My 4-year-old daughter, Ava, is becoming quite the little explorer – she loves animals and being outdoors, and I love that she is interested in something other than her electronics. It’s important to encourage your kids to get outside and get some fresh air, so I have been looking into taking a trip to a National Park over the summer – just me and Ava. It’ll be a great chance for us to bond, and it would be educational for her, too.
This year the National Parks Service is celebrating their 100th anniversary. Over the past century, the National Parks Service has grown to include over 400 locations and different landmarks. The organization works hard to preserve some of our most majestic locations, and the animals that call them their homes. With skyscrapers, highways, and condos going up everywhere – it is great to know that there are still some magical places full of wildlife and nature, and that will be here for many years to come.
Ava loves going on little hikes. She is only 4-years-old, so we don’t stray too far from home. But, her face just lights up when she sees little animals, bugs, or birds. National Geographic is a mainstay in our home, so I decided to see what kind of information they had on the National Parks – and boy I was not disappointed!
National Geographic Kids actually just unveiled four new books to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service. Ava is still learning, so she doesn’t do a whole lot of reading on her own, but she loves it when I read to her! We have been looking through the “National Geographic Kids National Park Guide Centennial Edition” together, and she was thrilled when I explained to her that we were going to be going to one of the parks in the book. I showed her all the photos of the animals that live there and, as always, Nat Geo’s photos are breathtaking!
Ava also loves National Geographic Kids’ “Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure.” Buddy Bison and his pals explore Yellowstone National Park and go on quite the adventure together in this fun (but still educational) book that is geared towards preschoolers. Not only does Ava love Buddy, but she also can’t get enough of all of the scenic photos and animals. And, I just love the fact that she loves books – regardless of what they are about!
If your kids are a bit older than Ava, National Geographic Kids also has a couple of books that may appeal to the more pre-tween crowd. Remember those super fun Madlibs books when we were kids? Well, Nat Geo has unveiled a National Parks themed one! “National Geographic Kids Funny Fill-In: My National Parks Adventure” will keep your kids busy for hours. They get to fill in their own nouns, verbs, and adjectives, and create their own silly stories about the parks and the animals that live in them.
Speaking of activity books, “National Geographic Kids Junior Ranger Activity Book” will keep your kids aged 8-12 years old busy for hours, and might even inspire them to become a Junior Ranger at the National Parks Service. The activity books are packed full of quizzes, jokes, games, word puzzles, and guides to some of the National Parks. If you are planning a trip to a National Park near you over the summer – this is a perfect way to get your kids excited, and prepared for the big day!
You can never start too young when it comes to teaching our children the value of the great outdoors – the wildlife and nature, and the National Parks Services helps us get that message across to our eager to learn little ones. If you are planning a family trip to a National Park this summer to celebrate their 100th anniversary, I highly recommend checking out Nat Geo Kids’ collection of park-inspired books to help get your kids excited and prepared.
Disclosure: I am part of the National Geographic Kids Insider program. I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.