17 Eco Friendly Gifts for 7 and 8 Year Old Boys
One thing I have realised is that it seems easier to find eco friendly gifts for babies, children and younger children. As kids get older it seems there are less options of eco friendly toys and gifts to buy. Therefore I’ve realised when picking eco friendly gifts for 7 and 8 year old boys, it may be very difficult to find the perfect zero waste or eco friendly option. Some compromise may be needed.
Having said this, I have compiled a list of more eco friendly gifts for this age group. It’s not perfect but I hope that it fits in one of the following categories:
- It is made of recycled materials
- It is made of materials which can easily be recycled when finished with
- The gift is designed to have a lifetime of years and will be passed onto generations of other children when finished with.
* Please note we may get a small commission for any purchases made through links in this article
ReCycleMe Activity Kit – Turning Garbage into Science
The ReCycle Me kits are a great sustainable gift which teaches kids about the importance of recycling and upcycling while learning and having fun. The science kit featured is an exciting new way to turn your household throwaway items into hours of interactive fun with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) projects and experiments!
There are 6 science projects to complete. The box contains all the additional items needed to create science projects using leftover milk cartons, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, and old CDs.
Green Kid Crafts
Green Kid Crafts make a wide range of educational boxes with STEM themes. The themed boxes include a mad science kit, a backyard science kit, intro to engineering kit and a robot workshop box among many others. You can buy boxes individually or sign up for a subscription. The subscriptions can be gifted.
The box featured is an alternative energy box. It includes the following activities and projects: a fruit-powered digital clock kit, which demonstrates the power behind chemical energy, a paddle boat kit to teach kids about hydropower, a solar fan that really works, a color changing UV bracelet to aid in solar power discussions, and a pinwheel project which illustrates the concepts behind wind power.
More about the eco friendliness of the boxes:
Green Kids Crafts was founded by Penny Bauder who created the company after she bought so many other wasteful and time consuming science and crafts kits for her own children. The boxes the kits come in are made of 100% recycled craft materials. They are often also used as part of the project.
The kits are bundled in special bags that are also made of 100% recycled materials.
The company offset 100% of the carbon dioxide generated through their business, helping Carbon Fund finance climate change education, carbon offsets (like theirs!) and public outreach.
They also partner with onetreeplanted to plant a tree for each subscription box sold.
Mudpuppy Map of the United States Geography Puzzle
This is a very educational jigsaw puzzle. It helps 7 and 8 year olds learn all 50 States by name, capital city, shape, location, and even state nickname. The puzzle has 70 double-sided pieces. It contains 90% recycled paper. The packaging contains 70% recycled paper. It’s printed with nontoxic, soy-based inks.
101 Smart Ways to Change the World
This inspiring book is a brilliant way to help kids (and adults change) the world. Many of the ideas of amazingly easy to implement with little effort. Others require more planning and help, but they are great ideas. They include random acts of kindness, craft projects, energy-saving ideas, and much more. The book is divided into 3 main topics, “Caring for Others,” “Caring for the Planet,” and “Caring for Yourself” and there are 33 things listed under each heading for kids to do to “change the world.”
It’s a book 7 year olds can read with an adult and some 8 year olds will read independently. A brilliant book to educate children and get them to think about how their positive actions are important for change.
Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit
Green Toys are an eco friendly toy company who make most of their toys from 100% recycled plastic from milk cartons. This gardening set contains three pots with peapod-shaped tray and a trowel made from curbside collected milk containers. There are also three packs organic seeds of zinnia or basil or teddybear sunflower, and three soil discs.
It’s a great set to encourage kids to grow plants.
Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids
It’s hard to find science kits for kids that aren’t filled with plastic components. Get round this by using a book. The Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids is a good one. 7 and 8 year old boys are going to love doing the experiments because not only can they do them but they can eat them too. Kids are probably going to need some supervision from adults while doing this book. So if that’s not going to happen, it’s not the best gift. And the experiments are going to need some effort. However, if you have the time, boys are going to love doing the experiments in this book.
Having said all this, each of these science experiments for kids comes with easy-to-follow instructions, as well as difficulty and mess ratings so you know how much adult help you‘ll need.
Out of the Box: 25 Cardboard Engineering Projects for Makers
Instead of buying new craft kits, make use of cardboard you already have. Use the book Out of the Box: 25 Cardboard Engineering Projects for Makers
to build lots of exciting creations including dinosaurs, masks, race cars and robots. The projects utilize only recycled materials, including cardboard rolls and boxes, so all the supplies should be easy to find right at home.
Building Fun – Wooden Puzzle Kit
A great alternative to plastic lego is a 3D wooden puzzle set. The set featured is made from safe, environmentally friendly plywood and you can use it to make 6 dinosaurs including T-Rex, Brontosaurus, Spinosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and Parasaurolophus. The plywood has grooved edges which makes it safe for children. And no tools or glue are required to build.
