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5 Reasons to Visit National Parks With Kids Today

United States Family Travel
by Amy Roskelley Aug 25, 2016

We love to take our kids to the National Parks! In fact, the National Parks are a major reason people travel in masses to our state of Utah. We’ve got the most amazing land that our kids love to explore. In the mid 1800’s, The National Park system was started as a way to preserve “America’s Greatest National Treasures” and that’s exactly what we think of them — National Treasures! Every park we’ve been to have been different in their own amazing ways. In the US, there are over 400 National Parks and monuments, so what are you waiting for?

While my kids could tell you a million reasons they love our trips to the parks, we’ve narrowed it down to 5:

1. Get outside to connect with Nature.

I’m a huge fan of being outside with kids. The benefits for kids who connect with the outdoors while they are young go beyond good physical health; kids who get outside are mentally and socially healthier as well. Not to mention that it’s the best way to get some vitamin D!

2. Unstructured play.

Our favorite park for unstructured play in Utah is Goblin Valley. The rock formations created by sandstone resemble little goblins and monsters. The kids love to wander around the unmarked trails and create stories about the ‘rock monsters’. Kids’ play today is highly structured, and it often takes away from creativity. Between organized sports, camps, school, church, and after-school activities, there is no time left for unstructured play. Getting away to the national parks can foster this creativity once again.

3. Create memories.

In the national parks, we almost never have cell service, and now that my kids are teenagers attached to their phones most days, it’s the perfect environment to keep them present and engaged with each other. As we walk, hike, and explore, we talk, get to know each other and play fun games.

4. Learn about nature.

The fascinating thing about our national parks it the miracles of nature! Natural Geysers, formations like arches, caves, glaciers, and volcanoes make the Earth incredibly interesting! Not only do we love this opportunity to talk about science with our kids, but the Parks Jr. Rangers programs helps kids to see these natural wonders you might miss.

5. Go before they’re gone.

With the landscape constantly changing, the treasures of the national parks won’t be around forever. Glaciers are retreating, waterfalls are drying up, and coastal tides are encroaching on wildlife. The natural landscape is changing more rapidly than you’d imagine.

This article was first published on Super Healthy Kids and is reposted here with permission.

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