Eid al Adha is just around the corner and many of us may have already started thinking about how to make this day a happy and unforgettable one, especially for children.
Of course, the highlights of those feasting days are the Eid prayer at the mosque and the sacrifice which is done in remembrance of Ibrahim and Ismail’s submission to Allah The Almighty. Those days are filled with gratitude and generosity. It is an opportunity to gather with loved ones and enjoy some festive, yet reasonable, meals together.
Eid al Adha in itself is such a blessing that we don’t have to try to make it an “Islamic Christmas”, or a substitute to any other tradition. We should keep it as simple and authentic as possible, keep the real purpose in mind and try not to forget the real spirit of those days.
However, it is also an opportunity to show love, bring happiness, strengthen relationships and sometimes even reconcile. And one of the best way to do it is to make gifts, as the Prophet (please be upon him) said:
“Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another” (Al Bukhary)
But it is not about exaggerating or encouraging the love for material things and the amassing of goods. It’s about pleasing people with useful and meaningful presents, and it can also be an opportunity to educate or raise awareness on specific matters. So if you plan to make gifts to children, there are many ways to raise the bar and make it as beneficial as possible by educating them to ecology, healthy living, respect, generosity or choosing presents that will develop their creativity and curiosity. We would also advise you to privilege immaterial presents because those are the ones they might keep for a longer time in their hearts and memories.
So we share with you a few eco-friendly and meaningful gift ideas you may not have thought about. This is far from being exhaustive, and we didn’t talk about all the books, games and tools that are dedicated to teaching the religion because we know most of you already think about it.
So there you go, 15 eco-friendly and meaningful Eid gift ideas for kids:
1. Sponsoring an orphan
Sponsoring an orphan on behalf of your kids can be a great way, not only to help those who need it the most, but also to remind children of all the blessings Allah The Almighty granted them. It is important to let them know that some children can go through a lot of difficulties in their lives and to encourage them to show compassion, feel concerned about other’s situation, help and be generous. Even though they are not the ones who pay for it, it can make them feel proud and responsible, they can even build a relationship and develop a sense of fraternity by sending letters or drawings to the sponsored child.
2. Virtually adopting an animal
Our beloved planet is a deposit we have to take care of, and so are the animals that live on it. It is important to be aware that many species are threatened, mostly because of humans, and to encourage the youngest to help changing this situation. If your kid has been asking for a pet, you can offer even more. What about an elephant, a panda, a komodo dragon or a cheetah? The only difference is that they stay in their habitat.
Many organizations like the WWF propose symbolic adoptions in order to help them finance their programs for animals protection. You can choose the species and receive an adoption certificate, which can be very rewarding for a child.
3. A day with a healer
Your kid loves animals and would love to work as healer, trainer or veterinary? You can give him/her a glimpse of what it could be by offering a day with a healer. Many zoos and aquariums offer the possibility to go behind the scene. They will be able to learn more about the facilities, the different species, assist the healer in daily tasks such as feeding, caring, healing the animals. This could even awaken vocations (and maybe motivate them to work at school 😉 )
4. Participatory farm stays
Eating organic, seasonal, ethical and local food is the best choice we can make for our health and the environment, but it’s not always easy to change our consumption habits, choose quality over quantity and say goodbye to processed food. We could even try to grow our own veggies and fruits and why not raise animals such as hens. The younger we get used to it, the better it is, so we should definitely encourage our kids to make efforts in that way.
A farm stay is a great way to learn and maybe get rid of apprehensions. People can observe and experience the daily life on a farm and get involved in many activities: gardening, harvesting vegetables and fruits, looking after the livestock, or cooking with the farm’s products. They can thus enjoy some time away from the city, breathe some fresh air and experience minimalism and simplicity.
5. Personalized gift tickets
This might be our favourite one because it offers so many possibilities and enables you to personalize as much as possible.
So how does it work? You simply make your own tickets and choose what your kid is entitled to for each one. Be creative, there are no limits, but try to privilege activities that can strengthen your relationship by spending time together. It can be as simple as making cookies, having a one hour “alone time” with you, going to the zoo, getting a 30 minutes massage, choosing a cartoon… Make sure you choose the activities in accordance with their tastes and be aware that the simplest things are often those that please the most.
Offering your kids a workshop can be a great way to develop their creativity, new skills, new passion and make them realize they can accomplish more than what they thought. There are many possibilities: cooking classes, arts and crafts, technology, jewels, sewing, pottery, and many more. Some even offer the possibility for the parents to team with their children, which will make it a funny and unforgettable moment.
7. Growable gifts
Plants are a great way to observe the cycle of life. Children love witnessing all the different phases they go through and it is very rewarding for them to be in charge of the process.
