Find the perfect gifts for outdoor kids, and enter to win some cool prizes! Our holiday gift guide is bigger than ever and has kids gifts from ninjaline to hip pack, and snowshoes to walkie talkies.
(Looking for something for the rest of the family? See our Holiday Gift Guide for Outdoor Adventurers.)
Save time on holiday shopping with our holiday gift guide for outdoor kids! Our curated collection includes our favorite outdoor toys and gear – plus some of the coolest new outdoor products. Whether you’re looking for fort-building supplies, ways to turn your yard into an adventure park, cool hiking and camping gadgets, or things that go, you’ll find them here!
Thanks to our amazing sponsors, this year’s Holiday Gift Guide has four giveaways (for Canadian residents only)! Complete the entry forms at the end of this post by November 13 at 11:59 PM MST for your chance to win. Prizes up for grabs include:
- 1 Fjallraven backpack, 1 travel wallet, and 1 pen case
- 1 Sunday Afternoons hat
- 1 $50 All Out Kids Gear Gift Card
- 1 copy of The Wonders That I Find by Meghan J. Ward
Disclosures: I received samples of some products for review purposes, and may receive a small commission on some items at no extra cost to you, but all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our small family business!
1. Fjallraven High Coast Hip Pack
Tweens and teens will love the Fjallraven High Coast Hip Pack. Made of recycled, waterproof nylon and big enough for a phone, headphones, keys, lip gloss, and snack; it will quickly become their go-to, everyday bag! Compartments make it easy to keep items separated, and a key clip ensures keys don’t fall out. A zippered compartment on the back fits most phones, so phones can be kept close to the body to save battery on chilly days. Available in 7 colors at Fjallraven, Fjallraven Calgary (815 17 Ave SW), or Fjallraven Banff (216 Banff Ave).
2. Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack
The Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack is also a great gift that can be used as a day pack or school bag. The laptop version of this popular backpack can hold a 13”/15”/17” laptop (depending on the size you choose) in the padded laptop compartment, and has padded straps for comfort. The side pockets can hold slim water bottles, and the reflective logo ensures kids can be seen from behind in low light. Choose from 20 vibrant colors! Many more Kanken styles are available at Fjallraven, Fjallraven Calgary (815 17 Ave SW), or Fjallraven Banff (216 Banff Ave).
Looking for attractive, high quality hiking gear made with sustainable materials? Contact me for an EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT on Fjallraven gear (Kankens excluded) at Fjallraven Calgary (815 17 Ave SW), or Fjallraven Banff (216 Banff Ave)!
3. Biolite Rechargeable 330 Headlamp
Every explorer needs a headlamp! The Biolite Rechargeable 330 Headlamp is a favorite because it’s not only bright (330 lumens total: up to 230 lumens in spotlight mode, 100 lumens in floodlight mode), but it is lightweight (69 grams), waterproof, rechargeable, and comfortable. Having the battery pack at the back makes it less prone to bouncing too. The Biolite 330 has a red light, dimmable floodlight and spotlight mode. Available at MEC, Altitude Sports, Atmosphere, and Amazon.
4. Sunday Afternoons Hats
Keep cozy warm with Sunday Afternoons hats. These attractive and well-made hats have a lifetime guarantee! Some of our favorite winter styles for kids include:
- Milky Way Beanie: This soft merino/acrylic reversible toque has mountains, trees, and glow-in-the-dark stars on one side; and a solid color on the other.
- Nightfall Reflective Beanie: Reflective threads in this cozy reversible beanie ensure your little one will be seen after dark. Available in Lavender/Plum, or Marine/Tide Blue.
- Arctic Trapper: Sunday Afternoons’ warmest kids hat boasts a 100% recycled windproof and water resistant shell and fleece lining. Earflaps can be worn up or down; if worn down, they can be fastened below the chin with velcro. The trapper hat is also crushable so you can easily pack it in your backpack or suitcase. Available in 2 prints and 2 solid colors.
