Here is our round-up of some of our favorite brands and products that promote play, imagination, and getting outside to go on an adventure. Most of these gift ideas are on my son’s own Christmas wish list or products we have and love. I have gathered a good variety of items at different price points. Taking back childhood and getting children to love and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors is important now more than ever! Whether your child is interested in insects or birds or wants to pretend they are Indiana Jones, I hope this list gives you some gift inspiration for your own little nature-loving adventurer! Here is my 2020 holiday gift guide for the little explorer in your life…
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1. Wool Thermal underlayers from Simply Merino Wool are our favorite base layers! The thermal tops and bottoms work great as a layer under all of your kid’s activity gear (hockey, skiing, skating, sledding, hiking, camping, etc). The natural fabric breathes, helping control body temperature, and wicks moisture away from the skin keeping bodies dry and warm. They SUPER soft and my son lives in his. A perfect gift for the little adventurers that never want to come inside! Price: $35 * use code mymountainwild for 10% off your order!
2. Foragers Mini Basket from Lilbellies for your little forager to gather up nature treasures and tote toys or a picnic! Lilbellies ENTIRE online shop is packed full with everything a nature-loving child could want. You definitely need to check this small shop out. I could list every single thing in her shop on this guide! price: $22.99
3. Forest School Activity Cards– from Lilbellies comes with 48 activity cards in 4 different themes to keep your children inspired to play, build, create and connect with nature! price: $18.95
4. Wilderness Multi-Tool from Lilbellies includes 9 tools designed to aid you on your adventures: a knife blade, saw, flint scrapper, tin/bottle opener, corkscrew, removable flint rod, flathead screwdriver, and Philips screw-drive. price: $31
5. The Den Kit Co. Original Den Kit from Bunny Hop comes with a haversack bag, camouflage tarpaulin, green groundsheet, hand-made ash mallet, a Den Kit Co. enamel mug, tent peg bag, face paint, rope, tent pegs, and an ideas sheet. price: $52.65
6. Survival Camp and Wildlife Exploration Small World from Montessori Choice is such a unique and creative toy! This Open-ended imaginative play set comes with Sir Val (the wood figure) equipped with his knife, backpack, and hat, a fireplace, cooking tripod and pots, his observation tree with a rope ladder, compass, a stone map, first aid kit, rope, hay mat and haystack, a burlap sleeping bag, a river stone, wooden blocks, wooden ax, woodpile storage device, a diary, a wooden ring base with a storage hatch and bird traces pyrography. price: $153 ** USE CODE: MYMOUNTAINWILD for 15% off your purchase!
7. Wood Birds Set from Montessori Choice – We love our wooden animal toys! My son collects them and has made a large list of all the animals he wants to collect still. These little birds would be darling on a nature shelf, to play with, and to identify using a bird guide. price: on sale for $48 **USE CODE MYMOUNTAINWILD for 15% off your purchase!
8. Wooden Trees Leaves Puzzle from Montessori Choice is a great resource for a tree/leaf nature study! The child can see not only the different shapes of the leaves but also the texture and color of the tree. Under each leaf, there are engraved interesting facts about the tree. This would also be adorable as a decoration in a child’s room. Price: $31 *USE CODE MYMOUNTAINWILD for 15% off your purchase!
9. Curiosity Collector Set by Wee Bee Box– We have the wooden specimen box and use it often to keep special nature treasures in a safe place. This set includes the wood box, a coordinating flower press, a set of specimen cards, a mini handbook guide, a small plastic magnifying glass, plastic craft tweezers, glassine envelopes for collecting smaller items, glue dot stickers to adhere items to specimen card, a set of mini colored pencils and a waterproof spiral notepad. price: $105
10. Point & Shoot Wood Digital Camera by Father’s Factory- this one is at the top of my son’s wish-list! He wants a real digital camera because he says he wants to be a photographer/journalist when he grows up (just like I did!) There are other cheaper kid camera options out there, but if your child is responsible enough, this gorgeous heirloom style camera is a fantastic choice. It’s pretty enough to sit out on a shelf and durable enough for a child to use. (They recommend 6 years old and up) They also make pretend toy wooden cameras if your kiddo isn’t quite ready yet for a real digital camera. price: $119
11. The SLASKEMAN RAIN SUIT by MK Nordika is also on my son’s wish list! We spend a lot of time outside, and I lead a local Wild + Free group that meets up no matter the weather. We have been needing to get my son a good rain suit like this one. The Slaskeman is a fully Water and Windproof two-piece rain suit . And very cute in my opinion! price: $85 *free shipping
12. Winter Journal from Raising Up Wild Things- We have the Autumn journal, the Winter Journal, and the Forest Journal from this small shop! These are pdfs that you can print out at home. I print them on cardstock and then take the journal to my local UPS store to have them bind it and add a clear cover. (This is usually only a few dollars!) price: $12
1. Eco-Friendly Bug House Hotel – These Insect Nest Box’s have been all the rage the last couple of years! These are so fun and a perfect gift idea for any insect-lover. These little hotels attract bees, butterflies, ladybirds and a host of other insects to your garden and offer them a safe place to stay. price: $15.99
