Spending time outdoors on nature adventures has always been a focus for our family. Whether it’s weekly nature days with our friends, family camping trips, or longer road trips, we love exploring nature with our kids. Here are our favorite nature gifts for kids who love exploring outdoors or those who need a bit of encouragement with the right gear, tools, and toys!
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Camping and Hiking Gear for Kids
Camping and hiking as a family is one of my favorite outdoor activities to do as a family! Here are some handy gear that make great nature gifts for kids.
Binoculars are a must-have for getting a closer view of far away animals and scenery. My kids each have one of their own in their backpacks and I usually carry binoculars too. It’s really tough to share when time is crucial trying to catch a glimpse of an animal!
A Portable Microscope is just the right size to take on a nature hike with your kids. Each of my have their own in their backpacks. Even though it’s small, it’s still a great tool to taking a close look at what they find while out and about.
Camera – My dad is a photographer and bought my girls these digital cameras a few years ago when they were still quite young. Even though it’s not your typical children’s camera, these are incredible durable and they take great pictures!
A Compass will help you children learn to navigate out in the wild. This is such a valuable skill to learn even starting at a young age so they’re used to navigating long before they’ll need to put this skill to the test!
Survival Bracelet for kids are bracelets that have handy tools built in such as a compass, whistle, fire starter, and paracord. Plus, my kids just think they look cool!
Swiss Army Pocket Knife – Getting their own pocket knife is a rite of passage for many kids once they show their parents they’re responsible enough to be trusted with this tool.
Head Lamps make moving around the camp at night much safer and more fun for the kids. It’s a must have tool for evening and night hikes even if you’re not going too far.
Water bottles – I wish I hadn’t messed around with cheap water bottles when my kids were younger. Yes, the plastic ones are cute with their favorite cartoon characters, but they weren’t durable and they certainly didn’t keep water cold for long during our hot summers. I love these double insulated water bottles!
Walkie Talkies are fun to play with when out in nature with friends and they can help us feel more comfortable letting our older kids wander off by themselves for a bit.
A Slackline Kit with Training Line is a big hit when we’re out in a forest. I just wish our yard had trees to support this at home! One of the downfalls to living in the desert, I guess.
A Hammock is another fun nature gift for kids! Send them off to the hammock with a book to enjoy the fresh air outside.
Gardening Toys and Tools for Kids
Magnifying Glasses will help you kids slow down and take a close look at the creatures they find in the backyard, park, campground, or hiking trail.
Insect Magnifier – My kids love to catch bugs in a magnifier so they can get a closer look at the details which helps when doing nature drawings. Just be sure to release the bug when you’re done!
This Bug Catcher set comes with a small vacuum which makes capturing bugs easy for those a big squeamish!
Get a close up view as your kids watch root vegetables grow with the Root Vue Farm! Watch what happens in the soil when growing carrots and radishes.
A Flower press is a great tool for preserving your kids’ favorite flowers and leaves that they collect of nature outings.
Stepping Stone Painting Kit – My kids get one of these every year from their grandparents. They love to help decorate the gardens with their own artwork!
All About Insects and Critters
Butterfly and ladybug kits are a bit hit with my kids every spring! If you choose the option that comes with the certificate for the larva, these make great gifts any time of year. The certificates can be redeemed during spring or whenever is the best time to raised butterflies and ladybugs for your area. We also use the butterfly habitat for raising a sphinx moth using hornworms we find in the garden.
Kids can practice their building skills with this Build Your Own Birdhouse Kit. Attract colorful birds to your yard with birdhouses!
An Owl Pellet Dissection Kit is a must-have when you’re studying owls or just reading a fun story about them! This kit is real handy if you’re in an area where owl pellets are hard to find while out in nature.
World Wildlife Fund Symbolic Adoption – Both of my girls have saved up their own money to donate for a symbolic adoption. They love learning about all the animals that are at-risk around the world and doing their small part to help their habitats.
Nature Books and Magazines for Kids
Ranger Rick has 4 different animal focused magazine options for kids 0-12 years old. Ranger Rick for ages 7+, Ranger Rick Jr for ages 3-7, Ranger Cub for lap time with kids ages 0-3, and Zoobooks which highlights one animal per issue.
Many children’s libraries have a selection of magazines available which makes it easier to find the perfect nature magazine for your kids.
Check out our favorite nature books for kids!
- 25 Nature Books for Kids to Get Them Exploring
- 20 Engaging Gardening Books for Kids
- 18 Beautiful Butterfly Books
- Winter Poetry Books
- Beautiful Winter Books for Kids
Nature Journal Supplies
Nature Journal – My kids love nature journals, but we save them for when we’re out by ourselves or when we get home from a nature adventure. This is a great one for kids with writing and drawing prompts to help them describe what they experienced.
Art Sketch Books are a great alternative to structured nature journals. My kids actually prefer black pages to create their own artwork based on what they saw.
A Prismacolor Coloring Pencils set is perfect for those kids (or adults!) ready to move beyond the usual brands of coloring pencils. Prismacolor is a fantastic quality brand!
This Watercolor Paint set comes with 10 brushes and 32 colors. My kids love to bring out the paints after we get home from a nature adventure to paint the trees and critters that they saw.
Nature Games for Kids
Wildcraft is one of our favorite nature board games. Once upon a time, I started learning about herbs and their uses. Years later, it’s still a focus when it comes to our family’s health and wellness. I actually bought this game before I had kids and I love that we now play it as a family!
Trekking the National Parks is a fun family game that will take you on an adventure to our countries National Parks!
Nature Subscriptions for Kids
Wild Explorers Club is subscription with weekly projects that kids complete to earn badges. You can do it as a family or find a group of other nature families in your area and work through the projects together.
Think Outside Box is a monthly subscription box that follows the seasons encouraging your kids to get outside all year round. Inside the box you’ll find gear, resource cards, hands-on activities, and outdoor challenges for the whole family.
The Wild Child Box is a quarterly subscription box curated for children ages 5-10. Each box comes with gear, snacks, and nature inspired items perfect for taking on outdoor adventures.
Memberships and Passes to State and National Parks – This is a great family gift to give! Having a yearly pass makes it so much more affordable for families to explore these treasured areas.
Related Post – Nature Poetry Handwriting Practice
More Nature Gifts for Kids
A Rock Tumbler is a must have for kids who love to collect rocks! My dad bought my youngest daughter one for Christmas and it’s such a big hit. If you have friends or family around the country, it would be a fun project to exchange rocks from different areas. My dad travels a lot and is always bringing back beautiful rocks he finds on his adventures that are very different than the rocks we find around here.
A Zipline is such a fun addition for backyard fun! This will keep them outside and away from screens.
A Telescope is a fun add-on to your packing list when camping especially if you live in the city. This one connects to phone which makes viewing so much easier for kids!
Grab a Metal Detector and head to the beach, lake, or river for some easy digging for treasure!
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Nature Gifts for All Kids
Time in nature is so vital for all kids. Fun toys, gear, and tools will help encourage their love of spending time in the wild. Whether kids live in the country or have to travel a bit to find a nature spot in a city, these nature gifts will be sure to help them find new nature adventures!