Gift Ideas for Little Adventurers

9 Kid Adventure Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Be the Best Gift Giver this Year

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for your little adventurers? A gift that is unique and thoughtful?
As someone who aims to be the favorite aunt to my eight nieces and nephews, gift giving is something I take seriously. I’ve spent an embarrassingly amount of hours browsing, comparing, and finding that perfect gift to make sure my coveted “favorite aunt status” was safe for another year.
Here are some of my niece and nephews’ favorite Christmas or birthday gifts that you may find are the perfect fit for the kids in your life.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. The items cost the same either way, this just helps to keep the lights on. Thanks for your support!

Headlamp/Headtorch

Get them their very own headlamp/headtorch to use for their own adventures or when they tag along with you. They’re fun, practical, and not that expensive.  These also make great birthday gifts because they are useful all year long. 
Features I look for are:
  • Different color choices to match with their favorite color and personality
  • Adjustable band to make sure it fits properly
  • Adjustable light so you can aim the light where you need it
  • Different light options (high beam, low beam, red light (so they don’t blind you, and it saves on battery)
  • Water resistant or waterproof
  • Shock resistant (you know it’s going to get dropped)
  • Lock feature to “lock” it in the off position, so it doesn’t stay on accidentally and drain the battery when not in use.
  • Batteries included (saves you having to remember to buy them)
Suggested Age: 5 and up Cost: $8-$15 Recommended Examples: Shining Buddy and Insane LED
Gift Idea for Kids - Headlamp
Gift Idea for Kids - Headlamp

Sleeping Bag

My nephew thought he’d died and gone to heaven when he got his very own sleeping bag! His idea of a good time is hanging out with his dad and brothers and camping in the backyard, on an easy backpacking trip, or even in the living room. He was 5 when I got him his very own sleeping bag and I was told he slept in it in his bed for the first month after getting it. (Favorite aunt-status secured for another year.)
Since he was still pretty little and he doesn’t need anything too hardcore, I got him one that would work well for sleepovers, backyard camping, and maybe warmer summer car camping trips. It also happened to match the Star Wars pop up tent I got him.  
Here’s what I look for in a kid’s casual sleeping bag:
  • Stuff sack/pack included 
  • Cool design/color that fit their personality or current favorite movie/character
  • Warm enough for what they’ll be using it for
  • Just the right size – Not too big, but not too small
  • Zips out flat if they want to use it as a blanket
  • Easy to wash aka machine washable
As he starts going on more adventures and needs a warmer sleeping bag and something more appropriate for his outdoor adventures he’ll need a different bag.
Exxel Star Wars Sleeping Bag Kit
Gift Idea for Kids - Sleeping Bag
Kelty Big Dipper 30 degree bag
Suggested Age: 4 and up Cost: $15 – $110 What I bought my nephew: Star Wars Sleeping Bag
Other recommendations:
Gift Idea for Kids - Star Wars Tent

Pop-up or Play Tent

To go with the Star Wars sleeping bag, I decided my 5-year old nephew also needed a little pop-up tent. They had one that was pretty easy to set up, looked cool, and would last for a descent amount of time. I wasn’t expecting a hard core tent, but something he could use in the house or in the backyard during the summer. 
My 3-year old niece also got a little pop up princess castle for her 3rd birthday. I thought her head was going to explode into glitter she was so excited! So many emotions in such a little body. To have a small space all their own is kind of important for them. She set it up in her room and would often drag her blanket, books, and stuffed animals in there with her and fall asleep. Another big hit!
Here’s what I look for in a pop up tent:
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to take down and store
  • Storage bag included
  • Easy for kids to get in and out
  • Door to shut the world out
  • Windows to see out/in
  • Bright, fun design
  • Durability – It needed to last longer than a week and hold up to normal kid wear
  • Just the right size – not too big, but not too small
  • Glow in the dark is always a good thing
SueSport Pink Princess Castle Play Tent
Suggested Age: 3 to 10 yrs.
Cost: $18 – $35
What I bought my Nephew: Star Wars Tent
What I bought my Niece: SueSport Pink Princess Castle Play Tent

