Finding gifts for my children can sometimes be hard because we spend so much time outdoors. It is important to me that I get the things they can use year-round and either be able to use outside or be able to use them on all of our outdoor adventures. Because they are small, there are some things I have to get every year. There are other things that I never have to buy again, thank goodness because it gets passed down.
I try to get my shopping done by Black Friday. That is usually the day that I save for last-minute items and especially boots, jammies, and expensive gear. It is one of the ways that I save money on outdoor gear. I also watch throughout the year for other things we might need or like after I have done my spring cleaning. Here are a few things that my children have enjoyed using this year while camping, backpacking, hiking and just being outdoors. There are also a few things I am considering buying because my children have asked for them, or we are just needing new gear. A few of these I wouldn’t mind getting for myself, like new snow pants or a new rod.
Think Outside Box– I love outdoor subscription boxes. I am personally subscribed to Nomadik, and I always get something that I use for the kids’ gear stash, but it is really awesome that there are other options out there for children. I haven’t tried this one, but the reviews are great. It is a monthly subscription box for outdoorsy kids, with activities, gear, fact sheets and more. I really think my kids would love it.
Fishing or Adventure Vest– Niva has outgrown hers, so it is the perfect time to get her a new one. She has had an Eagle Eye Explorer Cargo Vest for four years, which has been perfect for fishing or exploring outdoors and useful for having extra pockets for snacks, rocks, and gadgets. It has had its share of abuse and could be passed down to Eli, but I’m not sure he likes pink. This vest is perfect for kids learning to fish. Finding a good fishing vest for older kids and youth is not easy. I was having a hard time finding one that was well made and the right size for Niva. I actually wear a men’s fishing vest because I could not find a good one for women, and have decided to get Niva the same one but in a size small.
Coleman’s Kid Gear – Coleman is one of the oldest and most trusted names in camping gear. You often see Coleman lanterns that are over a 100 years old and still work or even people using Coleman stoves that are at least 50 years old. Have you seen their kids line? They have so many cool things for kids that camp, that I felt Coleman needed their own section. Coleman is known for their quality and durability.
Coghlan’s Kid Gear – Coghlan makes so many different accessories for any outdoor adventure, for kids and adults. They are one of the oldest and reliable camping gear companies out there. Coghlan has many kids products, which we use frequently.
Fishing Pole– For kids who are just learning to fish, you do not need anything fancy. We personally like the Shakespeare Youth Fishing Poles. They last forever and are the perfect size for ice fishing. Eli was using his sister’s Disney Princess pole that is about ten years old, but it snapped when it got snagged on a tree. For kids, it’s much easier to get the poles with the button on the reel. Plus, so many kids poles come with tons of worthless hooks and other stuff that just gets lost and adds extra cost to the pole, and this one is just a pole. This is the best beginner pole for kids and is good for up to age 10 when kids become more advanced. Our kids both fish using spinners and bobbers, which work perfectly for this pole. I will probably get him at least one Panther Martin Spinner spinner and small tackle box to put in his stocking.
National Geographic Kids – National Geographic isn’t just for adults. Inspire kids to love and explore the outdoors with National Geographic. Keep the excitement all year long with a subscription. My older kids enjoy the adult National Geographic, and ask my parents to get it every year for Christmas.
National Geographic Kids Toys- My kids not only love the magazine, but they really like the toys too. There are quite a few toys, but these are some of our favorites that encourage outdoor play and exploration.
Helmet– My kids already have helmets, but this is always a great thing to have. Our kids not only ride bikes, but they ski, snowboard, kayak, and skateboard. I really like the Glaf Kids Helmet. It’ s the perfect one for outdoorsy kids and it’s a bit sturdier than other bike helmets. This helmet also comes in multiple sizes for a toddler to age 13 and is also in multiple colors. Always make sure that a helmet fits properly and is appropriate for the activity.
Wool Socks– Always a must, every single year. We do a lot of different things in the winter like sledding, snowboarding and ice fishing. I like my kids’ toes to be warm. We also pack an extra pair for summer adventures when shows get wet or chilly nights. I am a big Swiftwick fan for myself due to having a weird foot size, but Danish Endurance makes an awesome merino wool sock for kids to adults that are pretty awesome and it’s knee-high so it is perfect for boot weather.
Snow Pants– Bibs or ski pants, that is the question. My kids prefer bibs because they are warmer and there is more coverage, and also because when you buy a few sizes bigger, they are easier to adjust. Most snow pants are hard to adjust and fit with a belt. I usually buy bibs two sizes too big, and they will usually last at least two to three seasons because you can adjust the straps. My favorite place to buy snow gear is at The Ski Bum, and I usually shop the clearance section in the offseason. It is also a great place to buy adult snow gear. My favorite brands are Quiksilver and Spyder. The Ski Bum has many brands and everything from gear, and layers to outerwear.
