Saint Nicholas is back! That means: time for gingerbread, chocolate letters and of course Saint Nicholas presents! The latter can be a real challenge as an environmentally conscious parent. Are you looking for a sustainable Sinterklaas gift for your kids, but don't know where to find it? At COSH! we can help you on your way. Below is a list of local stores where you can score ecological toys and sustainable gifts for children. Because a truly sustainable Saint buys locally!
Tip 1: Buy a second-hand Saint Nicholas gift
Find sustainable, second-hand toys here
Want to buy a gift with minimal environmental impact? Then second-hand toys are a good option! Second-hand certainly doesn't always mean inferior. There are already plenty of local second-hand stores that have a nice selection of toys. Be sure to discover these gems!
At Closet Stories in Ghent, you'll find a nice selection of second-hand toys and children's books. Looking for a fun puzzle or board game? Closet Stories selects items that are still in good condition! At Scharrelvos in Antwerp Berchem and Finn & Julia in Kalmthout you will also find fun second-hand items for kids! Looking for second-hand toys in Amsterdam? Then be sure to take a look at RecycleKid. Also at Old West Amsterdam, Ziggy+ Lucy, Otis en de Wolf and Lino & Moos you are at the right place for second hand toys.
You will also always find a selection of second-hand toys at De Kringwinkel. Look around and maybe you'll discover a gem that will make your son or daughter very happy.
Tip 2: Avoid plastics and choose toys made from natural materials
Toys made from organic sugarcane
Are you looking for a good alternative to plastic toys? At Doekjes en broekjes you will find, among other things, bioplastic toys made from sugarcane. The raw material comes from pesticide-free plantations and is 100% recyclable.
Sustainable, wooden toys
Blabloom in Genk sells Open Ended toys that encourage free play. Think of a wobble and rainbow that you can do all sorts of things with. It can be a bridge, a house, a seesaw,...
Cuddly toys made of organic cotton
Are you looking for a soft toy made of organic cotton? At Doekjes en Broekjes in Leuven you will find cute Hoppa cuddly toys for babies. The head is filled with 100% organic and ecological corn fiber and is therefore completely safe for your baby. Super cute are the heat pillows in the shape of an animal.
At Kudzu in Bruges you will also find various cuddly toys made from organic cotton.
At Knotsknetter in Amsterdam you will find many different toys. Whether you are looking for a cute mouse toy, a fish game like at the fair or a fun puzzle. They have it all!
Tip 3: Give a DIY gift
Making natural candles at Ecocandle
Would you rather give a fun activity instead of a physical gift? Then we have just the tip for you. At Ecocandle in Bruges you will learn how to make candles in an environmentally friendly way. An from Ecocandle organizes creativity days every vacation where she teaches children in a homely atmosphere and in small groups how to make their own candles.
Felting for children and teenagers in Bruges
At Katrien Perquy of Atelier Ailim you can learn to felt with natural wool. The workshops during the Christmas vacations are specifically aimed at children. In a few hours they make a winter carpet that they can take home at the end of the day. For more info, check Ailim's website.
Tip 4: Sustainable crafting fun
Ecological drawing and craft materials
Do you have a born artist at home who loves to draw and create? At Scharrelvos in Antwerp Berchem you will find quality craft materials including poster paints, beeswax, wax crayons and also the 'color me' crayons with 12 different skin colors which celebrate diversity in our society!
With the 'Recycle Me' craft kits, for sale at Allossa in Izegem, you transform empty packaging into unicorns or dinosaurs. This way you teach children to be aware of waste in an educational way.
Want to discover more fun activities and sustainable workshops? Click here.
Tip 5: Support others with your Saint-Nicholas gift
Support Nepalese families in need with a Fairtrade doll
At Kudzu you will find Nanu, a soft doll made from certified organic cotton. The doll comes with 5 washable water-based markers with which you can transform it completely into a prince or princess, nurse, superhero, ... Want to give the doll a new look? Then you can wash them at 40°C to make them completely blank again. Nanu is a product of Sweet Heroes that is part of the My World Foundation.
Are you looking for sustainable children's clothes or socks as a Saint Nicholas gift? Discover sustainable addresses for babies and kids through this link.