2. Kid’s Solar Powered Camping Lantern– from reading books in their indoor fort made of blankets, to sitting around the campfire, your kiddo will LOVE this lanterns! I recommend a solar-powered lantern like this one because they will forget to turn it off and you will be going through batteries SO fast. We put ours in my son’s bedroom window to charge and then use it as a nightlight and for all his adventuring and pretend play. price: $11.99
3. Watercolor Nature Journal– This journal doesn’t have many pages but the paper is nice and thick (140 lb weight) so it is perfect for the child that wants to use watercolors in their journal. We have tried several different notebooks and this is our favorite! price: $6.20
4. Twig Colored Pencils– to go along with their nature journal! We have several packs of these because we go through them and gift them often! They are fun to use and easy for little hands to hold. Price: $5.55
5. The Stanley Classic – This Vacuum Insulated Food/drink Jar is 24oz, making it a perfect size for a child! My son is getting older and more independent so he has been asking for his own thermos to bring hot cocoa along on our snowshoeing adventures. This Stainless Steel, Naturally BPA-free Container – Keeps Food/Liquid Hot or Cold for 15 Hours! price: $24.97
6. Animal Tracks Ink & Stamp Set– these will be great to go with the nature journal! You can learn about the different animal tracks and go looking for them outside at your local parks! price: $16.95
7. Adventure Bag– this tactical day pack is smaller, so perfect for my son’s size (He is almost 8 years old) The many loops on the outside of the bag can be loaded with hooked carabiners to tote all their adventure gear. My son has a similar bag to this and he uses every loop, pocket, and compartment in his bag. price: $28
8. Walkie Talkies- we were gifted some very nice walkie talkies a couple years ago and use them ALL the time! This more affordable option has good reviews and seems like a great deal for kids. These have a built-in flashlight and a decent range in open terrain(Up to 1.86 miles) price: $24.99
9. Wildcraft – An Herbal Adventure Board Game – This unique board game is for Kids Ages 4-8 and Up. It’s a Fun, Cooperative & Educational Board Game that Teaches 25 Medicinal Plants and Problem Solving Skills! The game itself is made in the USA with 100% RECYCLED and RECYCLABLE materials, using a WATER-BASED coating instead of varnish, and the beautiful watercolor illustrations are printed with VEGETABLE OIL-BASED INKS. How cool is that?? price: $39.99
11. Play The Forest School Way: Woodland Games And Crafts For Adventurous Kids -This outdoor adventure manual is packed full of ideas, from making nature jewelry and whittling a bow and arrow, to building a shelter and foraging for food, it also celebrates the Forest School philosophy of encouraging self-esteem, confidence, and social skills through engagement with nature. price: $14.69
12. Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids– has 50 Creative Projects to Spark Curiosity in the Outdoors and is filled with hands-on, educational outdoor activities. price: $13.34
13. Compact Binoculars- These lightweight, small binoculars can be folded into palm-size, perfect to throw in their adventure backpack. price: $23.99
14. BOGS Classic Boots– These waterproof, insulated boots are made SO well. My son has worn these through every season now, and they are still in great shape! They are a bit pricey, but an investment for the kiddo that plays rough. price: $79.95
15. Children’s Folding Pocket Knife– Teach your little one how to tinker, spread, cut and carve with this Beechwood knife, featuring a rounded tip and easy-to-grip handle. price: $19.00
16. The Curious Nature Guide- Explore The Natural Wonders All Around You. We love this book and have referenced it often! price: $13.54
17. Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of The Natural World price: $14.95
18. SunPrint Paper Kit – This easy-to-use paper uses the power of the sun to make beautiful pieces of art. Place a fern, flower, or other object on the special paper and set it in the sun briefly. Then rinse the paper in water and watch as a beautiful long-lasting image appears! price: $15.79
19. Coleman Kids Wonder Lake 2-Person Dome Tent– this is the tent my son has and we just love it! It is very good quality for being a child’s tent and we love setting up in the backyard to pretend we are camping. It is very light-weight and easy to assemble. price: $56.27
20. Animal Tracks Pocket Guide– My son uses this little pocket guide ALL the time! It’s fun to track animal tracks in the mud and the snow. price: $15.29
21. Pack of Three Magnifier Box’s– I couldn’t find the wood magnifier box that we have (we bought it at a local shop here in MT) but these little boxes would be a wonderful addition to a nature shelf! They magnify up to 5X and would be fun to study a specimen up close. price: $9.95
More gift ideas:
- A bandana- my kiddo always has one around his neck and he loves to pretend he is Indiana Jones or some other great explorer
- Make or buy outdoor activity cards! There are some wonderful options on Etsy or you can create your own. Print them out on cardstock and then laminate them so they last longer
- Snowshoes are a great gift idea. My parents gifted us all snowshoes a couple years ago and we love going on snowy nature walks.
- If your child likes to nature journal, or wants to start, you can get them a new set of watercolors, markers, and pencils to take with on their adventures and record their observations.
- My son LOVES wearing “adventure gear” and one of his favorite accessories is an adventure vest. We have one that is a Junior Ranger vest and one that is just a fishing vest. For Christmas last year we filled the pockets of the vest with little outdoor gadgets such as a pocket knife, binoculars, a little first aid kit, a whistle, etc. He was thrilled to open that gift and he loves stuffing the pockets with nature treasures such as rocks, leaves, and wildflowers.