Holiday Gift Guide for the Young Adventurer

This year more than ever, maybe being the mom to an active, curious and busy 2 year-old has something to do with it, I’m determined to be thoughtful and intentional about my gift giving. This is especially true for the young people in my life and on my list.  At the same time though, I don’t want to over-think and make the whole process more complicated than it needs to be thus creating more stress and negating the reason for the season.

I want to give gifts that will be useful.  Items that the kids actually need.  Presents that will actually make an impact on their lives, help them grow, or help them enjoy the things they love even more.  Little contributions that will enrich their lives, feed their imaginations, and allow them to experience the world.

All those conditions made me think of 4 easy categories to help me give great gifts to the little people in my life.


In my humble opinion, one can never have too many books.  I love this advice from the master himself:

“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” -Dr. Seuss

My background is in education, and more specifically literacy, so choosing books for little ones comes naturally, but really all it takes is a little browsing to find a book you think will inspire and entertain.  Lately during our weekly library visits, while Bergen is perusing a stack of books, I cozy up to a shelf and just explore. I learn about so many titles I never even knew about!

If you have kids in your life that love the outdoors and may even be budding travelers, I put together a list of book recommendations for Junior Adventurers and Wanderlusters.

Gift Guide for the Young Adventurer |

Gear to Help get Kids Outside

Raising an active boy means I get outside a lot.  It’s just what we do, what makes sense, and what all of us most enjoy.  But really, I believe it’s essential for everyone, even if it’s cold, rainy, snowy, stormy, all of the above, or anything less than perfect weather.

So where the gift giving comes in is figuring out how to not only inspire your loved ones to get outside, but also keep them warm, dry, or safe from whatever element they need protection from!

Some Gear Ideas: 

Gift Guide for the Young Adventurer |

Some Play Ideas: 

  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Bug Box
  • Balls of all sorts
  • Heavy duty trucks
  • Tools like shovels, racks & buckets
  • Balance Bike

Toys and Supplies to Foster Independent Play and Activity

I recently read a post on the Mama Natural site about raising a low media child, and the list of suggested toys really stuck with me.  First I was proud to have already incorporated many of the ideas into Bergen’s play area without even really giving it much thought! Second, I got a bunch of ideas for how to improve and make the space even more beneficial for his development.  And finally, I realized these ideas will also be super helpful in choosing gifts for all of the the other little people on our list, which inspired me to come up with these suggestions:

  • Kitchen Supplies (food, containers, pots & pans, stove, refrigerator, sink)
  • Dress-up Clothes
  • Musical Instruments
  • Blocks of all shapes and sizes
  • Vehicles (trains, cars, trucks, boats)
  • Art Supplies (crayons, special pencils, special paper & sketchbooks, paint, clay, brushes, stickers)
  • Author Kit (blank books, pencils, pens, extra paper, sticky notes)
  • Puzzles


Kids may get excited about that shiny, sparkly (and noisy) gadget, game or toy at first, and play with it for a day or two (or maybe just a couple minutes), but the experiences you can give a child with their family and friends will stick with them forever. The little ones may not *remember* per se, but the time spent together allows for so much more than a toy or “thing” can give.  Learning, bonding, peaking interests, inspiring, sparking curiosity, and expanding horizons is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the benefits experiences can generate.

  • Zoo or Aquarium Membership
  • Garden Membership (Japanese, Botanical, Conservatory)
  • Museum Membership (Children’s, Art, Music, History)
  • National Park Pass
  • State Park Pass
  • Sporting Event Tickets
  • Swim Lessons
  • Help with a vacation or trip (hotel stay, excursion, restaurant)
  • Coupon Book chock full of deals on tons of experiences (Chinook Book, Entertainment Book)

Gift Guide for the Young Adventurer |

Do you have any ideas to add to any of our categories? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment! 

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More Ideas from my Outdoor Family Blogger Friends:

Ride On!  A Junior Cyclist’s Christmas Wish List – Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies

A Skiing Family’s Letter to Santa  – Brave Ski Mom

An All Weather Gift Guide for All Year Adventures – Crag Mama

Holiday Gifts for Outdoor Conscious Families – AKontheGO

Best Gifts for Outdoorsy Families  – Tales of a Mountain Mama

Gifts for Outdoor Loving Mothers – AKSkedaddle

Five Great Christmas Ideas for the Outdoorsy Kid – Rain or Shine Mamma

Holiday Gift Guide – Go Adventure Mom

Outdoor Gifts for Teens  – Bring the Kids

 Top Outdoor Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers – Bring the Kids

Top Outdoor Toys for Babies  – Bring the Kids

Top Outdoor Stocking Stuffers  – Bring the Kids

Top Outdoor Gifts for the Whole Family  – Bring the Kids

Top Outdoor Toys for Elementary Age Kids – Bring the Kids

Top Outdoor Gifts for Adventurous Parents  – Bring the Kids

Top Outdoor Gear to Get Your Kids Ready for Winter  – Bring the Kids

All I want for Christmas…Gifts for the Active Family – Active Kids, Active Family

Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Outdoor Enthusiasts – Adventure Tykes

Best Gifts for Outdoor Families:  Books Edition 2013 –  Tales Of a Mountain Mama

Holiday Gift Guide for Tykes – Adventure Tykes

Stocking Stuffers For Everyone – Adventure Tykes

50+ Holiday Gift Ideas for Nature Kids – Go Explore Nature


7 thoughts on “Holiday Gift Guide for the Young Adventurer

    • Thank you, Keryn! Oh, that is so awesome! I’m so glad the guide was helpful. I know that feeling of not knowing what to say when others ask when the kids want/need for holidays.

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