It’s that time of the year again! While you are racking your head trying to think of gifts for the little ones, here are some things that you can look at to encourage the adventurous spirit in them. This isn’t a list about what you think they “need” as a parent, this is a list of gifts that your kids will actually think are freaking-awesome to have! How do I know this? Well being a father of a 5 year old boy, and a 7 year old girl, I think I am well qualified for this subject.
I decided instead of just myself writing this article, I would get my own kids involved in it, besides wouldn’t it be better to go straight to the source to see what is it that kids want! So I gave my kids a task, they love contributing especially when it has anything to do with the word “gift” in it this close to Christmas. I asked them both to write down 15 items that they thought would be cool to have when camping, hiking, fishing, etc..
Ok, here is what we came up with, and I think it’s pretty cool myself. Remember, not all of these might fit for your kids, it all depends on the ages. You don’t have to do a lot of searching all over for which is the best ones of each, I’ve done all the leg-work for you, just choose the item(s) that you like and check out the ones I recommended.
Kids of many ages love these, its one of those devices that can transport a kid into another world! My kids have been using mine for years, they love playing hide-and-seek and teasing each other that they can’t be found. If your kid is like the rest of the kids in America, this is a great way to get their noses out of the iPhones, iPads, xBox, or whatever game device your kid is addicted to, and get them talking and playing outside together. The Durable Walkie-Talkies by Kidzlane are the best ones we found for kids out there.
Rocket Fishing Rod
My son really loves this, and put it on his list to Santa (Santa says he is bringing it shhh!). I actually can’t wait to try this out myself! It launches up to 30 feet and the hook and bait are safely inside the bobber until it hits the water. Here is the link to it Rocket Fishing Rod.
Red Ryder BB Gun
This one is for the older kids. I remember as a kid wanting a BB gun so bad I would have traded my sister for it! You heart starts thumping when you see that unmistakable wrapped box under the tree, the worst part was waiting weeks knowing it was right there within grasp, but it gave me plenty of time to plan how I would rid the world of criminals and evil do-ers. I selected the Red Ryder BB Gun because of it American nostalgia.
Kids really love exploring, and nothing says “explore” better than a pair of their own binoculars. Put these in the hands of a kid and you are likely not to see them for hours at a time. You might choose to get a higher quality but since we are talking about small kids gifts I’m going to recommend a pair make to take some kid sized punishment, the Backyard Safari Binoculars.
Critter Exploration Kit
Little boys and yes even many of the girls love to explore life through bugs, we’ve all done it and you’re kids want to as well. If you’ve got a little backyard explorer get them one of these exploration kits. Backyard Exploration Critter Case, my kids really enjoyed this one.
Remote Controlled Helicopter
Both my kids practically begged for weeks to have this, there is something fascinating to kids about having control over a flying whirlwind of blades. There are many choices, from small to large, some designed for indoors and some for outdoors (the lighter in weight and smaller in size is greatly affected by winds so many are recommended for indoor use, if you value anything in your home you better put it away!). Syma is probably the largest selling brand on the market, our kids also had a lot of fun with the Flying UFO Ball.
It’s never too early to start teaching your kids how to use a compass. Make a game out of it, hide a treasure (ok, not a real treasure unless you are that rich), then provide compass directions and clues to different locations with a new clue and compass heading to the next one, until they reach the treasure. Kids just naturally love treasure hunting and this will be teaching them a life-long skill at the same time. The Backyard Safari Field Compass is a great one to start them out with.
All kids love having their own backpacks that they get to pack themselves, this helps teach them independence as well as organizational skills, all while they have fun doing it. There is an overwhelming amount of backpacks on the market, so I will show you the ones that my kids enjoy and you can decide. Girls Backpack and Boys Backpack.
What kid doesn’t want their own personal fort! If you get a self-standing one it can be used not only outdoors but indoors for some fun sleepovers. You’ll be amazed if you show your kids a couple times how to set it up correctly they will be doing it on their own. This saves you time, and gives you and the missus more room in your tent, and the kids get an adventure they will always remember. The vestibule house by Big Agnes is perfect for kids, it has plenty of room and provides a place for them to store their muddy explorer shoes.
Little boys might not enjoy this one as much but my daughter loves to write and doodle. We took a cross country trip once with the family and drove from California to Alabama across some 15 states, she kept a daily journal of our adventures along the way. It has turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip looking back over the journal.