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Outdoor Gifts for Kids Under $50

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Looking for budget-friendly gifts to get your kids outside? Look no further. We compiled a list of our favorite things to help your kids play outside all for under $50. These gifts are sure to keep your kids outside, engaged, and exploring. These picks go beyond one-and-done toys or the loud annoying toys; they spark creativity, encourage learning, and make outdoor time something your kids will eagerly anticipate. I have found that the key to keeping kids outside and loving it is to equip them with the right toys and tools that fuel their imagination. Forget the disposable gimmicks and give the gift of meaningful outdoor experiences!

Indestructible Books

These books are perfect for babies and toddlers while in the stroller or bike trailer. The pages don’t rip and can be chewed on without breaking or getting soaked. I even wash mine with soap and water when they get dirty. It is so nice not to have to worry about books getting ruined.

Whittling Kit

This kit is a hit for all kids but especially elementary-aged kids. My grandpa taught me how to whittle sticks and I loved it. Make sure to give some adult supervision while using. Kids will spend hours whittling sticks that they find outside. If they want more practice you can have them whittle a bar of soap.

Stepping Stones

These stepping stones are a great addition to the backyard. Kids can make all kinds of obstacle courses and it is great for their balance. In the winter you can bring them inside to keep them busy. Plus they work great for the floor is lava!

Fjallraven Hip Pack

No need to stop and take off your backpack just to grab some sunscreen or trail mix. This hip pack is super handy when you’re on a hike or even biking down a mountain trail. A hip pack keeps those essentials within easy reach. Fjallraven is known for its rugged materials that stand up to the elements. Its not too bulky and has a minimalist look.

Binoculars

My kids take binoculars outside multiple times a week. They work great to get a closer look at birds and squirrels. You can even take them to Yellowstone to help spot animals.

Cotopaxi Chalk Bag

These Cotopaxi chalk bags are awesome for kids (and adults too!). They can each have their own and I love how many different colors it comes in. The person that makes the bag gets to pick the colors from the different scraps to reduce waste so if you order online the colors on the bag will be a surprise. If you want to pick out the colors head to REI.

Reusable Water Balloons

These were our favorite birthday gifts for our two-year-old this year! They kept my kids outside for hours this past summer. They are so much fun. All of my kids loved using them. You do have to be careful of which brand you buy. Some don’t have the magnets covered so they can pop out and become a choking hazard. We have this brand and the magnets are covered. They are perfect for the whole family!

Black Diamond Wiz Headlamp

If you have ever been camping with kids you know how they are obsessed with flashlights and headlamps. These are perfect for kids. They can turn a bunch of different colors and are bright enough to get around camp at night easily. We got our kids a different color headband so they are easy to know who they belong to.

First Aid Kit

I try to always have a first aid kit with us when we go outside on hikes, bikerides, camping etc. This first aid kit is very light and portable. It is small and light enough that I can put it any bag to take with us. You never know when you need a bandaid.

Bug Catching Kit

Do you have a kid who loves to collect and watch insects? This bug catcher is the perfect preschooler outdoor toy for them. A few of my kids have been absolutely CRAZY about bugs, and they would easily spend hours in the backyard turning over rocks and collecting all the critters underneath to watch in their little jar. With this bug catcher kit, you can let them safely catch all sorts of bugs and they’ll have a great time doing it.

Stasher Bags

A set of reusable silicone snack bags is fantastic for hiking trips. They’re durable, easy to clean, and perfect for portioning out trail mix or fruit for the kids. I love the Stasher brand. This one is the perfect size for a snack on the trail. If you are looking for a bigger set this set is my favorite. It comes with a snack size, two sandwich sizes, and a half-gallon size. The bigger set is slightly over $50 but they often have sales.

Scavenger Hunt Game

This is a great outdoor toy for preschoolers or toddlers who are really detail oriented, or for families to use together. These fun scavenger hunt cards are great for the backyard, a hiking trip, or even just a walk around the neighborhood. This is the perfect calming outdoor toy for kids and a great way to help little kids be more observant in nature!

Rope Swing

We put one of these in our front tree just after we moved into the house, and I didn’t think much of it. Well, I was completely wrong for underestimating it, since it’s become one of our kids favorite outdoor toys in the tree. We love this one with the little saucer swing because it lets kids use the rope as a traditional swing, or to climb the rope with the hand holds.

Tree Climbing Holds

Do you have a tree that doesn’t have any low branches and a kid that loves to climb trees? This is the perfect gift for them. The climbing holds wrap around the tree and then the kids can climb up it. One of our friends had one in their backyard and my kids were obsessed.

Smartwool Wintersport Ski Socks

There are a lot of cheap ski socks for kids at discount stores and at Amazon. This is one product where name-brand is really important to stick with. The Smartwool Wintersport Kids socks are my all-time favorite ski socks for kids. These are the warmest ski socks for kids that I have found and the sock my kids always reach for first. They fit toddlers up until teens.

Camelbak Water Bottle

Who doesn’t love a new water bottle? These are the best water bottles for adventures (and for school). Each of our kids have one and they use it everyday. Each one has lasted YEARS. We have only had one break and it was over five years old. They are dishwasher safe. The spouts eventually wear out, but you can buy a pack of new spouts on Amazon to help make the water bottle last even longer.

Crayola Chalk Set

I have one kid who absolutely loves chalk. She could spend hours outside drawing with chalk. The neighborhood kids love to join in and eventually, they end up making “chalkdust” and potions. A new set of chalk is always a hit.

Shovel Set

This set of shovels have been the kids’ favorite for a few years. They are made of metal so they can dig well. The best way to get your kids outside is to give them the tools they need to want to stay outside. We even bring this set to the beach with us.

Bucket

Pair this bucket with the shovels to help your kids stay outside. The kids love to make all kinds of potions and concoctions in their buckets. We have a small area in the backyard that the kids can dig in and I always find them playing there. We love taking our buckets and shovels to the beach with us too.

Three Wheel Scooter

Three-wheel scooters are great for kids about 1-8. They are a lot easier to use than the two-wheel scooters. My two-year-old can easily use this one to keep up with the big kids.

Spork and Knife

Getting a nice set of camping utensils makes eating outside so much nicer. Cheap utensils often break, and it’s annoying to deal with that when you’re out in the woods. Quality utensils can withstand the wear and tear of camping trips, hikes, and whatever else you throw at them. These are made from hard-anodized aircraft aluminum. This set is very light (great for backpacking) and you can actually cut up food with the knife. The only con to this set is you can’t wash them in the dishwasher. If that is a dealbreaker then try this set.

Zenith Prism Kite

Tired of buying kites that last only a day? Prisms Kites are such high quality. This kite is the perfect beginner kite. It is very durable, easy to set up, and so easy to fly. No more running around to get the kite in the air. It even comes with two snap-on tails that can easily snap off if it gets tangled in a tree.

Do outdoor gifts actually encourage kids to spend more time outside?

Absolutely, having their own set of binoculars or a scavenger hung game can give kids a sense of ownership and make them more eager to get outside and use it. It’s like giving them their own set of ‘tools’ for adventure.

Is an outdoor gift a good option for kids with lots of energy?

Yes! Active gifts like the stepping stones, tree climbing holds, or kite can help provide an outlet for all of their energy. Most of these gifts kids can do by themselves.

How do I choose the right outdoor gift for my child?

Think about what activities you like to do as a family or would like to try. The right gift should be age-appropriate and align with those interests to maximize its usage.

Don’t forget to check out our other gift guides.

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

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