Gift Idea: Explorer Kit


Autumn is birthday season in our family, and every year I’m faced with the same question: what gift to get kids that already have everything? Books are a given, but they have a playroom spilling over with toys, so I like to think of alternative ideas to put together for them, or things I can make for them myself. Or both. One idea I’d been working on for a while, waiting for the right time, is an ‘Explorer Kit’. Of course, any age is good for exploring – whether you live in the countryside, surrounded by fields and forests, or are a city dweller in search of urban nature spots, kids love to get outside and get exploring. But his sixth birthday seemed like the perfect time to hand over a fully stocked Explorer Kit.

So, what did I put in it?

  • A bug box, to examine all manner of creepy crawlies up close – with a built in magnifying glass, plenty of ventilation holes, and a pair of tweezers.
  • A compass.
  • A pair of binoculars.
  • A children’s pocket knife.
  • A notebook and pencils.
  • The ‘Small Adventures Journal’ by Keiko Brodeur.
  • And a draw string bag to keep everything in.
  • I also added a hand made flower press, for some of the treasures we may bring home.


The ‘Small Adventures Journal – A Little Field Guide for Big Discoveries in Nature‘ (affiliate link) is a fantastic little book. It contains check lists for things like what outdoor gear you need for an excursion or what to put in your first aid kit; picture reference guides for map symbols, various plants, birds, star constellations, mores code, knots and much more; instructions on how to make a sling shot, smudge stick, spore print or time capsule; and plenty of space to record your exploration findings such as cloud watching, texture rubbings, tree spotting, and other observations. We can’t wait to get stuck in!

Check back later in the week, when I’ll be sharing a tutorial on how I made the flower press!

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