Boy Holding Money

Children’s toys, furniture and clothing seem to come from a never-ending conveyor belt of better and more up-to-date things. You can never afford to get all of the things you want for your child, and money is often tight with all the expenses that come with being a parent. But sometimes you want to splurge on the smartest, most eco-friendly items out there, and who could blame you?

So what’s a parent to do?

Well, we’ve all heard advice about tapping into local email lists for parents and asking friends for their hand-me-downs, but have you really used these resources to their full advantage? Parents whose kids have outgrown their belongings can be surprisingly generous. And sometimes the items they have can be exactly what you’re looking for. Since it doesn’t take a child very long to outgrow their belongings, some of the items may even be quite new.

But even after you’ve exhausted all the resources you can think of, there will always be things you want but haven’t found. At this point it can be useful to distinguish between the new trends that have little value and those that offer genuine benefits to your child. This will help you prioritize your wish list and avoid investing in items that aren’t worth it.

When you identify the items that are worth your investment, you can always turn to budgeting to help you afford them. Budgeting has a negative connotation as being limiting and difficult, but it doesn’t have to be hard and it can actually be freeing if it allows you to afford important things you couldn’t have before. Just take a look at your expenses and identify areas where you can easily cut back, and then save that money.

When you’re able to save up enough to afford something nice, the small sacrifices you made to get there don’t seem like such a big deal after all.

Annie Idea is a freelance writer focused on how to live large on a little living. She writes financial savings tips for the short term loans company, QuickQuid, and enjoys taking any idea and making it easier or cheaper to complete.

Eco-Friendly CloudB Stuffed Animals

eco friendly cloudb stuffed animals

Award-winning plush eco-toys bring much needed attention to endangered animals. This amazing gift pack from CloudB includes items that soothe multiple senses that help your children sleep better. A Dozy Dolphin plays four soothing sounds, Polar Cuddle Cub gently shivers to provide comforting touch, and Twilight Sea Turtle projects stars in three soothing colors. All eco-friendly CloudB Stuffed Animals are made with either soy or bamboo fibres and a portion of your purchase will benefit Conservation International.

Kids Eco-Friendly Work Bench

kids eco friendly work bench

For the budding carpenter or for any kid who just loves to build things, this Kids Eco-Friendly Work Bench puts the fun back into work! Made from environmentally friendly rubberwood, non-toxic water-based paints and biodegradable fabrics, the Kids Eco-Friendly Work Bench is the perfect gift for children and is also easy on the environment. The work bench is multicolored and its simple design is sure to get children playing for countless hours of fun.

Wooden Tea Time Play Set

wooden tea time play set

Tea time has a whole new look! This wooden tea time play set is an eco-friendly toy made from replenishable Rubberwood. This tea set encourages children to use their imaginations to host fun-filled tea parties with their friends. The wooden set includes two cups, saucers and spoon as well as tea pot and containers for cream and sugar. Made with non-toxic water based paints, the wooden tea time play set makes the perfect gift for your special little child.

city toys eco town

If only our own cities and towns were this environmentally conscious. The City Toys Eco Town is the perfect toy for intellectual development and pure entertainment. Your child can build the city of their dreams and let their imaginations run wild. The City Toys Eco Town stimulates creative thinking and visualization while informing your child about social environments, occupations, and how the world works and operates. All the materials are environmentally safe and made from replenishable Rubberwood.

Cardboardesign Kids Play House

cardboardesign kids play house

Eco friendly and full of fun, the Cardboardesign Kids Play House will encourage self expression and creative imagination. Paint inside or out. Mail or receive a letter in the convenient mail slot. Your children will appreciate that they can come and go as they please in this eco friendly Cardboardesign Kids play house.

Magnetic Battery Eater

magnetic battery eater

Kids will get a kick out of this magnetic battery eater designed by David Dear. This cool fridge magnet will suck out the last juice of worn-out AA batteries that in turn make this fridge magnet’s eyes blink with delight. This toy has been rated eco-friendly by Kids and Baby Design Ideas!

Kids Eco-Plunk Game

kids eco plunk game

A great way to keep the kids entertained, this eco game could be compared to the classic game of Kerplunk, but with a twist! Great for kids over 4, the Kids Eco-Plunk game makes a perfect eco gift. See how steady your hands really are as you carefully remove the colour coded sticks to eliminate your opponents marbles, making sure you don’t let your own fall through. Parents weary of plastic toys will appreciate this eco toy: made from bamboo, the world’s fastest replenishable natural resource – bamboo grows without the use of pesticides making it sustainable and environmentally friendly.

knit your own sock monkey

We LOVE this! This super fun craft kit contains everything you need to knit your own cuddly cheeky sock monkey and wrap him up warm with his own stylish little scarf. Each kit contains: 5 colours of wool for the scarf and hat, large ball of brown wool, small ball of cream wool, knitting needles, stuffing, plastic sewing needle, stars for personality and a felt heart for love. There are so many great things to mention about this “Knit your own Sock Monkey” like it’s a great low energy product with a clever use of packaging to save on waste – the box can be made into a rocking chair for your monkey to sit in! An educational, interactive and creative toy.

Eco Friendly Nature Puzzle

eco friendly nature puzzle

Life-like and accurate portrayal of animals and plants adds increased educational value to your child’s playtime. Made of sustainable wood, this 35-piece jigsaw puzzle is perfect for kids looking for a challenge! Two removable background sheets (color image and puzzle outline) vary the degree of difficulty. This makes a great eco friendly gift idea.