There’s an ever-growing body of research which supports the importance for kids to regularly get active, get outside, and get in touch with mother nature. We now know that fresh air is not just good for the well being of an adventurous kid, but fundamental to their development, helps them connect to the world around them, and provides beneficial opportunities to learn about risk, and outdoor gifts encourage this connection even further.
If you want to inspire your littles to get out, get active, and get adventurous, then we’ve got some great outdoor gift ideas that we hope may help nurture their adventurous kid spirit and develop a richer appreciation for nature.
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26 Best Outdoor Gifts for Kids
The first outdoorsy gift on our list is perfect for your nature-loving wild child! We absolutely LOVE these signed, limited edition, fine art nature prints from Kerem Hanci Photography. So, bring the beauty of the outdoors inside to brighten up any space!
This simple Newtonian reflector telescope on a rotating tabletop stand is a great outdoor gift, making it easy to view the night sky. FirstScope is a perfect option for any entry-level astronomer.
- 76mm aperture reflector optical tube
- Quality Dobsonian-style telescope features a 76 millimeter optical tube with enough light gathering ability to view all the best celestial objects like the rings of Saturn and the Orion Nebula
- Moveable tube for ease of navigation for viewing
- Lightweight, portable
- Two eyepieces included
- Jumbo Game Set — oversized junior version of the classic 4-in-a-row kids game for two players or teams age 3 and older
- Indoors or Outdoors — weather- and fade-resistant design for use in the playroom, in the backyard or on the playground
- Fun for Everyone — great outdoor gift for both kids and adults at BBQs, weddings, birthday parties and other fun occasions
- Convenient Features — includes easy game reset mechanism and built-in ring holders (42 rings included)
- Certified and Safe — GREENGUARD[GOLD] Certified for minimal chemical emissions into indoor air; plastic edges rounded for safety
- Product Dimensions — 46.25″ L x 23.6″ W x 34.4″ H, 23 lbs
- Ready to Assemble — some adult assembly required
Turn any environment into a playground with the perfect outdoor gift for kids. The Play Line slackline is designed as a complete kit specifically for beginners. Featuring static-style material with rubber grip, an overhead guide line with arm trainer and carry bag, the Play Line makes learning simple.
- Fully adjustable and easily installed between any sturdy anchor points
- Includes slackline, ratchet tensioner, tree protection, help line, and carry bag
- Comes with 8 feet of webbing and a reinforced loop to firmly anchor and tension the slackline
- Beginner webbing with rubber grip is optimized for quick and easy learning
Waldorf Dolls are a beloved outdoor gift for young and old. These high quality, natural fiber dolls are lovingly hand-made in Europe by Grimm’s Spiel & Holz in the Waldorf tradition with simple features that capture the essence and innocence of the young child.
- A family of 10 small Dwarf dolls in a delightful rainbow of colors, made from Oeko-Tex (organic) cotton.
- Dwarfs in this set have no beards, so they could be dwarf children or women
- Handcrafted in Europe using traditional techniques and all-natural materials
- Each doll has a weighted base (of quartz sand) to help them easily stand up
Inspired by real owls, this one-piece design features a hood printed with eyes and a beak, and makes for a perfect outdoor gift. Snug finger loops help kids keep wings outstretched and ready for flight!
- Fantasy owl wings for kids’ dress-up play
- Feature unique movement similar to a real owl’s movement
- Includes hood printed with eyes and a beak
This kit teaches kids critical understanding of how technology works in order to make sense of our environment and invent the future. The Piper Computer Kit comes with everything you need to assemble your own computer.
- Hand-crafted wooden computer case with lcd screen monitor
- Raspberry Pi Edition of Minecraft adventure play with hardware components and challenges
- Wifi enabled gameplay for extra levels and sharing capabilities
- Electronic gadgets including led lights, motion sensors, buzzers, buttons and switches
- Self-contained computer running on a raspberry pi 3 project board – 1gb ram – 1.2Ghz quad-core CPU
There’s no need for a hammer and nails in order to have a great backyard treehouse! This award-winning outdoor gift brings the magic of a treehouse fort to your adventurous kid and families everywhere.
