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Christmas is fast approaching, and I daresay you’ve probably already started thinking about some kids gift ideas. But, if you’re anything like me, you might be a bit weary of adding even more indoor toys to your kids already overflowing stash.
I mean, how many more toys do I have to buy this munchkin that he’ll barely ever play with? Seriously, he seems perfectly content playing with our Amazon boxes that come in the mail. So when it comes to trying to think of gift ideas, I’ve developed a few guidelines to help me choose.
First, I want gifts that promote getting outdoors (obviously). There is plenty of data (and a bit of common sense) that would suggest playing outside is hugely beneficial for children. Which is why I’ll do whatever I can to help my little ones in that direction!
I also want kids gift ideas that promote activity and movement while they’re outside. Since my 4-year-old doesn’t have siblings that are old enough to run around and play with him (yet), it’s easy for him to just sluggishly meander around the yard when he’s outside with just me.
I need some toys/activities that make it easy for him to want to run, climb, swing, etc. without me necessarily needing to be involved!
I also look for kids gift ideas that promote outdoor hobbies. For example, bird watching, archery, rock collecting, kayaking, and so on. Anything that can help develop a newfound interest to pursue while outdoors!
Lastly, and my favorite of all the kids gift ideas, is to get gifts that promote experiences. These kids gift ideas are obviously bigger investments, but they could be purchased as a gift for the whole family to share! Examples – family passes to a historic village or botanical garden, tickets for a train ride, winter sports park etc.
Some more options that promote experiences and togetherness would be camping and outdoor gear like a fire pit, tent, kayak, or paddle board.
And the best part is that these gifts keep on giving year-round and will help you create special family memories together! With all that said, here are some of the best outdoorsy kids gift ideas:
1. Outdoor Explorer Kit
This is one of our go-to’s when we head outside and need a quick activity idea! It’s one of my favorite kids gift ideas because it’s literally a bag already stocked and full of open-ended ideas for play and exploring. This is a great option for play in your own yard!
In a place where it can be easy for kids to get bored with the familiar environment, this can help them approach it with fresh eyes and new ideas. If you want one that’s all set and ready to go without any effort on your part, try purchasing one like this.
Or, if you want to create more of a personal touch when creating your explorer kit, try building your own! This is something we’ve done and I had a great time putting it all together! Here are some ideas to get you started on building your own bag for your little explorers!
2. Hiking Backpack
This is great for one of the more practical kids gift ideas. I’m a fan of anything that’s not a toy that my kids will use and love receiving. When our little guy was just two, we got him his first backpack, and it was one of his favorite things! He was just so tickled to have “his very own backpack!”
A few years ago, this is the one we picked out for him. I loved the fun prints and thought he would really enjoy them as well (and I was correct). Who wouldn’t love little forest animals roasting marshmallows?
If I was going to choose one for him currently, it would be this one. I love the cute animal shapes and different color options, and the chest strap is a must if it’s going to be used as a hiking backpack (or for lugging heavy books home from school)!
3. Exploring Nature Activity Book
I love this book! It has some of the coolest nature activity ideas and plenty of prompts for outdoor play and exploration. (It would also make a great addition to that outdoor explorer kit I mentioned in idea #1.) If you want another easy go-to for outdoor activities and learning, this is one of the best kids gift ideas!
4. Outdoor Platform Swing
What kid doesn’t loves swings? And I daresay even the adults in the family could enjoy this one. In my book, swings are timeless and always make for great kids gift ideas!
5. Gardening Tool Kit
Gardening is a great activity for kids! Getting their hands dirty and the benefits of seeing hard work pay off as you grow your own food is priceless. This is our favorite gardening tool set for our little guy.
He’s already gotten tons of use out of it in the past year and he loves having his very own tools to help us out in the garden! This is definitely one of the kids gift ideas that will get plenty of use while you’re out in the yard!
6. Pressed Flower Art Kit
I love anything that promotes the creation of beautiful nature crafts! This kit comes with a small flower press along with an assortment of cards. I love kids gift ideas that encourage kids to get outside, and this one enables kids to collect their own flowers and leaves for projects.
It’s also great that it can be reused over and over again to make and endless amount of pressed flower creations! This is a great gift option that combines nature and art.
7. Nature Anatomy Book
This is another one of our favorite nature learning books! The illustrations are beautiful, and it provides a great overview of a variety of nature topics. Any time my little guy is intrigued by something in particular, we’ll flip through this book to see what is has to say about that topic.
It’s also great for perusing together indoors or for accompanying you on any outdoor excursions as an aid to some nature study. Overall, it’s a fantastic addition to your list of kids gift ideas!