- Infant Frosty Stripe Beanie: This soft (acrylic) knit hat is perfect for the tiniest adventurers. Available in 3 colors.
5. Survive Outdoors Longer Camp Critter Kit
Survive Outdoors Longer Camp Kritter Kit: This cute mini survival kit contains an emergency blanket, compass, whistle, and 3 feet of paracord. Choose from a bear or chipmunk carrying case. Available at MEC and Amazon.
6. Julbo Sunglasses (infant to teen sizes)
Julbo Sunglasses are adventure ready with shatterproof lenses and great UVA/UVB/UVC protection. With sizes from 0-18 months up to 15 years old, all of your kids can get rugged and stylish sun protection. Here are some of our favorite Julbo Sunglasses at All Out Kids, a family-run business based in central Alberta:
- The Julbo Loop Sunglasses (0-18 months to 5 years old) have a wraparound shape and Spectrum 4m lenses for maximum sun protection. The Small/0-18 month size also has a strap to keep them on.
- Julbo Romy (4-8 years old), Julbo Cruiser (8-12 years old), and Julbo Idol (10-15 years old) sunglasses have Spectrum 3 reflective lenses to improve filtration of visible light.
7. Uberleben Ferro Rod Fire Starter
Kids interested in bushcraft and wilderness survival will love the Überleben Zünden Fire Starter. The ferro-rod can produce a shower of sparks 12,000-20,000 times fairly easily once you know how (practice a few times in the driveway or over the fire pit on a calm day). My kids were able to start a fire with this firestarter and a handful of cottonwood fluff when they were 5!
8. Hatley Colour-Changing Raincoats
With prints that change color in the rain, the fully-lined, PVC-free Hatley Color Changing Raincoat is magical! And it has pockets. Available for 2-10 year olds in Dinos, Unicorns, and more fun prints.
For more outerwear, please see our story: The Best Winter Gear for Kids.
Turn your backyard into an adventure park with a slackline, ninja warrior obstacle course, or zipline!
1. Slackline Industries Play Line Slackline
The Slackline Industries Play Line Slackline has a 50 mm (2”) wide line with a rubberized texture for grip, and training line (installed above your head) to provide extra support. Develop balance and core strength, and have fun! It’s pretty portable if you want to take it to the park or campsite, and comes with tree protectors too. 15.2 m (50 ft) long, max capacity 140 kg/300 lbs. Available at Amazon, MEC, and Altitude Sports.
2. Slackers NinjaLine 36′ Intro Kit
With the Slackers NinjaLine 36’ Intro Kit, you can challenge yourself and build upper body strength on 7 hanging obstacles. When not in use as a ninja line, you can install it closer to the ground and use it as a slackline (just remove attachments and make sure the carabiner pockets are pointing down). 11 m (36 ft) long, max capacity 113 kg (250 lbs). Recommended for ages 6 & up.
- A rope ladder like the Slackers 8’ (2.4 m) NinjaLine Rope Ladder will help kids access the NinjaLine and save your back! 8 ft
3. Slackers Seated Zipline with Spring Brake Kit
Add some high-speed, tween- and teen-approved fun to the backyard with a Slackers Seated Zipline with Spring Brake Kit. Available in 3 lengths: 40’ (12.2 m) Falcon Series Zipline, 70′ (21.3 m) Hawk Series Zipline, and 90′ (27.4 m) Eagle Series Zipline. Suitable for ages 8 & up.
4. Build a Fort!
Building forts is fun for little kids and bigger kids alike. One of the easiest ways to get started (besides putting a sheet over the kitchen table), is with Crazy Forts. Simple ball and stick construction allows you to configure a range of fort frames from castle to igloo. Pop a sheet on top and you’re done! Choose from regular, Princess playset, or glow-in-the-dark kits and combine kits to make mega structures. Available at Indigo and Amazon.
