Let’s Go Outside!
Connecting People With Nature
  • Play Outdoors in Nature!
  • Discover Online Games
  • Explore Wildlife & Photos
  • Help Fish & Wildllife
  • Conservation Careers
  • Volunteer

Play Outdoors in Nature!


Scoping out the cattails up close on a nature hike in Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota.
Credit: Jennifer Jewett/USFWS

An exciting world outdoors awaits you and there are lots of things you can do for fun.  Make a tree house – talk to your parents first.  Collect leaves or cones from the ground.  Find a flower, peak inside, and see what you spy. Walk around your block during a full moon.  We even have a Book of Stuff for you to do if you run out of ideas, from scavenger hunts, leaf rubbing, matching animal tracks, to creating a nature collage! Whatever it is you do, find family and friends to join you!  If you’re traveling with your family, we have Car Bingo. Just look out the window and try to find the object on the sheet.   Be a Wildlife Watch Explorer! Get outside and look for wildlife in your backyard, community and local parks. Write down the different animals, plants and nature you see, and then visit “Wildlife Watch” to report your sightings, share stories and even upload photos!  Below are some other awesome sites to check out!

“The Great Tree Hunt” from Ranger Rick, National Wildlife Federation

“Firefly Fun” from Ranger Rick, National Wildlife Federation

“Through the Lens: Reflections”  from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Discover Online Games

Neighborhood Explorers Treehouse

Learn all about what a National Wildlife Refuge and the kinds of careers that are available to you.
Credit - USFWS

We know you enjoy computer games and so we have collected a few for you to try.  But, once you have played them, we are hoping that they will inspire you to get outdoors yourself to play.  There is a whole world of fun and adventure waiting for you just outside your back door. Neighborhood Explorers is a great game for you to learn all about what a national wildlife refuge and the kinds of careers that are available to you.

Use this "Biologist in Training" guide for ideas on exploring natural spaces. Allow yourself and your child a moment each day for free, unstructructured play outside, and you'll feel closer to nature and each other!

You can also become a National Park Service web ranger and design your own office, earn rewards, share pictures and stories, and learn about conservation. If your parents are not able to take you outside hiking, you can go on a virtual hike to different National Forests. Try more games below:
Search & Animal Tracks Games, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Recycle City, Environmental Protection Agency
Salmon Challenge, King County, Washington
Discover the Forest, U.S. Forest Service and The Ad Council
Wild Games, Kids Planet
Race to Midway Atoll is an interactive game that educates players about the threat of marine debris on Midway Atoll and its inhabitants.  The game takes approximately 10 minutes to play, involving two players or teams of players.

Tracks in the Mud is a fun game where you match animal tracks to an animal.
The Pacific Salmon and Steelhead Coloring Book allows you to learn about these interesting migrating fish while coloring! 
The National Wildlife Refuge System Coloring Book is a fun way to learn about National Wildlife Refuges while you color!
The Wetlands Coloring Book has drawings of wetland plants and animals that you can color!
With the Fish, Wildlife and People Coloring Book, Mark Trail will show you how to care for America’s wildlife.
In this amazing coloring book Chessie, A Chesapeake Bay Story, enjoy the adventures of the fictional Chessie the Sea Monster who with many other animals depends on the Chesapeake Bay for habitat.
Follow this new adventure of Chessie the Sea Monster in this rhyming Chessie Returns! coloring book.


Explore Wildlife & Photos

Photographing Flowers

Kenmare Summer Reading program participant photographing some of the beautiful native flowers found on Munch's Coulee Hiking Trail on Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota.
Credit - Jennifer Jewett/USFWS

Ever wonder how many species and animals live in your own backyard?  How would you like to capture them through a camera lens?  Through Earth Rangers, you can view photos of all kinds of animals and, at the same time, learn about their habitat, what kind of food they eat, and what their behavior and adaptations are.  You can even learn more about how to protect certain kinds of critters.   Once you have done that, go to a local park or national wildlife refuge with your family or friends and explore some more-This time with your OWN camera!
But animals aren’t the only wildlife that you can view and protect.  Forests, wetlands, and other land need the same appreciation. Discover the Forest allows you to look through their photo gallery, and even snap photos of your own through their online photo game. 

You may have a school project that requires photos of animals. Try visiting Nature Explorer. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a digital image library that you can search for the photos you need.

Help Fish & Wildlife

Polilinator Pathways poster

Take a look out in your yard and see what insects you can find.
Credit - Steve Buchanan

Pollinators are Important!

Pollinators, such as bees, birds, bats and insects, play a crucial role in flowering plant reproduction and in the production of most fruits and vegetables. Examples of crops that are pollinated include apples, squash, and almonds. Without the assistance of pollinators, most flowering plants cannot produce fruits and seeds. The fruits and seeds of flowering plants are an important food source for people and wildlife. Some of the seeds that are not eaten will eventually produce new plants, helping to maintain the plant population.

Honey bees pollinate approximately $15 billion worth of crops in the U.S. each year. The value of pollination services provided by native bees and other wildlife is even greater. It is estimated that honeybees only pollinate 15% of the most common food crops worldwide. Download this file to keep a record of the pollinators that you see.

For more information visit http://www.fws.gov/pollinators/

There are lots of things you can do to help wildlife and habitat. You can make a difference, from creating a certified wildlife habitat to finding plants and animals in your neighborhood.  Check out some of these ideas and share them with your parents and friends: attract woodpeckers, attract butterflies, make a milk jug bird feeder, attract wildlife to your yard in winter, or learn about trash.

There are so many things you can do!  For instance, two friends cleaned up a creek in their neighborhood, a kindergarten class held a bake sale to raise money for the rainforest, an elementary school collected almost 60 POUNDS of trash near their school, and a 4th grade class raised salmon from eggs and released them into a stream.  Check Zoom into Action for cool ideas and get your own class or school involved to help make a difference!

Conservation Careers

Young Hunters

Vieques, PR 11/2010 Zone Officer Bruce Butler taking time to talk with some local children in Vieques PR about safe hunting practices while having a snack.
Credit - USFWS/Southeast

A career in conservation can be exciting as well as satisfying. You can work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service if you have the interest, motivation and education.  Are you curious about what it’s like to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? Check it out – watch the video “Meet Your New Boss.” If you’d like to see what other students are doing with the Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies, click on YouthGo.gov to view profiles and summer student experiences.

As a student or recent graduate, the Pathways Programs provide opportunities to begin your career in the Federal government by choosing the path that best describes you and where you are in academics. Another exciting option for you if you’re between 15-18 years old is the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC),  Check out this and other career, internship and volunteer opportunities!



Wildflower plantings

FWS employee Molly Monroe assists volunteers planting wildflowers.
Credit - George Gentry/USFWS

Volunteering is an important thing to do. It allows you to give back to your community, meet new people, and even learn something about yourself.  Volunteering to help wildlife is an easy thing to do, but make sure you talk to your parents first.  You might participate in a FeederWatch, or plant trees or other plants in a local park.  You may even be able to volunteer at the next National Wildlife Refuge or Fisheries Field Station open house or festival. You can even try to be a biologist for a day and help conduct fish and wildlife population surveys, or lead a tour and provide information to visitors.  There are so many opportunities, and the experience you gain will be a memory you will always remember.

Become a National Wildlife Federation Volunteer

U.S. National Park Service Volunteer

Last updated: April 15, 2014
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior | USA.gov | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Accessibility | Privacy | Notices | Disclaimer | FOIA