Junior Ranger Program
Helping kids learn and explore!
Children who spend time in nature are healthier, happier and smarter. They will also become the future stewards of our wild lands and beautiful spaces.
Bring your children to a state park and help them discover that life’s better outside!
Pick up a free Junior Ranger Journal for your child when you visit a state park. Complete a certain number of activities (depending on her age) to earn a Junior Ranger pin. Complete a journal for each park–the activities are the same, but your child’s experiences will differ because each park is unique.
Children will observe wildlife, create nature art, learn to stay safe outside, and much more. The journals are for kids 6 to 12 years old.
Teachers, bring your class to the park for a nature field trip! Call a state park near you to arrange a program. Field trips to state parks are free, but they must be set up in advance. (Download the TEKS alignment.)
More than 50 of our parks have Junior Ranger Explorer Packs at park headquarters. Borrow one for the kids in your group on your next park visit!
Each backpack comes with a pair of binoculars and a magnifying glass; an animal tracking key and guides to flowers, birds, butterflies, trees, rocks, wildflowers and plants; and pencil, crayons and watercolors along with a journal and sketchbook.
Find out which parks have packs. Look for mini Explorer Packs at some of our park stores, so your child can explore in your backyard, too! Or create your own Junior Ranger Explorer Pack by gathering some of the items listed above.
You and your child can explore nature on your own. Check these links for ideas:
- TPWD’s activities and events for kids
- National Wildlife Federation’s Activity Finder
- Nature Rocks: Activities
- Art in the Park Activity Guide from Get to Know
- Geocache Challenge
- Arts in the Parks – Youth Arts Contest, Photography Contest
- TPWD Publications for Kids
- Kids smartphone apps for learning about nature