Best Subscriptions for Outdoor Kids

Think Outside offers the best overall value for an outdoor kids subscription

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Kids spend less time outside these days than they used to. In fact, children only spend only four to seven minutes of unstructured play outdoors per day versus seven and a half hours in front of electronic media. But, encouraging your kids to explore nature might be easier than you think, especially with the right tools. 

Nature-inspired subscription boxes can help foster a love and appreciation for the natural world while teaching your child important life skills. The best subscriptions for nature-loving kids offer a mix of fun and education while helping your child gain the confidence and knowledge they need for a lifetime of appreciating the world around them.

Best Subscriptions for Outdoor Kids of 2022

Best Overall : Think Outside


THiNK OUTSiDE

THiNK OUTSiDE

Key Specs
  • Pricing: starts at $39.95 for a monthly subscription + free shipping in the U.S.
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plan Options: 4
Why We Chose It 

Think Outside includes high-quality items in each box and has a variety of plan options and educational materials that teach children valuable life skills. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • High-quality gear included in each box

  • Free shipping in the U.S. 

  • Different themed boxes

Cons
  • Best for older kids ages 7 and up

  • Some activities require adult involvement and supervision 

The Think Outside box comes packed with useful information for kids to build the necessary skills and confidence to explore the world around them. One of the biggest perks of this subscription is the high-quality gear that comes in each box, like a waterproof backpack. Each new box comes with other useful pieces of gear, like a first aid kit, to add to the backpack, along with informative booklets, resource cards, and different outdoor challenges.

Each monthly box has a different theme, like navigation, star gazing, first aid, nutrition, and shelter building. The introduction box also comes with a poster showing all the monthly themes so your child can mark off each month when they have completed the lessons. Discounts are available when you pay quarterly, semi-annually, and annually.

Plans & Pricing

There is only one subscription plan offered at Think Outside, but if you pay ahead of time, you can get a discount on your monthly cost. The four options include:

  • Monthly: $39.95/month
  • Quarterly: $38.95/month
  • Semi-annually: $37.50/month
  • Annually: $35.95/month

Best for Future Gardeners : Tikes Garden Box


Tikes Garden Box

Tikes Garden Box

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Starts at $25 for a monthly subscription + shipping costs which vary based on location
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plan Options: 4
Why We Chose It 

Each Tikes Garden box comes with all the supplies your child needs to grow their own plants, fruits, herbs, and vegetables. The easy-to-follow instructions and fun monthly themes empower kids to take ownership of what they grow. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Simple instructions  

  • Different monthly themes 

  • Provides all the necessary supplies

Cons
  • Not customizable

  • Due to state agricultural restrictions, does not currently ship to Arizona, Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico 

The Tikes Garden Box is our best pick for future gardeners because each box comes with everything kids need to assemble and grow their own little themed gardens. Different contents include herbs and fruit plants, perennials, houseplants, and more.

This box is best suited for kids ages 6 to 10, but the instructions are visually compelling and easy to follow, even if your child is new to reading. Each box is tailored to the season with simple plant care tips, all the materials you’ll need, and properly portioned ingredients. Examples of what might come in a box include living plants, bulbs, seeds, soil, or pots. 

Plans & Pricing

Subscriptions automatically renew and you can cancel anytime. Depending on how you pay for your monthly subscription, you can save on your monthly cost. These are the four payment options:

  • Month to month: $25
  • 3-month prepay: $72
  • 6-month prepay: $140
  • 12-month prepay: $275

Best for Arts & Crafts : Green Kids Craft Box


Green Kids Craft

Green Kids Craft

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Starting at $29.95 for a monthly subscription + free U.S. shipping
  • Delivery: Monthly 
  • Number of Plan Options: 4
Why We Chose It

The Green Kid Crafts box offers four to six educator-designed art projects in each box, encouraging kids to use their creativity as they discover the world around them. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free shipping in the U.S. 

  • One tree planted for each order 

  • Helps kids engage in nature in creative ways 

Cons
  • Does not accept returns 

  • Additional cost for shipping outside the U.S.

