It’s that time of year where we are bombarded with adverts for the latest high street toys and sparkly Christmas outfits. But more and more of us are looking for children’s gifts that spark the imagination and stimulate creativity, whilst having as little impact on the environment as possible. I have put together this list of affordable eco-friendly, unique and inspiring gifts for children, created by small, indie businesses. Often founded by parents who have despaired at the ocean of disposable products and are looking to offer an ethical alternative. This is a very personal list as it is comprised of businesses with a similar ethos to Om Baby, who I have long loved, and includes gifts I have bought this year or in the past. I have looked for sustainable businesses using non-toxic, organic materials, that are built to last. And I’ve also thrown in three from my own collections! The focus is on creativity, art and play, because that’s what I always aim to inspire with my gifts for children. Take a look below and check out their websites for more imagination inducing gifts that will be treasured for years.
Keep little hands busy as you get the Christmas dinner prepped with these beautiful animal puzzle keepsakes, made from mango wood and hand-painted using non-toxic paints. Each animal has its own symbolic meaning and you can pick your favourite from: tiger, leopard, elephant, camel, horse and peacock.
Check out these super cute eco-tees for your budding artists. Handprinted using waterbased ink and printed on natural, un bleached, ethically-produced cotton t-shirts. I love pairing this tee with a pair of Oms! Available from 1 – 13 years and in adult sizes too.
This fun purse will brighten up everyone’s day and is made from 100% cotton canvas and hand screen printed with the Mika Bon Bon logo. Made by Japanese creator and Om Baby seamstress, Mika Sembongi, here in London, they are big enough to fit children’s pocket money and even have space for credit cards and keys if you want to get yourself a matching one!
Lots of Lovely Art (LoLA) inspires creativity in children through art. They offer an exciting subscription service, or you can get one-off boxes, filled with artist-inspired projects, process-art ideas and a selection of quality materials to help children to be independently creative at home. Their latest box looks at three artists (Franz Marc, Salvador Dali and Charley Harper) and how they depict different animals in their own individual styles.
Tie their hair back and get ready to make! Handmade in London, these sets of zero-waste scrunchies are made using off-cuts saved from Om Baby’s main clothing collection. A set of three, there are various prints available, to splash some colour to any outfit.
Magpie and Hen has a great array of vintage toys, books and clothes to give them a flavour of your past! Venture back to the 1980’s with this preloved My First Dominoes, bursting with bold and beautiful illustrations including snails, Easter eggs, teddy bears, butterflies, and soldiers.
Molly's shop is my go to shop for all children's gifting, these Djeco Scratch Cards are engraving art for budding artists with style! Suitable for 3-6- year olds, the boards can be scratched with a stick, designing simple patterns and uncovering surprises. Each beautiful illustration will look great on display once the creative fun is complete.
MamaOwl holds a selection of bird-calls, made of beech and metal, that are real fruits of craftsmanship by French designer and bird specialist, François Morel. Ideal for children aged 3+, they will have fun manipulating the three openings of the bird call to create the trills of the chaffinch. Also available for duck, cuckoo, tawny owl and other birds.
Some brilliant bugs! This stocking filler sticker pack contains a smiley ladybird, bright butterfly and a flower. These weatherproof vinyl stickers can be stuck to anything, so encourage them to go wild and decorate their bicycle, toys, or lunchbox.
Explore their inner fashion designer and come up with a beautiful fabric headband to complement their favourite outfit. This simple, beginner level kit doesn’t require a sewing machine or hot glue and is great for children, friends, nieces, aunts...there is no age bracket! Sew on the go or on the sofa when you're stuffed after your Christmas Feast.
A new kind of bedtime book, filled with relaxing rhymes, calming language and dreamy themes to help steer little minds towards their special sleepy place. Each page features a colourful laser-cut pop-up to illuminate walls & ceilings with big, bright immersive illustrations powered by the flashlight on your phone.
A small handmade rainbow wall hanging made with cotton rope wrapped around a rainbow flecked fringed rope. A colourful and playful addition to any room but would work well in a child’s nursery or bedroom. I always buy my children a decoration for the tree and this year I have bought one of Knot So Simple’s beautiful macramé hangings to add some colour to the tree.
French for ‘lightning’, the Éclair bag is for all the little girls & boys full of energy who like running around, laughing, crying, talking and loving. The backpack is suitable for children from 3 to 7 years old to carry as a backpack and there are also D-rings to attach a shoulder strap for parents to use as a nappy bag. Passionate about print and pattern, Bandit Circus specialise in children’s backpacks ready for fun and exciting adventures.
Be like mummy with this mini version of a cross-body bag. Hedley Field specialises in handcrafted leather accessories, handmade by them from carefully sourced vegetable tanned eco-leather. This limited-edition children’s bag can also be personalised for that extra touch.
Settle down with a new book and get comfy with these warm hand block-printed quilts that will last a lifetime. Sourced from artisan printing families in Rajasthan, India, these cotton quilts with natural cotton wool stuffing, are finished with hand-stitching.
And then place all your gifts in a one-of-a kind stocking! Each stocking has been lovingly made with hand-dyed linen using plants and will last forever. These will look beautiful hung on the mantle or bedstead, coming back out every year to celebrate Christmas morning.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas, love Alice