If you’d like to build a fort with sticks, you need Stick-Lets Fort Building Connectors. These stretchy, but durable silicone connectors can hold sticks together for quick and easy fort building.
The Monobeach Tipi is a super cute addition to a younger child’s bedroom. It would make the perfect reading nook. 1.2 m x 1.2 m and 1.55 m tall.
Don’t forget a Luci solar powered, color-changing inflatable lantern! The Luci lantern is inflatable so it’s super packable and lightweight. We use it for camping, backpacking, and sleepovers.
5. More backyard fun
The SereneLife 40”(1 m) Saucer Swing is big enough for 2 or 3 kids and even has a spinner!! Max capacity: 600 lbs (270 kg)
A rope climber with swing seat allows kids to climb and swing seated or standing.
The Kammok Roo Double Hammock is big enough to share with a friend (or snuggle with your kiddo at nap/story time) and the tear-resistant, ripstop nylon is made from 100% recycled polyester. 3 m (9’10”) long, max capacity 230 kg (500 lbs). Note that hanging straps are sold separately. Available at MEC, Altitude Sports, Atmosphere, and Sport Chek.
6. Get into gardening
With a kid-sized Gardening Tools Set, your little one can help you in the garden! The Born Toys set includes an apron with pockets, functional tools with no sharp edges, gardening gloves, and a sun hat. Recommended for ages 3-7.
- Get organic and uncoated seeds from West Coast Seeds (an awesome Canadian company), so you can plant your child’s favorite fruits, veggies, or flowers!
Make Your Garden Stepping Stone with glass stones, glow-in-the-dark-stars, concrete mix and mold, plastic beads, and carving tools. You can put a hand or foot print in the 19 cm (7.5”) step stone to remember how big your kid was this year.
1. Yukon Charlie’s Snowshoes
Kids will love floating on snow in their very own snowshoes! Choose from the indestructible molded polypropylene Yukon Penguin Snowshoes, or aluminum frame Yukon Sno-Bash Snowshoes. Snowshoe specs (same for both types):
- Length and width: 7”x16”
- weight: only 2.2 lbs
- RIPCORD™ Easy-Pull binding (only one pull to fasten or release the bindings!)
- max capacity:100 lbs
Choose from snowshoes only or reasonably-priced snowshoe kits (kit = 1 pair of snowshoes + 1 pair of poles + travel bag).
Save 25% at Yukon Charlie’s with my coupon code: KAREN25 until May 1, 2023.
2. Yukon Charlie’s Timber Tube
Snow tubes provide a comfortable ride and keep you higher off the ground so you don’t get as much snow on your face. We love the commercial-grade Yukon Charlie’s Timber Tube with its green plaid cover (also comes in blue plaid).
Order at Yukon Charlie’s and save 25% with coupon code: KAREN25 until May 1, 2023.
3. Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
The Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike will last your child from 18 months to 5 years old, and most kids will progress straight to a pedal bike afterwards – with no need for training wheels! Both my kids learned to ride on balance bikes. It’s SO much easier than how I learned to ride a bike many moons ago.
Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike Specs:
- Weight: 3 kg (6.7 lbs)
- Steel frame
- Includes adjustable seat and handlebar height,no flat tires with ultralight wheels and cartridge bearings, handlebar pad and padded seat, toddler sized grips, and footrest
4. Razor A5 Light-Up Scooter
With large (200 mm/8”) urethane wheels that light up, the Razor A5 Light-Up Scooter provides a smooth ride in style! The rear fender brake makes it easy to slow down and stop, and the scooter folds in half so it’s easy to store or pop in the trunk. Last but not least, the handlebars are adjustable so you can raise them as the kids grow. For ages 8 & up. Available at Amazon and Indigo.
