The Junior Ranger Program
A National Parks Service Activity
One of the most important tips for going on a road trips with kids is to find a way to keep kids occupied during the long hours on the road. One way to help build a sense of anticipation for the next destinations is to get your kids involved with the Junior Ranger Program offered at many of the national parks in the USA.
The Junior Rangers is a series of activity based programs that are sponsored by the National Park Service that give kids the opportunity to learn in depth information about national parks.
Though many families on a road trip with kids may be interested in seeing all that a national park may have to offer, the experience of touring a national park may prove to be overwhelming for kids, and they may miss important details about these educationally rich destinations.
For this reason, participating in the Junior Ranger Program can give kids an opportunity to truly learn about the park while enjoying their family travel adventures.
The Junior Rangers is geared toward children between the ages of 5 and 12, but the parks program will not stop a child outside of the age range from joining in.
In order to participate, you will need to obtain one of the junior ranger activity books that are available either for free or a nominal fee at the various national parks visitors' centers.
These books contain puzzles and other activities that can help the entire family to relax and unwind during breaks in a road trip with kids while on their family travel adventures.
Kids can participate by visiting any of the national parks in the USA that are currently participating in the Junior Rangers. An updated list of participating parks is always available at the National Parks website.
National Parks Junior Ranger Program
The booklets will contain information that can be used to help you and your family explore the various parks, while giving your children the chance to complete their workbook.
Once the activities inside of the booklet are completed, you and your child must turn in the booklet to a parks employee. After the activities are checked and the answers are deemed correct, your child will earn a junior ranger badge for that particular park.
Though the Junior Rangers, materials are developed to be completed by the kids themselves, you can certainly ask a parks employee for assistance if your child has trouble completing a particular section of the book.
Because the Junior Ranger Program is aimed at helping kids take more of an active interest in the national parks, your kids will learn about the nature and landmarks in the park from a child’s point of view.
Though it may seem insignificant, taking the time to allow your child to complete this program will help broaden their sense of adventure and help them feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete the work while on their family travel adventures.
The lessons contained in these programs will also help your child to feel a sense of ownership for the various national parks, and this knowledge will stick with them for many years to come.
Families who take road trips with kids to multiple national parks in the USA will find that their kids look forward to participating in the Junior Ranger Program in more than one park in order to build a collection of junior ranger badges.
Though Junior Rangers is a fun destination activity for road trips with kids, the fun doesn't have to end when you get back on the road. At the WebRangers website, children can participate in the junior ranger programs online.
The WebRangers site has more than 50 parks related games that will help teach kids more information about our national parks, and these online games will help keep kids busy when you're on the road to your next park or your next family travel adventures.
National Parks WebRanger Program
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