You can start with a simple green plant, offer some seeds or even dedicate a specific place for them in your kitchen garden so that they can be involved as from the beginning. If you have no garden, some vegetables and fruits can be grown in a balcony or even in your kitchen. Another good solution is to rent a garden plot.
8. DIY kits
Develop their creativity and skills by offering your kids Do It Yourself kits. There are lots of kits available but you don’t necessarily need to buy them, you can build your own kits which will enable you to personalize and make sure all the equipment is ethical and of good quality. Here are a few kits ideas: making organic cosmetics or make-up, creating jewels, sewing bags and other accessories, making tissue dolls, building wood toys, creating decorations for their rooms, pottery kits, making funny costumes, engineering kits, mock-ups, and many more.
9. Experiencing and exploring
Wake up their inner explorer or scientist by offering them tools that will enable them to observe, explore, experience the world around them.
Binoculars, telescope, microscope, science and experiment kits or simply books in which they can find a lot of easy experiences they can make daily.
You could also take them to the museum or to an archaeological site, if possible.
10. Subscription to a magazine
Whether they have a passion or not, a magazine subscription can help them learn more on a specific field or just broaden their general knowledge. It’s always better to read one or two copies before subscribing so that you make sure the content is what you expect. Magazines such as Ranger Ricks, National Geographic kids, Sports Illustrated for kids, Eco kids planet, National Parks, National Wildlife, Discover, etc. seem to be good choices.
We would advise you to choose a paper version so that they don’t spend too much time on screens. And they will be pleased to receive their monthly mail.
11. Physical activities
Any gift that can encourages them having an active lifestyle, being in contact with nature and staying away from screens is a good idea. Horse riding, swimming classes, hiking, kids’ ropes course, biking lessons, kayaking, the list is far from being exhaustive.
12. Organic cosmetics
This one is a classic gift that never gets old, and you are
almost sure it will be used. You can offer a basket filled with beauty and hygiene products, alcohol free perfume, and even make-up for your girls if they like it. Just make sure it is organic and cruelty free (not tested on animals). Don’t forget to add a siwak which is an opportunity to remind your kids of the sunnah.
As for the khol or kajal, many of the products contain high level of lead which is very harmful for health. So check the labels, make sure you choose a lead free option and be careful about the colour additives.
13. Eco-friendly arts and school supplies
Children use their supplies almost in less time than it takes to buy them. They can express so many things through arts and writing and develop their creativity, language skills and reflection, it’s impossible to let them even a single day without carnets, colour pencils and other tools. So arts and school supplies are an unmissable Eid gift and a reminder that learning and working, should it be at home or at school, is important and deserves the best tools.
It may seem really basic but kids really love it, they never get bored and you can raise the bar by buying ecological, ethical and non-toxic supplies. Let’s remind that children who are still developing are more sensitive and more vulnerable to the dangers of toxic chemicals. We should avoid products containing PVC, phtalates, solvents and BPA.
You can buy recycled paper, notebooks, pencils, erasers and rulers, biodegradable crayons, non-toxic lunch boxes and water bottles, solvent-free glue sticks and put them in a recycled or home made pencil case.
14. Healthy personalized cookies
Yes, there will be cakes, cookies and maybe sweets for Eid. It might be 100% healthy or 100% cheat or anywhere in between, and it’s perfectly fine as long as you are happy with your choices. And of course, kids always enjoy it.
So how can you make it count even more? You can personalize your cookies with your kids’ names or a little text: Eid Mubarak, I love you, To the best child… anything, even a little joke if you wish to. Making personalized gifts is always appreciated, it shows you made an effort for each person, so it makes them feel loved and valued. And moreover, it’s very easy and funny to do some simple shortbreads (eventually organic, gluten and sugar free) and use a cookie cutter set like the “Brigitte-Keks” to write your messages.
15. Feelings mailbox
This is the last gift idea, but not the least.
One of the purpose of Eid is to strengthen relationships and, as you know, communication between people is one of the most important element in a relationship. We have to encourage our children to communicate with us as much as possible. They must know they can express their feelings, good or bad, that it will be taken into consideration and that you will always be willing to listen and help.
But it’s not always easy to speak our feelings and writing can be a good solution. That’s when a mailbox can be a great idea. It can be a real mailbox or something as simple as a recycled cardboard box. Your kids will be free to write letters whenever they want to and for any purpose. Expressing feelings, making a special request or just showing some love. And in return you will answer or even be the first to write if you wish to. You can leave little messages to remind them of how much you love them and how proud you are, or little presents to reward them for their daily accomplishments.
So what are your thoughs on these gift ideas? Do you have any other idea you would like to share? Feel free to complete the list in the comments.