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Children in Yellowstone

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avatar Children in Yellowstone
January 17, 2010 10:43AM
(copied with permission from another forum contributor)

Useful suggestions for kids' activities in Yellowstone National Park, and generically other National Parks in response to request for suggestions.

KIDS In YELLOWSTONE ~ Things to Bring & Things to Do


Here is my list!

Review the Animal Safety videos.
and go over the rules of the park.

What every Visitor Needs to Know

Yellowstone National Park Kid Page
(older kids programs are at the bottom)

Junior Ranger Program - earn a patch!

Young Scientist Patch
Children 5 and up can become a Young Scientist! Pick up a Young
Scientist pack at the Old faithful or Canyon Visitor Centers.
Please allow an hour plus to do the program!

Most kids will be helping you look for animals.
They all love that.

They usually like waterfalls. Pick a few to show them!
They all LOVE Moose Falls!

___ WATER / Swimming
_ The "beach sand" along the Lake behind the Fishing Bridge
Ranger Station (after picking up a Junior Ranger program)
is a good place to get their feet wet. It will teach them
(and some parents) how cold the water is in many
lakes and rivers in the park.
_ Swimming
There are no swimming pools in Yellowstone, and swimming,
bathing, or wading in thermal features, or in streams whose
waters flow from thermal features, is illegal. River, stream,
and lake water is so cold that hypothermia is a serious possibility.
Swimming is generally discouraged.

___ HIKING with Kids
Take trails, and stay out of the car. Kids love
looking at things they've never seen before!
See Kid friendly trails at the end of this post!

___ Collect Yellowstone STICKERS / STAMPS
_ At Park Dining Rooms (Mammoth, Canyon, Lake, Old Faithful,
etc) kids can get a park booklet and collect the stickers/stamps
and get a prize!
_ National Park Passport - cancellation stamps at visitor centers

___ Yellowstone MONEY
_ Use quarters and pennies to smash into Yellowstone coins!
Each park location has different patterns at vending machines!
~ Yellowstone Dollars for spending in Yellowstone

Be sure to bring addresses so kids can drop friends a postcard!

____ Entertainment for the Natural World
Consider Bringing:
Sketchbooks/ journals
plastic crayons (they don't melt in the car)
colored pencils
washable markers if you have little ones
disposable camera (if you don't want them using your camera)
kids books on Flowers, Trees, Birds, Mammals
wet wipes (to clean hands and windows)
The Night Sky - Stars (a smaller version of this-

__ deck of cards
__ Travel Journal w pen
__ magnetic travel journal w games
__ states activities book
__ Travel Bingo
__ States game card deck / flash card

__ Yellowstone Bingo
(good for rainy days or while eating Huckleberry Ice
Cream from the 2nd floor porch of Old Faithful Inn
waiting to see Old Faithful from the balcony)
__ National Park Card Game
__ Into the Forest

Goin' Wild CD
Track listing of Songs:
1. I'm Proud to Be a Beaver
2. We are Wildlife Too!
3. Bison
4. Let it Burn
5. Roll Along Yellowstone
6. Old Faithful
7. Walking in the Tetons
8. Ruminant Chew
9. Baby Wapiti
10. Grizzly Bear Paradise
11. Wolf Dream
12. Moose
13. Stars over Wyoming


With kids- always bring extra Socks and
a change of Clothing in your car AT ALL TIMES.
It saves a trip back to wherever you are camping/lodging.

Kids hats, mittens, windbreaker and coats
no matter what month it is- again keeping it in
the CAR. You won't outdoor gear in the lodging!!!

Emergency RAIN coats (the fold up kind that fits
in a backpack... it can sunshine, rain, snow and go back
to sunshine all in one day) They are 2 for $1.00 at most
dollar stores. One for each person. Then you are dry
rather than trying to get to your car to get your jacket.

__ Small Daypack/Backpack
Anytime you get out of the car one adult should have
a backpack with food, water or water filter, emergency
rain coats, Camera, swiss army knife, bandage, sunscreen,
insect repellant, Flashlight, and snacks for the kids.
(Dry nuts, turkey jerky, corn nuts, fruit leather, baggie
of dry cereal, goldfish, whatever your kids snack on).
Many Many times, I "never intend to go that far" and
it's so easy to go far!

Altitude can make you feel tired and can dehydrate you!
The day before you get to Yellowstone, start drinking more
water than usual!

CARRYING little ones with you:

Kelty Kids backpack
up to age 3

Sling (easily fits in backpack)
(keeps little ones with you in the Geyser

I always think it's best to teach a child to walk
with you, stay with you but I've seen kids at malls
that are "runners". For this case- in a geyser basin-
if you don't use the 2 ideas above... there is always
the kid leash. (I've never used one- but I'd still
make sure you are paying attention as I've seen
other parents with them and the kids can still get
ahead of the parent).
The Kid Keeper



I usually find that kids can do all of these
unless they do not walk often. Take kids
walking and hiking around where you live
before getting to YNP. Make sure you
break in new shoes - kids' too!

On trails - never let children ahead of you.
Put kids next to you or one adult in front
and one behind the last child. Teach kids
what to do if they see Bears. Bison, etc.

____ Geyser Basin Trails
(get the Geyser Trail Maps in the metal boxes
at each trail head- bring quarters or $ to pay
for them) Kids can do all of these.

_ Mud Volcano loop (North of Lake/Fishing Bridge)
_ West Thumb Geyser Basin
_ Artists Paint Pots (be sure to go to the top- up hill)
_ Norris Back Basin
_ Fountain Paint Pots
_ Black Sand Basin
_ Midway Geyser Basin
_ Old Faithful area
___Geyser Hill out to Morning Glory
(check with Visitor center to see what is
predicted to erupt- and go in that direction
___ Observation Point Loop Trail
(hike above to look down on Old Faithful and
all of the area). Kids like seeing Solitary Geyser
too as it erupts if you stay there a few minutes.)

Lake Area hikes
_ Stormpoint Trail
_ Natural Bridge Trail

_ Uncle Tom's (kids LOVE the stairs- parents
kill me) but you'll never forget doing this
_ Cascade Lake Trail
_ Grebe Lake Trail

Old Faithful
_ Lone Star Geyser Trail
_ Fairy Falls Trail (easier than Mystic)
_ Mystic Falls Trail

Norris Area
_ Ice Lake Trail (can use baby jogger)

Near West Yellowstone
_ Two Ribbons Trail (can use baby jogger)

_ Harlequin Lake

_ Beaver Ponds Loop Trail - ages 6 and up
younger kids can do it if they hike often
about 5 miles
_ Wraith Falls (easy- about 1 mile)

further info at:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Yellowstone-National-Park/144101559503

The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/17/2010 10:55AM by Frank Furter.
avatar Re: Children in Yellowstone
January 17, 2010 02:45PM
Man, I had to go back and see who posted this. It's pretty long and brought up memories.

Old Dude
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