1. 100% Bamboo Lunch Bag
I’ve tried out a lot of eco-friendly lunch bags over the course of reviewing products. I liked laptop lunches initially, but over the years I have found the space limiting and the plastic annoying. My favorite bag thus far has been by Cool Tote, as it is very versatile, roomy, and has held up to years of normal childhood abuse; however, I really like the bamboo lunch bag by New Wave I was recently sent.
Naturally Anti-Bacterial Light As A Feather, Strong As Steel, Soft As Silk Hypoallergenic CPSIA Tested
I like the secure snap closure on this bag, and the size that is not too large but can fit lots of wonderful lunch items. The bamboo fabric is super soft. Like so many products, this lunch bag is made in China. Also, there is some controversy surrounding bamboo and its eco-friendly properties. Sure bamboo grows very fast and “regenerates without planting”, but usually chemicals are used in the process of removing the plant from the fiber.
Would I buy this product? Yes. It is a very nice lunch bag, and I don’t have the time to sew my own from fabrics I know do not come from China.
2. Online Ordering of Prescription Children’s Glasses
You may be wondering why prescription glasses would be included in our 5 Green Products round-up. Medical needs hit any family, no matter their green commitments, and my family is no exception. My son has strabismus, which is being corrected with glasses (and eventual surgery if he chooses). Finding children’s frames can be challenging, and ordering glasses online is convenient. Besides, online shopping actually reduces energy consumption by 35%.
At first, I was unsure how ordering glasses online would work, as I know when I buy sunglasses, I have to try on a zillion pairs. Just Eyewear made it easy, with online tutorials and accurate measurements. Actually, I was really pleased to learn that for my son, I didn’t have to order kids’ frames but could chose from small sized frames too!
Just Eyewear’s prices are really low, and their shipping was fast. Customer service was very helpful, and my son prefers his new, more affordable glasses over the $300 pair we bought locally. Even though I advocate for shopping locally, the frames available in our nearby city are not made there and mostly likely originate from China anyways.
Would I buy this product? Yes. I live so far away from town, that any errands I can take care of online saves me time and gas money.
3. Kids’ Garden: 40 Fun Indoor and Outdoor Activities and Games
Usually, I am not a huge fan of activity decks, as I have found that the ideas are not so good or are quite obvious. Also, I wonder how much I will really use an activity deck. I am pleasantly surprised to not feel this way about Barefoot Books Kid’s Garden activity cards. Not only are these cards aesthetically pleasing, almost everyone offers a fresh idea or game I had not thought of before this kit. Some of my favorites include:
- Planting a bean teepee
- Gourd pets
- Homemade insect spray
- Fruit and vegetable stamps
Get outside and grow with some child-friendly fun with gardening! Kids Garden includes forty activities and games and an eight-page booklet that contains information on gardening tools, year-round plant care and garden safety. These step-by-step instructions are enhanced by colorful collage artwork on each double-sided card and they create a fun and easy way for budding green-thumbs to plant, investigate, learn and experiment.
Would I buy this product? Yes. I think Kids’ Garden would make a great teacher or homeschool gift!
4. Number Sense iPhone App
I often include iPhone apps in our product reviews because they have saved my butt on more than one occasion when my five-year-old needed entertainment. I also think the versatility of apps eliminates the need for lots of gadgetry.
Number Sense is an education app that costs $2.99. The mathematics is at a very basic level. There are five games included with this app:
- Booster Balls: Helps your kids learn counting from 1 to 30 by feeding some monsters. Don’t worry, the monsters don’t bite but the game will definitely keep your kids occupied.
- Do the Dotty: Simple but engaging connect-the-dots games that will help your kids recognize and memorize numbers in the right order. Oh, and don’t be surprised if they show you a moon that they have just colored blue
- Numberella: A super hero donkey (Drizzle is his name) is all you need to get kids to compare numbers, without objects, from 1 to 10. And yeah, Drizzle can be tickled too!
- Fishoonka: This deceptively simple game uses a school of fish to demonstrate the concepts of greater than, less than and equal to! Your kids are gonna love the interactive environment.
- Toot Toot Train: From Chocolateville to Licorice Lane runs a train that relies on addition and subtraction. Curious? You will simply have to play the game!
My favorite game was the fish one, in which children move the colored fish to make one side more, less or equal to the other. My son’s favorite is the train game.
Would I buy this product? No. I think there are better apps out there for children, and if you are using your iPhone as “edutainment”, this one does require an adult to read instructions at times. After the child has played it a few times, this would not be necessary. I think interaction with my child in the car playing counting games would be a more authentic way to learn than this app. I also think the monsters are weird, and the music is annoying.
5. I Love Trucks (Let’s Go Green Giant Activity Books)
My son’s speech therapist discovered this book, and I couldn’t believe I had never heard of the series. Printed with natural soy ink on “sustainable forest” paper, not only is this a great workbook filled with stickers and fun activities, it is also eco-friendly.
- Giant fact and activity book for children aged three and over
- There are pages of fascinating facts all about trucks to discover, as well as pictures to colour in and over 200 stickers to have fun with
- Planet-friendly book which is made from recycled paper and printed with natural soya ink
As an early childhood educator, I have never been a fan of workbooks, and I don’t think they belong in the classroom. My own children have been drawn to activity books at home, and I do think they hold value for preparing children for kindergarten when the inevitable worksheets begin to appear.
Would I buy this product? Yes. I not only bought it for the eco-friendly materials but because my son adores trucks and is somewhat resistant to paper and pencil tasks.
Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples, unless noted differently in the review. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.
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