I started doing the free Junior Ranger program from Florida State Parks with Ranger D when he was in Kindergarten. My Ranger D loved it so much that we are working on getting his second set of stamps. 

Junior Ranger D with his completed project.
Junior Ranger D with his completed Junior Ranger project.

This program is all put together for you, all you need to do is print the different pages you are going to complete at your visit to the State Parks. The papers are informative as well as open-ended enough that they can be used at different parks and more than once. Check out the website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/junior-ranger 

Florida State Park Junior Ranger

State parks also offer several different free learning opportunities for both kids and adults. I have taken Ranger D and Princess D to many events. https://www.floridastateparks.org/index.php/events. I will say that most of the activities are adult-friendly, but my kids have learned quite a bit from them. Koreshan State Park is our local park that does several kids friendly events throughout the year. I would enjoy seeing more kids friendly learning activities offered. I have figured out a way to get more kids friendly activities as well as get into the parks for free. Want to know my secret? 

Ask!

Get a group of kids together, whether that’s a homeschool group, school field trip, after school club, or Trail Life troop/heritage girls troop/ boy scout troop/girl scout troop. Then, approach your local state park manager and ask. Ask if they would be willing to share different nature or park-related activities with the kids. Some ideas could include: the history of the park, controlled burns- why they are important and how they do them- nature walks, talks about the local animals in the park, the list goes on and on. There is so much information a state park ranger can share with kids. 

My family and I enjoy visiting the different state parks as we travel around and go camping. Yes, we do “true” camping with a tent and everything!. We all enjoy it and have good quality time together as we camp. I would recommend camping as a great way to unwind and spend family time away from all the distractions of life- phone, TV, computers, social media, etc. Not only do we bond with each other. But, we also take time to enjoy the wonderful world God has created. It’s so beautiful and detailed. 

Please leave a comment if you enjoyed the activities. Or if you have ever done Junior Ranger Programs. I would enjoy knowing what you like about them and any suggestions as to other one(s) to try! 
 If you are looking for more fun activities to do with your kids? Check out the Low-Cost Kids Activities section on Bits-N-Pieces.