my daghter uses an eberlestock
X1, has been since she was 10. it is expensive but i can use it as well and it will last her a lifetime. for a sleeping bag buy a womens one the youth arent worth it in my opinion after having one, they outgrow it very quick and the features are too limited.
my daughters carry water, survival items, ipod, and a ton of snacks along with rain/ cold gear in theirs for day hikes and they tell me to quit asking them if it is too heavy. my 12 yr old also carries the little tikka to get used to the weight and says it is fine.
great to see your kids taking an interest, should make for a lifetime of fun.