- Attaches to any hanging point using durable webbing and a steel quicklink; The fabric is treated with a durable water repellent and a UV-coating for additional sun protection
- Features a zip-up door and mesh windows offering a ready-to-use hideaway adventurous kid will adore while effectively keeping bugs, debris, and foul weather out
- Designed so it can be taken down quickly and tag along anywhere; Ideal for camping, neighborhood parks, play dates, or BBQs
- Fully set up, the TreePod is 7.5ft (2.28m) tall by 5ft (1.52m) wide; Maximum weight capacity is 500lbs (226kg); Kit includes the Pod, sewn guy-lines, frame poles, steel quicklink, and ground stakes
NEW ROCK, GEM & MINERAL COLLECTION ACTIVITY KIT with over 125 pcs! Rock book & identification sheet. included. Favorites include PUMICE (floating rock!), amethyst cluster, quartz, tiger eye, jasper, pyrite, calcite, magnetic hematite, garnet, lava, and many others.
- FIND, SORT & IDENTIFY–spread the rock and mineral treasures out on a table or floor and match specimens with the Identification Sheet and new 27 page Rock & Mineral book — discover and identify like a real rock hound!
- BONUS: Ammonite fossil, Otodus sharks tooth in matrix, Coprolite (dinosaur poo ), 2 Easy Open Geodes with crystals inside!
- ASSEMBLED IN THE USA–buying this outdoor gift from Dancing Bear provides skill building and wages to working adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the Pearl Buck Center. We also donate 10% of our profits to charities!
This outdoor gift set is designed for young archers ages 8 through 12 who are taking steps to progress their skills. Constructed to meet both ATA and AMO standards, the Tomcat 2 meets the mark in accuracy and precision, while still maintaining a manageable 17- to 22-pound draw weight.
- 17-22 LB Draw Weight
- 20-22 inch adjustable draw length. Adjustable in 1″ increments
- Right Handed Bow with 60%-70% let off
- 3 Pin Fiber Optic Brightglo Sight
- Accessories include Soft Touch finger rollers and two arrows
Slackers Ziplines are fun, safe and an easy outdoor gift to set up. Using their thorough installation and safety instructions you will be able to turn your backyard into a fun filled zipline in no time. Slackers Ziplines make great gifts and guarantee fun filled family time outdoors. Get outside and create your own backyard adventures!
- Weather resistant materials
- Includes a seat with adjustable bracket for rider’s height
- Fully assembled steel trolley comes pre-loaded with an adjustable rope, comfortable seat, and exceptional rubber grips
- The stylish and comfortable rubber grips are screwed into the trolley to ensure a safe and fun ride
During a humanitarian emergency and its aftermath, education can help save a young boy’s life. A safe learning environment in places like Congo and Syria can provide children with a sense of normalcy, helps them to heal from trauma and protect them from abuse and exploitation. Being in a classroom gives conflict-affected children hope as they continue to learn and plan for a brighter future.
In 2015, the IRC helped to educate more than 1.3 million children around the world. $58 can supply the tuition, books and other supplies a boy needs to attend school for a year.
Your Adventurous kid can build a mega fort with this set of 18 Stick-let connectors. This outdoor gift is made to turn one of kids’ most time-honored, favorite, renewable toys—the stick—into a building toy.
- Set of 18 connectors for kids constructing with sticks made of flexible silicone
- Comprehensive building kit
- Build forts, toys, animal habitats, geometric shapes, and more
- Connector colors include: 3 Birch Bark White, 3 Grasshopper Green, 3 Huckleberry Blue, 3 Starfish Red, 3 Pardon My Purple, and 3 Monarch Orange
- Great for 1–2 builders, includes tote bag and pamphlet
This wooden building set is a beautiful oversized heirloom puzzle blocks set that is absolutely stunning. It is a puzzle to solve or a large building blocks set.
