The fourth part in our Green Gift series offers tips for kid-friendly eco-shopping. Above, the hand-winding LED flashlight from IKEA teaches kids about energy. (See links to gift guides for women, men and pets below.)
Dec. 19, 2017
The best time to learn to take care of our precious planet is while we are young. Christmas is just around the corner but you’ve still got time to grab these eco-friendly buys at stores around DFW and online. Phone numbers supplied so that you check current availability. Any pricing listed is subject to change and is at the discretion of the individual merchants.
Green Toys® Tea Set
If you and your gang love to play, you’ll want to hop into Froggies, a Dallas institution in the hip Knox-Henderson shopping district in Dallas. Their USA-made Green Toys are best-sellers and you’ll soon see why. Not only are they manufactured from recycled milk bottles, each one is tough enough for years of play for kids of all ages. The tea set is a full 17-pieces including teapot and lid, sugar bowl with lid, creamer, four cups, four saucers and four spoons. Many other styles available including loads of kitchen sets, trucks, boats, farm, baby, bath and dough interactives. Tea set is $29.99. Others start under $10. Froggie's 5 & 10 Toy Store, 3211 Knox St, Dallas, 75205. 214-522-5867. Also available online at DolphinBlue.com.
Looking for last-minute gift ideas for the whole family? Drop by World Market and find a world of goods – many of them with an eco-friendly slant. One of our fav’s for kids is the award-winning Solar Rover, a vehicle made from a discarded soda pop can. Everything is included except for the can that you supply. Perfect for the budding NASA scientist, it teaches kids about solar power, engineering, recycling and more. Other models available. Recommended for ages 8+. $19.99 at World Market stores around the area.
Sustainable Baby Rattle
Austin-based Whole Earth Provision was founded in the heyday of hippies and they’ve been going strong ever since. Their toys and other kid stuff are second to none and eco-friendly is just to be expected. Your baby will love cuddling and chewing on Alvin the Elephant Soft Rattle Toy. His soft cotton body invites hugs and his head made of natural rubber is perfect for teething. Part of the Meiya & Alvin Collection – an environmentally friendly range of toys from Bonikka. They are made with natural cotton and sustainably-produced rubber harvested from the Hevea Tree. Stuffing is reclaimed from recycled plastic bottles. Machine-washable and hypo-allergenic. Certified non-toxic, BPA-free, phthalate-free and PVC-free. $21.95 at Whole Earth Provision stores in the area.
For the artist in all of us – Kids young and old will enjoy designing their own puzzles and putting them together again and again. Each set includes 25 blank five-inch-by-seven-inch chipboard puzzle blanks that will accept nearly any art medium including colored pencils, crayons and even paint. Once the puzzles are made, they can become their own gifts for grandparents or friends. Ideal for parties, classrooms or other larger groups. At Lakeshore Learning, a homeschooling and educator’s company, which has been inspiring kids since 1958. Be sure to check out their science and tech kits also. Make-Your-Own Puzzles, $16.99 set of 25. Lakeshore, 14060 N. Dallas Parkway, Dallas, 75240. 972-934-8866.
Root Viewer Science Kit
Encourage your child’s natural curiosity with this fascinating kit that teaches botany, biology and patience. The whole family will enjoy watching vegetables as they grow in the clear viewing tubes included in this kids' science kit that is age-appropriate for children as young as 3 years of age. The kit includes a wooden stand, three plastic viewing tubes, growing medium, seeds and instructions. Other styles available such as build a terrarium greenhouse or birdhouse. Prices start under $13. Just a few of the many wonders at Rooster Home & Hardware, 10233 East Northwest Hwy. Suite 409, Dallas 75238. 214-343-1971.
There’s a new toy gem in Fort Worth, Houston Street Toy Company, in historic Sundance Square, launched last year by local entrepreneur, Lindsey Ross, who also owns Schakolad Chocolate Factory – and the company puts a strong emphasis on eco-friendly products. German toy maker, Bruder, is so sustainable that they even provide spare parts for their products if they break – so you never have to send them to the landfill. Plus their in-house recycling loop and energy-saving production processes lead the industry. But it’s Bruder’s toys that truly shine. Their construction trucks, loaders and excavators will spur hours of indoor or outdoor play. Bruder toys start around $40 at Houston Street Toy Company, 309 Houston St, Fort Worth, TX 76102. (817) 810-9644.
LJUSA LED flashlight at IKEA is a fun and colorful way to teach kids about energy. Just wind the handle 20-30 times for about 90 seconds of lumination. Kids learn about light and how it’s produced by transferring our own energy during the winding process. Tough red ABS plastic body resists drops and knocks. Great for camping and for chasing away bumps in the night. Three bright LEDs are bright enough that you’ll want to keep one in your car’s glove box as a quick emergency light too. IKEA is home to a wide selection of toys and housewares made with sustainable practices and the company itself has been a green example that has inspired many others to follow. $6.99 at IKEA stores in DFW and worldwide.
Hand-crafted Building Logs
Local educator, Don Reimer, spent a lifetime teaching children. Now he uses his time to create toys that will last a lifetime such as this hand-crafted log cabin construction set, fashioned from native hardwoods. A full 52-pieces encourages hours of play, teaching hand-eye coordination, counting, balance and engineering. $25. Larger, 94-piece set allows for even more building possibilities. $35. You’ll enjoy perusing the plethora of other unique gifts at Pretty Things and Cool Stuff from Dallas greenie, Kim Young. Visit online at prettythingsandcoolstuff.com. Local delivery may be available. 214-660-5467.