8. Kid’s Hammock
Even if you don’t go camping a ton, your kids will love having their own hammock to hang out in…literally! (Ha…see what I did there?) Pop this up at a nearby park, beach, or in your yard!
This is one of the best kids gift ideas for outdoor entertainment at home and around the neighborhood. If you’re looking for a way to entertain your kids right there in the driveway, this is a great solution! It’s also a fun way for your kids to zip around while on family walks together.
I remember having tons of fun riding a scooter (that I commandeered from my brother) well into my teenage years! I don’t know if our little guy quite has the balance for this yet, but it’s on my list of future gift ideas for him.
10. Bow and Arrow Set
Archery is one of those hobbies that stands the test of time. And, as an added bonus, cool movie characters who happen to be splendid archers continue to appear onscreen and inspire children to pick up a bow and arrow.
Just make sure you lay down the law before handing these out willy nilly. I still distinctly remember being grazed on the ear by an arrow flung from the hand of my very own sibling. Take my word for it: even without a pointy tip, arrows can still inflict quite a bit of pain!
11. Toddler Water Play Table
Here’s one of our kids gift ideas that’s suitable for toddlers! Do you know any little tyke who can resist getting soaking wet any time they’re even remotely near water? They’re irresistibly drawn to the stuff! That’s why this water play table is a great way to provide them with some endless hours of outdoor play once those warmer months hit!
12. Velcro Toss and Catch Ball
Remember these from when you were a kid? That’s because this is one of those classic kids gift ideas that transcends time and will be loved by generations from now until pretty much always!
I thought of these for our little guy this year, and was pleasantly surprised to find that they still come in exactly the same colors and design as when I was young. Talk about some nostalgia!
13. Obstacle Course Slack Line Kit
Let’s be honest, my husband and I want this slack line kit for ourselves as much as we want it for our little guy. Although it would be hugely beneficial for his gross motor development and help him stay active while we’re out in our yard! This is something that’s currently lacking in our outdoor space and we definitely plan on adding in the future.
14. Fort Building Kit
My little guy absolutely LOVES building things. When we’re outside, he usually ends up taking sticks, pvc pipes, pool noodles, and pretty much anything he can get his hands on to build a fort. Instead of having to search for random pieces, this fort building kit provides the pieces and connectors to make building a bit easier.
This is one of the kids gift ideas that felt like a no-brainer for our little guy this year. I’m super excited to build forts with him using this kit! And I’m pretty sure he’ll absolutely love the rocket shaped design option!
15. Sleeping Bag
If you already plan on camping excursions with your littles, why not give a piece of gear as a gift? Like, a sleeping bag, for example. I love the practicality of giving kids something that you already planned on purchasing them anyway. (They’ll never know!)
My little guy loves playing and snuggling in the sleeping bag I already own for myself. And he loved having one of his own when we went on our backyard camping adventure last summer! I myself can still recall a Princess Jasmine sleeping bag that I received one Christmas!
16. Birdhouse Kit
This birdhouse building kit is one of the kid’s gift ideas that serves a couple different purposes, which I love! First, it provides a project for kids where they get to build and paint something of their own! Afterwards, it can provide hours of bird watching entertainment and perhaps inspire a new hobby.
This is a bit of a larger purchase, but a kayak would make a great gift for the entire family! Imagine all the potential experiences and memories to be made if you start kayaking together! And owning one of your own is the way to go if you really want to get into the hobby.
This one in particular appeals to me because it has two seats, which is essential when bringing younger kids along. I also like the idea of an an inflatable kayak for the purpose of storing and transporting it to and from the water. This is one of my favorite kids gift ideas because it promotes a new hobby and provides the tools for new adventures out on the water!
18. Small Adventures Journal
This is another book that makes the list for kids gift ideas. It differs from the other two in that it’s a journal as well as informational! Its full of fun prompts and pages to fill out. Just bring it along whenever you head outdoors and you have a whole book full of instant activities!
19. Kid’s Fishing Pole
This fishing pole is yet another one of the kids gift ideas that promotes a new hobby outdoors! And if you happen to enjoy fishing yourself, this is a great way for your little one to join in.
20. Fairy Garden Kit
I’ve been wanting to build our own fairy garden for the longest time, and this kit would be the perfect starter! I love how enchanting little forest fairy worlds are, especially in the eyes of children. How fun would it be to create one of your own little whimsical worlds right in your own yard or garden and watch your kids play!
There you have it! If you’re tired of unused toys piling up inside, this is our very intentional list of kids gift ideas! They promote getting outside, being active, trying new hobbies, having adventures, and creating new experiences together! Thanks for reading and happy shopping!
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