Skill-Based Gift Ideas to Suit Every Survival Kid

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gifts for adventurous kids

My kids were raised in an adventurous family. We live to swim against the stream and take on challenges of all kinds. At times, it seemed as though I was raising feral children, but now in their teen years, they’ve turned out okay after all! Adventure is good for kids because it developed self-confidence and an “I can do it attitude.”

Over the years on this blog, we’ve posted lists of skills kids should have and it occurred to me that kids who learn these skills are leading lives of adventure, filled with challenges, and gaining confidence that will carry them through their adulthood. Why give your favorite kid the latest, hottest toy when you can give them something that has significance and meaning/

This gift list takes various skills from my series of “Skills your child should know”, and provides suggestions for fun gifts that will teach and support those skills. What’s even better about these lists and gift suggestions is that they make learning a new survival skill fun and will most likely involve everyone in the family. It’s hard to beat that combination.

From our original, classic list, “32 Survival Skills Your Child Should Know and Be Able to Do ASAP!

SKILL: Grow vegetables from seeds.

GIFT: A Grow Bottle from I love the idea of giving a gift that is an all-in-one kit for growing a practical and edible plant. Just for fun, check out these holiday ornaments that contain seeds for plants like Dog Grass, Catnip, and Wintergreen.

SKILL: Know basic first aid.

GIFT:very kid-friendly first aid kit, the medibag.

SKILL: How to read a map and use a compass.

GIFT: A copy of Survivor Kid and a good quality compass.

To see the complete list of these skills and, hopefully, generate some gift ideas for the young ones in your life, click here.

From our list, “32 Basic Survival Skills for Kids”

SKILL: Pack your own survival pack.

GIFT: One of the very nice, quality packs from Flying Circle Bags. Include some basic supplies, like a LED flashlight or UV Paqlite, some high calorie “survival bars”, a roll of duct tape, and some paracord.

SKILL: Follow a recipe.

GIFT: A fun kids recipe book, measuring spoons, and other basic kitchen supplies.

SKILL: Make a meal without power.

GIFT: Materials to make a solar cooker, instructions, and the promise to work on this project together. The Solar Cooking Science Kit is a good place to start. I’d suggest the Sun Oven, but that’s a little pricey for a kid’s gift!

SKILL: Know and use home and natural remedies.

GIFT: A basket of mild essential oils (lavender and lemon, for example), seeds for an herb garden, and a copy of A Kid’s Herb Book. Buy the book ahead of time to get more ideas of what to include in that basket! We reviewed the book here.

Read the entire list of skills here.

Suburban and urban kids need plenty of skills, too! Here are gift ideas from “32 Mental and Urban Survival Skills for Kids

SKILL: Know how to manage money and set a budget.

GIFT: Financial Peace Junior and a small stash of Christmas gift cash to get the budget/savings process started.

SKILL: Self-defense.

GIFT: A series of lessons at a good, local martial arts school.

SKILL: Shoot a gun, including the use of eye and ear protection.

GIFT: An air-soft rifle, BB gun or .22 rifle. Include goggles and good quality ear protection.

To review the entire list of mental and urban survival skills, click here.

Finally, wilderness survival skills from our list, “32 Wilderness Survival Skills for Kids

SKILL: Tie different types of knots.

GIFT: A roll of paracord and knot-tying instructions. This game, Knot So Fast, combines knot tying with some fun competition.

SKILL: Dutch oven cooking.

GIFT: Their own Dutch oven, a Dutch oven cookbook, heat-safe mitts, and a chimney charcoal starter. Boys and girls alike will love learning this skill!

SKILL: Identify and understand animal tracks and scat.

GIFT: The Who Pooped…? series of books features animal scat information for different parts of the country, including the Black Hills and a few other National Parks. A book my kids thoroughly enjoyed is Tracks, Scats and Signs.

Our entire list of wilderness skills can be found here.


Enjoy these gift suggestions now in the holiday season and for every special occasion throughout the year!


4 thoughts on “Skill-Based Gift Ideas to Suit Every Survival Kid”

  1. I was thinking of getting my daughter a cheese making or candle making kit. Both fun for a crafty kid and teach useful skills.

  2. Thanks for this! I bought two copies, one for each of my grandsons who are both of ‘that age’ where animal poop will fascinate them.

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