Camping Gifts for Outdoorsy Kids
With many people opting for staycations and roadtrips this year, camping gifts for kids will be a big hit, all year round. Outdoorsy kids will love these thoughtful and fun gifts, so read our ultimate list of camping gifts for kids.
Hopefully these ideas will inspire families to spend more time outdoors together, whether it’s exploring a national park down the road, or camping in your own backyard.
Here are the 15 most fun, awesome camping gift ideas for kids, they will actually use, and love:
- Kid-Size camp chair
- Sleeping bag
- Hiking Backpack
- Camping Pad
- Kids Binoculars
- Kids Camping Gift Basket Ideas
- Walkie Talkies
- Scavenger Hunt
- Family Games
- Craft / STEAM Subscription Boxes
- Camping Lego Sets
- Camping Playsets
Read on for more exciting details and suggestions.
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Camping Gifts For Kids (They Will Actually Use)
Our goal was to not only find fun items that are useful, but ones that are multipurpose and can be used at home, at a cabin or at your favourite camping site.
Our children love the chance to play in the dirt, collect nature treasures and roast marshmallows over a fire. Best of all we have the opportunity to spend intentional time together as a family. Encouraging the love and care of the outdoors and the earth is something that is important to us.
Camping Gifts for Outdoorsy Kids
1. Kid Size Camp Chair
Camp chairs are a hit with kids of all ages. Choose a small lightweight one that is easy for them to carry around.
For the younger crowd choose a character theme or cute animal chair like the Melissa and Doug Butterfly Chair, and you will be their favourite adult.
Kids can use these around the fire pit while camping at a park like Acadia National Park, or it can double as their favourite marshmallow roasting chair at home too. Choose a style and colour that suits your child.
Camping with kids can be fun.
My daughter and I do a mother-daughter camping trip each year, and her camp chair is well loved and used. We just got ours at our local Canadian Tire. Check out your local camping store.
Miss Seven has a pink canopied camp chair that she has loved for the past few years. It has also doubled as a fort, a towel drying rack, and a place for her stuffies to hang out at camp.
2. Sleeping bag
Buying a light weigh, insulated kid sized sleeping bag will bring excitement and anticipation for the next camping trip.
They don’t need to be super expensive, unless you need to buy a technical one for backpacking, or winter camping family type adventures.
Kid size is the best! My daughter was so excited to get her first themed sleeping bag she slept in it on her bed for weeks.
They are also great for sleepovers with friends, as a nest inside forts, or sleeping bag stair races. Who did this as a kid?
Keeping hydrated in the outdoors is important. Consider a waterbottle that is insulated and leak resistant like the Yeti Rambler Jr with straw cap, or one that is lightweight, with an easy to use sport top like Kleen Kanteen.
Nothing worse than leaking water in your backpack. Well ok maybe a dirty diaper blow out leak ( been there) or a smushed banana (done that) is worse. Parents unite!
4. Hiking backpack
Hiking and camping go together like peanut butter and jelly. A backpack is the perfect gift for outdoorsy child.
We prefer backpacks that are well made, last for at least a few years and can be passed on to younger siblings, or friends with younger kids.
This one we are eyeing for our daughter for her birthday.
Bonus they can carry their own water bottles, snacks and the many inevitable treasures they pick up along the way.
Looking for new adventures?
- Parksville, BC Canada has some fun camping and hiking options in this lovely west coast beach town.
- Yellowknife, NT Canada is a great place for families to visit to do a little hiking, aurora viewing and camping
5. Camping Pad
Camping in comfort begins with a self inflatable camping pad. Comfortable kids = less complaining!
When my daughter was a toddler, she always fought me for my pink thermarest, left over from my treeplanting days. Nowadays, we all fight over my partners deluxe coleman camping pad. I think we need to add this to our gift list!
A perfect gift idea for campers and outdoorsy kids.
Kids love a good hammock hangout, and this is a great gift for both younger kids and teens.
This hammock is very well rated, lightweight and folds up into a small grapefruit sized pouch. Easy to take anywhere. A fun addition for your next camping trip.
Preteens and teens can swing or read a book in it for hours (getting the space they need), and younger kids can swing wildly pretending they are in a boat, space ship, coccoon. It can also be used as a cool outdoor sleeping experience.
You might need to get two, as you’ll have all your family members fighting over who gets to try out the hammock next.
7. Kids Binoculars
The Educational Insights Kidnoculars (below) were a favourite grandparent gift of my daughters for many years. Fun for bird and squirrel watching, and checking out “things over there.”
