May 21 marks the National Park Trust’s sixth annual Kids to Parks Day, a national day of play when parents, teachers, caregivers and friends are encouraged to take a child to a park. Local, state or national park doesn’t matter – as long as you pledge to take a child to a park on Saturday, May 21, you can enter to win cool prizes from the NPT! A lot of organizations will also be hosting special Kids to Parks Day events – to find one near you, click here.
In addition, I’m happy to announce that I have a giveaway of a set of fantastic National Geographic books, exclusively for my subscribers. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of this post for a chance to win Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure and National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide USA Centennial Edition.
So why celebrate Kids to Parks Day? Here are my five top reasons:
Your kids could be making memories for a lifetime
Did you know that we’re more prone to remember things that engage all our senses? Researchers believe that’s why our childhood memories often can be traced back to events that took place outdoors. When I was three years old my parents and grandparents took me to an area near Abisko National Park in Sweden, and even though I was so young the trip forever made an impression on me. And believe me, you don’t need to go to the Grand Canyon to get this effect. To a small child, even the local park can be a great adventure!
It gets kids excited about going outside
I know from experience that not all kids automatically will run out the door to ride their bikes or build dens in the woods on the weekend. But if you pack a picnic and make a fun outing of it, they’ll likely to be thrilled! Try some of these yummy and (mostly) healthy trail snacks if you’re in need of inspiration.
It helps keep kids active
With one in three American children suffering from overweight or obesity today, we need to break the habit of sitting on the couch. Did you know that simply letting kids play freely outside, for example at a park, actually can generate more physical activity than participating in organized sports?
If you happen to have a fourth grader, you can get into U.S. national parks for FREE through the Every Kid in a Park program. Don’t have a fourth grader? Don’t worry. Parks are still an affordable way to spend quality time with your kids. Hundreds of national parks actually don’t charge a fee and some have fee-free days. Even those that do charge an entrance fee usually range from $3-$30, which is really reasonable when you consider the cost of going to an amusement park. Find more money-saving tips before your park visit here.
It brings families together
Parks offer a chance to get away from the screens that steal so much of our attention during the work week. Outdoors, families have a chance to make experiences in real life, face-to-face. It may sound like a cliché, but I firmly believe that the family that adventures outdoors together stays together!
Don’t forget to subscribe to my updates by entering your email address in the subscription box in the column on the left, then enter the giveaway. Good luck!
Disclosures: National Park Trust provided the prizes for this giveaway. This post includes affiliate links. You can read my full disclaimer here.