Looking for great camping gifts for kids? Here is the ultimate guide to the top kids camping gifts!
Hello and welcome to Ironwild Fitness!
I’m Chantal – a mom of two in the Pacific Northwest.
(I’m also a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach.)
Camping has always been one of our family’s favorite activities, and luckily we have a lot of opportunities to camp in really beautiful places here in the PNW.
It’s truly the best!
In my opinion, camping is a great family-friendly activity that allows children (and parents) to disconnect from technology, explore nature, and create lasting memories.
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If your kiddo(s) are new to camping or if you’re planning a big camp trip, it can be really exciting.
You can add to the excitement and help the kids in your life embrace the outdoors by getting them some sweet gear, fun camping games, books, and more.
As parents, grandparents, guardians, or friends of young campers, one of the best ways to nurture their love for the great outdoors is by surprising them with thoughtful camping gifts.
Whether it’s for a special occasion or simply to encourage their sense of adventure, I’ve compiled a list of the best camping gifts for kids that will ignite their enthusiasm and make their camping experience even more enjoyable. 🙂
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Top Fun Camping Gifts For Kids
1. Adventure-Themed Sleeping Bags
This is such a fun kids’ camping gift! A comfortable and themed sleeping bag can transform a night under the stars into an exciting adventure.
Look for sleeping bags with cute designs, such as animals, space exploration, or favorite movie characters. (Here are some really cool glow-in-the-dark ones!)
These sleeping bags provide warmth, coziness, and a touch of whimsy, creating a magical camping experience for kids.
P.S. You don’t have to pick a fun pattern if you don’t want to! There are some great, more functional kid-sized sleeping bags on the market, too.
2. Kid-Friendly Mess Kit
This is on my list of gifts for camping kids because it can be super helpful for adults, too.
Introduce the joy of campfire cooking to children with their very own camping mess kit (outdoor-proof dishes and utensils).
Opt for lightweight and durable options, such as enamel designs meant for outdoor use. This gift allows kids to participate in meal preparation, learn basic cooking skills, and kindle a sense of independence.
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3. Outdoor Exploration Kit
Encourage curiosity and a sense of discovery with an outdoor exploration kit. These kits often include a compass, magnifying glass, binoculars, bug-catching tools, and field guides.
With their exploration tools in hand, young campers can embark on nature walks, identify different plants and insects, and engage in educational play while developing an appreciation for the natural world.
4. Camping-Themed Books
A good book can transport children to thrilling camping adventures even when they’re not in the great outdoors. Select age-appropriate camping-themed books that capture the imagination and inspire a love for reading.
From camping mystery stories to educational books about wildlife and survival skills, there are countless options available to spark their interest.
There are even camping cookbooks just for kids out there!
Find a list of books to buy for kids camping gifts later in this post!
5. Waterproof and Shockproof Camera:
Empower young campers to capture their camping memories with a waterproof and shockproof camera. These durable cameras are designed to withstand rough handling and are perfect for documenting outdoor escapades.
Encourage them to embrace their creativity by capturing breathtaking landscapes, flora, fauna, and even their own camping experiences.
6. Glow-in-the-Dark Camping Games
One of the best things about camping is getting to sit by the fire and hang out past bedtime. Make the nighttime camping experience even more exciting with glow-in-the-dark camping games.
From glow-in-the-dark frisbees to ring toss sets and ball games, these gifts provide endless entertainment after the sun goes down. They add an element of excitement to the camping trip and foster a sense of camaraderie among children and their fellow campers.
When in doubt, you can always give the gift of glow sticks and wearables. So much fun!
7. Camping-Themed Puzzle or Board Games
Don’t forget camping gifts for kids that will work in all kinds of weather!
When the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor activities, camping-themed puzzles or board games are a great way to keep young campers engaged and entertained.
Look for games that teach outdoor skills, wilderness survival, or feature camping scenarios. These interactive games promote problem-solving and cooperation and create a sense of adventure within the comfort of the tent or RV.
Here are some more specific ideas:
- Here is a really fun camping-themed puzzle for younger kids
- Here is a more difficult puzzle that will work for older kids and adults
- This is a fun camping-themed matching & memory game for younger kids
- The S’Mores “Perfectly Toasted” game is a unique camping gift great for everyone
8. Knot-Tying Kit
Do you have a survival enthusiast on your hands?
Teach young campers essential outdoor skills with a knot-tying kit. This gift includes ropes or cords along with a guidebook or cards that illustrate different knots and their practical applications.
Learning various knots prepares children for outdoor activities such as setting up tents, securing tarps, or tying knots for safety and utility purposes.