- This outdoor gift represents the 4 Elements: Air, Fire, Earth, & Water
- Combine well with other building blocks, especially the other “4×4” (4 cm thick) blocks from Grimm’s
- Includes wooden tray to use as a building platform or for storage when playtime is over; tray measures 18-inches square
- Handcrafted in Germany from sustainably harvested natural wood and finished with certified safe, non-toxic, water based dyes (no worrisome paint or lacquer)
Nature Books for Kids
Author and Illustrator Consie Powell
32 pages. Ages 3-10
Readers learn about a variety of predators in this beautiful and educational book. Each letter of the alphabet features a carnivorous animal, some of which — like Quail and Shrew — we don’t usually think of as predators. Other animals, like Murex and Uta, are seldom found in children’s books and will delight curious budding scientists.
Lifelike illustrations show the predators in their natural settings, and colorful border drawings depict the prey species. At the top of the list of nature books for kids, this brief text tells about the methods each predator uses to catch its prey. A glossary in the back lists the names of each prey species pictured.
Winner of several awards and glowing reviews, A Bold Carnivore is a visual feast for anyone hungering for accurate scientific portrayal in a quality children’s book.
Author Cheryl Dannenbring and Illustrator Anna Hess
32 pages. Ages 3 and up.
From the shrew who dines at the Swamp Café to the mighty Kodiak bear who inspires awe and eats wherever he chooses, the mammals in this book delight, amuse, educate, and entertain readers of all ages. Poems are sometimes serious, sometimes fantastical, but always fun to read, especially aloud.
Each mammal is also described with an interesting detail not widely known, making this book a must-have on your nature books for kids bookshelf, it’s fun and informative for both children and the adults who read to them. Sure to be a top pick at bedtime or anytime, this book will be a cheerful addition to any north woods cabin collection.
Author David Mather and Illustrator Stephanie Mirocha
32 pages. Ages 3-9.
What child hasn’t longed to bring a wild creature into the family home and keep it as a pet? This book helps children understand why that’s not a good idea.
The story begins with a wild treefrog living happily in the plants on a family’s porch. Told from the frog’s perspective, the narrative portrays his discomfort when he is mistakenly brought inside in the fall. In the happy ending, the family returns the frog to the outdoors where he can hibernate, and the child in the family looks forward to listening for the frog’s song in the spring.
Rich watercolor illustrations contrast the frog’s natural habitat with his indoor plight. One of the best nature books for kids, it includes a full page of nature facts at the end of the book explains the life cycle of amphibians and contains little-known facts about treefrogs.
Author Anne Stewart and Illustrator Brent Spink
32 pages. Ages 3-10.
The grown-ups are cleaning house and young Whims Wiggin is sent out in the yard to play. Imagine how delighted Whims is when animal playmates arrive, one after another. First a moose, then a loon, followed by a woodpecker, lynx, bear, caterpillar, bat, beaver and otters. Whims has an adventurous morning, and the reader just knows more animals will appear after lunch.
Everything a child loves in a book is here — spunky animals, a child to identify with, the rhythm and rhyme of poems, and pictures in which there is something new to discover with each reading. There are fun big words, like “cacophonous” and “hibernate”, with a glossary in the back for advanced readers or parents and teachers.
What sets this title apart from other nature books for kids is its information page on each animal which gives facts even adults may not know, and raises questions that will create a “let’s find out” attitude in readers of all ages.
Author Garrett Conover and Watercolorists Tanya Thompson and Rod MacIver
128 pages. Ages 10 and up.
This artistically created book tells the story of a young girl growing up among wildlife researchers in the northwoods. She finds her way into womanhood through the important relationships in her life, including the old Finnish ladies who share the sauna, two wolverines escaped from their observation pen, and the northern native people with whom she spends a winter.
Generously illustrated with delicate watercolors and one of our favorite nature books for kids, it is beautiful and gentle, yet it will move you to tears and make you grin. Suggested for ages 10 and up.
Author and Illustrator Consie Powell
32 pages. Ages 5-12 and Adult.
A family canoe trip into the Border Country lakes of northern Minnesota and western Ontario is vividly depicted with woodblocks, sketches, and prose. Each page presents a new aspect of the Canoe Country’s human and natural history, blended with a typical summer day of paddling, portaging and camping.
Although the trip takes the reader into the wilderness of northern Minnesota, the camp activities, wildlife and scenery could be part of a wilderness trip in Maine, the Adirondacks, Algonquin Park, or many other places up north. A top-shelf nature books for kids and adults that teaches the guiding principles of the Leave No Trace pledge.