Each puzzle comes with wooden punch out sheets with easy to follow step by step assembly instructions.
If dinosaurs aren’t his thing there are other sets to choose from including birds, military vehicles and various types of animals.
My 7 year old is quite crafty and likes making, drawing and painting. If the 7 year old you are buying for is the same there are some great eco friendly craft kits out there. Here are a couple of options:
Earth Flags Craft Kit
Encourage painting and creativity with this paint your own home or garden flags. The natural earth paint is 100% post-consumer recycled, with biodegradable bags and mixing cups. Once finished 7 and 8 year olds are going to love hanging them in their bedroom for their own unique decoration.
The kit contains 6 vibrant colors of natural earth paint (paint uses natural earth and mineral pigments and organic ingredients to make completely safe, sustainable). There are also 4 hemp flags, 6.5″ x 8.5″ (sewn with a loop to thread rope), 1 hemp rope, 1 bamboo paint brush and 6 biodegradable mixing cups.
Cate and Levi – Monkey Puppet Making Kit
Create your own one of a monkey puppet from 100% reclaimed wool. Finished puppet is 10″ tall. The kit is recommended for ages 7 and up but they do say that parental supervision will be required for younger children. It typically takes 4-6 hours to finish a puppet from Cate and Levi kit.
The kit includes reclaimed wool, detailed instructions and pattern, hand sewing needle and thread, our signature eyes
The best part… zero waste!
Art Supplies and Materials
My 7 year old son loves to draw and this Christmas he has asked for an art set. If you are buying eco friendly gifts as possible this can be hard to achieve.
There are many eco friendly drawing pads like the one featured above so paper is not a problem.
I have decided the best thing to do is to avoid the plastic felt tip pens and stick to coloring pencils. Buying colouring pencils that are well made and will last is the best option to avoid the throw away items that many art sets contain.
Canvas Pencil Wrap
A fab way to present and store the colored pencils is in a canvas pencil wreap. These wraps are much more eco friendly than plastic containers. They roll up so will store all the pencils compactly too. They will also last for years and it’s easy to stop kids from losing their pencils.
They’re also a great way to take pencils to and from school.
Pick Up Sticks
You can avoid buying plastic and electronic toys by choosing classic wooden toys and games. One idea is the classic game of pick up sticks. The version featured is a giant version which is made from bamboo (a sustainable material as bamboo forests can be grown in a few years). You can get smaller versions of this game made from sustainable wood sources too.
To play pick up sticks, drop the sticks on the floor or a table. The idea is to take turns to pick up sticks. However, when you pick up a stick you must not disturb any of the other sticks. Otherwise you have to drop the stick you were trying to pick up. The person who picks up the most sticks during the game wins.
The game is an excellent opportunity to practice physical dexterity as it offers a fresh challenge each time the sticks are scattered. it also helps develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
If the kids you are buying for already have a Nintendo Switch, they will love the Nintendo Labo to play with.
Nintendo Labo is a gaming and construction toy platform. It uses kits that include cardboard cut-outs and other materials that are to be assembled in combination with the Nintendo Switch console display and Joy-con controllers to create “Toy-con” that can interact with game software and vice versa.
Most of the labo is made of cardboard so it’s easily recycled when finished with.
Don’t think bath bombs are just for girls.
Both my boys love bath bombs, especially if they change the color of the water. Lush make a fab bath bomb in the shape of a rocket, so that’s well worth checking out for 7 year old space fanatics. And you can buy Lush products without packaging from their stores.
The bath bombs featured are cruelty-free and are handmade.
Eco Friendly Bug House Hotel
If he’s the type of boy who loves insects, he will be fascinated with a bug hotel. You simply put it in the garden and then you can go and investigate. It attracts bees, butterflies, ladybirds and a host of other insects to your garden and offers them a safe place to stay. It’s made of eco friendly materials. Great for a nature lover.
Green Toys Jump Rope
The Green toys jump rope is perfect for 7 and 8 year olds for outdoor exercise. Jump rope helps young kids improve coordination as well as increase cardiovascular fitness. It can be done anywhere! A jump rope is the perfect toy to take to a friend’s or family member’s home to practice in their backyard. Or take it to the park or playground. Most importantly, jump rope is fun!
The handles on the Green Toys jump rope are made from 100% recycled plastic and the rope is made from 100% US cotton. The rope is 7 feet long and can be adjusted to suit the height of your child. The jump rope is packed in a box made of recycled and recyclable materials.
Go Find It – Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt Card Game for Families
Go Find it is a fantastic low impact gift that will get kids running around outdoors and enjoying themselves. Super easy to play. You have cards that allow you to play in many ways. The main idea is to find items which represent the word and picture on the card. The game can be played in an outdoor space like the park, woods or beach. Play for 2 minutes or all day. It’s a fantastic game for the family and kids of all ages.
The game is developed by Sensory Trust all profits go back into their work helping people get equal access to the outdoors.