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9. Outdoor Adventure Binoculars
Bring distant objects into clear focus with a pair of kid-friendly outdoor adventure binoculars. These binoculars are lightweight, durable, and designed specifically for small hands.
Whether it’s bird-watching, observing wildlife, or exploring the surroundings from a distance, these binoculars provide a sense of wonder and enhance their outdoor explorations.
For older kids, a nice pair of real binoculars are perfect too!
10. Campfire Storytelling Cards
Ignite imagination and storytelling skills with campfire storytelling cards. These cards feature different characters, settings, and objects that can be combined to create unique stories around the campfire.
It’s a fun and interactive gift that encourages creativity, sparks conversation, and strengthens bonds among young campers.
11. Outdoor First Aid Kit
Here’s another great camping gift – a kid-friendly first aid kit! Safety should always be a priority when camping and a child-friendly outdoor first aid kit ensures that kids are prepared for minor injuries or mishaps.
Look for kits that include essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, and tweezers. This gift provides peace of mind for parents and empowers children to take care of themselves and their fellow campers responsibly.
Camping Gifts for Kids: Essential Gear & More
12. Child-Sized Camping Chair
Make young campers feel comfortable and included with their own child-sized camping chair. These chairs are lightweight, foldable, and often come in vibrant colors or fun patterns.
They provide a cozy spot for kids to relax around the campfire or participate in outdoor activities with the rest of the camping group.
13. Kid-Friendly Tent
Let children have their own space by gifting them a kid-friendly tent. These tents are smaller in size, easy to set up, and often feature fun designs that appeal to children’s imaginations.
Whether used for backyard camping adventures or as a separate sleeping area at the campsite, a kid-friendly tent provides a sense of independence and excitement.
(We like to use these as “play” tents for the kiddos to go wild in!)
14. Camping Backpack
Equip young adventurers with their own camping backpacks to carry their essentials during outdoor excursions.
Look for backpacks with adjustable straps, multiple compartments, and lightweight materials. (Ideally, they should have more structure than a regular school backpack.)
These backpacks allow kids to carry their water bottle, snacks, sunscreen, and other items while encouraging responsibility and organization.
15. Compact Camp Stove
Introduce young campers to the art of campfire cooking with a compact camp stove.
These stoves are safe and easy to use, providing a controlled cooking environment for simple meals and snacks. They are ideal for teaching basic cooking skills and fostering a sense of self-sufficiency in the great outdoors.
16. Waterproof Outdoor Blanket
Ensure kids stay cozy and dry during picnics or rest times with a waterproof outdoor blanket. These blankets are durable, lightweight, and often come with a carrying case for easy transportation.
Whether used for lounging, picnicking or as an additional layer in the tent, a waterproof outdoor blanket is a practical and versatile gift.
17. Child-Sized Sleeping Pad
Enhance their camping comfort with a child-sized sleeping pad. These pads provide insulation from the ground, cushioning, and additional warmth during chilly nights.
Choose compact and lightweight options that are easy to inflate and deflate, making them ideal for camping trips and outdoor adventures.
Pro Tip: Size up a little to ensure that this is one of those camping gifts for kids that lasts a few seasons!
18. Rain Gear
We live in the Pacific Northwest where this goes without saying. But if your kiddos are new to all-weather camping and aren’t already geared up, this might be the perfect kids’ camping gift.
Prepare kids for unexpected weather conditions with rain gear specifically designed for little campers.
Look for waterproof jackets, pants, and boots that are breathable and comfortable to wear. With the right rain gear, children can continue their outdoor explorations even in wet conditions, staying dry and protected.
19. Lantern or Flashlight
(This is one of my favorite gifts in the whole gift guide!)
20. Plant Identification Book
Your great-big camping trip can double as a great learning experience if you want it to! You can even find bird and tree ID books!
Get your camping kiddos a kid-friendly plant identification book to make sure that they stay safe and have something fun to do. I personally think that learning about your native plants and trees is really important, both for fun and safety-related reasons.
P.S. This is probably a great gift idea for older kids, but it might not be suitable for younger kids.
21. Camp Flip Flops or Slippers
This is a must-have kids camping gift. I highly recommend having a pair of sandals and hard-soled slippers for each person.
Most campgrounds have pubic showers and restrooms, and your kiddo will most definitely want some waterproof shoes for that. Please don’t step in there barefoot!
However, we also quickly learned that having some slip-on shoes or slippers for getting in and out of the tent or camper is really helpful in keeping the floors clean.
22. Mosquito Bracelets
If you have a kid that’s prone to mosquito bites, you’ll definitely want to make sure they have some of these cheap mosquito bracelets on hand.
