5 Gift Ideas for Outdoorsy and On-The-Go Toddlers

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with that comes my annual tradition of providing you with some gift ideas! This year I thought I’d do toddler-specific gift ideas since that’s the phase we’re in (and “children’s toys” are often unsuitable for little ones!) Here are some of my picks for outdoorsy and adventurous kiddies.

1. Veyo: Mitts that Kids Actually Like!

Every parent has been through it: mitts on, mitts off. Tears over cold hands, frustration that they can’t do anything with bulky mitts on. Enter: Veyo Mittyz ($39.95)! These thumbless mitts are genius, especially for toddlers. The thumb “pocket” allows for grabbing (think of a crab pincer). They have oversized gauntlets to fit over bulky jackets, and the designs are adorable. Highly recommended!

→ WIN A PAIR OF VEYO MITTYZ HERE (closes December 4, 2015!)

2. KEEN Play Shoes:

We recently tested the KEEN Kootenay MP ($80) and the Monica CNX ($55) and both have been officially kiddy-approved. My experience with footwear is that if you buy shoes too cheap, they literally fall apart. I see good footwear as an investment in my daughter’s outdoor playtime experience. The Kootenay MP has a fuzzy lining that makes them perfect for cooler weather. What I love about the Monica shoes is that they aren’t clunky like a lot of runners (my daughter calls them her “fast shoes”). TIP: Buy the Kootenay MP a size up. They were way on the small side, I think because of the lining. 

3. Melissa and Doug Water Wow Toys:

This is my new favourite discovery. For families that are on-the-go, whether travelling or hitting the trail, these activity booklets from Melissa and Doug (prices vary) are the perfect toys to bring along. They are mess-free fun, allowing kids, even young toddlers, to “colour” with water. Once the pages dry out, they can colour them again! We’ll be bringing these on the next plane rides for sure.

4. Children’s Skis: 

Skiing at this age is more so about introducing young children to the idea of skiing. Thankfully there are ski sets that are reasonably priced, like the Komperdell Ski Set ($55 CAD), so that you can get your kid gliding without investing a huge amount of dough (because, let’s face it: they may not get into it right away!). This pair has universal bindings that fit over your child’s boots. A great place to start!

Komperdell Ski Set
Komperdell Ski Set

5. Board Books from Native Northwest: 

These beautiful books are some of our favourites for a number of reasons: the are educational, outdoors/nature-inspired and feature stunning artwork by First nations and Native American artists. These Native Northwest board books ($10.95) are durable, and offer interactive elements for your young child. My daughter loves the animals and bright colours! One of the best things is that partial proceeds from these publications support aboriginal early childhood development.

Northwest Coast Native Art Books
Northwest Coast Native Art Books


→ WIN A PAIR OF VEYO MITTYZ HERE (closes December 4, 2015!)

Veyo Mittyz


Check out these awesome gift guides! 

What gift ideas do you have for outdoorsy and adventurous parents?

I thought you should know: no one told me what to write here! These products all come recommended by me, and while some of them were provided for review, it was my choice to include them in this holiday guide. 

Author: Meghan J. Ward

Meghan J. Ward is an outdoor, travel and adventure writer based in Banff, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Meghan has written several books, as well as produced content for films, anthologies, blogs and some of North America’s top outdoor, fitness and adventure publications. She has a forthcoming travel memoir (Fall 2022), to published by Rocky Mountain Books.

15 thoughts

  1. The KEEN shoes look fantastic! We have their sandals and hiking boots, but I never thought to buy their casual shoes! Thanks!

  2. Off to buy some of the Mittyyz! Thanks for the tip. Our favorite’s right now and best gifts on my list for outdoorsy kids are: MyMayu boots, The Minkey hat/sleeves/mitten one piece WONDER from Olie http://shop.theolie.com/t/the-minkey, and the BigCaboose Water Resistant Fleece Lined Cape https://www.etsy.com/listing/92241517/new-made-to-order-water-resistant-purple?ref=related-0 . Those last two are for kiddos like mine who wiggle out of any jacket you try to keep them in 🙂 The Minkey and Cape, however, my almost 3-yr old very active daughter LOVES to wear, thankfully.

  3. We are in the midst of some serious mitt dislike so I would love to try the Mittyz to see if they help at all. I have also been thinking of getting some toddler skis. Not sure how much actual use they would get but seems like a fun thing to do in the backyard!

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