If you’re searching for children’s gift ideas that are a little bit out of the ordinary, that will encourage your child to get outdoors, that suit avid travellers and campers, or that will inspire childhood adventure – this is the post for you. I’ve asked other family travel bloggers to share their best adventure, travel and camping gifts for kids and this is the list they have come up with!
Adventure and Camping Gifts
Melissa from The Family Voyage shares two of her best gifts for kids travel
One of our favourite adventure gift ideas for kids is their own right-sized snorkel gear! We love experiencing ocean life up close, and snorkelling is one of the best options for doing that with kids. But many snorkel rental shops don’t have offerings that are truly sized for kids, and then you’re stuck paying for multiple rentals on every holiday.
Over our last few trips to Hawaii, our kids have really taken to snorkelling! Giving them the gift of gear that’s their size eliminates the frustration of a leaky mask or tube, and we can also make sure that it’s wonderful high-quality equipment to offer a great experience. Snorkel gear is also great for travel adventures because a kid-size mask and tube barely take up any space when you pack it! Our detailed guide based on our own experiences will help you choose the best kid’s snorkel set based on your child’s age.
Now that our son is 8 years old, he loves capturing our adventures as we travel the world! One of his favourite acquisitions is an action camera. It comes with underwater housing, straps to attach it to every sort of apparatus, a spare battery and more. We got it for our entire family to use, but because we chose a budget-friendly action camera instead of a genuine GoPro I don’t have to worry about him using it for snorkelling, hiking, biking and more.
We used this camera extensively during our two recent trips to Hawaii. It was so fun for our son to capture the world through his eyes, including when we swam with sea turtles! Operation of the camera is pretty easy, and it comes with a remote control that you can put on your wrist for dry activities or in a waterproof pouch for wet activities.
You can see the excellent quality of the video my son and I captured together below.
Led Head Torch
Jacquie from Flashpacking Family shares her top choice for camping gift ideas for kids
If you have an adventurous kid, you’ll know there’s nothing more exciting for them than getting out and exploring new places, whether it’s at home or abroad.
As fans of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, we’d been wanting to visit Jordan for as long as we could remember. While planning the trip, we read up on the ancient ruins of Petra and how there were lots of dark places to explore. We knew that head torches would come in handy, but we hadn’t considered how much fun they could be too.
We got a couple of basic Linkax LED head torches on Amazon with four different light modes, including a flashing light and red beam. They were (and still are) a huge hit with the boys. The excitement levels were off the chart as they switched on their lights and headed into dark caves to play hide and seek or make shadow figures. They were kept entertained for hours with these head torches and allowed us to fully appreciate our bucket list destination for longer than we had anticipated.
They weren’t just for fun though. They came in handy during our stay in a Wadi Rum desert camp where the generators were switched off at night to allow for total peace and quiet. Whilst this was lovely and peaceful, trips to the toilet in the night would have been quite tricky without our head torches. They were also handy for reading with the kids in the early morning before the generator came on. It was an adventure to get under the covers with the head torches and read. This encouraged the kids to read on their own too which gave us a few more moments of peace. You just can’t put price on that!
The head torches remain one of the best things we ever bought for our adventurous kids and cannot recommend them enough.
Keri from Our Globe Trotters shares her favourite adventure gifts for kids
Who would have thought a humble set of kiddie binoculars would add so much fun to our family trips! We thought the kids would only use them on the occasional camping trip, but they seem to have managed to find their way everywhere around the world with us.
From city sightseeing (who wants to pay for those observation deck binoculars) through to castle exploring in Jordan and Lebanon, even a baseball match! these are our kid’s go-to item for their day packs. They do come in a huge range of styles and designs; you need to spend a little bit to make sure the experience is worthwhile but not too much they will cause a panic if dropped or lost. There are plenty of kids binoculars that come in shock-proof rubber and 8x magnification which is fine for most kids, and importantly are the right size for their hands and face with adjustable focal lenses.
Sharee from Inspire Family Travel shares her favourite outdoor toys for kids
One of the best main Christmas gifts we have given both our girls would be a scooter. As parents, we try to encourage our children to enjoy the outdoors and to be as active as possible. The thrill of family adventures and enjoyable experiences is exciting, but it can also be tiring, particularly for children who need to take extra steps to reach a location. Once we introduced a scooter, we never heard any protests as they make every outing easier and fun for the kids.
When researching scooters, it’s important to look at the size of the scooter, how easy it is to control, and the quality, as they are normally well-loved. Some brands have the option of two and three wheels, which means your child can start riding a scooter from a young age, helping them to develop their motor skills.
