best gift your child has ever received? What other ways do you practice conscious parenting during the holidays?