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Plan Park Pleasures

Plan Park Pleasures

This summer add fun at parks to your list of activities. Check out local and state parks and look up facts about National Parks. If there’s a national park near you plan a trip to explore it. Be sure to use sunscreen or protection from bugs if needed.

  • Play at the park. Bring balls or games, enjoy playgrounds, and explore nature trails
  • Hold a park cleanup day. Bring garbage bags and gloves and pick up trash.
  • Take photos surrounded by natural beauty
  • Take part in recreation offered at the park
  • Volunteer if that’s available (check with park rangers)
  • Bring a bird or plant guide and see what you can identify
  • Play hide and seek
  • Bring snacks or a picnic meal and enjoy eating outdoors

Before heading out, let everyone fill a zip bag with trail mix. Put out fixings such as puffed cereal, nuts, small candies, small pretzels, mini-marshmallows, and dried fruit. Let each person choose what to put in their bag (limit the sweeter options).

Add a trail mix devotional:

On the trail chat about how the foods can remind you of Jesus. Here are some ideas:

  • Cereal is made from grain. Jesus told us he was like a kernel of wheat in John 12:23
  • The peanuts remind us that God uses the foolish things (sometimes I feel like a nut!) even when they may appears crazy to the world. Suggest looking up 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 while munching nuts.
  • The colorful rainbow in the colored candies included red of Christ’s shed blood, brown of the earth God made, the green of growing things, and the yellow of light.
  • The pretzels, shaped as arms folded in prayer, remind us God answers all our prayers.
  • Through forgiveness, God makes our hearts like soft and white as marshmallows (Isaiah 1:18).
  • Raisins (preserved fruit) remind us of how 1 Timothy 6:18-19 tells us to store up the right things for eternity.

Name that National Park Quiz

Check out the clues and see how fast you can identify each National Park. This game covers fourteen national parks.

  1. Located east of the Mississippi with mountains, woodlands, and an ocean shoreline

Originally named Lafayette National Park, it’s near Bar Harbor

Name is an Algonquian Indian name that means ‘place of plenty’

  1. Located in a northern, cold state, it’s the tallest mountaintop in the region

Made of granite, in the black hills

People go to see carved faces of four presidents

  1. Located in the north and west in a large state with lakes, canyons, mountains, and rivers

It has a subalpine forest (freezing winters and cool summers)

Grizzly bears live here and its most popular site is the Old Faithful Geyser

  1. Located on a big island in the Pacific Ocean

It’s an international biosphere reserve

Known for its volcanoes, the most active volcano is Kilauea

  1. Located in the west in a state known for its deserts with 277 miles of river

Theodore Roosevelt expressed awe at the sight as he stood on the rim

One of the natural wonders of the world and most famous for river gorge of the Colorado River

  1. East of the Mississippi in a southern state near Cherokee, NC, home of the Cherokee

The salamander capital of the world, home to black bears, with a fog that hangs over the mountains

Includes sixteen mountains of the Appalachian Mountain chain, including Thunderhead Mountain

  1. An eastern state with mountains, near Philadelphia with snowy, cold winters

President Washington spent a winter here during the American Revolution (17778-78)

It’s near Philadelphia where Valley Creek and the Schuylkill River meet

  1. Known for tall grass and wetlands in a warm state, it’s the largest subtropical wilderness in the US

Ride an airboat here on the slow moving river of grass—and see alligators

  1. President Gerald Ford signed the bill to establish this park with its scenic train ride

The park’s name is Mohawk and means ‘Crooked River’ with the Towpath trail, a former path of the Erie Canal

Near Cleveland, it’s the 5th most visited National Park

  1. This park contains the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert in the US

Home to more than 56 species of reptiles and 450 species of birds

One boundary is by a large bend. It borders the Rio Grande River and Mexico

  1. Brr, this northern state experiences cold winters where visitors come by ferry boat

The largest island is in a great lake and there’s only 209 square miles

Known for its wolf and moose population that can cross on ice to Canada in the winter

  1. Covers 531 square miles in the Yukon territory in this very cold state with access only by air or ferry boats

Travelers enjoy white water rafting plus spectacular sights of icebergs and glaciers

Wildlife: black and grizzly bears, moose, wolves, salmon, sea lions, whales, bald eagles

  1. Nicknamed the American Spa, the smallest national park, it’s in a southern state

Contains a famous collection of bath houses

Very warm water comes from the springs here that are considered good for sick people

  1. Pear Lake is here in this west coast state. It’s known for its tall, gigantic trees.

Along the Sierra Nevada Mountains that includes canyons, mountains, lakes, and waterfalls

Oldest tree is thought to be 2,302,700 years old

By: Karen Whiting is a mother of 5, a mathematician, and has two sons who are rocket scientists. Being a mom includes making sure our children learn academics as well as faith. Check out her new book Growing a Mother’s Heart.

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

Answer key:

  1. Arcadia National Forest in Maine 2. Mount Rushmore National Memorial in North Dakota 3. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming 4. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the big island of Hawaii 5. Grand Canyon in Arizona 6. Smokey Mountains National Park in Tennessee 7. Valley Forge National Park in Pennsylvania 8. Everglades National Park in Florida 9. Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio 10. Big Bend in Texas 11. Royal Isle Park in Michigan 12. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska 13. Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas 14. Sequoia National Park in California­­

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