Gifts for Tree-Hugging Kiddos
I know a few adventurous toddlers who thrive in the outdoors. I'm always looking for new gifts that will nurture their love of nature. Some of these ideas I've already purchased and a few I look forward to purchasing as my nieces and nephew grow up.
One of my nieces has an eclectic fashion style, so I like giving her "Camping T-shirts" to add to her collection. One of my favorite finds is this Happy Camper eco-friendly hand-drawn t-shirt featuring a tent, campfire and s'mores. You can buy this t-shirt for $22 from the Etsy shop GrowingUpWild. Kelly, the owner of GrowingUpWild, has even more items for infants that are equally cute and green!
In addition to camping, my niece also loves to read. Just about every children's book series has a camping story, and I'm pretty sure she's read them all. Multiple times. So what else does a nature-loving bibliophile need?
A head lamp and a camping chair!
Lego has some adorable head lamps. Fire fighters, construction workers, and police officers. I like this Darth Vadar Head Lamp, which I found on Amazon for $13.61. Funny that the stormtrooper head lamp costs more at $17.95. Perhaps a disturbance in the Force?
REI's dark plum Camp Chair for Kids looks quite sturdy. With six great reviews on their website, $24.50 seems a reasonable price for a light-weight chair that could go from backyard to mountain adventure!
But then I found this Happy Giddy Child's Outdoor Chair at Melissa & Doug. It's currently out-of-stock online, but they are making more. At $19.99, no wonder this chair sold out! And how can I resist a chair that looks like it was custom-made for a book worm?
By chance, I stumbled upon Babiators at my eye doctor's office. I was looking at this rainbow of sunglass options, and I thought, "Why wouldn't you want your kiddo protecting their eyes?" Well, kids do lose things. And sunglasses break easily.
Not these! These sunglasses are made for kids, so the frames are flexible and the lens is shatter-resistant. The original Babiators are just $20! They come in two different kid sizes and ten colors. If you register your Babiators within 30 days of purchase, they'll even send you a replacement pair if you lose them or break them. Amazing!
To keep my nieces and nephews questing, I like to find play sets that encourage their imagination. These accessories are so versatile. They can be used on camping trips, in the backyard, or inside for some role-playing fun on rainy days.
Melissa & Doug have this Backyard Explorer Costume Set for $29.99. Amazon sells the nine-piece Learning Resources Camp Set for $22.18 and the Gardening Tools Set for $10.95. And for storing some of these great play tools, why not a Camping Rocks tote bag from Cafe Press for $16.99?
For trips with kids, including any with long travel time, be sure to grab a copy of The Kids' Book of Questions. I haven't purchased this book for my nieces and nephew yet. They're still too young for the questions, but I have used this book with middle school students. They love considering the various scenarios. The questions provoke fantastic conversations that can make time go by quickly!
For days when the weather is just too unbearable to be outside, I like to find puzzles and maps that let my nieces and nephew explore from their living room.
This Animal Map of the World is visually stunning! The Discovery Store sells this hand drawn beauty for $14.95. I love that it combines geography and biology. I'm not sure that I will ever tire of scanning the various images and information.
Floor puzzles are particularly appealing to the teacher in me. Building good spatial thinking skills just makes packing the car for those camping trips easier. Even though Melissa & Doug recommend these puzzles for ages 6+, younger children can still manipulate these pieces easily and watch as the four foot puzzle takes shape. The cardboard is extra-thick so the puzzle pieces are pretty durable. And the $12.99 price is reasonable for the number of times these puzzles will get pulled out. I love the Safari Floor Puzzle with its image of the African animals at the watering hole. Reminds me of Simba and the circle of life.
Regardless of where the adventure takes place, what child doesn't like having a buddy along for the journey?
Now in my family, my brother has the market cornered on stuffed animal purchases for the nieces and nephew. He loves finding exotic animals to add to the family menagerie. I will take credit for pointing him to the Sierra Club's Adopt a Wild Animal stuffed animals and puppets collection. For $39, you get the stuffed animal or puppet, a sticker, and an 8-page booklet. Standard shipping is free and 83.3% of every dollar you give to the Sierra Club goes to implementing conservation programs. If my bother doesn't get the snowy owl, I will have to. Who could resist naming her Hedwig?
While I tend to be more gift-conscious around the holidays and birthdays, I do Pin year-round any inspiring finds on my Pinterest board "Gifts for Tree-Hugging Kiddos."