Park Fun

3 children stand next to an open bear box filled properly with their human food
These campers practice proper techniques to store food in a bear box.

See Jr. Ranger-related links on "Be A Junior Ranger" page

NPS Online Activities for Kids and Learners of All Ages
Child in a firefighter uniform poses with two rangers
Junior Rangers meet all types of NPS rangers, including firefighters.
  • "Views of the National Parks" is a program of the National Park Service designed to present the natural, cultural, and historical resources of our national parks. Search for a park in the "Map Room" by region (Yosemite is categorized in the Northwest United States on this site) or by subject (Yosemite can be found under the “Glacier” icon). The most simple way to use this national NPS site is to type in Yosemite or another park name into the “search” box on the bottom right. Don’t miss the comparison of Yosemite Valley to the Grand Canyon.
  • LearnNPS: A place for teachers and learners to explore their national parks. If you are a teacher searching for classroom materials, a student doing research, or a person looking for a place to spend some time, look here.
  • GalleryZone: Send in your work, tour the gallery. Across the Nation and around the World, students are creating works of art and literature inspired by their National Parks. Here you can enjoy their work. You can even submit your own park-inspired work: art, poetry and short stories.
  • A little on the intellectual side, "Explore Nature" takes you on a journey throughout the entire National Park Service.
  • "Teaching with Historic Places" uses properties listed in the NPS' National Register of Historic Places to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects. Learn about President Abraham Lincoln's cottage retreat, for example.

Nature-Based Online Activities for Kids

  • Get busy on the Enivronmental Protection Agency's "Climate Change Kids Site" webpage with explanations of weather and the greenhouse effect. Become a climate detective.
  • Act fast after you read the U.S. Department of Energy's "Kids Saving Energy" website. Learn how to start the saving process at home and find renewable energy sources. Go so far as to do a home energy audit.
  • Be a science sleuth in NASA's "For Kids Only: Earth Science" website. Study the land, water, air and natural hazards (like storms) to understand what's going on around you. Also check out NASA's "Climate Kids."
  • Take on the job of a "Natural Inquirer" and an "Investi-gator" in free science journals that highlights U.S. Forest Service science. The "Natural Inquirer" is made for middle-school students while the "Investi-gator" assists upper-elementary students. Each edition has lesson plans, word games, and correlations to National Science Education Standards.
  • Learn the scoop on "Science News for Kids" by a D.C. non-profit called the Society for Science & the Public--the publisher of Science News.
  • Get smart quick through three well-respected nature-based education programs: Project Wet, Project Wild and Project Learning Tree--often with free posters or CDs to help you learn.
  • Have your mom or dad help you sift through the "Education Internet Resources for Teachers" [317 kb PDF] for ideas on how to study park geology to historic places.

Two children converse with wildlife guide ID books in hand
Bring along study guides to be most aware during your Yosemite visit.

Sarah Stock

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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