(This photo is by my brother. Oh, and Hallee eventually took the tag of her pack. ;) )
Last year for Christmas, as we struggled through the age-old debate of what can we give them that won't clutter up our house or be broken or forgotten in no time, we decided to go uber-practical. The bonus, was it ended up also being super fun.
David's parents prefer to give our kids experiences rather than stuff (which we love), so we decided to partner with them. They gave our kids a year-long membership to the Wild Explorers Club, and we gave them the adventure packs that kicked off the first club "assignment" and would give them the gear they could use for exploring.
We are way behind on club assignments-- getting back into it is one of my goals for this summer-- but in the meantime we have all loved receiving the club magazine each month. The have been read and flipped-through multiple times, and will be a collection worth saving.
We had a ton of fun putting these packs together, and over the last six months, they have loved them and the independence that their little adventure pack gives them (it's amazing how special carrying one's own snack can feel :) ).
From our local botanical gardens, to the hill behind my parents' house, to taking a jaunt on the Pacific Crest Trail, these packs have given my kids what they need as we've ventured out into the wild.
Now that they've been enjoying them for a while, I wanted to share what our kids' adventure packs include in case you're interested in putting together a similar one. I'm sharing my Amazon affiliate links here because that's where I bought everything-- talk about easy. When the boxes started arriving at Christmastime I had the best time ever putting these together.
- Fjallraven Kanken Mini Daypack. The best (and cutest) pack for adventuring, which I first saw on Instagram and feel in love with. Amazon has great deals on some colors. Look online for videos on using the straps if you need help adjusting them.
- Eco-friendly collapsible water bottles. Normally my kids use stainless steel, but I wanted something light. They think these are super awesome.
- Pocket folding magnifying glass. These are like magic to my kids.
- Sketch pad for nature journaling on the go, or back at home. Gigi and I have watercolor pages but my littles tend to do lots of rough sketches of things they see so they just have regular sketch pads for now.
- Carson AdventurePak. This was a great find and makes up the bulk of their exploring tools. This fairly inexpensive kit comes with decent binoculars + case, compass, flashlight (not pictured), and whistle/thermometer.
- We add to all this snacks, a pack of kleenex, a pencil or two, chapstick, and whatever else they want to bring along.
For summer, we're reworking the adventure packs for toting their own beach gear (praise hands for the mama who is retiring from carrying all the stuff), and keeping the tools we don't need for the beach handy to put back in for day hikes or camping trips.
These packs make my kids feel super "official" and adventure-ish and getting their packs ready to go is a fun part of getting ready to go out and explore.
Be sure to check out the Wild Explorers Club (and #wildexplorersclub on IG) for more inspiration for getting kids out exploring. (This isn't a sponsored post or anything, just sharing a tip about something we love.)
To the wild!