Saturday, May 25, 2013

Minn. State Parks offer fun activities for kids

Minnesota State Parks
Junior Park Naturalist patches
If traveling to Minnesota, its state parks offer a variety of programs for children. By participating, you’ll find your children not only come away with great memories but also learn something about nature.

Minnesota state parks (where I’m currently traveling) offer:
g Junior Park Naturalist patches/certificates – Download a nature activity booklet about pinelands, prairies or hardwoods; when children complete them, they can attend a program at the park and receive a free patch and certificate.
g Park Explorer patches – Kids who’ve completed the Junior Park naturalist program can purchase activity books about nature, history and the earth, at the park gift store. Completing the activity book earns the child a Park Explorer patch.
g Project Learning Tree – A number of nature-oriented family games and puzzles are available online via the Minnesota DNR. Volunteers and park rangers sometimes offer nature programs at park visitor centers as well.

Walking events frequently are held at many state parks. Some focus on birdwatching, others on wildflowers or wildlife, and few on the geological sites.

Be sure to check out the park system online for a full list of activities in the state where you’re traveling.

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.