The Green Kids Craft Box delivers up to six STEM-inspired and nature-focused art projects to your door every month. The activities are fun and engaging and encourage exploration through backyard experiments, creative engineering challenges, and art.

This subscription box is meant for kids ages 5 to 10. Older children may be able to do many of the activities themselves, but younger kids will need some adult involvement and supervision. Green Kid Crafts does not accept returns but will replace items if your box arrives damaged. 

Plans & Pricing

Like the other subscriptions on this list, you can save on your monthly cost if you opt for a multi-month subscription. Here are the options:

  • Monthly subscription: $29.95
  • 3-month subscription: $27.95/box
  • 6-month subscription: $26.95/box
  • 12-month subscription: $24.95/box

Best for Animal Lovers : The Creature Crew


The Creature Crew

The Creature Crew

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Starting at $24.99 for monthly subscription + free shipping
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plan Options: 3
Why We Chose It 

The Creature Crew subscription box provides hands-on activities and projects to spark your child’s imagination and interest in the animal kingdom. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free shipping

  • Can add additional workbook pages and activities for $7

  • Involves various areas of skill-building, like nature observation, mapping, and research

Cons
  • Only three subscription options 

  • Not able to choose box contents

The Creature Crew monthly box offers facts, insights, and projects focused on different types of animals and their habitats. You get a different creature collectible gift, hands-on activities, and animal-themed kid-friendly recipes every month. 

Your creature explorer will also receive an official creature crew binder to store the activity guides and information cards that come with each kit. These educational materials are particularly compelling for kids because they use diagrams, charts, and maps to present the information in a way that’s easy to process. Each box has a monthly theme like ocean creatures or animal eyes. Plus, you’ll also get a color-coded animal map and animal stickers to add to each animal habitat you learn about. 

Plans & Pricing

Options include:

  • Month to month for $24.99/month
  • 6-month subscription at $22.99/month
  • 12-month subscription at $19.99/month

Best for Learning About Rocks and Fossils : Excavating Adventures


Excavating Adventures

Excavating Adventures

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Starting at $19.99 + free shipping
  • Delivery: Monthly
  • Number of Plan Options: 3
Why We Chose It 

Excavating Adventures gives kids the chance to discover, identify, and collect up to 10 real scientific specimens from around the world in each box.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Less than $20 a month  

  • Different types of kits with different price points

  • Can cancel at any time 

Cons
  • Does not ship to countries outside the U.S. 

  • Lower cost plans come with fewer specimens 

If your kid loves to dig and collect rocks, Excavating Adventures was made for them. Each Excavating Adventures kit offers kids the chance to explore and investigate different terrains and textures, like instant snow, kinetic sand, and slime to help them excavate their own unique specimens.

One unique perk of Excavating Adventures is the variety of different plan options and kits. You can get a mini dig kit for less than $10 a month (with an annual subscription) that includes one new specimen and a corresponding trading card. Or, select their largest kit for $17.99 (for a monthly subscription) and receive 10 new specimens in each box along with trading cards and a collector’s case. 

Regardless of the type of kit you choose, you can sign up for a monthly, semi-annual, or annual subscription, and cancel at any time. 

Plans & Pricing 

These are three kits available at Excavating Adventures:

  • The Mini Dig kit offers three different pricing options: You can choose from a monthly subscription for $11.99 per box, a 6-month subscription for $10.99 per box, or an annual subscription for $9.99 per box.
  • The Explorer kit offers three different pricing options: You can choose from a monthly subscription for $16.99 per box, a 6-month subscription for $15.99 per box, or an annual subscription for $14.99per box.
  • The Collector kit offers three different pricing options: You can choose from a monthly subscription for $17.99 per box, a 6-month subscription for $16.99 per box, or an annual subscription for $15.99 per box.

Best on a Budget : Little Passports Early Explorers


Key Specs
  • Pricing: Starts at $27.95 for a monthly subscription + free shipping
  • Delivery: Monthly 
  • Number of Plan Options: 3
Why We Chose It 

The Little Passports Early Explorers subscription box starts at only $23.95 a month for an annual subscription, making it one of the least expensive options we reviewed. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Engaging for young children

  • Free shipping in the U.S. 

