With the advent of the holiday season, honoring the tenets of conscious parenting can feel more challenging and complicated. Stockings need filling, traditions need honoring, gifts need giving, and that’s just the beginning. Before falling into the consumer craziness, consider taking a more conscious approach. How? With these meaningful Christmas gift ideas for kids.
As a reminder, to your child, there’s no better gift than spending quality time together. 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 get it. But how about making it a meaningful one? A gift that is fun, educational, and will do more than add clutter to our busy lives?
Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids
The question we should ask ourselves is: Are the gifts we give our children aligned with the critical 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? Meaningful gifts for kids that nurture good global citizens and little travelers?
With this in mind, here’s our guide to Christmas gift ideas for kids. These 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 a fantastic way to teach these lessons, but they’re certainly not for everyone. Just because you’re not quite ready for the commitment of a pet, doesn’t mean you can’t still embrace gift ideas that nurture kindness and compassion.
Sponsoring a Child through Save the Children
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 non-profit organization. In 2015, they reached more than 2.8 million children in 23 of the neediest countries around the world. And 87 percent of all Save the Children expenditures go directly to program services.
Giving the Gift of Cuddle + Kind Dolls
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, making them among the best Christmas toys 2019. Cuddle + Kind has partnered with the World Food Program USA and the Children’s Hunger Fund to provide one million meals a year to children in need.
Helping America’s Youth with STATE Backpacks
State backpacks are fun and stylish. Best of all, the company was created to address the immediate needs of American children. Through their #WhatDoWeTellTheKids initiative, for each backpack purchased, a bag filled with essential “tools for success” is hand-delivered to a US child in need.
Promoting Sustainability with TEGU Magnetic Wooden Blocks
These sustainably-sourced magnetic wooden blocks come in a vibrant assortment of colors and rank among our favorite Christmas presents for kids. 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, including 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.
Supporting Education with YOOBI’s Art and School Supplies
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. And with every purchase of Yoobi products, you give back to underprivileged schools! Yoobi works with the Kids in Need Foundation to provide essential supplies to classrooms across the US. To date, they’ve positively impacted millions of students in high-need areas around the country.
Contributing to Charities with Pura Vida Bracelets
Handcrafted by artisans around the world, Pura Vida’s line of colorful handmade bracelets will delight your school-aged kids. A synthesis of 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 will fund non-profits around the world. So far, they’ve donated more than $1.9 million to more than 175 charities around the world.
Minimizing Waste with B. Toys
B. Toys is a manufacturer on a mission. They strive to create better toys, ones that inspire individuality and creativity. They work hard to decrease their environmental footprint through the use of recycled materials. They also focus on waste minimization by shipping toys in 100% recyclable packaging. A portion of each sale goes to WE, a charity started in 1995 by 12-year-old Craig Kielburger, to bring schools to communities around the world. So far, they’ve adopted six villages in four countries (Kenya, Haiti, Ecuador, and China), allowing 1,300 students to attend school daily.
Gifts that Foster INDEPENDENCE
Fostering independence remains a critical skill for successful kids. Yes, you want your child to make their bed, brush their teeth, and shower on their own, right? But there are other fun gift ideas that encourage independence, too. These include:
Gifts that Stimulate CURIOSITY
Kids have an amazing sense of wonder. But it’s up to us to keep that curiosity alive by cultivating their 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:
A real biological microscope
A science kit with plenty of experiments and cool facts
Gifts that Promote RESOURCEFULNESS and INGENUITY
It is never too early to start learning coding skills or basic electronics. There are fantastic games out there, designed to both entertain and educate kids of all ages.
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 an excellent tool for teaching kids to persevere and develop a growth mindset.
Here are a few examples that are challenging for kids and adults alike:
Or, give the gift of confidence and perseverance with the Big Life Journal, a resource created to help kids develop a growth and resilient mindset.
Gifts that Promote CREATIVITY
Craft sets, Kinetic sand or a funky ukulele? There are no shortage of ideas in this category. These gift ideas include anything and everything that will spark your child’s imagination and let their creative juices flow.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Magna tiles last a lifetime and provide hours of creative play.
The Q-BA-Maze 2.0 stunt set helps children embrace their creativity while designing engineering wonders.
3Doodler allows kids to “draw in the air” and bring ideas to life in 3D!
Gifts that Inspire MINDFULNESS and CONNECTION
A few years ago, 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 include plenty of love and wisdom. They remain the 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 Enhance GLOBAL AWARENESS:
Ready for fun new ways to expose your kids to the world and different cultures? Many great gift ideas exist. A few of our favorites include:
Maps and globes that encourage global learning and a sense of wonder.
This globe 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 different parts 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 appeal to kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old, and subscriptions come in one-month-, three-month-, six-month-, or 12-month-long commitments.
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 Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids
Do you have any meaningful Christmas gift ideas 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?