Plastic Free Christmas Gifts

Wooden draughts board

Christmas is coming! And like many families up and down the country, after the will-they-won’t-they restrictions of last year, we want to make this one extra special. Buying presents for my two children is always a mammoth task. Trying to find the balance between gifts they really want and their environmental credentials can be a challenge. There’s no shortage of popular dolls and figures in endless combinations, but the level of plastic and packaging involved is eye watering. We’re all acutely aware of the impact of our purchasing decisions on an already very fragile planet. So this year I’m making a conscious effort to cut down on plastic and find other options.

We were very fortunate to be introduced to Jaques of London in the summer, and I’ve been a firm fan of their range ever since. Browsing their site is reminiscent of trips to treasured toy shops in my childhood days. Everywhere you look the beautiful wooden toys draw you in, there’s everything from wooden toddler puzzles to outdoor game sets and so much in between. It’s all been designed in house by Jaques, who are one of the oldest toy making firms in the UK. Their history speaks for itself, having been responsible for creating many family favourites like snakes and ladders, tiddly winks and Happy Families. We chose to try out two classic games, draughts and Shut the Box.


We already had a very basic draughts set, and my son and I have enjoyed many games on it, mostly ending in stalemate (or him thoroughly thrashing me). As with many of our other cheap board games, the cardboard is getting a bit worn and there are a couple of pieces missing. The draughts set from Jaques of London is a cut above. Made from beautiful sustainable wood, it’s a real keepsake piece and will last a lifetime.

Wooden draughts set

Shut the Box

The Shut the Box game was a new one for us. The premise is simple, you have two dice which you throw into the tray and then aim to ‘flip’ the numbered pieces depending on what you have thrown on the dice. What’s great is that you can play Shut the Box as a solo game, trying to flip the numbers in as few throws as possible. Or you can play with multiple players, again trying to flip as many as possible but adding in ‘penalty’ points if you are out of throws. This made it ideal for our family, as my daughter could play it on her own and practice her addition and number bond skills, but also we could play against it each other. As it’s simply a case of rolling the dice, the luck can land in anyone’s favour, as we found many times!

There are so many other gift options on the Jaques of London site that I’ve got my eye on, including some great Christmas bundles that will be brilliant to send in the post. Each gift is individually packaged and wrapped in the signature cardboard boxes and black ribbon, so it really feels extra special.

Two Jaques of London gift boxes

You can save 15% at Jaques of London when you use this code, happy gifting!

*We were gifted two games by Jaques of London in exchange for an unbiased review.

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