Affordable Wooden Play Kitchens Make Eco-friendly Holiday Gifts

Wooden play kitchens have gone mainstream! Just a few years ago, I couldn’t find a wood child’s play kitchen for under $250. (I’ll admit I didn’t look too hard after my initial search proved so disappointing.) So what did I do? I picked up something similar to this Alex Toys In My Kitchen Set at a consignment shop for $12, tricked it out with some IKEA pots and pans, and voila! I had an inexpensive little play kitchen for my child. (Here’s the original post I wrote about this slap-dash effort at creating an affordable wooden play kitchen.)

This year I looked around and found several darling wooden kitchens, many of which were under or around $100!
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What Are You Giving Baby This Holiday Season?

A wooden spoon?  A secondhand rattle?  A children’s museum membership?  A ribbon?  What are you planning to wrap up for your tot this year?  If you opt not to give her a gift, don’t worry.  She’d most likely play with the wrapping paper anyway.  (Unless you decide to whip up a batch of homemade holiday fabric gift bags!)

We also love buying gifts of experience.  Since they were activities rather than objects, they didn’t have to be stashed in baby’s tiny room and they always provided great memories.

Our baby was just six months old during her first Christmas and had no idea what was going on so she received a few secondhand playthings plus gifts from family and friends. Now that she’s older, we’ve found some amazing garage sale deals including a dollhouse and wooden pull toy, but she won’t be getting mounds of loot.  How are you handling the holidays with your baby?

The Friday Question: What Are Your Favorite Baby Shower Gifts?

homemade baby food basketOut of all those colorful booties, soft blankets, and various contraptions, what baby gift was the most thoughtful or useful?  What gifts do you now give expectant families?

Among our favorite presents was a bag full of carefully selected, gently used baby garments.  Many people may shirk at receiving or giving hand-me-downs, but my sister-in-law knew that I ardently love recycled goods and bought me a huge bunch of clothes for the same price that she would have paid for one new outfit.   Another favorite gift was a copy of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree that was presented along with an young apple tree.  (It died later, but it’s the thought that counts!)  We were also gifted with items to borrow which included two slings and an Ergo carrier.  Being able to just use these items temporarily worked out perfectly!
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The Friday Question: What’s on your wish list for baby this year?

What are you hoping you’ll receive for baby this year?  A new batch of cloth diapers, a bit of free babysitting, or an eco-friendly rattle?  Please tell us what you’re wishing for.  (Then you can strategically tell friends and family to read your comments!)
sevi rattle eco-friendly plush turtle toy
Cute eco-friendly rattle–just $7!

5 Unexpectedly Green Holiday Gifts for Baby

1. Garage sale toys

2. Experience gifts

3. Money

 4. Donation to a charity in baby’s name

5. Most shocking of all . . . NOTHING!  Before you discount this idea as completely Scrooge-like, hear me out.  Will a baby really know if you got her a gift or not?  Most pint-sized toys and clothes get relegated to the basement or attic within a few months.
 
You may think “going green” means shelling out extra cash for organic clothes and hand-crafted toys carved from sustainable wood.  All the gifts we mentioned use no raw materials so your bundle of joy can leave a little footprint on the Earth.  Rather than depriving your child, you’re emphasizing the true meaning of the holidays: family togetherness, festive food, good cheer, and of course (adjective) + (abstract noun of choice).