Dreaming of a green Christmas…

Are mountains of festive plastic tat making your Christmas feel a little less than magical? Being an eco-warrior, a super-parent AND Father Christmas can be exhausting stuff, so we’ve sought out some present ideas that bring more cheer and less guilt.

Looking for plastic-free gifts, ethical present ideas, green gifts and other ways to have a green Christmas and make a difference at his time of year? Keep scrolling…

JUNKO modelling kits

Junko junk modelling kits, from £9.99, www.planetjunko.com

Make junk into toys with this super-creative, eco-friendly toy! Each kit contains a variety of accessories (including wheels, paddle wheels, floats, rubber band drives and more) along with plenty of clip-on and magnetic fixings that can be combined to turn household junk into almost anything you can imagine.

Invented by a dad who wanted to avoid throwaway plastic toys, Junko is fully reusable and made from recycled plastic in England. Its system of clips, magnetic fixings and accessories take junk modelling up a notch, encouraging imaginative play, problem solving and serious FUN! 


Whizz Pop Bang subscription

Whizz Pop Bang subscription, from £20.99, www.whizzpopbang.com

Want to give the gift of science wonder every month of the year? A subscription to Whizz Pop Bang magazine sends science learning and fun rocketing through your letterbox, every single month, with no plastic tat in sight! ⠀

And as if that’s not enough…⠀
🌳 Printed with vegetable inks on paper from FSC/PEFC suppliers
🌳 Delivered in paper envelopes⠀
🌳 Advert-free⠀
🌳 Activities and experiments often reuse household items (like the content of your recycling box and shed!)⠀


Wyatt and Jack Junior

Parrot mini tote, £19, wyattandjackjunior.com

Wyatt and Jack create accessories from donated and abandoned inflatables on the Isle of Wight, and they’ve just launched a junior range!


Books!

They’re made of paper (find out more about FSC standards for paper production here) and they can inspire a love of learning, and sometimes some knowledge of the natural world, too. We’ve put together a list of our top science reads for kids here, if you fancy popping some science under the tree this year.


Origami animals kit

Origami animals kit, £6.99, ecovibe.co.uk

First up is an amazing shop dedicated to plastic-free gifts: EcoVibe. From craft kits to lunch bags, building blocks to origami kits, this website promises an easy conscience for all of Santa’s elves. It’s worth having a peek at their adult self-care range too – you might need some TLC after all that shopping!


Seedbom

Tiger Seedbom, £3.50, www.kidly.co.uk

Throw it and grow it with these easy-gardening seedboms (packed with native wildflower and herb seeds in peat-free compost). There’s even an accompanying books, There’s a Tiger in the Garden, if you’re buying for a younger child (age 4-7). We also love the Make a Pizza for the Birds kit – tasty treats for little tweeters!


Dino Snores sleepover

Dino Snores for Kids sleepover, £65 per person, www.nhm.ac.uk

Prefer dinosaurs to reindeer? If you’re looking for something that most definitely won’t get lost under the bed, the Natural History Museum’s dino-snores sleepovers offers a thrilling experience to wander the corridors of the pre-historic after dark. Explore a torch-lit trail, make a dinosaur t-shirt and watch a science show. That’s a present they certainly won’t forget!


Adopt an animal

Adopt a polar bear, from £3 per month, www.wwf.org.uk

Have your kids asked for a puppy for Christmas? How about a polar bear instead? The WWF offers a huge range of animals to ‘adopt’ for Christmas, without the extra hassle of walkies, litter trays and vet bills! From £3 a month, (or from a £36 one-off payment), your little animals will receive a fact pack and regular updates on how their animal is faring in the wild. Upgrade to £5 per month and they’ll get a soft toy of your chosen animal, too! Best of all, your well-earned money will be spent directly on helping the species.


Image: Shutterstock

Words: Nell O’Neill


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what makes something fly

Take off this summer with our Sky High Science issue!

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids! Sky high science

Wouldn’t it be amazing to fly like a bird? Or how do you fancy fluttering like a butterfly, or even soaring like a snake?! There are all sorts of flying phenomena to discover this issue. Have a go at making your own stunt plane, investigating different designs of straw planes and testing aerofoils. We interview Palaeontologist Liz Martin-Silverstone to ask her how on earth the giant pterosaurs were able to fly, plus we find out how drones work, and answer the question on lots of people’s minds… just how do planes fly???