Camp or Lawn Chair

Again, get them their own camping gear and make them truly feel like they are part of the adventure. It’s something just their size and can be used for more than just camping! They work great in the backyard, at soccer games, and tea parties in a pinch.
Basic things to look for:
  • Easy to set up/take down
  • Storage sack included
  • Easy to carry handle or shoulder strap
  • Comfortable to them
  • Durable – stand up to normal kid wear and tear
  • Sturdy – Won’t easily tip over
  • Different colors/ fun designs
  • Easy to clean material
  • Cup holder
Gift Ideas for Kids - Lawn or Camp Chair
REI Kids Camp Chair
Suggested Age: 3 to 10 yrs. Cost: $15 – $45 Recommended Examples:

Snowshoes

Snowshoes make fantastic Christmas gifts for the whole family! It’s a fun and easy winter activity you can do together and make some lasting memories. Plus hot chocolate tastes that much better after a little fun in the snow.
Finding the right snowshoe is based on knowing the approximate shoe size and weight of who will be using them. Keep in mind, you want the weight the person will be once they’re all suited up to stay warm. This matters since snowshoes work by keeping you lifted up off the snow and having the right weight-bearing snowshoe will make the experience a whole lot more pleasant. The heavier the person, the more surface area the snowshoe needs to cover and the bigger the snowshoes need to be.
Some snowshoes come with poles, but it’s not necessary. Kids have amazing balance and don’t seem to need them like the more grown-up kids aka adults do.
Also, if you don’t plan on using snowshoes a lot or if you want to try it out before you buy, a lot of places rent snowshoes for relatively cheap. Check with a local outdoor gear store like REI. Many universities or colleges have outdoor recreation programs and will rent outdoor gear not just to students, but to the public.
Things to look for in snowshoes for kids:
  • Kid friendly bindings that are easy to get on/off, especially with gloves/mittens
  • Easy to walk in
  • Rated for kid appropriate weight
  • Recommended shoe size is for kids
  • Bindings that work with regular snow boots or hiking boots – no fancy boots required
  • Lightweight
  • Fun colors
  • Poles – added bonus, but not necessary
  • Storage case – added bonus, but not necessary
If you’re wanting to do more than just the casual snowshoeing, I’d suggest checking out REI’s article about snowshoes.
Tubbs Kids Snowflake Snowshoes
Gift Ideas for Kids - Snowshoes
Lucky Bums Youth Snowshoes
Suggested Age: 3 and up Cost: $35 to $120* *depends on size of the kid and how fancy you want to go Recommended Examples:

Snow Fort or Snow Castle Kit

Like the snowshoes, this gift idea depends on whether your little adventurer lives somewhere where there is a enough snow to make a snow fort/igloo/snow castle. It also has to be the right kind of snow so that it sticks together. Powder is great for skiing but miserable for making snow forts and snowballs.
Some of my best memories are of playing out in the snow, building snow forts, and having snowball wars with my brothers and the neighbor kids. I wanted to my nieces and nephews to have the same type of experiences. You get serious bonus points for getting out there with them and building it with them and participating in the snowball fights.
When I was a kid, we’d use 5-gallon buckets to make our snow “bricks” or chisel them out of the ground with a straight shovel. We even did the snow cave route by piling up a ton of snow and then shoveling out the cave. These still work, but if you wanted to get fancy here’s a commercial option that makes a fun gift for them to unwrap.
Basic things I’m looking for with a snow fort or snow castle maker:
  • Will it make good snow bricks?
  • Will it be easy to get the snow out of the bricks without them breaking?
  • Is it kid friendly?
  • Durable – Will it last at least the entire season?
  • Bonus for the castle design mold – coolness factor here
  • Won’t break the bank
  • Good reviews from other users
Gift Idea for Kids - Snow fort / Snow Castle / Sand Castle Maker
Snow Castle / Sand Castle Kit
*The recommended snow castle kit also works fairly well with sand. So if sand and sandcastles are more common than snow where your little adventurer lives, this is also a fun birthday or Christmas gift idea.
Suggested Age: 3 and up
Cost: $0 for DIY to $30
Recommended Example: Snow Castle / Sand Castle Kit

2 in 1 World Globe 

My grandparents had a world globe that would light up at night and was the perfect nightlight. I ALWAYS wanted one. I would spend hours imagining adventures I would have and what it would be like to explore the different colored countries found on that globe. I’m pretty sure this is where my wanderlust started and my love of maps/globes.

When looking for gift ideas for my nieces and nephews, I remembered how much I loved that globe and stumbled across this 2 in 1 world globe. During the day it’s a regular world globe, but when the lights go off, it shows the entire night sky and the 88 modern day constellations. How cool is that!? Where was this when I was a kid!? Anyway…I may be getting two (yes one would be for me.)

Features I was looking for in a world globe:
  • Colorful & Easy to Read
  • Sturdy base
  • Big enough, but not too big
  • Power cord, not battery powered
  • Illuminated – Made a good nightlight
  • Built to last for a few years (a two-year warranty was a bonus)
  • The night sky was a bonus, but I wanted to be able to lightly see the countries behind the constellations
2 for 1 World Globe that Illuminates Constellations
Illuminated 2 in 1 World Globe
Suggested Age: 4 and up
Cost: $30 to $46
Recommended Examples: Illuminated 2 in 1 World Globe or Traditional World Globe 

Little Passport Subscription Box

This birthday gift was a HUGE hit, and several of my family members went in on it. If you’ve never tried a subscription box service, they can be a lot of fun. I mean who doesn’t love to receive surprise packages in the mail, especially if you’re between the ages of 3 and 12.
The Little Passports subscription service has a few different box options geared towards different age groups, interests, and subscription lengths. It’s mainly based around a travel theme, and you can choose between the world and the USA.
We went with the World Explorer Edition for a year, and my nephew received monthly boxes. The first box comes with a small suitcase, a passport, a world map to hang up on a wall, a welcome letter from his new penpals, Sophia and Sam, stickers and activity sheets and access to online games. Then each month he receives a box based on a new country with another letter from Sam and Sophia, country-specific souvenirs, stickers and more activity sheets, and photos. It made learning geography a lot of fun and was something he looked forward to each month.
What I look for in a kid-appropriate, adventure/travel related subscription box service:
  • Unique
  • Adventure/Travel related
  • Lots of cool goodies like their own little passport, a travel related container of sorts, photos, stickers, and activity sheets
  • Makes learning fun and interesting
  • Online games/videos to go along with the tangible goodies
  • Not boring – Well thought out service/product
  • Good bang for your buck
  • Good reviews from others
Gift Ideas for Kids - Little Passports Monthly Subscription Box - World Edition
Little Passports Monthly Subscription - World Explorer
Suggested Ages: 6 to 10 yrs old for the World Explorer version 3 to 5yrs old for the Early Explorers version
How often does it come? Monthly Cost: $12.95/month to $15.95/month – depends on duration and if you pay monthly or in one big chunk *The coupon code “EXPLORE” will save you $20 on the yearly subscriptions
Where to Learn More: Little Passports Monthly Subscription Boxes

My Amazing Penpal Subscription

I’m currently exploring another seriously cool adventure/travel themed kid appropriate subscription box service called, My Amazing Pen Pal. 
I haven’t purchased it yet, but will soon to make sure to save my spot. There are a limited number of subscriptions available since the guy behind “My Amazing Pen Pal” actually becomes your kids pen pal and writes to your kids. He also will always respond if the kids send him letters or emails. So to keep up this amazing level of awesomeness, he limits who he’s pen pals with.
What I love about this one is that your kids can interact with a real person. It’s a real guy, Greg, who is traveling the world looking for treasure. He takes your kid along for the ride as he sends them clues each month about where he is or where he’s going.
What is unique is that he actually is your kid’s penpal. He writes to them and will respond when they write to him. He does limit the number of subscriptions he takes on so that he can provide a great service and be the best penpal possible.
He also provides online videos and other amazing goodies, including a leather journal,  treasure chest, and color activity sheets. It’s worth checking out. Learn more here.
Suggested Ages: 6 to 11 yrs old
How often does it come? Monthly Cost: – 6 months is $108.86 or $18.14/month – 12 months is $190.68 or $15.89/month
Where to Learn More: My Amazing Pen Pal Subscription
So there you go, 8 fun and unique gift ideas for kids to use for Christmas or birthdays! Hopeful you found a few ideas you may not have considered before or they sparked other gift ideas that would be perfect for your little adventurer. 

Do you have other kid-appropriate gift idea suggestions?

Please share them in the comments! I’m always on the lookout for new and fun Christmas and gift ideas for my nieces and nephews. Many Thanks!

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