I've always believed that nature is the best teacher because nothing is more monumental in a child's early development than environmental exposure.
Nature has the ability to make children think, question, wonder, and form theories. So introducing kids to their surroundings is critical, especially if you want to nurture their curious and investigative minds.
That's why my kids grew up with a natural craving for the great outdoors. And through the years, I found that STEM tools effectively support their adventures, so I've listed my kids' top 10 picks below.
If your child shares the same passion for exploration, then you might want to grab one of these STEM gifts for adventurous kids!
Best STEM Gifts For Adventurous Children
I vividly remember my kids' eyes glistening in wonderment when they first discovered how a leaf looks like up close. Microscopes are incredible instruments because they introduce a whole new realm to children — a world they could never see unless they peeked through the microscope.
But for outdoorsy kids, pocket microscopes like the STEMscope are ideal. These are portable and lightweight so that kids can carry them everywhere without a sweat.
The lenses are also high quality which means your child will see whatever's under down to the smallest detail. Finally, it's an excellent value for money thanks to its shatterproof build quality. Indeed, one of the best STEM gifts for adventurous kids.
Another hiking gift for kids is Educational Insight's Kidnoculars Extreme. It's a fresh take to the conventional binoculars because aside from its 3x zooming capability, it also has built-in speakers to amplify the sound in your child's surroundings.
That means your kid can hear every buzz and tweet with absolute clarity. This feature is excellent for an immersive natural experience. Plus, it can help support their scientific exploration and curiosity.
Better get one of these outdoor gifts before your family goes on your next jungle adventure!
If I get a penny every time I hear my kids say "over" through their walkie-talkies, I'd be rich. But seeing them invested in these communication devices shows how much fun they have being explorers.
Walkie-talkies are perfect as they facilitate open-ended play among kids. Especially when children embrace new identities whenever they use these devices. Plus, walkie-talkies are like phones without screen exposure, so your child won't bother to borrow your phone since they also have one.
The model from Selieve is a fantastic option because it works within a 3-mile radius. Perfect for your child and their neighborhood best friend!
If your family loves to camp, then give your little archaeologist the best sleep experience even when outdoors with this dinosaur sleeping bag.
The sleeping bag effectively traps heat within to help keep your little one warm, thanks to its plush polyester fabric. Additionally, the dinosaur print also glows in the dark when pre-exposed to a light source.
Plus, the built-in pillow is a fantastic addition to your child's comfy outdoor snooze. It's an excellent gift for kids who love camping out!
Slacklining, or the art of balancing on a rope, is another fun outdoor activity for kids. Although it might not look like a STEM gift at face value, slacklining has a unique way of teaching kids about gravity and essential locomotor skills.
When I first got them this kit, it took my kids a few tries before getting the hang of it. Your child can spend hours playing while you bargain a few moments to relax on your lawn chair—no need to prepare any fabric underneath as long as there's grass to cushion their fall.
I found the slackline kit from Flybold the most durable for kids, especially since it can carry up to 300 pounds of weight (so you can join in the fun, too!).
The best way to teach the value of life and the environment to kids is to let them independently grow their plants. With proper guidance and a child-friendly gardening toolset like this one from Play22, your kids can nurture their inner green thumb!
Growing plants can impart essential life lessons and cognitive skills to children. For example, my kids learned that growing plants take time and effort, so now they no longer pluck out flowers they see on the street. Plus, they know when and how much to water their plants!
Having a garden tool set was instrumental in their outdoor gardening adventure.
7. Fishing Pole
If you're a parent (or a grandparent!) that loves to spend a day on a boat, why not bring your child over and let them experience the joy of catching and cooking fish.
I wasn't the biggest fan of fishing, but my father sure did. He'd take my son with him on several occasions, and my boy always greets me with the fun stories of their adventures. So I got him a fishing pole from Zebco so my child could also join in the fun.
A fishing pole might not seem like it belongs to this list of STEM gifts for adventurous kids, but fishing poles are good stepping stones to develop a child's curiosity in fish science (ichthyology).
Different strokes for different folks.
Some kids love to throw rocks, while others delight in collecting them. So if you have a child in your life that has a peeking interest in stones, this rock polisher from NatGeo will undoubtedly make their day!
When I was a child, I've always been fascinated with rocks. The idea that there are infinitely many types of rocks was astonishing. So when my mother got me a rock polisher as a kid, I'd never been more invested in rock collection.
Don't be afraid to let your child's inner nerd shine through! The NatGeo rock polisher is a great place to get your little geologists interested in rock science and jewelry.
9. Flower Press for Herbarium
If you got your child to do some gardening, then maybe they'll be interested in pressing flowers to make delightful herbariums.
Flower pressing is a classic hobby that uses flowers to create other beautiful crafts like greeting cards, bookmarks, and trinket boxes. But for a more detailed hobbyist collection, you may opt for a scrapbook so your kid can display the pressed flowers for the world to see.
The kit comes complete with glue, double-sided tapes, and a brush. It is a splendid toy to have, especially when kids come across exotic flowers that they wish to preserve!
The compass is the device that shaped Albert Einstein's love for science, and who knows if it also awakens the inner scientist within your child?
This survival compass bracelet is one of the best STEM gifts for adventurous kids, especially if they're fond of hiking and traversing wooden forests. It's a wonderful way to train children to read directions in a fashionable manner (it looks good on the wrist!).
Help your child find their way back home whenever they're on an adventurous outdoor quest!
Is it okay to take my kids on a hike?
Yes, hiking is a gold mine of life skills and lessons. So bringing your kids with you exposes them to nature, where they encounter bugs, plants, and animals of all shapes and sizes. Hiking also helps them understand weather, outdoor safety precautions, and essential survival skills that they can carry over to adulthood.
Why should kids hike?
Hiking has a lot of physical, emotional, and cognitive benefits that children can also learn from. Aside from being a good form of exercise, your kids can learn to appreciate how peaceful nature is. Moreover, nature is an abundant source of learning, especially when children encounter forests' lively ecosystems.
Let Kids Explore the Great Outdoors!
You can give outdoorsy children many adventure tools, but only a few STEM gifts for adventurous kids can support their knack for exploration while teaching them valuable science skills.
If you're looking for the most versatile and open-ended STEM toy to give your child, the STEMscope is an excellent place to start. It's a splendid tool to accompany your kid's outdoor escapades while cultivating their interest in the micro-mysteries of this world.