One of our favorite things to do in our travels is visit our country’s beautiful national parks. We have some seriously beautiful places here in the good ol’ USA, and visiting the many NPS sites to learn about these places, how they were formed, and the history behind them is an excellent addition to our roadschool learning adventures.
That said, sometimes simply visiting the parks just isn’t enough for us, and worse yet, sometimes we aren’t able to get a national park easily from wherever we happen to be parked. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to expand upon what we learn in the parks from the comfort of our own homes.
Whether you’re looking to dive into a national parks unit study, learn more about a specific park after an inspiring visit, or simply have fun as a family while squeezing in a bit of learning, the list below is sure to have a national parks learning resource that’ll suit your fancy.
National Geographic Series on Disney+
Want to admire the majestic beauty of nature while learning some little tidbits about the national parks? If so, the National Geographic series on Disney+ might be just the resource for you. This series is absolutely stunning, and allows you to snuggle up as a family, munch on some popcorn, and enjoy some time together while also learning a thing or two.
Brains On Podcasts
Prefer listening over watching? Looking for something you can do as a family on travel days? We mentioned the Brains On podcast in this post, so obviously we think all episodes of this podcast are wonderful. That said, for this article I felt the need to point you to a few specific episodes.
Both Surviving the Desert at Joshua Tree National Park and Going Underground at Wind Cave National Park are excellent listening material that we’re sure you’ll enjoy, especially if you happen to be visiting these parks during your travels.
Lanes Less Traveled Unit Studies
Those who prefer something a bit more structured, but still fun will love the national parks unit studies created by our friends at Lanes Less Traveled. These unit studies include everything you need to learn about a particular park, and make it fun to gather information as a family.
Earn Junior Ranger Badges from Home
Most RVers are well aware of how awesome the Junior Ranger program at the various NPS sites is. We know we adore the program, and our son has collected a huge number of badges, getting one each time we visit an NPS site. That said, not everyone knows that they can do Junior Ranger projects from home as well.
There are a number of Junior Ranger programs that can be done from home. In some cases, the reward is just a paper “badge” or certificate that can be printed off. However, there are quite a few downloadable booklets that can be completed at home and mailed in for a physical badge.
Songs for Junior Rangers
Believe it or not, there are also songs for junior rangers to learn and sing as they explore the parks. Many of these songs include educational lyrics, making them extra fun for the explorers in your family. The Songs for Junior Rangers album is available on Amazon, and Amazon Music members can actually stream the entire album for free.
Junior Ranger Activity Book
Another awesome junior rangers product available on Amazon is this Junior Ranger Activity Book. If your kids enjoy coloring and doing puzzles and other activities while in the car, this book is an excellent way to expand upon what you learn in the national parks on travel day in a fun and engaging way.
Trekking the National Parks
Last but not least, I simply must mention the Trekking the National Parks board game. This is an excellent game for family game night, and a great jumping off point for chats about the parks as well as reminiscing about trips past. We love that the board is actually a map of the US, encouraging memorization of the location of each park, and the info on each park card is fantastic.
Looking for more fun national parks themed games by the same people? Check out National Parks Trivia as well!
There you have it, several awesome ways to continue learning about national parks even while parked far from any NPS sites. Have one to add? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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