  • Can cancel anytime 

Cons
  • Some international shipping costs

  • Not customizable 

The Little Passports Early Explorers subscription box costs under $25 a month for an annual subscription, making it one of the least expensive options we considered for this list. The subscription is intended for younger children ages 3 to 5 and offers hands-on activities, games, and stories to explore the world’s wonders, from oceans to animals to different cultures. 

Each box comes with activities, puzzles, games, and fun facts related to a particular theme along with one craft activity and stickers. You can choose from three different plan options and can cancel your subscription at any time. 

Plans & Pricing

Like most subscriptions, you can save if you commit to longer subscriptions. These are the prices:

  • Monthly subscription: $27.95/month
  • 6-month subscription: $25.95/month
  • 12-month subscription: $23.95/month

Best for Kids Under 5 : Green Kids Craft Junior Box


Green Kids Craft

Green Kids Craft

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Starts at $29.95 for a monthly subscription + free U.S. shipping 
  • Delivery: Monthly 
  • Number of Plan Options: 4
Why We Chose It 

The Green Kid Crafts junior box is designed specifically for preschoolers to help them develop scientific skills and pique their natural curiosity for the world around them. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Engaging monthly themes 

  • DIY extras included

  • Created with sustainable materials 

Cons
  • Does not offer prorated refunds 

  • Additional cost for international shipping

This box is the younger child version of the Green Kids Craft Junior Box geared towards kids ages 5 to 10. The junior box was created for preschoolers to lay the groundwork for the development of scientific, environmental, and creativity skills and interests. 

Each box comes with four to six projects and a magazine guide. The junior box is a little more craft-focused than the discovery box, which is meant for older kids and focuses more on scientific experiments and principles. The Green Kid Crafts junior box also comes with monthly emails for parents that include DIY extras to go along with the box’s monthly theme. 

Plans & Pricing

You can save on your cost if you commit to longer subscription periods. Here are the prices:

  • Monthly subscription: $29.95/month
  • 3-month subscription: $27.95/month
  • 6-month subscription: $26.95/month
  • 12-month subscription: $24.95/month

Best for Hikers : Isle Box Little Hiker


Isle Box

Isle Box

Key Specs
  • Pricing: $35 for one box + shipping costs which vary by location
  • Delivery: One-time purchase 
  • Number of Plan Options: 1
Why We Chose It 

The Little Hiker box from Isle Box subscriptions comes with outdoor supplies curated by experts who are parents to make hiking a little bit easier with kids. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Hand-curated products  

  • Comes with products for both kids and parents 

  • High-quality items 

Cons
  • No customer service number listed on the website 

  • Difficult website navigation

The Isle Box Little Hiker box is part of the Isle Box subscription brand that caters to outdoor adventurers and enthusiasts. Isle Box offers a selection of high-quality products to enhance the hiking experience, including lifestyle and apparel items, trail snacks, and tools. 

The Little Hiker box is a one-time purchase you can make through Isle Box that is curated for kids. It includes an adult piece of apparel or outdoor gear, plus two to three trail snack options for kids, like goldfish or granola bars, and an item specifically for kids to explore on a hike, like a little trail book where they can write down or draw what they see.  

Plans & Pricing
  • $35/box

Best for Engaging the Entire Family : Hiker Crate


Hiker Crate

Hiker Crate

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Starts at $43 for a monthly subscription + $8 shipping 
  • Delivery: Monthly 
  • Number of Plan Options: 4
Why We Chose It 

The Hiker Crate subscription box comes with high-quality gear and materials to get the whole family outdoors and on a hiking trail. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • High-quality gear 

  • Estimated value of $65 per box 

  • Four plan options 

Cons
  • Shipping costs $8 

  • No educational materials 

The Hiker Crate is a monthly subscription box that comes with three to four trail snacks, like beef jerky or trail mix, and two to four pieces of hiking gear or accessories. Items that have been included in previous boxes include hammocks, solar chargers, headlamps, water bottles, and water filters.

This box is great for both experienced hikers and newbies wanting to get outside more as a family. Each box comes with hiking essentials that will encourage you and your kids to explore the great outdoors. 

