This past week my family and I went to Philadelphia for a mini-vacation. Much to the dismay of my toddler, we did take some time out to explore the historical sites. My hubby and I are total history nerds, so we couldn't visit Philadelphia without seeing Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
While at the Liberty Bell, I couldn't help but notice a family with children about the age of my students that were carrying around a packet and taking notes. I was intrigued. The National Parks Service has a Junior Ranger program on their website. I had to check it out! Here is a list of National Parks that offer the Junior Ranger Program: http://www.nps.gov/learn/juniorranger.cfm.
The Independence National Historical Park's Junior Ranger packet has activities for ages 5-7 and 8 and above. They even have activities marked as "easy" and "hard." (Nice job at differentiating, NPS!). Some of the activities include drawing the Liberty Bell, answering questions about the tour of Independence Hall, labeling important documents such as the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, exploring timelines, etc. I was thoroughly impressed! If the Junior Ranger completes a certain number of activities, they take their packet to the ranger station for a prize.
My husband and I want to pass along our love for history to our son. This is the reason we take him to historical sites at such a young age. These Junior Ranger packets are an awesome way to focus learning and keep your kids from being bored while exploring our National Parks. They would also be great to take on field trips as well! Happy Exploring!