These binoculars have a big eyepiece that doesn’t need to be adjusted, so easy to use, perfect for little hands, and are difficult to break.
If you are looking for a gift for an older outdoorsy kid try these highly rated, compact and lightweight binoculars suitable for kids and adults.
8. Go Pro
In this digital age, it is easy to see why a Go Pro would make a wonderful family gift. Capturing all the outdoorsy moments, will make great memory keepers for the future.
Consider one of the more affordable and highly rated Go Pro options for kids and adults. It has a user friendly touch screen, is waterproof, and with fairly rugged construction, great for kids.
If you aren’t sold on the price tag of a Go Pro, try one of our more budget friendly, and highly rated options:
- The kid-friendly VTech KidiZoom Action Cam aimed at 4-12 year olds
- The Crosstour waterproof camera comes with useful accessories, and is designed for both kids and adults.
Kids Camping Toys and Games
9. Kids Camping Gift Basket
A gift basket full of entertaining things for your favourite kid(s) camping trip would be well received by both parents and children. Fill it with books, small family friendly games or toys, art supplies and snacks.
Entertain them on the road and at the campsite with a ready made kids camping gift basket.
Camping Gift Basket Ideas For Outdoorsy Kids
Get creative and fill the basket with camping themed items, art supplies, and snacks. Here are some fun ideas I put together.
Art & Craft Supplies
- Mess free colouring
- Pencil crayons & sketchbook
- Crayons – For a melted crayon Wishing Stones craft
- Beads & String or a Bead Kit
Camping Themed Book Ideas
Camping books, will get your kids excited for the big event. As a book lover, I encourage you to support your local bookstore if you can, they are such great places and deserve support.
When We Go Camping by Margriet Ruurs is a beautifully illustrated book that tells the story of one family’s camping trip.
For the littlest ones on your crew, Goodnight Campsite follows visitors as they explore the nature park where they are staying during the day (hiking, biking, fishing) and then their campsite at night. This book highlights RVs, so a fun option if you are an RV family.
We also love her Tent Mouse, RV Mouse, a modern twist on the old Aesop’s fable The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. One mouse loves being outdoors in his tent close to nature, the other prefers the safety of the RV. Both learn it’s ok to like different things and spend time camping.
Get your Princesses and Super Heros ready for a camping trip to a National Park.
This is a fun series which also includes favourites like
- Do Princesses Make Happy Campers (spoiler alert, yes they do)
- Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots; and
- Do Superheros Have Teddy Bears
They also come in board books for the toddlers as well.
The Ultimate Book of Scavenger Hunts will keep the youngsters busy. Naturally they will want to check off all the items on the list during their outdoor adventures.
Backpack Explorer – On The Trail What Will You Find is a field guide for ages 4 to 9, full of seek-and-find lists, on-the-trail art projects, and discovery games. A delightful interactive book for kids.
Camping Spree With Mr. McGee by Chris VanDusen is a funny tale about the camping misadventures of Mr. Magee and his dog Dee. Perfect for a bed time read, snuggled up in a sleeping bag.
Is a camping trip really a camping trip, without a few bugs? Blackflies by Robert Munsch is a charming story about a girl who needs to rescue her dad and sister as they were carried away by bugs. Sure to get a few laughs.
The Book Scavenger series by Jennifer Chambliss Berman is one of our family’s read-aloud favourites. Set in San Fransisco it combines mystery with a book scavenger hunt and ciphers to decode.
Some other entertaining book ideas:
- Curious George Goes Camping – by Margaret & H.A. Rey
- Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping – by Peggy Parish
A Kids Tablet is a fun alternative to physical books if you are looking to save space and weight. Bring music, games, books, audible books, and educational content along in one (almost) indestructible device.
Camping Snack Ideas
- Hot Chocolate packets
- Astronaut Ice cream
- Smores Kit
- Pretzels or Chips
- Trail Mix ( we love to add gummy bears & smarties)
- Granola Bars
- Moon Cheese (delicious crisps of dried yummy cheese goodness)
- Snack Boxes
Small Toys and Games
- Glow in the Dark Bubbles
- Flashlight ( for flashlight tag)
- DIY Outdoor Scavenger Hunts
- Uno, Qwirkle, Sushi Go, Quiddler, Sequence
A Unisex Beanie Hat with a rechargeable LED headlamp built in, is a great gift any kid can take camping, hiking, exploring. Hands free fun.
- Pocket Knife or the classic Swiss Army Knife
- Card Games: Codenames, Pack of Cards, Five Crowns
- Camping Selfie Scavenger Hunt
- Small LED Lantern or headlamp,
- Portable Charger (win brownie points with your teen for this one)
- Camping Themed Socks
Check out our camping themed favourite list from Etsy, for your hard to buy for preteens and teens.
