A gift guide for useful stocking stuffers and party favors for outdoorsy kids, helping you avoid candy or cheap plastic items!
Whether stocking stuffers or party favors, sometimes we’re looking for a small item that will still have meaning. If you’re gifting to/from an outdoorsy kid, we have a few ideas! As a bonus, they’re budget-friendly at under $15 each.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
An s-biner (s-shaped carabiner) is a useful tool, fun to say, and the perfect stocking stuffer or party favor at only $2. Various sizes and colors available!
This multitool brings holiday cheer with its snowflake design and includes 20 different tools in one.
Keep these measuring tapes handy for your next outdoor adventure. Kids love to measure and compare, and these pocket-sized measuring tapes are great tools to have on hand! (other colors also available)
Who doesn’t love a spork? It’s the “ideal utensil”! This particular spork is made of bio-based plastic and is great for camping, picnics and lunch boxes.
Kids who love the outdoors also want to protect it. Encourage your little environmentalist to make small changes, such as choosing re-usable straws. We have these glass straws from Hummingbird and love them. They are shatter-resistant, easy to clean, and made in the USA.
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
A new water bottle is always a fun and functional gift, especially if it can be used on many future outdoor adventures
There are thousands of options out there, but these Camelback bottles fit the fun-and-functional category. We also like the simplicity of the 16 oz Nalgene bottles. Both fit easily in the pockets of backpacks, can be carried or attached by loops on their lids.
BATTERY-POWERED (REUSABLE) GLOW STICK
In late fall and winter, it often feels like the sun sets mid-afternoon, and outdoor play gets cut short. But the good news is that playing outside in the dark can be a lot of fun! Use this battery-powered glowstick to either make your location known or as part of an after-dark treasure hunt.
To help ensure access to clean water when in nature, consider having a LifeStraw personal water filter as a backup to your water bottle.
(This item may only qualify as “under $15” while on sale!)
A good pair of wool socks is invaluable for little adventurers and Smartwool socks are a great place to start. These light hikers put the ‘fun’ in functional! (various colors and sizes available)
This bracelet keeps kids safe in the dark with an LED strip which lights up at the push of a button (can be set to glow or flash). Weather-resistant, it can be worn on wrists, ankles or arms on an evening run, walk or bike. (My son wore his trick-or-treating!)
A packable quick-drying towel that fits in a stocking? A great choice for camping or creek play, it takes up very little space and is a great thing to have on hand. (Large size under $15.)
Another great tool in your survival kit, an emergency blanket is lightweight and has multiple uses. Designed by NASA, they retain up to 90% of your body heat, are reusable and tear-resistant.
HAND CRANK FLASHLIGHT
A crank-powered flashlight can ensure that you always have a source of light, even when batteries have died. Crank for 1 minute to make enough power for 10 minutes of light. This model can also be used to charge mobile phones, a handy feature in an emergency. (Or when you drain your phone’s battery when using trail apps!)
Useful for orienteering or geocaching, a compass is a handy tool for any person to have outdoors. Although many phones now have compass apps, being able to use the real thing is an important skill for any outdoorsy kid.
This compass has all the basic features (baseplate, ruler, magnifier, lanyard) and comes in a snazzy color that makes it easy to find. It is an “electromagnetic compass with azimuth bearing and 360-degree rotating baffle”.
This small spiral notebook is pocket-sized and weatherproof, great for jotting down trailside observations and memories in sun or rain alike!
These twig pencils are a great addition to any gift. (And perhaps a good opportunity to practice whittling skills, once they need to be sharpened!)
Your nature-loving artist would love these rock-shaped crayons. Their tripod grip allows for handwriting development all while creating their own masterpieces.
PLAY & LEARN
Re-create your favorite constellations on your ceiling with these glow-in-the-dark stars. This pack includes 200 stars, putty and a constellation map.
AUDUBON PLAYING CARDS
These playing cards each feature a different Audubon bird painting, from Northern Cardinals to Whooping Cranes. During a rousing game of “go fish”, kids can learn the names of a variety of different birds!
Learn more about mammals from around the world with these animal alphabet flashcards, from aardvark to zebu.
ANIMAL GUESSING GAME
Family game night will have the side-effect of teaching kids about the animal world with this Guess in 10 game. Along with interrogation skills, they’ll learn animal classification, habitat and behaviors all while trying to be the first to collect 7 cards.
OUTDOOR SCAVENGER HUNT
This outdoor scavenger hunt is a great game for the whole family. Find colors, textures, shapes, etc. in what you see outside. This open-ended game is great for all ages, “perfect for natural learning, language development and image recognition”.
Get the Kids Outside also has a large collection of outdoor scavenger hunt printables, from seasonal-specific hunts to sensory walks to build-your-own games.
BOOKS / BOOKLETS
A great choice for older kids, Hatchet is a powerful story of survival and connection to nature. A family favorite for sure!
FUN ANIMAL FACTS
The Animals version of National Geographic’s Weird But True series is a great way to learn weird and wacky trivia about animals and impress your friends! (If this inspires them to learn more, check out our growing list of animal fun facts!)
POCKET NATURALIST GUIDES
To learn more about the trees around you, try this pocket guide featuring 140 different North American species. It’s a perfect size to slip into your backpack and take with you on your next adventure. This series also includes guides for animal tracks, mushrooms, foraging, bees and other pollinators, as well as some location-specific guides.
Next time you’re looking for useful stocking stuffers or party favors for outdoorsy kids, consider one of these budget-friendly items!
And be sure to check out our other gift guides: