With more than 400 national parks spread across the country of all different shapes, sizes, and types, these unique places offer a glimpse into diverse, unspoiled natural sites and help preserve historic and cultural heritage for everyone to enjoy.
This year during National Park Week, from April 22 – 30, let’s celebrate our country’s most treasured places. Think about the special connection you have with a national park, or go out and explore a new one with your family! By exposing our children to experiences like this we encourage their curiosity, help strengthen their inquiry skills, and motivate them to engage in activities that help protect the natural world.
Learn more about how diverse and special our national parks are with the activities, games and videos below!
Learn About National Parks
The Leave No Trace 7 Principles
All Ages The Leave No Trace 7 Principles are a framework for safe and sustainable recreation. Practicing Leave No Trace ethics can help protect the lands, waters, and communities we all know and love, ensuring they remain beautiful and unique for generations to come.
Grades PreK-K Penny and KidVision VPK Kid Ryan go on a scavenger hunt at Biscayne National Park to find national wonders, investigate mangroves, travel through the coral reefs, and become Junior Park Rangers.
Grades PreK-K Travel with fun-loving Muppets Elmo and Murray from Sesame Street to two of America’s most popular national parks in this online series, Sesame Street Explores National Parks. Sesame Street, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation introduce preschoolers to the natural world in six short, fun videos.
Grades 6-8 Visit the uniquely beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park and follow Plant Ecologist Chris Davis as he works to rid the park of invasive plant species, and bring back vibrant native species to the park. Afterwards, we tag along with Janet Popielski, a Civil Engineer at the park, as she shows us her work on a natural – and nearly invisible – wastewater treatment plant.
Grades 6-12 Ken Burns and his collaborators have been creating historical documentary films for more than forty years. Known for a signature style that brings primary source documents, images, and archival video footage to life on screen, these films present the opportunity to pose thought-provoking questions for students, and introduce new ideas, perspectives, and primary sources. Explore “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”collection for resources covering geography and the environment, land-based conflicts, and the diverse individuals that shaped the national parks into what they are today.
Before There Were Parks: Yellowstone & Glacier through Native Eyes
Grades 6-12 From time immemorial the lands we now call Yellowstone and Glacier have been regarded by Native Americans as significant and sacred. In this unique film, more than a dozen of these leaders and experts from all across the region offer a respectful introduction to the knowledge that tribal people have passed down here for at least the past 12,000 years. Viewers will discover why Glacier and Yellowstone are so important to American Indians—for reasons far beyond their recent status as National Parks.
Grades PreK-K Use this packet of National Parks printables to support your child’s innate sense of awe, wonder, and curiosity while exploring nature with her at your National Park, local park, or even in your backyard!
Grades PreK-4 National Parks are one way to preserve and protect the country’s wonders, both natural and man-made. Read about how the Everglades were formed, meet a young woman who survived the Alamo, and visit with a mail carrier who takes mail and more to his village in the Grand Canyon. These and other treasures await you in the pages of these books.
Designing a Poster to Communicate Information: Yellowstone National Park
Grades 3-5 In this lesson plan, students will watch a video and take notes. They will then work as part of a group to create an interesting and informative poster with pictures and facts about Yellowstone National Park.
Grades 9-12 Identify and evaluate solutions for reducing human impacts on the environment and biodiversity in this interactive lesson and corresponding interdisciplinary research activity from WGBH. As you create your own timeline, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of humans and the environment and the impact human activities can have on biodiversity.