10. Walkie Talkies – Gift Idea For the Adventurer Kid
Let your kids feel some independence and live their best kid adventure life with some Walkie Talkies. Bonus for the parents, they come with rechargeable batteries.
Walkie Talkies were our absolute favourite as a kid. Running around pretending we were spies on secret missions. Also good to keep in touch as they wander further away.
11. Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger Hunts are a great way to put a little outdoor adventure in your day.
12. Plan Your Own Family Games
Games don’t require a lot of expense, or pre bought items. Most of my child’s favs are the same ones I loved as a kid, that required nothing but time, running around or a little imagination.
Make up a handful of cue cards with fun kids games. Write the name of the game on one side, and a brief how to on the other. Put the game cards in a fun bag, they can draw out one at a time.
- Freeze Tag
- I Spy
- Hide and Seek
- Obstacle Course
- Name that Tune (humming, no words)
- Potato Sack races using Sleeping Bags
Portable Games for Camping
Relive your childhood, by bringing some fun, portable, camping games on your next family trip.
Camping Craft Ideas
13. Craft and STEM Subscription Boxes
Craft or STEM (or STEAM) Subscription boxes are the perfect thing to bring along on a trip. They come in a small self-contained box, with usually everything you need to complete the main crafts or stem experience. Sometimes you may need the odd item or two from home so check first.
S = Science
E = Engineering
A = Art
M = Math
STEAM Subscription boxes are also great as an educational tool for world schoolers and homeschoolers.
My daughter has loved these since she was 3. While the ages are typically older than that we had a lot of fun doing them together.
We have been enjoying the KiwiCo Boxes over the last year. There are plenty of fun options to choose from for all ages.
The Atlas Crate is a fun way to explore countries around the globe from home. There are 2 STEAM activities, plus a booklet full of interesting facts about the country, including a recipe to try, which my daughter also loves.
Want to buy a box for your family or as a gift?
Green Kid Crafts
Our number one choice for an eco-friendly box is the Green Kid Crafts box.
The Green Kids Crafts Boxes are perfect for busy families, and a reoccuring subscription makes for a fantastic special occasion gift from grandparents or other family members.
We have bought this subscription regularly over the years, and as they have options for ages 2-10, it has grown with our child. The boxes have easy to follow instructions, fun science and art activities for the kids (that I enjoy too), eco friendly materials and it’s all prepared for you. So easy!
Some box examples include the above Holidays Around The World, Reptiles, Endangered Animals, Human Body Lab, and Down on the Farm.
Give the gift of at-home hands-on learning with Green Kids Craft.
Kids Camping Toys – At Home
Lego inspires creations of all sorts. Get your child excited to camp first at home, then bring the set along on your adventure for a rainy day.
Lego Caravan Holiday Set – 3 in 1
I would’ve loved this Caravan set as a kid, so adorable. Build a car with caravan, then switch it up for a camper van, or a lighthouse. Plenty of opportunities for creative camping adventures.
Lego Friends Nature Glamping
Who says you can’t camp in style. Cycle, stargaze, take a nap in the decked out tent all under the twinkling stars (or string of lights).
LEGO Friends Adventure Camp Rafting
Raft and camp in style with a sweet friends Adventure Camp set. Start with a river bridge and a camping area (includes a lamp, a fish, a campfire, marshmallows, compass, camera and sunglasses). Jump in the rafting boat with seats and oars, or head up the climbing wall for more outdoorsy fun.
15. Toy Camping Sets
Get your wee one’s into the camping spirit with some crafty kids camping toys to spark imaginative play.
- These super adorable and fun handmade play tent camping set for dolls and campfire felt fire pit with roasting marshmallows will make a kids camping day!
- A kids campfire camping playset has all the essentials for a camp cookout: flaming logs, glow-in-the-dark lantern, fork, hot dog, marshmallow, chocolate bar, 2 graham crackers, and a carry bag.
- Or this sweet S’More Fun Campfire set for preschoolers, with real wood, and wearable bear paws as hot mitts. Roar!
Camping Gifts For Kids
Camping gifts for kids are a fun way to bring a love of the outdoors into their life.
Tips for giving the perfect gift: Consider who you are buying for, and their ages. Ask what they enjoy about camping. If you have a reluctant camper, try buying something that may excite them to go camping.
What are some of the favourite camping / outdoor gifts you’ve given or received? Help us make this list better. Leave a comment below or connect with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you!
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