Rain Coat– Great as a lightweight jacket or raincoat, I really like the Columbia brand. Their rain jackets are really versatile, durable and keep you dry. For the kids, I always get them two sizes too big so that they last for multiple seasons. We are always packing are Columbia raincoats on our backpacking, hiking and camping trips. I really like the Columbia Switchback II for kids and it comes in all sizes and colors for both boys and girls. I have had my Columbia jacket for five years now, and it is still not showing any
Binoculars– We have had several pairs of binoculars, but I really prefer the ones from Think Peak for kids. They are durable and are honestly the best pair we have owned. Unfortunately, we lost our pair this year in a river. They are the perfect ones for kids because not only are they high quality, I like the grip that they have and how clear they are.
Hoodie– My kids love hoodies for camping and every day. They have to layer because we do have cool weather in Montana. I really love these 3D printed hoodies from Tuonroad. They are warm, and they don’t pill, peel or fade. The vibrant and bright graphic makes them even more appealing. The front and back are the same print and I love how soft they are. My children prefer hoodies that don’t zip up and with the pocket in front. For kids, I really prefer no zipper, just because zippers break and it is a hassle with small kids to get ready and have to zip them up.
Thermals– I am all about base layers. Because of our winter activities, but also because of how cool our weather is, I invest in a new pair of thermals for the kids each year. Fleece-lined is my favorite because I feel like I am snuggling up to a teddy bear.
Turtle Fur Neck Warmer – This is the perfect neck gaiter/ neck warmer for kids. It’s fleece and super warm. My kids prefer these to scarfs and you can wear it different ways like around your neck, as ear muffs, and to cover your face. They do come in different sizes from little to big kids, as well as different colors and patterns. Turtle fur has fleece beanies and balaclavas too.
Hammock– It is so nice to just relax in a hammock. For younger kids, it is the perfect place to put them down for a nap. Both of my older kids have them, and now it is my son’s turn to get one. The kids really love hammock camping when we are in the back country. Plus, they are nice to also set up when we are car or RV camping. Most hammocks are inexpensive and are a ton of fun.
Stomp Rocket– What is even better than outdoor toys are toys that are also STEM. We did a review of the Stomp Rocket Stunt Planes and my toddler and all of the cousins loved them. Such a great gift to get children outside, but also to teach them about aerodynamics, science, and gravity.
Kids Hydration Pack – Keeping kids hydrated can be a chore sometimes. They are so busy, and it can be hard to remind them to drink. I have found if they have their own hydration back pack or water bladder, it’s so much easier.
Boomerang– Another fun toy to get kids outside, is a boomerang. These are a bit tricky but children get the hang of them pretty quick. Boomerangs are fun to mess around with and we like to play with them in the yard and when we are camping.
Disc Golf Discs- Disc Golf is a great sport to stay active and get outside. Because it has become so popular, you can find a course pretty much anywhere. It is a fun family activity that gets you not only outdoors but also helps you stay active. One of my goals is to eventually put a course on our property. This is one of our favorite things to do together. A mini disc golf set is especially great for kids that are starting out.
Poi– When I was in high school, poi was very popular. Almost everyone I knew had a set. In the last two years, my daughter has brought them along with camping and backpacking as her luxury item. It has really helped her coordination and balance, but poi is also really cool at night. It is juggling but better. I hope one day she is good enough to try fire poi.
“Encyclopedia Of Animals” by Jules Howards and Illustrated by Jarom Vogel– Animals are cool creatures. This amazingly beautiful book is a great way to inspire kids to get outside and explore in nature. Each page contains eye-catching illustrations with fun facts about animals from all over the world.
“Atlas of Ocean Adventures” by Emily Hawkins and Illustrated by Lucy Letherland– Any child that loves the outdoors, loves animals too. This gorgeous book about oceanic wildlife is perfect for any curious child. My son will look at it for hours, studying the stunning and colorful illustrations, learning about the animal’s habitats and habits, and counting the different types of fish and birds.
“Atlas of Adventures” by Rachel Williams and Illustrated by Lucy Letherland– This is a book to inspire adventure in kids. Inspire kids to take a trip around the world to see the Northern Lights, to have a canoe adventure or explore Europe. I think outdoors, nature and adventure are all great things that any child should love.
“Put on Your Owl Eyes” By Devin Franklin– Since we reviewed “Put on Your Owl Eyes” earlier this year, my younger daughter and I have enjoyed exploring this book. The journaling portion of it has really helped her improve in her reading and writing skills which she struggles with. The activities have made her more observant and mindful. With every activity, she has grown to love the outdoors and nature even more. For more outdoor and nature books for kids, you can check out the 50+ outdoor and nature kids’ book list.
If you love to give books, check out my book list for kids who love outdoor adventure and nature. And one of our new favorites is the recently released “Double Dangerous Book for Boys” (which all girls will love too). For other gift suggestions for adults and teens, you’ll love my 2018 stocking stuffer list or my favorite outdoor gear item finds from 2019. Hopefully, you can find that perfect gift for your favorite outdoorsy kid. Is there something you would add to this list? Make sure that they can be outside with no limits.