Gadgets and Gear for Outdoor Play

These are great gift ideas for getting our kids back out into nature.

It doesn’t take much but a sense of adventure and a comfy pair of tennis shoes to play outdoors but a few gadgets and gear fit for kids makes it that much more interesting. Here are my favorites for little nature lovers.


Carson Hawk Child Binoculars : perfect for bird identification and viewing animals from afar.

Mini Microscope : my kids love to investigate leaves, insects and tree bark with these petite weapons of exploration.

Whistle and Compass : we have a similar version of this whistle and compass combo allowing us to teach the kids safety measures while out in the wilderness.

Petzl Headlamps : small enough for kids, we use these primarily for camping and playing outside at night.

Julbo Kid’s Sunglasses : this summer, my optometrist reminded me that children should have sunglasses on just as much as adults. Gulp. Julbo makes a durable pair for little ones, now if we could only make sure they don’t get lost.


Camelbak Kid’s Mini-MULE Hydration Pack : both kids, ages 4 and 7, tote these along whenever we venture outdoors. They not only hold water but snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, and other gadgets we bring along. I do not leave home without them.

Lifetime Youth Kayak : without a doubt, one of our favorite pieces of gear for kids. My son was 3 when he started paddling on his own. Perfect for weekends at the lake.  I recommend making sure it comes with a backrest and paddle.

Balance Bikes : skip the tricycle and training wheels and go straight for a balance bike. Just make sure you get the right size by measuring your child’s inseam first. Oh and please don’t forget a helmet.

Motorola Walkie Talkies : skip past the cheap children’s walkie talkies, they will be broken before you know it (speaking from experience). We got the kids this Motorola pair for Christmas and have been using them for our winter outdoor play: sledding, skiing and snowshoeing. They will get even more use this summer.

RoadID : this wristlet comes personalized with emergency contact phone numbers and information, just in case something might happen. My 3-year old got his own RoadID this past year, here’s why.

Visit me here for my favorite books, online resources, blogs, and apps for getting our families back into nature.



  1. Love this list! Do you have an adult kayak that you’d recommend?

  2. Hi Richelle, this is the kayak we bought to use on the lake. It fits one adult and one child although we can usually cram in two kids.

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