Perhaps this year, a bit more than other years, we have discovered the importance of staying active. Being active is good for both our mental and physical health and while this year has been challenging it has shone a light on the need to be active everyday.
Here is a list of gift ideas from rockiesfamilyadventures.com, for getting your kids active this year both inside and out. This list has been tweeked a bit for our area but full credit goes to rockiesfamilyadventure.com for putting this together
A Holiday Gift Guide for Active Kids
I’m back with another one of my annual holiday gift guides, and this year I’ve decided to keep the theme more general, focusing on fun gifts to keep our kids active all year long, outside (and even inside on those cold winter days.)
I’ve organized gift ideas below by category/sport.
All links go to the product or company website. A few links go to the Amazon website (If you choose to purchase anything off Amazon I might make a few pennies off the purchase, but please feel free to shop wherever works for your family.
Kids on Bikes – Gift ideas for kids who love mountain biking and cycling
The BIG Gift: A New Bike
Prevelo Bikes ships their bikes for free (including to Canada,) and they make amazing bikes (engineered specifically for youth!)
You can read all about my son’s Prevelo Zulu Four here: What to Look for in your Child’s Next Bike (and what to skip!) – note I previously partnered with Prevelo Bikes as an Ambassador
My son is currently as of 2020 riding a 26″ Cleary Scout bike and it’s been amazing for a combination of cross-country and downhill riding. You can buy Cleary bikes locally from Kids Bikes Canada.
We ordered my son’s Cleary bike for Christmas 2019 and it was delivered to our door from Kids Bikes Canada. They provided amazing customer service and we felt good knowing that we were supporting a local family business.
Other recommended bikes for children and youth:
- Yedoo Balance Bikes, Kick bikes, and Scooters (Kids Bikes Canada)
- Cleary Bikes from 12″ to 26″ in size (Kids Bikes Canada)
- Early Rider Run Bikes (All Out Kids Gear)
- Early Rider Bikes from 16″ to 20″ in size (All Out Kids Gear)
And it’s your choice if you want to put the bike together for the big “Christmas morning reveal” or if you want to wrap the box (which would make for one very large present to be opened.)
Other Gifts for Kids Who Love Biking
- Bike Gloves (we love the ZippyRooz half finger ones.) And for cold weather biking, we’re a fan of the youth Outdoor Research Gloves. – Check out the great collection of bike gloves at All Out Kids Gear.
- A buff for cold weather riding and fat biking (we always wear buffs under our helmets to keep our ears warm when riding in cool temperatures.) Alternately, check out the Outdoor Research Ninjaclavas on the All Out Kids Gear website which look amazing.
- A new bike helmet, a bike bell as a stocking stuffer, mountain bike padding, or a bike jersey if you can find a youth sized one.
- A TowWhee system for towing kids on the trails (Link to Kids Bikes Canada)
- A “Kids Ride Shotgun” front mounted child bike seat (Link to Kids Bikes Canada
- Protection! (From full Face helmets to knee or elbow pads, you can find it all from Kids Bikes Canada.)
- A bike jersey (See the full collection that Kids Bikes Canada sells)
And a few tips for getting the kids out on bikes year round:
First, consider renting fat bikes for a day (or a weekend) from Kananaskis Outfitters at Kananaskis Village. And in Ontario, check your local bike shops and outdoor stores to see if they offer rentals.
Or, visit B-Line, Calgary’s indoor bike park where you can bike for the entire day for $30. (Much cheaper than a ski lift ticket.) Check out Ontario Kid Friendly Pump Tracks and Bike Parks to find indoor and outdoor parks near you. Be advised that some parks and rentals may not be operating at this time due to the pandemic.
Kids on the Trails – Gift ideas to keep kids hiking year round
The BIG Gift: A New Backpack
All out Kids Gear has a great assortment of backpacks from kids’ starter packs up to hydration packs and overnight packs for backpacking.
My son uses a small hydration pack for our day hikes but has a Deuter Fox 30 for overnight trips. We love this backpack and are pleased with the amount our son can carry with it.
Other Gifts for Kids who Like Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Backpacking
- A new pair of snowshoes so you can get out this winter (My 9 year old has the MSR Shift Kids Snowshoes.)
- Kahtoola microspikes for canyon hikes this winter (the Switching Gear store in Canmore sells XS spikes which should fit most children and youth.) In Ontario, Canadian Tire and Sports Check both offer a variety of crampons and traction devices.
- Youth adjustable trekking poles (my son uses his for both cross-country skiing and downhill skiing as well so we only need one pair of poles)
- Youth hiking gaiters (very useful if scrambling, hiking down scree, or when hiking through muddy or snowy conditions)
- A new trucker hat, ball cap, or hiking hat
- A water bottle (we’ve been impressed with our Hydro Flask products.)
- Fun flavors of power bars, honey stinger energy chews, or chocolate bars (Seriously, check out the fun assortment of products at MEC.)
And NEW for 2020, Check out Lori Beattie’s new Guidebook: Calgary’s Best Walks: 45 Urban Jaunts and Nature Strolls . While Ontario offers the Bruce Trail Guide Book, and many cities have their own walking and trail maps available on their websites.
Winter Kids – Gift ideas to keep kids happy and warm all winter long
I have lots of suggestions here for kids who want to play outside all winter long while staying warm
- New mittens or gloves (We personally love Stonz Mitts and my son still fits the largest size, 4-8 years at age 11!
- New ski socks (and you won’t go wrong with the Icebreaker socks from All Out Kids Gear)
- New base layer sets (All Out Kids Gear has great sets.)
- A new toque or winter hat (this is fun every year purely for variety)
- A new snowsuit or ski pants/jacket combo (We are in love with the one-piece mono suits from TOBE outerwear
Read my review for the TOBE Novus Mono Suit here.) – and yes, they are worth the price.
