We are a family that loves the outdoors! If we don't get our nature fix at least once a month, we are cranky and stifled. Personally, I would much rather spend the day going trail walking, mountain biking or going out on the water than going shopping, to the spa or to an amusement park. I need to be far, far away from crowds and congestion.
National Geographic Kids, in partner with the National Park Trust, just announced their second annual National Kids to Parks Day is this Saturday, May 19th! This fun, nationwide event serves to encourage kids and families to get outside to play.
I wholeheartedly agree with getting kids outside to enjoy our communities' parks; I can always tell a positive difference in my chickadees' behavior and attitudes when they've had the chance to spread their wings in nature. Let me just say it's completely different from their behavior after watching the boob tube for two straight hours!
National Kids to Parks Day event has a lot of cool elements to introduce your kids to our country's beautiful parks. For starters, show your kids the U.S. National Parks photo gallery to get them inspired. It's funny - looking at these gorgeous photos of national parks below, three of the four I've actually visited - each with a different ex-boyfriend, but none with my husband. Maybe I'll save Crater Lake for him...
|Grand Canyon in Arizona - Been There!|
Photo Credit: Kevin Byrne, National Geographic My Shot
|Redwoods in Northern California - Been There!|
Photo Credit: Randy Steffens, National Geographic My Shot
|Crater Lake - Haven't Been There YET!|
Photo Credit: Tyson Fisher, National Geographic My Shot
|Zion in Southern Utah - Been There!|
Photo Credit: Ovidiu Ifrim, National Geographic My Shot
The next step you can take to educate the fledgling outdoorsmen/chicks in your life is to get yourself one of the "National Parks Guide U.S.A."; it's a great way to bring the fun and amazement of these majestic places to kids. Divided by region, this guide makes the parks seem more accessible and a lot of fun.
Great news - they're giving away ten copies of the National Parks Guide U.S.A.! Enter here.
Another cool tool they've made available to outdoor enthusiasts is their app: "National Parks by National Geographic". This app lets you explore U.S. national parks easily on iPhones. Hopefully they will make it available for the Droid soon too! From NatGeo: "Help your kids get the full Kids to Parks Day experience with National Geographic editor's recommendations on park must-dos, photo tips, park secrets and more."
Ironically, we are going to be at a park this Saturday for a two year old's birthday party. I'm sure the hostess knew it was Kids to Parks Day when she picked the date and location. If not; I'll make sure to tell her.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for writing this post. Facts and photos provided by National Geographic Kids; opinions remain my own.