One of the main benefits of a scooter over a bike is its size and weight. They can easily fit in the back of a car boot, which makes them a convenient accessory for any outing, whether it’s a trip to a local park or a family road trip.
Kid’s Water Play Gear
Sally-Ann from Tips 4 Trips recommends her adventure gift ideas for kids
Scorn and disgust are often the reactions when kids receive the gift of clothing. But receiving a gift of swimming clothes brings the promise of adventurous days at the beach, lake, river or pool. Make those swimming clothes sun-safe like a rashie (long sleeve swim shirt) and swim hat, ensuring that you too enjoy the action without the worry; knowing your kids are safe from the sun’s rays for hours – with the addition of just a little sunscreen.
To beef up the promises for further adventurous water play, combine the swimming clothes with age-appropriate water fun toys. Adding sand moulds, buckets and spades into my baby and toddler travel packing were hits when my son was young, he loved spending hours at the beach digging in the sand. Now as a pre-teen there is nothing better than hours on a boogie board body surfing the waves or playing catch in a resort pool. Items like beach balls, boogie boards, goggles, snorkel and flippers are all favourite gifts for older kids.
Steph from Navigating Adventure thinks these make a top adventure gift idea for kids
Such a simple but loveable stocking filler – gumboots are cherished by toddlers and pre-schoolers the world over! A perfect gift for kids who love to get outside and explore in rain, hail or shine – gumboots often come emblazoned in your kid’s favourite movie or television characters making them even more special.
Our son has outgrown three pairs of gumboots since his first set as a newly walking one-year old. We bought them just before our camping trips to the Yamba Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort, and they certainly came in handy as we were blessed with drizzling rain for much of the holiday.
The gumboots meant our son was able to get outside regardless of the weather. He loved using them to jump in puddles and walk along the sandy shore of the Clarence River. We recommend gumboots to any parent who’s looking for a useful gift that won’t lose its novelty until they’re well and truely outgrown (and then it’s time to buy the next pair).
Zinc Flyte Scooter Suitcase for Kids
Nadine from Le Long Weekend shares her top pick for travel gifts for kids
Of all the (many) travel gadgets we’ve bought over the years in a bid to make travelling more enjoyable for our son, the Zinc Flyte scooter suitcase is a clear winner. We’ve travelled across the world (New Zealand to France and vice versa) every year since he was a baby, and now that he’s a big adventurous 6.5-year-old he loves having the autonomy of carrying his own suitcase – except pulling a standard suitcase loses its appeal quickly. That’s why for our latest trip we purchased the Zinc Flyte and now I wished I’d gotten one earlier!
It allows him to be independent, and have fun doing so. The Zinc Flyte is the size of a standard cabin suitcase, but it transforms into a three-wheeled scooter. So if you have scooter-loving kids, they’re going to really enjoy whizzing about on the Zinc Flyte. Especially as they can use it as a ‘regular’ scooter once you arrive at your holiday destination. On our most recent trip back to New Zealand, we discovered a great little scooter park down the road from our accommodation. The Zinc Flyte came in so handy, and our son loved that he had his very own portable scooter with him to enjoy it!
Lindsay from Carpe Diem OUR Way recommends the best of her kid travel gift ideas
The Trunki suitcase is one of my favourite gifts for travelling kids! It is suitable for children aged 2-5 and is not only a carry-on that can fit under the seat but also a toy!
A Trunki is a ride-on suitcase that kids can use to either self propel themselves or that can be used to pull a child. While it does not hold a large amount, nor is it meant to be a child’s suitcase for carry-on only travel, it holds enough for aeroplane activities or a sleepover!
While waiting in airport lines or walking down long airport hallways the Trunki can be pulled by Mum or Dad ( or a sibling too!) My kids take turns pulling each other and it has been a lifesaver as a single Mum navigating the airport with two young kids! It keeps little ones moving and playing while waiting to board the plane and when they get on, all of their aeroplane activities inside can be unpacked for the flight! Our Trunki even gets played with at home as the kids drag it around the house and fill it with toys!
Water Colour Set
Bron from Smiths Holiday Road shares her favourite travel gifts for kids – to keep them occupied on holidays!
One of our kids favourite travel essentials is a small watercolour set which can be used on any adventure. It’s small and portable and extends learning, with creative opportunities everywhere you explore. Most recently they used in while exploring Myanmar and were able to sit, sketch and colour the amazing pagodas. It uses a small water-filled brush and can be used on the go while on a plane, train, car, or even a ferry like our favourite Aussie holiday to Kangaroo Island.