TOBE also has great Novus Winter Jackets for youth along with Novus Bib Overalls (for kids who don’t want to wear a one-piece snow suit.) – Read my review for the Novus Bibs and Jackets here.
Crag Kids – Gift ideas for kids who love rock climbing (inside or out)
Here are a few of my top suggestions here:
- Climbing shoes (We swear by the Mad Rock Mad Monkey shoes.)
- A climbing harness (great for kids who’ve been renting at the gym and would like their own)
- A climbing helmet (great for kids who’ve been using bike helmets for outdoor climbing)
- A chalk bag for a stocking stuffer
Ski Kids – Gift ideas for kids who enjoy downhill and cross-country skiing
The BIG Gift: New Skis and Boots
This is the obvious choice, right? Seriously though, a pair of skis makes for a great Christmas gift if your family wants to get into cross-country skiing. Buy the skis, boots, and poles, and then you’re set with free skiing the rest of the winter.
Buy adjustable poles to cut down on one cost (one pair will last for years and can be used for both cross-country and downhill skiing along with hiking as well.)
And if you’re buying downhill skis, consider Roces adjustable ski boots that expand to fit your child for several years.
You can shop ski boots and adjustable poles from All Out Kids Gear.
And need to save a few pennies? Check out the local consignment stores. Your child likely won’t care if their skis or boots aren’t brand new. I bought my son’s cross-country boots second hand from Trail Blazers in Cochrane this year. Many Ontario ski shops and offer buy back program and sell second hand and used equipment. Check your local retail and rental shops to see what they offer.
Other Gifts for Kids who Love Skiing
- Any of the clothing items above under the “winter kids” section
- A new ski helmet
- New ski goggles! (it’s always a treat to have goggles without scratches!)
- A new thermos for the ski hill (hot lunches are the best!)
- Any of the ideas in this gift guide from last year: A Ski Family’s Holiday Gift Guide
Little Campers – Gift ideas for kids who love camping
I have lots of suggestions for you here:
- A new headlamp (we’re always losing ours!)
- A new sleeping bag (kids grow, right?)
- A slackline for car camping trips next summer
- A hammockfor next season’s camping trips (kids LOVE playing around in hammocks!)
- Hut booties! (the best thing for winter hut trips) – my son has a pair of XS hut booties
- A fun camping themed water bottle
- A fishing rod! (Something my son just discovered he enjoyed this summer while backpacking) – My son has the Junior Ugly Stik rod and we’ve been satisfied with it.
Active Kids – General gift ideas
Below are some random ideas I had for year round active play:
- A new sled! (sleds get cracked, broken, etc. Then there’s just the “it’s a new sled!!!” factor
And, check out this cool GoFloats Winter Snow Unicorn! Also comes in penguin, ice dragon, flamingo, or polar bear design
- A Strider Ski Attachment for balance bikes (has to be Strider brand) – my son loved his!
- Snow Skates, Scooters, and Boards for the sledding hill (My son has the Shred snow skate and loves it!)
We’ve had fun with a Kick Scooter with ski attachment as well.
And if your child needs more balance, check out these Tri Scooters with skis.
- Snow toys (including snowball slingshots!) – See a giant assortment of fun toys here from Airhead Sports.
- A step counter to encourage walking and daily active living. My son has the Garmin Vivofit Jr. Activity Tracker. So far our only complaints are that the battery needs replacing frequently and we’ve gone through several straps. Otherwise, we’ve enjoyed it a lot.
Another idea for an activity tracker, that can be charged without replacing batteries, is the Fitbit Ace which my son moved up to after the Garmin Vivofit.
- Active toys for indoor or outdoor play. I personally love the ninja toys (rope ladders, zip lines, and slacklines) from the Slackers company.
- New ice skates for the winter, or inline skates for the summer (and add a hockey stick if buying ice skates)
- A One World Futbol, an unpoppable soccer ball that never needs a pump and never goes flat. Perfect for travel, vacations, camping, or just the backyard. And, when you buy one of these balls, the company donates a portion of the price to organizations helping to bring play to youth in disadvantaged communities.
- Fitivities, the board game that moves you – “Each individual or team competes against each other by completing the number of repetitions of a given exercise, which are determined by the spin of the arrow.”
“Fitivities is part board game, part workout, and all fun.”
- And check out these ideas for active toys from the Active for Life Gift Guide.
The Gift of Experience and Fun – Gift cards, ski discount cards, and more!
Want something that’s less about collecting “stuff” and more about family bonding and fun adventure?
Gift cards for local indoor playgrounds, indoor bike parks and climbing gyms
https://ontariorockclimbing.com/climbing-gyms/Give the kids a gift card to use at a Calgary Climbing Centre climb park. This website list the climbing gyms in Ontario
Ski Discount Cards, Tube Park Passes, or lift tickets for your local ski hill
Below are a few suggestions here:
- Ski discount cards make great Christmas gifts.
- Tube park passes make another great stocking stuffer.
- Pick up some lift tickets and surprise the kids with a ski day at one of their favourite hills. Most hills have incentives for multi-day skiing or provide discounted pricing if you purchase lift passes online.
Check out my complete set of holiday gift guides
A Holiday Gift Guide for Happy CampersA Holiday Gift Guide for Active Kids A Ski Family’s Holiday Gift Guide A Holiday Gift Guide for Outdoor Families: Trips, Activities, and Tours A Holiday Gift Guide for Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing Top Ten Christmas Gifts for Snowy Winter Fun
Big Thanks to all sponsors of this year’s holiday gift guide!
– All Out Kids Gear
– Altitude Sports
– B-Line Indoor Bike Park
– The Calgary Climbing Centre
– Trail Blazers