10 Zero Waste Gifts for Kids

The global toy market has an estimated size of more than 87 billion U.S. dollars annually, of which about one quarter can be attributed to the North American market.  The average toy spend per child in Canada is $347 per year.

The average child in the developed world owns over 200 toys but only plays with 12 of them on average per day!

It is the season where often there is a giant toy purge in households to make room for a mountain of new toys. Maybe this year Santa and other gift givers can consider gifts that create more memories and experiences for kids. 

Here are 10 Zero Waste Gifts Suggestions for Kids

1. Give the gift of learning a new skill

Many communities offer classes and camps for kids for a variety of new skills such a rock climbing, music lessons, and art. Skills that help equip kids that develop creativity and self-reliance can help children be an active participant in Zero Waste households.

MakerKids empowers children to be creators, not just consumers. We equip kids with the tools and mindsets to be leaders and inventors.

Seams So Easy offers kids and teens sewing classes by beginning with a sleep-over kit and then they progress to their own creations.

Nutrition Bites kids’ cooking classes give you a rest and your kids a chance to lead a healthy life by being able to cook for themselves.

Home Depot offers free workshops for kids for woodworking projects.

Child overlooking mountains wearing a dark blue winter jacket with hood

2. Give a gift of a new experience

Kids love exploring and experiencing new things. Think of those wish list experiences or experiences that encourage bonding, self-awareness or knowledge. Perhaps it is a visit to a new place, a ticket to a hockey game or ticket to play

Vancouver Aquarium offers sleep-overs that give kids a chance to explore the Aquarium.

Neptune Theatre offers ticket packages for their performances.

Prairie Dog Central Railway  kids can be an engineer for a day on a train.

father and daughter ice skating with blue ice skates

3. Give the gift of time together

Everyone loves special time together. It does not have to be expensive, it just means shutting off the cell phone and focusing on being together. Perhaps it is giving coupons for “dates” or special time.

young boy cracks an egg into a glass mixing bowl

4. Give a gift of fun with friends and family

Movie and skating passes can help kids to organize social outings with friends. Build a backyard hockey rink as a gift or go visit family.

child on wooden sled in the snow

5. Give a membership as gift

Memberships to museums, art galleries and non-profit organizations are a great way for kids to get involved with their communities or causes. Students can become members of Zero Waste Canada and this membership is a great gift for the environment and the student.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts  subscription gives special perks and access to exhibits.

Tool Library membership gives you access to Thousands of Tools for a loan period of 3 to 7 days. We have 4 membership options for individuals, please see the chart below. Combined memberships also offer access to the Sharing Depot, our Library of Things program. The Sharing Depot loans many more items you need just a few times per year including camping and sports equipment, board games, children’s toys and party supplies.

Thingery  membership gives access to lending library of things.

Surfrider Canada membership shows you care about our oceans.

6. Give a donation in lieu of gifts

Donate warm clothing to a homeless shelter or make a financial donation to a worthy cause in recipient’s name. Take a picture of what you donated or clip catalogue pictures to show donation as gift.

Plan Canada  give a goat because it is a way of improving the lives of children living in rural communities in developing countries.

Second Harvest   a donation that will help feed families and children.

Wildlife Rescue Association helps wildlife injured in wildfires.

Zero Waste Canada helps us expand our Zero Waste programs.

7. Pass down a gift

Pass down an object that has a special memory to you and share the memory. 

8. Give the gift of fixing

Give gifts for shoe repair or bike repair to encourage making things last. Perhaps give a coupon to help to repair special toys. iFixit has guides for fixing a variety of toys.

9. Give a previously loved toy or game a new home

Shop for gently used toys from second-hand and thrift shops. 

10. Give a gift of Zero Waste books

Trash Talk : Moving towards a Zero-Waste world

Don’t throw that away!

Duffy’s lucky escape

A zero waste holiday season can be a family affair. The more people you get involved, the more fun and creative it can be.

Think outside of the box this holiday season while going for zero waste!