I am guessing you don’t need any more toys, so I’ll share this big list of non-toy gifts for nature loving kids! These are all roughly for toddlers through elementary age kids, and I think there is something for everyone. Which one do you think your kiddo would like best?
Local to Des Moines, don’t forget all the brick & mortar shops you can stop in and support in our community, as shared in this local gift guide!
Not everything has a picture, that just means I didn’t hear back from the seller for permission to use a photo! I haven’t tried all of these, but have had other good experiences with the maker/site and also heard good things secondhand.
- Little Hiker Box is a monthly subscription box with an item for the adults, something for the kids, 2 or more snacks to try, and other goodies to check out or read.
- Wild Explorers Club is “a monthly, online adventure program designed to ignite a heart for exploration and wonder in our kids. The assignments are intended for kids ages 6-12, but younger children can participate with the help of their parents”
- The Kids Moon Club is “a year-long journey and community tied not to keeping up, but to looking up.This experience was designed with the help of nature, inspiring families to connect, celebrate, play and walk together through all thirteen (yes 13!) full moons of 2018.”
- Rock of the month club (not sure how I feel about the ‘metaphysical’ properties, but the cards and rocks are cool enough to let me overlook that part!)
Nature experience gifts
- An afternoon geocaching together (see my get started geocaching post here!)
- A whole day outdoor adventure with special hikes and a picnic lunch planned out
- Set up a fun scavenger hunt ahead of time, with hidden treasure and clues, just for your family
- Set up a ‘tracker’ challenge, with pre-set clues to find a “missing person” or other mystery
Sometimes you just want to click ‘ship now’ and be done with it. Kits sometimes end up with chintzy components, but these all get good reviews and look like lots of fun.
I love sunprints! I think all of these would be enjoyed by adults just as much as the kids, actually.
Nature gear to play outside
My kids play most with their ‘loose parts’ aka log slices, random rocks, and cut up hose pieces, but I’d love to add some of these to our backyard.
Nature gear to get outside
If you’re looking for even more practical ideas, you can see the clothes we wear to hike in fall, in this post! We love our folding guides, and my kids are obsessed with night hikes using their head lamps.
- Folding, laminated naturalist guides (another option are these beautiful animal track identification cards at Tanglewood Hollow)
- Kids binoculars
- Backpack with chest strap
Nature for indoors
Caution! You won’t be able to release many of these critters until it is much warmer, depending on where you live. We had so much fun with the butterfly kit this year.
Nature board games
Perfect for when it is miserable outside, nature board games combine two of our family’s favorite things.
We’ve received all of these over the past few years and enjoy all of them! Magazines are perfect for reading in the car or over breakfast.
I have two separate posts focusing all about books! Check out books for adults wanting to get their kids out in nature more and a picture books featuring nature post (coming soon!).
Not ready to shop yet? Pin it for later!