They’re much safer than Deet and most other mosquito repellents on the market.
Fun Kids Camping Gifts: Games & Activities
Spikeball is a fun and active game that involves bouncing a ball off a net. It can be played on various terrains and is perfect for camping trips.
The set includes a collapsible net, a ball, and rules for the game. It’s a great way for kids to engage in friendly competition and get some exercise outdoors.
24. Kan Jam
Kan Jam is a popular disc-throwing game that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. The objective is to score points by throwing a frisbee into a goal or “Kan.” The set typically includes two Kan Jam goals and a flying disc.
It’s an entertaining game that encourages hand-eye coordination and teamwork.
25. Horseshoes Set
A classic and enjoyable game, horseshoes is the perfect camping gift for kids. It’s easy to set up and the components are super durable, making this a gift that can be used year after year.
It’s a game that can be played by children (and adults) of all ages and is perfect for camping trips.
Cornhole is a popular bean bag toss game that is widely enjoyed at outdoor gatherings, including camping trips.
The game involves throwing bean bags onto a raised platform with a hole. There are portable cornhole sets available for purchase that include the platforms and bean bags.
It’s a fantastic game for kids to play and practice their throwing skills.
26. Bocce Ball
Outdoor games are always a good choice when it comes to kids camping gifts. Bocce ball is a strategic and engaging game that can be played on various surfaces, including grass and sand.
The objective is to throw or roll balls as close as possible to a target ball called the “pallino.” Bocce ball sets for kids are available and usually include smaller and lighter balls, making it easier for children to participate.
27. Giant Jenga
Giant Jenga is a larger-than-life version of the classic stacking game. The set consists of oversized wooden blocks that players take turns removing from the tower and placing on top without causing it to collapse.
Giant Jenga sets designed for outdoor use can be purchased and are perfect for camping trips (and the entire family). It’s a game that requires strategy, concentration, and a steady hand.
28. Coloring Books or Word Searches
Young kids will especially love having coloring books while camping, but even older kids love a good coloring book! Word searches are another option for kids who are either reading or starting to read.
29. Camping Swingset
We bought one of these and our kids absolutely love it! They spend hours on end swinging and hanging from this temporary playset. It’s seriously so much fun for active outdoorsy kids – you’ll definitely want to have one for your next camping trip!
30. Camping Scavenger Hunt Game
Still need for camping gifts for kids?
Here’s another great idea – a scavenger hunt! Grab the whole family and embark on an outdoor adventure that doubles as an educational experience.
To make it easy, you’ll want to grab this pre-made scavenger hunt game and have at it!
31. Special Camping Journal
Journaling can be a fun way of documenting special time outdoors and it can help to foster a love of nature.
You can either gift a pretty plain journal or take a look at these premade camping journals just for kids.
Camping Gift Ideas: Books
32. “Curious George Goes Camping” by Margret Rey
Follow the beloved character Curious George as he embarks on a camping adventure filled with curiosity and mischief.
This delightful book teaches children about camping etiquette, nature exploration, and the importance of following rules.
33. “Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping” by Mélanie Watt
Join Scaredy Squirrel as he overcomes his fears and ventures into the great outdoors. This humorous book introduces children to camping activities, wildlife encounters, and the thrill of exploring new environments.
34. “Fishing Frenzy” by Kevin Lovegreen
Older kids will love all of Kevin Lovegreen’s wilderness adventure stories, but especially Fishing Frenzy. They are perfect for kiddos grades 3-7 and will help to add to the excitement of all things outdoors.
35. “The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks” by Barb Rosenstock
This picture book tells the true story of President Theodore Roosevelt and renowned naturalist John Muir’s camping trip in Yosemite that led to the preservation of national parks.
It highlights the significance of their friendship and their dedication to preserving America’s natural treasures.
36. “S Is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet” by Helen Foster James
Take a journey through the alphabet and discover various aspects of camping.
This book combines fun rhymes, beautiful illustrations, and interesting facts about camping-related topics, from wildlife and activities to camping gear and outdoor skills.
37. “A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee” by Chris Van Dusen
Join Mr. Magee and his trusty dog, Dee, on their camping adventure gone awry. This humorous and beautifully illustrated book takes readers on a rollicking camping trip filled with unexpected mishaps and exciting encounters with wildlife.
38. “The Berenstain Bears Go Camping” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Follow the lovable Berenstain Bears as they head off on a family camping trip. This classic story teaches children about outdoor skills, wildlife observation, and the importance of working together as a family.
39. “Camping Day!” by Patricia Lakin
Join a group of young campers as they spend a day in the wilderness, enjoying various camping activities. This colorful and engaging book captures the excitement and joy of camping, from setting up tents to roasting marshmallows around the campfire.
