My almost seven year old is obsessed with all things nature! He loves to learn about animals, study different plants we collect from the woods behind our house, and pretend play that he is going camping or that he is exploring caves like Indian Jones. I wanted to share some of our favorite toys, books, and activities that are nature-inspired to give you some gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season! Living in northwestern Montana, we can’t always spend time outside in the winter, or be outside for very long. So we try to bring the outdoors in and spend time observing, learning, and studying. I hope you enjoy this year’s holiday gift guide for the nature-loving child!
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Animal Tracks Nature Guide from Brave Grown Home was an early Christmas gift for my kiddo! I couldn’t wait to give him this beautiful hand painted watercolor identification set. You can purchase this online and print at home, making it perfect for last-minute gifts or a stocking stuffer. I printed mine on card-stock and then laminated them for extra durability. We throw the Animal Tracks Fact Cards in our adventure pack every time we go on a nature walk. My son loves to make animal tracks in the mud with sticks and his fingers and will use the cards for inspiration. The guide also comes with a three-part card set which becomes a game for kids to find the matching animal tracks to the animal name. My kiddo spent an entire hour sitting still and finding the matches! Price: $13
Wood Specimen Box and Card Set from Wee Bee Box is perfect for the little nature collector. The adorable wood box comes with twenty 4X6 specimen cards where children can tape on their little collected treasures and fill out their observations of each specimen. I love that the box also works as decor for my son’s room. Our boxes and baskets of collected nature finds were starting to take over his room! Now we have a special place for all his favorite pressed flowers, grasses and other small items. Price: $60
These Hand-carved wood animal toys also double as cute home decor! I love our animals from Toys By Anthony. He uses Eco-friendly materials and each one is hand painted beautifully. Setting up a woodland scene with pine-cones, small twigs, leaves and these little wood animals is one of my favorite games for my son. These beautiful heirloom-quality toys will last for years!
Nature Inspired Books
A Curious Collection Of Animals is one of my son’s all-time favorite books. The illustrations are beautiful and he loves going over each page and naming facts about all the animals.
We Are The Gardeners by Joanna Gaines
A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston
The High Hills by Jill Barklem is from the Brambly Hedge series and is a perfect read for a chilly night. The Spring Story is also a very loved book in our house, and we love rotating the books out with the seasons.
A Year Of Forest School is a classic! We like to follow it with the seasons and try different crafts and activities from the book when we have the time.
The American Boy’s Handy Book was a find at a local shop here in the Flathead Valley (Scout + Gather in Columbia Falls), but you can find a similar book with a different cover here.
Books that are on our wish list:
Botanist Kit from Imagine Childhood is on our Christmas wish-list! How cute is this little botanist kit ?? The kit includes: Small scissors, magnifying glass, notebook, pencil, 3 collection boxes, and a wood plant press. Price: $60
A membership to the Wild Explorers Club is at the top of my son’s wish-list this year! A weekly adventure program with assignments, videos, a monthly “Wild Explorers” magazine, embroidered patches when your child completes each level, a field guide and sticker book for each level and An award at the completion of the program. Best part is that it’s only $16 a month!
Twig Colored Pencils are a great stocking stuffer option! My son just loves his. Perfect for sketching different animals, plants, and landscapes in their nature journal!
A travel-sized watercolor kit is perfect for children to bring with them on nature walks. You can plop down on a blanket and have them paint what they see on your walk!
Mini Wooden Camera for kids to pretend play outdoors and “capture” photos of nature
What other nature-inspired toys or activities are on your child’s wish-list this year?? Let me know in the comments below!