Call it a coincidence but in the month of July alone, we have had six mammas ask us for ‘return gift’ ideas for their little ones’ birthday parties. Now ideally we would say no to any unnecessary material purchases. Give the kids an experience they’ll love and never forget and no physical gift could match that. Realistically, there might be a chance you can’t choose from the options listed under ‘ideal’, so we’ve given you a good enough list to choose from in ‘real’ as well. We hope you won’t have to buy some “Chinese plastic rubbish” as a very dear friend calls it. Without wasting much time, here goes:
Ideal experiences/options for kids’ birthday gifts or birthday party return gifts (Ages 3 upwards):
- Farmer child: Gather a bunch of kids together. Give them an old plastic or tin container – restaurant home delivery boxes, airline popcorn tins, an old ceramic vase, just about anything that you might be likely to toss out in a hurry. Get some seeds, some like spinach or arugula will sprout in a few days. For more instant gratification, use Aloe Vera. Teach the kids how to get their hands dirty in the mud by re-potting a plant. This one is an invaluable learning.
- Plogging babies: Jogging + picking up litter = plogging. Take the kids to a park. (Sadly, nowadays there’ll be plenty of litter to be found, even in those beautiful parks that some corporate is maintaining as part of their CSR initiative). Pair the kids up, give them a collection bag and set them off. Mothers, you can all get some exercise together while working on tiring out the kids so they’ll sleep early at night. Win-win!
- Vegetable painting: You’ll need some newspaper, watercolors, a few cut okra, potato, and other veggies you have at hand. Have the kids use the okra as stamps to make lovely flowers. Show them how to carve shapes into the potato to create more effects. Voila. The decorated old newspaper is now funky gift-wrapping paper which the kids can take home.
These are some ideas to get you started. We’re sure you can come up with heaps more.
‘Real’ options for kids’ eco-friendly products that are great to use or to gift on any occasion. (Infant upwards)
- Shumee toys: Awesome, functional wooden toys which have a well-thought purpose for each of them. Be it a cycle to teach balance or a card game to help improve memory.
- Haathi Chaap: We’re partial to this brand. We absolutely love it. We use their notebooks, their photo albums, their paperweight, paper clips and more! Keeping Ludo and Snakes and ladders alive amongst our kids is in your hands. The most exciting part – these products are made from elephant poo, a fact that makes them a great conversation piece among the toddler gang.
- Corugami: This one is an upcoming brand that we are super fond of, not only because of the amazing co-founders but also because their very first product is so well thought of and well made. And the best part is that you have to build the product yourself before you use it. The desk-up is a great DIY product for kids as well as parents.
- Upcycler’s Lab: With such passionate entrepreneurs out there creating super cool educative products like the environment box mini, our kids are in good hands. We always worry about what state we are leaving the planet in for our next of kin so it’s quite reassuring to know that this dark cloud has a bright, silver lining. Through these kits, children learn how to segregate waste,
Some gyan for the future:
- Teach kids to care for and to share their toys.
- They’re allowed to get bored of the toy but only after 3 years.
- Whenever your kids are done with a toy(s), take the time to donate. Don’t let us guilt-trip you into this