40. “Just Me and My Dad” by Mercer Mayer
In this heartwarming story, Little Critter and his dad go on a camping trip together. Children will enjoy reading about the adventures they have while fishing, setting up a tent, and enjoying the beauty of nature.
41. “The Camping Trip” by Jennifer K. Mann
Follow Ernestine as she embarks on a camping trip with her aunt and cousin. This charming book highlights the joy of outdoor exploration, friendship, and finding beauty in unexpected places.
42. “Camping Out” by Mercer Mayer
Join the Little Critter family as they go camping in the backyard.
This sweet and relatable story captures the essence of a simple camping experience close to home. (This particular story is great for younger children.)
Other Camping Gifts for Kids Outdoor Adventure Kit
43. Fire Starter Kit
If wilderness skills are of interest to the kids in your life, ensure they understand proper fire safety protocols and teach them the necessary skills to start a fire responsibly in the wilderness.
You can do this by providing them with a fire starter kit. This can include waterproof matches, a fire striker, and fire-starting tinder.
44. Survival Bracelet
A survival bracelet is a wearable gift that contains essential survival tools such as a compass, whistle, and fire starter.
These bracelets are compact, lightweight, and can be unraveled to provide paracord, which can be used in various survival situations. It’s a practical and stylish accessory for young outdoor enthusiasts.
P.S. If that’s too much, a simple paracord bracelet is a good gift, too!
45. Water Filtration Bottle
Promote safe hydration during outdoor adventures by gifting kids a water filtration bottle.
These bottles feature built-in filters that remove impurities and contaminants from water sources, making it safe to drink. It’s a valuable tool for teaching children about water safety and the importance of staying hydrated in the wilderness.
46. Gold Panning Kit
Encourage kids to learn about panning for gold (and maybe a little history) by getting them a beginner gold panning kit.
Obviously, this only works if you have a body of water accessible to you, but it can be a really fun activity for any outdoorsy child. Even when you don’t find anything of real value, it can be exciting to find really unique rocks like Agate or even some Fool’s Gold (pyrite).
47. Slingshot with Biodegradable Ammo
Our kiddos enjoy target practice with a slingshot on almost every camping trip.
This works best if you are camping on public land, but you can probably find somewhere safe to do it at a regular campsite, too.
All you need are some pop cans, a slingshot for kids, and some biodegradable ammo. (Or use tiny pebbles!) Here are the exact slingshots we use.
48. Outdoor Skills & Survival Books
Turn your camping trip into an epic adventure of survival with a book about survival skills.
There are some books that focus on overall outdoor survival skills and wilderness knowledge (like this one) and there are more advanced books on specific topics.
Older children may appreciate titles that cover topics such as navigation, shelter-building, foraging, wildlife identification, and basic first aid. These books serve as educational resources and inspire children to learn and apply survival techniques while enjoying the outdoors.
49. Wooden Knife
If you have curious kiddos and want to teach them how to do dangerous things in a controlled way, a wooden knife can be one way to do that.
On our most recent camping trip, we gave both of our kids wooden pocket knives to help them learn how to respect knives as helpful tools for the outdoors.
They learned how to open and grip their knives while avoiding the blade without any risk to themselves. Here are the exact knives we use.
50. Walkie Talkies
I would be remiss not to mention walkie-talkies or radios as the perfect camping gift for kids. Kids will have a great time with a set of cheap radios or walkie-talkies. They are a great option for older children, but little explorers can have fun with them too!
51. Rock Hounding Book & Equipment
There are interesting rocks everywhere – but what are they, and how rare are they?
If you want to take it a step further, they actually make really cool rock-hounding kits that come with a small shovel, picks, brushes, and more.
Now THAT would be a really fun gift.
52. S’mores Kit
Our list of kids’ camping gifts wouldn’t be complete without some S’mores! This is the perfect gift for campers of all ages (including you) and is really just a super fun treat for anyone with a love of the outdoors.
The best camping gifts for kids not only provide entertainment but also nurture their curiosity, independence, and appreciation for nature.
From themed sleeping bags and cookware to exploration kits and educational books, there are so many options available to enhance their camping experiences.
This list of gifts for camping kids is really just scratching the surface!
By choosing gifts that ignite their sense of adventure, you can inspire a lifelong love for the outdoors and create cherished memories that will stay with them as they grow.
So, why not fuel their imagination and watch as they embark on exciting camping journeys? Kids are naturally eager to explore the wonders of the natural world, and you can take part with these gifts for camping kids. 🙂
Until next time,