**A Geek Daddy received the featured products for free**
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Parks Service which manages 59 National Parks as well as numerous historical sites and wilderness preservation areas spread out across the United States and its territories. This centennial milestone presents a nice occasion for making a family road trip to explore what our national parks system has to offer. While our family won't be able to travel to any of the major parks managed by The National Park Service this year, we are planning on visiting a few locations that are in our own backyard including trips to southeastern Michigan's River Raisin National Battlefield Park, which we've never been to before, and northern Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which we regularly make an effort to stop by each summer. Whether you are planning a week long family vacation to Yellowstone National Park or a short weekend outing to a local historical site or conservation area managed by the National Park Service, National Geographic KiDS has published several books that are meant to amuse and educate children during these types of trips. My son is particularly excited about taking the National Geographic KiDS Junior Ranger Activity Book along with us on our upcoming adventures within the national park system.
To plan your own National Parks adventure visit findyourpark.com and by entering your zip code can find a variety of locations to visit that are within a road trip distance from your home. A good week to consider taking a road trip is coming up soon in NATIONAL PARK WEEK (April 16 - 21, 2016) when admission is FREE to all of the 127 properties managed by the National Parks System that have a daily admission fee. Other entrance fee free days taking place in 2016 include August 25 - 18 (celebrating the National Park Service's birthday), September 24 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11th (Veterans Day).
When making a visit to one of these parks with children, make sure to bring along National Geographic KiDS' great line of National Parks books which include the Junior Ranger Activity Book I mentioned above, as well as Funny Fill-In: My National Parks Adventure, Buddy Bison's Yellowstone Adventure, and the Centennial Edition National Parks Guide U.S.A.
Buddy Bison's Yellowstone Adventure created by National Geographic KiDS in partnership with the National Park Trust (a non-profit land conservancy dedicated to preserving America's scenic wonders and wild spaces in association with the National Park Service) is a perfect book to read to young children to introduce them to our National Parks. It tells the story of two children who visit Yellowstone National Park with their Aunt Rosa who is a park ranger. When Elena and Christoper get separated from their aunt and become lost, a bison named Buddy (who also happens to be the mascot for the National Park Trust) gives them a tour of Yellowstone while leading them to safety. The book meshes together incredible real life photography of Yellowstone National Park with cartoon characters to tell its story which is sure to delight preschoolers and early readers. It's charming tale is sprinkled with interesting tidbits about the park, weird-but-true facts about animals and fun trivia. Recommended for kids 4 to 8 years old.
Funny Fill-In: My National Parks Adventure will keep a child occupied during a trip with amusing word games associated with elements of the national park system. Recommended for children ages 8 - 12.
Junior Ranger Activity Book is packed full of games, trivia, jokes, fun facts and other interesting aspects for kids that will both educate them about the country's 59 National Parks and entertain them at the same time. Meant for kids 8 to 12 years old, this 160 page activity book is inspired by the National Park Service's outdoor-based Junior Ranger Program.
National Parks Guide U.S.A. provides an overview of America's national parks full of maps, color photographs, and fun tips for visits to specific National Parks. This 176 page book is recommend for children 8 - 12 years old though this 40 year old dad found it very interesting and informative to peruse. From Acadia to Zion this book provides a great road map for exploring the properties managed by the National Park Service. My kids particularly liked the suggestions for animal sightings and other activities to do during specific visits to a variety of park locations across the United States.
So are you planning a visit to a National Park this year? Which park is your favorite to visit or is there one you haven't visited yet but really want to?
A Geek Daddy is a member of the National Geographic Kids Insider blogger program. Insiders get a behind-the-scenes look at National Geographic’s resources, activities, content and projects for kids and families. They also review copies of books, magazines and toys, and are offered interviews with authors, explorers and editors. I do not receive any financial compensation for my participation as a National Geographic Kids Insider.