5. Snow, Skate, and Bike Helmets
Get a bike helmet your kid will love so she/he/they will wear it! Nutcase Street MIPS Helmets come in bright colors and cool patterns; has a magnetic buckle and spin dial; improved ventilation and fit; and are approved for biking, skateboarding, inline skating, and scootering (passes CPSC certification for cycling and ASTM F1492 for skateboarding). Available in Small (52-56 cm), Medium (57-60 cm), and Large (61-64 cm).
For ice skating, hockey and tobogganing, get a skate/hockey helmet. Hockey helmets can protect against multiple impacts before they need to be replaced, whereas most bike and ski/snowboard helmets are single impact (why hockey helmets are recommended for tobogganing, but any helmet is better than no helmet). We recommend the Bauer Prodigy Youth Hockey Helmet. One size: 48.5 – 54 cm
Need a snow helmet? The Salomon Grom Visor Kids Helmet is perfect for kids who wear glasses, hate wearing goggles, or always lose their goggles. Simply raise or lower the visor as needed and adjust the fit with spin dials. Vents allow heat to escape and the in-mould shell design keeps the weight down. Available in 4 colors and 3 sizes (Small 49-53 cm / Med 53-56 cm / Large 56-59 cm)at All Out Kids.
Enter our All Out Kids $50 Gift Card Giveaway here!
Another good choice is the top-rated K2 Entity Snow Helmet – Youth which is snow and bike certified. Take out the removable liner in summer to use the snow helmet for cycling! Available in Extra Small (48-51cm) and Small (51-55 cm).
Outdoor Activities & Toys
1. Wonder Club Explorer Kit
The Wonder Club Explorer Kit is like Scouts without a schedule. Earn merit badges in the order you choose for several fields and interests from arts and culture, to citizenship and physical fitness. The kit includes 1 Adventure Vest, 18 Patches, 18 Pennants, and a string to hang the pennants when patches are earned. It also comes with a 64-page digital activity guide with recommended activities to earn each patch, and a Wonder Club Explorer vinyl sticker.
2. Zebco Dock Demon Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod
Teach your kiddo to fish with the Zebco Dock Demon Spincast Reel and Fishing Rod. The 30” rod is light, compact, and durable. The reel has all-metal gears, a smooth retrieve, and comes pre-spooled with 6-pound Zebco fishing line. Available in purple or red at Amazon.
- If you’re fishing for trout in the Rockies, pick up a pack of Panther Martin Classic Trout Lures.
3. Pentax UP 8×21 Binoculars
Binoculars are great for birding and watching wildlife from a safe distance. For a pair that is light (221 g), high quality, won’t break the bank, try the Pentax UP 8×21 Binoculars. “Multi-coated optics allow max light transmission with minimal internal glare and flare” and aspherical lenses provide excellent clarity from centre to edge.
- Download the free Merlin birding app from Cornell University so you can ID what you see!
4. Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio
Walkie talkies are a great way to keep in touch at the campground. The Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio is waterproof; can provide you with the weather (11 channels) and emergency alerts; has 22 Channels, each with 121 Privacy Codes; and an impressive 35 mile range (Mountain to Valley/Open Water/Neighborhood). Battery life is decent: Up to 9 Hours with NiMH battery, or up to 23 Hours with 3 (AA) Alkaline Batteries. Get a 2-pack of Motorola T600 walkie talkies on Amazon.
5. Franklin Sports Disc Golf Set
Learn to play disc golf at home (or a park!) with the Franklin Sports Disc Golf Set. A foldable disc golf target with plastic chains, 3 discs (driver, midrange, and putter), and carrying bag are included. Note: Experienced disc golfers will prefer a target with metal chains, but this set is great for beginners because it’s lightweight (3.2 kg/7.1 lbs) and easy to set up.
6. Shark Rang Boomerang
The Shark Rang Boomerang is a soft 4-armed boomerang that kids as young as 6 can throw and catch! A strong throwing arm is not required, but it must be thrown right-handed on a calm day (wind can throw it off course).
