big shot camera

If you’re looking for gifts that give back this year, these toys definitely need to be on Santa’s radar. From educational toys that teach science and engineering concepts (that kids will actually love) to classic dolls and toys that give back to under-served communities, these five toys will ensure that your kids get something they love under the tree—that gives back to someone else around the world, and is more sustainable because of it.

  1. Goldie Blox 
    These building sets aimed at girls come with a story book that describes how Goldie solves a problem with basic engineering principles—and then encourages girls to build the simple machines themselves, and invent new ones. The company’s mission is to encourage more girls to be interested in science, technology, engineering, and math.
  2. Tegu Blocks
    Classic wooden blocks made from beautiful Honduran woods with a surprise—magnets inside. These simple, natural toys are made of sustainably harvested wood by local Hondurans who are paid a living wage by the company as well as given job training and career advancement assistance.
  3. Hearts for Hearts Dolls
    This line of multicultural dolls each come with a story about the doll’s “home country” and a portion of the proceeds from each doll is donated to World Vision charities to fund projects in each of the countries the dolls represent.
  4. Monkeez Makes a Difference
    These cute plush toys—from modern sock monkeys to elephants and frogs—each come with a “Do Good” card that challenges children to do a simple but meaningful task. Ten percent of the price of each toy is donated to charity.
  5. Big Shot Camera
    The Big Shot Camera is a kit where kids (or adults!) can build their own working digital camera. Instructions and an included digital textbook teach the basic science and engineering concepts behind each of the parts of the camera. Plus, part of the royalties from sales are used to send camera kits to severely underserved urban communities around the globe.

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Photo courtesy Big Shot Cameras