After two months of quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all desperate to get out of the house. This Saturday, May 16 is the National Park Trusts’ Parks to Kids Day, and there’s plenty to do from the safety of your home, backyard and around your neighborhood while safely social distancing.
In honor of the tenth anniversary of Kids to Parks Day, this year’s virtual celebration has been coined Parks to Kids Day due to social distancing measures. While the National Park Trust notes the situation isn’t ideal, it’s come up with plenty of activities to encourage families to explore the outdoors within their own neighborhood.
Download the ParkPassport app. You’ll find more than 500 virtual experiences, plus kids can earn custom badges to add to their passports by completing recreational activities. The app also allows for families to find parks and connect with other park enthusiasts across the country.
Team up with Buddy Bison to build a mini-park. Using materials and creativity, you and the kids can construct a park in your bathtub, driveaway, backyard or living room. Encourage your kids to think about what they’d like in their park, from stuffed animals to plants.
Compete in Buddy Bison’s Blinding Lights dance challenge. Your family can use your new TikTok skills to complete this dance challenge. Learn Buddy Bison’s steps, record your dance and share on social media by tagging @NationalParkTrust and using the hashtags #ParksToKids and #BuddyBison.
Build a garden. Find a windowsill or a spot in the yard to create a vegetable garden. Your kids will not only learn about sustainability, but how table scraps can be used to create more veggies.
Play a game of Buddy Bison’s Backyard Bingo. After you get your kids to say that tongue-twister three times, your family can work together to complete five tasks in a row. Activities include creating an outdoor obstacle course, sprouting a bean in your yard or windowskill, completing an outdoor scavenger hunt, making a bird feeder, drawing the sunset and more.
Create a diorama of your favorite park. Using whatever materials you have at home, your mini architects can craft a home for Buddy in the mountains, trees or water.
Teach your kids about the components of a flower. They’ll learn about the different parts and functions of flowers. Head to the backyard and see if your kids can identify flowers’ parts and name their functions.
Dig for frozen fossils. Make your own fossils with flour, salt and warm water and shape them into bones before baking them. Place your fossils and any dinosaur toys you have into balloons, then add water and freeze them. Once they’re frozen, try Buddy Bison’s excavation techniques.
Head outside for a scavenger hunt. Encourage your kids to head into the yard or take a walk around the neighborhood to look high and low for birds’ nests, animal tracks, spider webs, ants and more.
Make a collage. Kids can pick up leaves, twigs, pine cones, pebbles and any other pieces of nature they find interesting or unique. Once they’ve collected a few items, they can use paper and glue to create a collage worthy of a place on the fridge.
You and the kids can also try other distance learning activities like Think Like a Paleontologist, Learning About the Food Web, Animals of National Parks Crossword, National Park Coloring Sheets, Leaf or Bark Rubbing and more.
MORE LIKE THIS:
Why So Many of Us Are Using TikTok During Quarantine
The Jersey Shore Will Be Open for Memorial Day Weekend
4 Ways to Slow Down and Connect With Yourself and Your Kids
Birds of NJ: Figure Out What’s In Your Backyard