Just For Kids

Education

Students and Visitors

Planning a trip to a national forest or grassland this year? Want to learn more about firefighters, avalanche scientists, or forest researchers? Or do you want to find out more about the animals, plants and fungi (pronounced "fun guy") that live in the forests, or want to just take a hike?

Here are a few ways you can learn more about the national forests and grasslands, and about the caretakers for these lands, the Forest Service.

Arbor Day is Around the Corner

Image of a tree and words that read,This year we celebrate National Arbor Day on April 28. A special day set aside for tree planting, Arbor Day was first observed in Nebraska in 1872 with the planting of more than a million trees. It expanded to the rest of the country in 1882 and since then communities around the U.S. have celebrated trees on the last Friday in April. If your community has a special Arbor Day celebration, it may be a Tree City USA. In cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters, the Arbor Day Foundation provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees through the Tree City USA program. More than 3,400 communities have made the commitment to becoming a Tree City USA by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day. Tree City USA is a popular program in the Intermountain Region with 87 communities achieving this status in Utah, 11 communities in Nevada, 68 communities in Idaho, and 41 communities in Wyoming. Is your town one of them?

Arbor Day Fun Activities for Kids 

Find out more about Arbor Day and how you can celebrate in your community from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Celebrating Wildflowers

Cebrating Wildflowers is a Forest Service web site that is dedicated to the enjoyment of the thousands of wildflowers growing on our national forests and grasslands, and to educate the public about the many values of native plants.  This sites contains a number of activites and teacher resources.  Celebrating Wildflowers emphasizes:

  • The aesthetic value of plants - a field of wildflowers is a beautiful sight
  • The recreational value of plants - picking berries is fun for the whole family
  • The biological value of plants - native plants support other life
  • The medicinal value of plants - chemicals from plants help combat sickness
  • The economic value of plants - plant material such as floral greens are commercially valuable
  • The conservation of native plants - protecting and maintaining native plant habitat

Climate Change Live

Climate Change Live LogoClimate Change Live is a distance learning program that was created to raise awareness and understanding of climate change.  Youth work towards finding solutions to different environmental challenges.


JUNIOR FOREST RANGER

Junior Forest Ranger logo

Many forests offer summer programs for kids at popular forest recreation areas and visitor centers. You will learn about the forest, the living creatures you might see, and about the geology and watershed. After doing some fun activities, you will receive a Junior Forest Ranger booklet or badge. Check the forest's website or call the local ranger district office, to find out about Junior Forest Ranger programs, campfire programs or special hikes.

JUNIOR SNOW RANGER

Logo for Junior Snow Rangers

The Junior Snow Ranger program takes place in the winter- often on snowshoes or skis at ski areas or at forest trailheads. You will learn how to read winter tracks, practice snow safety, find out what triggers avalanches, and study cold weather adaptations in plants and animals.

SMOKEY BEAR

Image of Smokey Bear's head

Smokey Bear's message: "only you can prevent forest fires" is still as important today as it was decades ago. Read how you can help Smokey keep the forest GREEN. More fun with Smokey. Exits the Forest Service web site

WOODSY OWL

Woodsy Owl

Since 1971, Woodsy Owl has inspired kids to care of natural resources. Woodsy's familiar slogan was first "Give a hoot, don't pollute" but now Woodsy invites you to join him - "Lend a Hand, Care for the Land".

How will you help Woodsy take care of the forest or the city where you live?

Visitors

Mind Your Manners in the Forest

At home you practice good manners, when you pick up after yourself and don't make a mess. Did you know that you should practice good manners when visiting public lands? If you like to ride a bike, horseback ride, ride an ATV or trailbike, hike, climb, hunt, backpack, fish, or boat you should be using good manners.

  • When visiting the backcountry, learn how you can Leave No Trace
  • If you like to ride forest trails on your bike, ATV, or motorcycle, learn how to Tread Lightly to minimize your impact on the land.

The forest is for ALL to use and enjoy but we need to take good care of the land so that we ALL can continue to enjoy visiting the forests. The more you practice good manners - the more it becomes a great habit.

Leave No Weeds

Did you know that invasive and noxious weeds are spreading like "wildfire" across public lands? Learn more about the problem and how you can help.

Bear Aware

BE BEAR AWARE Bears are residents of many forests across the region. Learn how you can keep bears away from your camp - remember a fed bear may become a DEAD bear!

Passport in Time

Would you like to volunteer on the forest to help survey and catalog historic artifacts? You will have fun and learn about the culture of people who used the forest many years ago.

Students

Natural Inquirer

Did you know that Forest Service scientists do more research on the forest and grasslands than any other government agency? A special kid-friendly journal call the Natural Inquirer introduces you to many different types of research that the Forest Service does. There are also activities in this journal you can do on your own or with your class. This journal may even give you an idea of a good science fair project.

Research the Forest

The Rocky Mountain Research Station has some cool activites and projects you can enjoy regaring air, water and aquatic environments.

Fire Ecology

Not all fires are bad! Fires are a natural part of the cycle of life in the forest. If conditions are right, natural fires may help "clean the forest floor", clean out disease and insect pests, and create a place for sun loving plants to grow. Sometimes the Forest Service uses prescribed fires to remove dangerous amounts of dry fuels (old logs, and dead plant material). Prescribed fire helps promote good browse (plants that wildlife eat) and adds diversity to the forest and grasslands.

Forest Creatures

What plants and animals live where? How do they react to forest fires? To find out, check out the Fire Effects database. Ask your local forest office for information on birds, animals, and flowers.

Every Drop Counts!

Did you know that the forests hold most of the drinking water for adjacent communities in the form of snow? You can monitor the snowpack and water run-off on your local forests! Some forest locations have special guidelines to protect the quality of the drinking water for the communities below. Want to learn how you can conserve water?

Forest Careers

What sort of work do Forest Service employees do? The Forest Service has archaeologists, hydrologists, soil scientists, ecologists, wildlife and fishery biologists, botanists, foresters, range conservationists, engineers, planners, recreation specialists, entomologists, educators and interpreters, fire fighters, pilots and even more! Want to learn more about volunteer and job opportunities? Visit our online sites.

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r4/learning/kids