Giving is just as much fun as receiving – and you’ll get a double-whammy of Christmas cheer from knowing the gifts you’ve bought will also help others …
Marie Curie – the charity that gives care and support for people living with a terminal illness and their families – has gone all nostalgic on us, and come up with some vintage gifts that are sure to bring back cosy memories of Christmas past. A favourite in the DAD.Info office are these wooden Pirate Skittles, which love nothing more than being toppled over, straightened up and then knocked back over again – all without a drop of rum in sight. The colourful characters are sure to provide hours of sea-faring fun for you – and probably the kids, too!
Pirate Skittles (ages 2+): £4.95. shop.mariecurie.org.uk
The Stick Book: Loads Of Things You Can Make Or Do With A Stick
From the title you’d think this book was about all the different things you can do with a stick. And you’d be right! Totally natural, all-purpose and free, the humble stick is so much more than just a, er, stick – it’s a universal toy that offers limitless opportunities for fun and adventure. The book’s authors offer masses (70 to be exact) of suggestions for things to do with a stick, from making a sun-clock to playing capture the flag (see, we bet all those childhood stick games are coming back to you now). What’s more, if you buy The Stick Book from the lovely people at Oxfam, you’ll get a warm glow knowing your dosh is helping to fight poverty around the world.
The Stick Book (ages 8+ but we reckon younger stick lovers will also get a lot out of it): £7.99. oxfam.org.uk/shopfinder
Fair Trade Wooden Rainbow Noah’s Ark by Lanka Kade
You don’t need be religious to appreciate this rainbow-coloured hand-crafted Noah’s arc from fair trade company Lanka Kade. And your pre-schoolers will certainly get a kick out of playing with the seven pairs of animals – lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, alligators, zebras and doves – along with Mr and Mrs Noah, of course. You’ll be amazed how fascinating little ones will find taking the roof off, putting it back on, walking the animals up the wooden ramp, walking them back down, again and again and again. So peace and joy for a good few hours, coupled with the satisfaction of knowing the wood is ethically sourced, no child labour has been involved, and that the profits go the people who made the toy, no one else. Just as it should be.
Fair Trade Wooden Rainbow Noah’s Ark (ages 3+): £29.99. borngifted.