Junior Ranger Programs
Are you looking for ways how to make history fun, educational, AND easy for you to do with your children? Check out the National Junior Ranger Program! My oldest children (now 16 and 14) loved it when they were younger and my youngest (3) is loving it now.
This program is available at all the National Parks and is a free event. Each park is different, but for the most part, they have a booklet you can print out at home or pick up at the park office with several different activities. Depending on your child’s age, they have to do between 3-5 activities, then go back and show a Ranger what they did and tell them about what they liked in the park. The Ranger will them get them to pledge to learn more about the park and take care of it. Finally, they present your child with a Junior Ranger badge specific for that park. Each park has their own, so it is fun for your children to collect them.
What to Expect
Depending on the park, the activities are based on history or science or both. Cole and I recently went to the Valley Forge National Park and learned about the Revolutionary War along with native Pennsylvania plants and animals. We did an activity where we learned about the Triangle of Defense. Another interesting facts we learned about was how George Washington planned the encampment in the safest spot for our soldiers. In addition, we learned that it took 80,000 trees to build the huts for the soldiers that winter! Finally, the finished off at a meadow and studied the Monarch butterflies that were on the milkweed. Valley Forge has over 1,000 acres of meadowlands for animals – one of the largest in southeastern Pennsylvania. Cole loves learning anything that has to do with large numbers like these! It was not too hard, and we could have done 9 other activities, but these 3 were perfect for us.
How to Find Programs
There are around 400 National Parks in the United States and almost all of them have Junior Ranger programs. Here’s a list of all the parks that have this program available – they are all ways how to make history fun. This page also has the Junior Ranger Song and in some downloads you can do at home. If you can’t get to a National Park, or your children just want to do more at home, check out the WebRangers – this website is also run by the National Parks and is geared for online fun and learning.
In addition, you can also join any or all of our Facebook Groups where other parents help give information about fun ways to learn (along with problems we ALL have 🙂 ) For more ways how to make history fun or other educational protects, check out the link below.
Things to do from Home
If you can’t go out to study history, and you have young ones. Check out our Ancient Culture Lesson Plan. This lesson plan is geared toward children 3-10 and can be used by multiple aged children at the same time. It has many activities for learning about these cultures through reading, writing, and science all through games and experiments.
If your children love science, then check out our lesson plan for Inventors! This was one of Cole’s favorite plans to help with – yes, I have my kids do all the activities to ensure that we’re only putting fun things in!