Author Kevin Strauss and Illustrator Nancy Scheibe
48 pages. Ages 3-10.
These tales with tails are outstanding read-aloud stories for families, teachers, librarians, babysitters, camp counselors, and of course, children. Some stories are original, some are based on traditional tales from other cultures, and some are new twists on familiar stories, but all are laced with humor and northwoods lore. The bold-colored illustrations hold the attention of even the youngest child. A brief nature lesson is included at the end of each tale. A great addition to your nature books for kids shelf.
Author Mary Bevis and Illustrator Consie Powell
32 pages. Ages 3-8.
Winter is near, but as Old Woman Winter and her husband look out of their cabin in the clouds, the land is gloomy and gray. Time to whip up a recipe of gorgeous snowflakes and send a hearty serving of hoar frost to brighten up the landscape! After a day of sifting and stirring and chilling and shaping, Ms. Winter pours her batch of snowflakes onto the earth, then sweeps the clouds away so the moonlight reveals the magic of the first snow. Soon the children are reveling in their favorite winter fun.
Delightful illustrations inspire a happy anticipation of winter weather, and the jolly old woman warms readers’ hearts. Clever recipe cards tell how different kinds of frozen precipitation are really made, and a list of winter outdoor activities will make children eager to get outside.
Author and Illustrator Janet Riegle
32 pages. Ages 5-10.
A pair of piping plovers returns to their nesting area to find new threats to their safety and a danger-filled environment to raise their chicks. The pair finds a better place, but is frightened by biologists who build an enclosure around their nest to keep out predators. Gradually they adjust to this strange, new structure and successfully raise four youngsters.
The story is told from the perspective of the bird pair, gently reminding readers that human behavior affects the lives of other creatures in ways we often don’t notice. But the book offers hope and encouragement that there are effective methods for helping endangered populations and that caring humans can make a big difference.
Vividly colorful art creates the mood of beach shorelines along the Great Lakes and North Atlantic coast that are the breeding grounds for this endangered species.
Author and Illustrator Polly Carlson-Voiles
32 pages. Ages 5-10.
Someone is walking through the north woods in winter. Readers can see the tracks in each detailed depiction of winter habitat, but they don’t discover the wolf joining her mate until the last pages. On the way, they see frozen wood frogs, a bear in her den with her newborn cubs, sleepy chipmunks, fish and otters swimming under the ice, owl hunting and hare hiding, and many other creatures surviving and even thriving in the cold, snowy winter environment.
The artwork in this book is created from intricately cut and torn colored paper with watercolor and ink detailing. It has been so carefully reproduced that the reader will feel like they are holding the original art in their hands. Children will enjoy finding the many animals on each page. A glossary defines different types of snow and other winter terminology.
Author Cheryl W. Wilke and Illustrator Rebecca Stouffer
32 pages. Ages 4 and up.
A child is reluctant to leave the electronic entertainment of a city home for the family’s rustic cabin up north. But once there, the simple pleasures of campfires, hikes, and dips in the lake win the child over. When the time comes to return home, reluctance returns; the child doesn’t want to leave.
Spare, finely-crafted writing is complimented by richly detailed illustrations of a simple cabin and the natural world. The cabin setting could be any north woods location, and the child’s attitude is equally universal.
Referred to as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century”, Dahl’s awards for contribution to literature include the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and the British Book Awards’ Children’s Author of the Year in 1990. Dahl’s short stories are known for their unexpected endings and his children’s books for their unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters. His books champion the kind-hearted, and feature an underlying warm sentiment.
This 15 paperback book boxed set includes the following titles: The Witches, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, Matilda, The BFG, Going Solo, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Danny the Champion of the World, James and the Giant Peach, The Twits, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Boy Tales of Childhood, Fantastic Mr Fox, Esio Trot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Magic Finger.
*All listed prices were confirmed at time of publish and are subject to change.
Want more fun outdoor learning toys for kids? Check out our Outdoor Gift Guide!
Jennifer Fontaine is the founder of Outdoor Families Magazine, publisher of MommyHiker.com, a blog to encourage outdoor activities with children, and an activist filmmaker inspiring dynamic change in the world.