I'll be buying my son the requisite toys, puzzles, and Duplo building blocks, but I'll also be shopping for him at places like MEC and other local outdoor stores. I'll also be searching the shelves at Chapters and Indigo for great outdoor themed books to add to our collection.
Here are a few of my Christmas gift ideas for the outdoor children on your list. Some ideas come straight off my own list for my son, while other items have been purchased for friends over the past year, or been enjoyed so much by us that I have to share!
|Every Christmas tree should have a pair of skis under it|
Our Favourite Outdoor Themed Books (for toddlers and preschoolers)
- My first hike by Catherine Maria Woolf
- Grandpa takes his grand kids for their first hike
- Scare a bear by Kathy-Jo Wargin
- A funny tale about scaring a bear out of camp
- Duck Tents by Lynne Berry
- A group of little ducks go camping and fishing
- Sheep take a hike by Nancy E Shaw and Margot Apple
- A cute tale of a group of sheep taking a hike together
- Camping Day by Patricia Lakin
- Dinosaurs go camping and get scared by monsters?
- Hey Pancakes by Tamson Weston
- Who doesn't want to read a cute story about children making pancakes when camping?
- Going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
- A classic!! Your child will memorize this book and recite it to you on your next hike
- Caillou Goes Camping by Roger Harvey
- Caillou camps in the backyard with Grandpa
- Just me and my Dad by Mercer Mayer
- Dad and his Little Critter go fishing and canoeing together
- Just camping out by Mercer Mayer
- Another Little Critter book - this one about camping
- The Berenstain Bears Blaze a Trail by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- Who doesn't like a hilarious Berenstain Bears book? In this one, Pa tries to help the kids earn their Boy Scout Merit badges for hiking
- Curious George goes Camping by Margret and H.A. Rey’s
- Fans of Curious George will love his camping adventures
- Do Princesses wear hiking boots by Carmela LaVigna Coyle
- A little girl asks if Princesses have to brush their teeth, have to clean their room, and - even if they wear hiking boots? Great for the outdoor princess on your shopping list!
|Story time at Camp|
Give your children their very own gear - just like Mommy and Daddy
- A Sleeping Bag designed especially for children
- We like the MEC Explorer Down Sleeping Bag
- Their own backpack for day hikes
- Skis or snowshoes of their own
- Our pick for cross country skis - the Madshus Snow Pup Skis (strap on skis for toddlers and preschoolers)
- For snowshoes, we have the Atlas Sprout 17" Snowshoes
- A Strider Balance Pre-Bike
- Kids can practice inside through the winter or take it outside on warm days
- In Calgary, purchase your bike from CalgaryStrider.Com
- A canoe or kayak paddle just their size
- The Grey Owl Owlet Canoe Paddle comes in three lengths of 36, 42, and 48in.
- Their own headlamp for camping
- The Black Diamond Wiz Headlamp has been mad with kids in mind and comes in three colours including pink for the outdoor girl.
- Skates and a hockey stick cut down to size
- Toddlers will do well on a pair of $10 BOB skates from Canadian Tire for their first season. These double blade skates give them the confidence to get on the ice and have fun without fear of falling constantly.
- For preschoolers, look at adjustable skates that will grow with your child over a couple of years.
- Don't spend a lot of money on a hockey stick. We bought a simple stick at Canadian Tire and then cut it down to size.
|The Kid's Deuter Day Pack|
|The Atlas Junior Snowshoes (Photo: Suzi Smart)|
|The Strider Pre-Bike|
|Strap-on BOB skates for toddlers|
Give your child the gift of warmth this winter season
- A Buff - the best scarf, face mask, neck warmer, head band, and bandanna - all in one!
- We got our son a children's sized buff from the Trail Centre at the Canmore Nordic Centre last winter. Best gift ever!! He wears it as a neck warmer and then we pull it over his mouth and nose when it's cold instead of a scarf. It's easier to breath than a heavy fleece scarf and just as warm! We also use it to wipe his runny nose or wipe tears from his eyes as needed. - It gets washed a lot! He loves it and asks for it when we go outside.
- Down Booties for backcountry trips
- Babies and toddlers can wear these in a sled instead of boots. Older children can use these camping and as slippers when staying in backcountry huts or hostels.
- A North Face Reversible Perrito Jacket
- If you are in Calgary, you can buy this jacket from the Great Outdoors Store.
- This is hands down the BEST jacket I have ever found for toddlers and preschoolers. It's just as warm as a down jacket without the bulkiness. One by one I'm converting all of my outdoor friends with children to this jacket. North Face also sells a similar down jacket if you find that you need something warmer but we LOVE our Perrito Jacket and my son wears it year round for camping, hiking, playing in the snow, and skiing. There are a number of different colours for boys and girls available.
- The MEC Toaster Suit
- My son lived in this his first couple of winters. It's incredibly warm and there are no gaps for snow or cold to get in because of it's one-piece design. They fit big so you'll usually be able to get two years out of them - bonus!!
- The MEC Newt Suit
- This is the best one-piece Rain suit you can buy locally. My son wears it for puddle jumping, bike riding in the rain, hiking year round, and any time the weather looks variable on our trips to the mountains.
|Staying warm with a bright orange Buff|
|Our North Face Perrito Jacket|
|Our Red One-piece Newt Suit|
|The MEC Toaster Suit|
Not to be forgotten - here's a few outdoor-themed toys and fun items as well
- Toy camping stoves
- ToysRus has a model that looks fun called the Grill and Go Camp Stove
- Our son has a wooden model - the Camping Stove Play set - complete with pancake, hot dog, and S'more maker. I believe it came from Chapters or Indigo.
- Playmobile camping themed sets
- Calico Critters camping themed sets
- Lego or Duplo camping themed building blocks
- Leap Frog Toys for road trips and down time while camping
- Our son has a Leap Frog Tag Reader Junior and it comes on every camping trip with us. He reads the books for down time, and it easily fits in a backpack for overnight trips with a few favourite books.
- This year we are upgrading to a Leap Pad which will be great for long road trips and even comes equipped with a camera.
- Your child's very own camera for their next hike or nature walk
- The Vtech Kidizoom Camera has good reviews
- Alternately, many families choose to give their child a real camera and have the child grow with it over the years. Look for something that's durable and can handle being dropped if you go that route.
- A new Camelbak Kid's Water Bottle
- They come in various colours for both boys and girls.
|The Camelbak Water Bottle is a great stocking stuffer|
|Birthday present last year|
For more Holiday Gift Ideas, please visit the following websites. We've all worked together to try and give you one gigantic shopping resource this year.
The Brave Ski Mom - Christmas Gifts for Skiing Families
Bring the Kids - Christmas Gifts for a year full of Family Adventure
Nature for Kids - Outdoorsy Gift Giving Guide
Skedaddle - Do it yourself gifts for the Outdoor Family
Tales of a Mountain Mama - Holiday Gift Guide for Outdoor Families
Active Kid's Club - 10 Gifts for Active Kids
Outside Mom - Gifts to Encourage your Budding Scientist
Go Explore Nature - Gift Ideas for Backyard Nature Fun
Adventure Tykes - My Top 10 Gear Picks for Outdoor Tykes