Buy this issue here and fill your summer holidays with awesome science fun!! ? ✈ ?


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Whizz Pop bang Dinosaur head

Pterosaur take-off

Scientist think that large pterosaurs, like the giant Quetzalcoatlus, probably took off by leaping into the air from all four limbs. These animals were so enormous that if they only used their back legs to take off, like a bird, their thigh bones would have snapped!


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dinosaur-tracks-scotland

How does it feel to find a giant dino footprint? We talk to paleontologist Steve Brusatte to find out!

Did you hear about the huge dinosaur footprints discovered on the Scottish coast this week? We ask Steve Brusatte some very important questions about this awesome discovery…

Paleontologist Dr Steve Brusatte at the dinosaur footprint site on the Isle of Skye
Paleontologist Dr Steve Brusatte at the dinosaur footprint site on the Isle of Skye 

We’re lucky to have Steve on the Whizz Pop Bang boffin team (our panel of expert scientists who advise us on the latest scientific developments), so we asked him a few questions about the latest dinosaur print to be discovered on the Isle of Skye.

1. Are there words to describe just how exciting it feels to discover these tracks?

 It was a fantabulotastic feeling. I think that’s the best way I can try to put it into words! Because the moment of discovery is magical. When you find something that no human has ever seen before, something from hundreds of millions of years ago. It was actually one of my students who discovered these tracks. Davide Foffa is his name; he’s a PhD student, from Italy. I was very proud that my student found something so amazing!

davide foffa at footprint site
Davide Foffa, one of my students who actually discovered these tracks

2. Do you have a special dino discovery high five with your team?!
No! Although maybe I should invent one. Any ideas?
3.  If people want to go and visit the Isle of Skye can they see the foot print? Can they put their own foot inside the print?
Yes they can, although the tracks are located at a protected site, so they can’t be tampered with. If you go and see them, be careful not to damage them. They’ve lasted for 170 million years and we want them to last for a long time more. It is an amazing thing to put your foot inside a dinosaur track. It gives you a sense of just how big these dinosaurs were! The biggest tracks are 70 centimeters across, so about the size of a car tyre!

Want to know more about discovering dinosaurs? Order the Fossil Frenzy issue of Whizz Pop Bang science magazine and read all about how to find a dinosaur with Steve Brusatte! Visit our online shop to buy this issue for just £3.75 (free UK postage).

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine for kids Fossil Frenzy cover

Whizz Pop Bang science magazine Issue 14 dinosaur hunting with paleontologist Steve Brusatte
Whizz Pop Bang science magazine issue 14: Fossil Frenzy


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Whizz Pop bang Dinosaur head

The ultimate treat for Dinosaur-mad kids…

Are your kids totally and utterly obsessed by dinosaurs? Do they dream about dinosaurs? Well at The Natural History Museum in London there are plenty of dinosaurs and they do attract some interesting fellow snorers at night… Yes every month instead of closing all the doors and saying goodnight to the dinosaurs, sleep tight and see you in the morning, the staff at the Natural History Museum invite families to come and have a dinosaur sleepover.

Dino Snores for Kids at the Natural History Museum
Dino Snore sleepover for kids at the Natural History Museum

Aptly named the ‘Dino Snore’ this special event is perfect for a special birthday treat, or indeed a treat for your little dinosaur expert who will remember this experience forever.

Don’t forget to take your Dinosaur issues of Whizz Pop Bang with you for bedtime reading! If you don’t already subscribe you can buy back issues here, issue 4 and 14 cover topics on Palaeontologists and How To Hunt For Dinosaurs.

Check out all the details on the Natural History Museum’s website, next available sleepover date is 3rd December so hurry and get it booked:

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/dino-snores.html

Thoughts on Dino Snores for Kids…

‘Just such a unique experience to sleep in such an iconic building.’

‘It was exciting, fun and ticked all the boxes for a magical experience.’

‘Amazing experience you couldn’t replicate anywhere else.’

‘Perfect for kids who dream of being a dinosaur hunter.’


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