[twitter]Anytime you visit a National Park in Canada, be sure to visit one of the information booths to get a booklet for your kids to work on during your stay.
The activities inside include mazes, geocaching, scavenger hunts, drawing, word puzzles, and more. They are all geared to learning about the specific area where you are staying. When we were camping at Lake Louise, Zacharie took time to fill out the Parks Canada Xplorers booklet for Banff National Park.
We had to match animal tracks to indigenous species, tour the information booth to find fossils, and animals. Learn about the explorers who first blazed trails in the park, and discover high mountain huts. We finished about 15 of the 20 pages of activities that we could while camping at Lake Louise. (some of the other activities were relevant to the Bow Valley Parkway, or Banff area).
When completed (or mostly completed), just visit one of the Parks Canada staff and they’ll look through your Parks Canada Xplorers booklet to make sure your child is ready to become a Parks Canada Xplorers.
They’ll give them an oath where they vow to learn all they can about Canada’s National Parks and protect the animals and environments inside. Then they’ll be given a token of their leadership (a tattoo, a badge, or in Zacharie’s case, dog tags) proclaiming them Parks Canada Xplorers. The booklet was a great way to spend time after dinner and before one of the Parks Canada shows in our Lake Louise campground.
For a six year old, like Z, it was the perfect kind of informative work booklet to have him practice some school-ish skills under the guise of becoming an Xplorer. He loved it, and was positively beaming when he left the Lake Louise Information Center with his certificate and dog tags. “Daddy, can you believe I’m a Jedi AND a Junior Xplorer?!” he bragged as we left.
If you’re visiting a National Park this summer, stop in, get the booklet, work on it together (I promise you’ll learn something and maybe even discover a great adventure you can take as a family in the park) and have your kid join the ranks of Parks Canada Xplorers!