Hiker crate does offer refunds, but only if all items in the box are unopened and unused. Subscriptions automatically renew on the 28th day of the month of your billing period and you can cancel anytime. 

Plans & Pricing

Pricing for the Hiker crate depends on how long you subscribe. Prices are structured as follows:

  • Monthly subscription: $43/month
  • 3-month subscription: $42/month
  • 6-month subscription: $40/month
  • 12-month subscription: $38/month

Final Verdict

With engaging educational materials combined with high-quality products, the Think Outside subscription box is our top pick for the best subscription for nature-loving kids. With outdoor activities, toys, games, and challenges, plus fun monthly themes, the boxes encourage kids to get out outside and explore the world around them. The flexibility of four different plan options also gives consumers choices, and no matter which one you choose, shipping within the U.S. is always free. 

If you’re looking for something relatively inexpensive for your 3- to 5-year-old, the Little Passports Early Explorers box may be the perfect fit. Each box contains everything from crafts and stickers to fun activities about the world and the creatures within it that your little one is sure to love. 

Compare the Best Subscriptions for Outdoorsy Kids

Company Pricing + Shipping  Delivery  Number of Plans  Customizable? 
Think Outside
Best Overall
$35.95–$39.95/month; free shipping Monthly No
Tikes Garden Box
Best for Future Gardeners 
$25/month–$275 for a prepaid annual subscription + shipping costs based on location  Monthly  No 
Green Kids Craft Box
Best for Arts and Crafts 
$24.95–$29.95/month; free shipping  Monthly  No 
The Creature Crew
Best for Animal Lovers 
$19.99–$24.99/month; free shipping  Monthly  Can add additional materials for $7
Excavating Adventures
Best for Learning about Rocks and Fossils 
$9.99–$17.90/month; free shipping  Monthly  No 
Little Passports Early Explorers
Best on a Budget 
$23.95–$27.95/month; free shipping  Monthly  No 
Green Kids Craft Junior Box
Best for Kids Under 5 
$24.95–$29.95/month; free shipping  Monthly  No 
Isle Box Little Hiker
Best for Hikers
$35 + shipping costs based on location  One time No 
Hiker Crate
Best for Engaging the Entire Family
$38–$43 per month + $8 shipping  Monthly  No 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know if a Nature Subscription Is Right For My Child?

The subscriptions featured here are meant to provide engaging, educational, and fun activities to encourage discovery in nature, but they may not be the best fit for every child. Whether or not a nature subscription is right for you and your family will depend on your child’s age, desire to be outside, and ability to follow directions and stay on task. 

Will Nature Subscriptions Make a Good Gift for Most Children?

While each child is different, most kids enjoy being outside and can learn a lot from nature as they explore it. And no matter their age or development stage, spending time outside benefits all kids. Gifting a child with a nature subscription is a great way to encourage their curiosity about the natural world and allows them to try out the product at no cost. 

Will a Nature Subscription Keep My Kids Playing Outside?  

There’s no guarantee that a nature subscription will keep kids outside, but many of the subscriptions featured here can certainly encourage outdoor exploration and lay the groundwork for appreciating the wonders of nature. 

Can I Cancel My Subscription During Winter Months and Resubscribe in Spring?

Most of the companies featured here will allow you to cancel your subscription and resubscribe at any time. If you’re wondering about how to pause your subscription or policies regarding cancellation, reach out to the company’s customer service. 

Methodology

We considered over 20 companies when creating this round-up of outdoor subscriptions that motivate kids to go outside. We narrowed down the list to feature the best boxes that contain high-quality products, provide activities that are engaging and educational, and offer a range of pland and prices.

Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Recreation and Park Association. "Children in Nature."

Edited by
April McCormick
April McCormick

April is the health editor for performance marketing at Verywell, where she oversees family health, wellness, and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Time, Parents Magazine, The Huffington Post, TripSavvy, Parenting.com, First Time Mom and Dad, Mama Mia, All4Women, the New York Times Bestseller, A Letter To My Mom, and more.

Learn about our editorial process