The Best Gifts for Outdoorsy Kids

Give the kid in your life the gift of the outdoors.

Updated November 15, 2021

2 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars
A couple of kids enjoy hot cocoa on a snowy day in Boulder, Colorado.

While kids may want us to believe that the best gifts come with flashing lights and a power cord, we know the truth: Time outside is better than anything with a battery (except for, say, a spiffy headlamp). This holiday season, encourage your favorite child to soak in the sunshine or sashay through the snowflakes with any of the 14 items on this list. Each gift is parent approved—and we’re fairly certain Mother Nature likes ’em, too.


Teva ReEmber Slip-Ons - Kids’

Teva Ember Moc Slippers

We know quite a few adults who refuse to remove their beloved ReEmbers, and now kids can enjoy the supreme coziness, too. But these are no indoor slippers: The Teva ReEmber Slip-Ons have rubber outsoles like tennis shoes and collapsible heels, which transform the slippers into even-easier-to-pull-on clogs. We also appreciate the eco cred of the new ReEmber, which builds on the success of the venerable Ember Moc with a panoply of recycled materials in the upper, collar, heel, lining, midsole and outsole. Best idea? Twinning with your child. $59.95


What kid wouldn’t want a shiny red bike? Younger riders who are ready for handbrakes and shifting will love how the gearing on the Cannondale Quick 24 makes it easier to charge up hills and find speed on the flats. That, plus a lightweight aluminum frame, stable handling and 24-inch multi-surface tires make this our pick for cyclists ages 7–12.  


Electra Sprocket 16″ Kids’ Bike

Electra Sprocket 16" Kids' Bike

If your kid is ready for their first bike, check out the Electra Sprocket. It has 16-inch wheels and a comfortable geometry that allows riders to sit upright but still place their feet squarely on the ground for balance when needed. It also has removable training wheels, so your child can go from rocky to rocket in no time. Best for children ages 3–5. $360


Kids with warm feet are much happier than kids with cold feet. Thankfully, the waterproof Kamik Snowfall boots should allow children to tromp to school, craft magnificent snow forts and roll wicked snowballs without feeling a hint of chill. The secret is 8 mm of recycled polyester insulation wrapped in a rubber shell that helps these boots achieve a comfort rating down to -40°F. The Snowfalls also boast a hok-and-loop closure and bungee lacing system that are pretty easy for younger children to navigate.  


REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket - Kids’

REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket - Kids'

Give your child the gift of lightweight warmth with the REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket—a kids’ version of our longtime favorite. It has 650-fill-power down insulation, which provides furnace-like heat without sacrificing compressibility (it stuffs into its own left pocket). The polyester shell offers some wind resistance, too, and a DWR coating repels light rain. Both insulation and shell contain bluesign®-approved materials; insulation also meets responsible down standard (RDS). $79.95


Cold hands will ruin any outdoor adventure. Prolong yours by adorning your kiddo in these waterproof, windproof gloves from REI Co-op. With synthetic insulation, they’re like sleeping bags for little fingers. A polyester liner wicks sweat away from skin, and a longer cuff can tuck under a sleeve or cinch on top to help keep snow out. Nice: The poly liner contains bluesign®-approved materials$34.95


CamelBak Eddy+ Kids' Renew Water Bottle - 14 fl. oz.

CamelBak Eddy+ Kids Water Bottle

Spillproof water bottles rival the wheel when it comes to ingenious inventions. Not only does this one from CamelBak prevent your toddler from accidentally dumping grape juice in your car, but it also satisfies the pickiest of children with the multitude of design options. The flip-top bite valve is easy to use, and the 14-ounce bottle also has a handle perfect for little fingers. And praise be: The Eddy+ is top-shelf safe in the dishwasher. $15


Here’s a gift that will make any parent smile: safety. This low-profile helmet from Bern comes equipped with MIPS—a sliding layer inside that helps protect against rotational force and brain injury during impact. It has one million 13 vents to fight against overheating and a no-fuss size adjustment to dial in fit. It comes with a removable visor that’s perfect for riding in milder weather, but if you pop it out, your kid can wear a stocking cap underneath for warmer ears. 


Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multi-Tool

Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multi-Tool

Is your older kid ready for their first multi-tool? Look no further. The small-but-mighty Leatherman Squirt PS4 has 10 tools, including pliers, screwdrivers, a file, scissors and a blade. It’s less than 2 ounces and just over 2 inches in length—a nice starter tool for responsible adventure kids. $39.95


At some point, your child will start carrying their own weight. When that day blessedly arrives, consider the REI Co-op Tarn 40 for the job. The main packbag can swallow a sleep system, layers, water bottles and even a stuffed friend who may want to join the adventure, while a toplid pouch and stuff-it pocket help kids stay organized. It has a padded hipbelt and back panel that are adjustable like technical adults’ packs, plus it’s made with a durable recycled ripstop nylon that will shrug off moisture.  


Outside Inside Backpacker Bocce Set

Outside Inside Backpacker Bocce Set

If you’ve ever heard your child moan, “But there isn’t anything to do!” while hanging out at camp, then this portable bocce set from Outside Inside may be the gift for you. At a mere 12 ounces, the set is light enough to justify bringing on a day hike and small enough to consider for backpacking (it’s the size of a paperback book). Better yet? Bocce is a quick game to learn. $17.95


A classic game of Mattel UNO can be a perfect outdoor activity on wind-free days once your kiddo knows their numbers and colors. If you’ve got little ones, opt for teams to start building number sense and strategic thinking. $10


Prism Designs Pocket Flyer Kite

Prism Designs Pocket Flyer Kite

It doesn’t matter if your kids are 3 or 13, kite flying is always a good time and an easy way to soak in some outdoor time with your loved ones. We like the ultralight Pocket Flyer from Prism Designs for its simple design; a single line makes it easily navigable and the unique split-tail means the kite can handle rougher winds. It weighs less than 4 ounces, too, so your child can carry it to the park all by herself. $25


Shop All Gifts for Kids 


Need more inspiration? Check out our Best Gifts for Less Than $50, Best Gifts for RunnersBest Gifts for Outdoorsy Dogs (and Their Humans)Best Gifts for Campers, Best Gifts for SkiersBest Gifts for Hikers and Best Gifts for Snowboarders.