Family Gift Ideas to Enjoy Outdoors

Family gift ideas for all seasons,
to get them outside for fresh air and fun!

Moms and health experts agree that it's good for the family to get outdoors often for some fresh air and activity. These suggestions appeal to many different interests and physical activity levels:

Games and Sports Equipment
For families with a yard or nearby park, badminton, croquet, bocce, and other multi-player equipment are excellent gift ideas.

Big budget donors may wish to consider bicycles to open up a world of family fun and healthful exercise.

For those with limited space, pogo sticks, stilts, or moon shoes are great fun (sizes go to men's 9). My grandson Andrew has loved his since the age of 6, and so does every kid who visits him! In case the kids get bored, here's a resource with group game ideas (including favorite jump rope rhymes) that will bring back memories for their parents.

The Night Sky
There's lots of exciting stuff up there, and astronomy makes a fascinating, educational hobby (it usually appeals to sci-fi fans, too!). Start with a telescope and add a night-sky map or star chart. Glow-in-the-dark star decals for the nursery ceiling will complete this trio of all-family gift ideas.

Fun in the Snow
For wintertime fun, toboggans are hard to beat. A child too small to manage a sled alone can safely enjoy the thrill of a downhill ride with Mom or Dad.

Snow-block molds are great for making forts, igloos and snow castles, which can be "painted" with a spray bottle of food-colored water.

Go Fly a Kite
Kites are great gift ideas that appeal to kids and adults. At you'll find a huge variety of creative and beautiful kites - something for everyone, complete with plans, instructions and flying tips. And don't miss the Kids Kites page for information on kites as a family hobby.

Enjoying wildlife
Wild birds are entertaining for all, and family gift ideas span the seasons... birdhouses, birdbaths, feeders, guides and beautiful coffee table books. Binoculars or a birdsong identifier will help older family members teach the young ones who's who.

Another idea: help them to spot shy or mysterious animal visitors with a wildlife motion detector from the National Geographic Store. Backpacks and child carriers are a must for family hikes in the woods or meadows. You'll find lots more ideas at Wildlife Gifts.

Rocket Science
Model rocketry is a hobby for teenagers and adults that wows little kids too. It's exciting to watch a model rocket shoot high into the sky and parachute back to earth. Until kids are old enough to build their own model rockets (to launch with adult supervision), Rocket Balloons are safe for younger children, fun for all, and OK for indoors too.

The Family Garden
Little kids enjoy caring for fast-growing plants like beans, colorful easy-to-grow flowers like marigolds, and extra-large sunflowers or pumpkins.

Ornamental trees and/or shrubs - one named for each family member - will bring back memories years after the kids have grown. For space-challenged yards, planters or window boxes are good gift ideas for a gardening family. Don't forget the water - kids of all ages have fun with garden sprinklers (and super squirt-guns!) on a hot summer day.

Outdoor Party Time
For outdoor entertaining, the backyard barbecue offers lots of fun family gift ideas. Games and sports equipment (see above) will help them work up an appetite, and so will the aromas from a gas or charcoal grill.

They'll need a picnic cooler for drinks (maybe a second one for beer & wine), and plenty of lawn chairs (and/or benches that can double as side tables). A set of weatherproof outdoor speakers will supply better background music than a boombox.

Healthful outdoor family fun is the
extra bonus with these family gift ideas!

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