Sometimes it’s hard to get kids excited about going for a hike or exploring the outdoors. Here are four outdoor programs that will help get your kids eager to go play in the woods no matter where you are.
National Park Junior Ranger
The Junior Ranger is an activity-based educational program offered at almost all national parks, along with national monuments, national historic sites, etc. Their motto is “Explore, Learn and Protect” and those values are reinforced in the program activities.
Kids between the ages 5 to 12 years old who complete a prepared workbook or required activities can earn a free Junior Ranger badge.
Activities vary from going on a hike or attending a ranger program while the workbook includes fill-in-the-blank, coloring, and creative thinking questions. This program is great because it provides interesting park information for kids and gets them excited about learning.
Kids in Parks
Kids in Parks provide family-friendly outdoor adventures called TRACK Trails. Each TRACK Trails features self-guiding brochures and signs to help kids discover new things and have fun experiences in the outdoors.
TRACK Trails include hiking trails, biking trails, geocaching trails, paddling trails, disc golf trails, and even activities you can do in your own backyard.
Self-guiding brochures are available at a participating trailheads across the country. Kids can also earn prizes when they track their activities and keep a nature journal online.
Geocaching is the ultimate treasure hunt that your kids will love. Using a handheld GPS unit or even your phone, your family can search for treasures kept in containers of all shapes and sizes.
Geocaching will take you off the beaten path or through everyday locations.
There’s always a logbook to sign inside the caches along with a variety of inexpensive trinkets. The rule of geocaching is that if you take a trinket from the cache, you should always replace it with something of equal or greater value. Go to Gecaching.com to create an account and get GPS coordinates to start looking for treasures.
Great American Campout
Take any of the kid programs above and turn it into an overnight campout. You can participate in National Wildlife Federation’s Great America Campout event in June that encourages family to take the pledge to campout. Even though the national event occurs in June, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your kids camping any other time of the year.
Organized public campouts are available in various states to celebrate the Great American Campout event. Look for one here.
Great American Campout’s website provides great information for first time campers and camping activities such as games, crafts and recipes.
So which activity are your kids going to do on the next RV trip?