7. Activ Flyer Flying Rings
Activ Flyer Flying Rings are “the world’s easiest frisbees to catch!” The foam they’re made of is super light but firm, so the flying rings fly straight but don’t hurt your hands when you catch them. They also float in water, so you don’t have to worry about losing them!
8. National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler
The National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler has a durable motor, rubber barrel that makes it 75% quieter than similar-sized rock tumblers, a timer, and auto shutoff. Comes with 9 rough gemstones, four polishing grits, sifter, and a detailed full-color learning guide.
- Young rockhounds might also like a rock identification book or jewelry making kit (turn a polished stone into a pendant!)
Capture the Memories
1. Instax Mini 11 Camera
2. VTech KidiZoom Creator Cam
Aspiring videographers can make fun videos with the VTech KidiZoom Creator Cam’s included green screen, animated backgrounds, and timelapse function. The camera features HD video recording capability, a built-in microphone, rechargeable lithium ion battery, tabletop tripod/selfie stick, selfie flip-up lens, three games, and micro SD card slot (card not included). The camera does not connect to wifi for your child’s safety, but photos can be uploaded to a computer via USB cable). Recommended for 5-10 years old.
3. Melissa and Doug Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel
Budding artists will enjoy painting on an art easel. We recommend the Melissa and Doug Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel that includes a chalkboard, dry-erase board, locking paper-roll holder, child-safe paper cutter, four easy-grip clips, and a plastic tray to hold art supplies. For 3 & up. Dimensions: 47″ x 27″ x 26″. Available at Indigo and Amazon.
Books for Active and Outdoorsy Kids
1. The Wonders That I Find
The Wonders That I Find, written by Banff author Meghan J. Ward and illustrated by Taylor Odynski, follows Geneva and her family on a “Climb into the Sky” and reminds us to treasure the journey as much as the destination. Get your copy now at Indigo or Amazon.
Enter to win a copy of The Wonders That I Find here!
2. The Snail and the Whale
The Snail and the Whale, from the creators of The Gruffalo (a classic!!), is a beautifully-illustrated rhyming book that shows you’re never too small to make a difference! Find it at Indigo and Amazon.
3. Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature
Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature, written by award-winning author Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld, is filled with gorgeous illustrations, poetry, and fun ways to experience nature. Buy it at Indigo or Amazon.
4. The Challenging Riddle Book for Kids
Gifts of Experience (for the kid who has everything)
For the kid who has everything, surprise them with a membership, or gift card for daily admission, to a local attraction. Some fun places for kids near Calgary include the following:
- Butterfield Acres
- Calgary Farmyard
- Calgary Zoo
- Granary Road
- Heritage Park
- Telus Spark
Older adventurous kids might like:
- ClueSolvers Outdoor Adventures: Outdoor escape room / Amazing Race style adventures to share with friends in Calgary, Canmore, Banff, Kananaskis and more.
- iFly: indoor skydiving!
- Exploring underground with Canmore Cave Tours,
- Ski Passes / Ski Discount Cards, or
- Tube park passes: Winsport and Mount Norquay have the biggest tube parks.
We hope our biggest-ever Holiday Gift Guide for Outdoor Kids has helped you with your holiday shopping! Thank you in advance for making purchases through our affiliate links. Proceeds support website hosting and road trip treats. Don’t forget to enter our giveaways below!
Entrants must be 18 years of age or older and residents of Canada. To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter forms below. More entries = more chances! Contests close on November 13, 2022 at 11:59 PM MST.
Winners will be selected randomly via the Rafflecopter app and announced on the blog. Each winner will be contacted via email (the one provided in the entry form) and will have 48 hours to respond after which time, if no response has been received, a new winner will be selected. Please be wary of fake accounts. Good luck!
- One (1) Fjallraven Prize Pack: backpack, travel wallet, and pen case
- One (1) Sunday Afternoons Hat
- One (1) $50 All Out Kids Gear Gift Card
- One (1) copy of The Wonders That I Find by Meghan J. Ward
The entry forms work best on a laptop. Good luck!