Join A National Park Junior Ranger Program:
If you are fortunate enough to live in an area with a national park, you can take your child to join the Junior Ranger Program. There are some great resources available to you for research. This site gives you a list of all the parks that offer Junior Ranger programs. The recommended age by the National Park Service is 5-13, but the program is opened to anyone. There are lots of resources under the site, NPS Kids, including some things you can do to get started at home.
WMTDS (What Makes This Date Special):
This date with your child is unique because there are so many things you can explore together under this program. This encourages you and your family to get outdoors, learn about nature, exercise, and interact with so many things in the outdoors. Also, you simply never know how impactful this can be on their lives as they grow up.
This idea allows you to teach your child about anything you want outdoors in a national park environment.
You may not have an opportunity to join the national park Junior Ranger program; you can still spend quality time with your child in the national or state parks. Your child may be too old to be interested in the program, but that doesn’t have to stop the two of you from visiting a park together.
You can create your program for state parks in your area, or if your child is young enough, you can do the same thing with playgrounds in your community. Create your checklist with stamps that you can pick up at the dollar store.
The National Park Service Junior Ranger program books are generally free. If you are interested, there are also passport books you can purchase that allow you to collect stamps at the parks.
This date will require some advanced planning. If you are interested in the national park Junior Ranger program, make sure you check out the listing of parks that offer the program.
No materials needed
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For a list of other ideas on how to spend one-on-one time with your child, see the full list here.