Geocaching is a fun way to explore the world around you and to discover new areas you might not know existed. It can be as educational as it is fun for children. Geocaching is also a great way for the family to spend time together doing something completely new every time. The tips below will help you make the most out of your geocaching experience with kids.
Tips for Geocaching with Kids
Join a Local Group
If you are geocaching then you have probably joined a local group or site. If not, that should be at the top of the to-do list. By joining a site you can get a better idea of how far away the new location is as well as learn what you should bring. In some cases there are even little tips and tricks to finding the exact location. Sites offer valuable information that can help you determine where you go next. You can even share information with other members and post your experience at particular sites.
Take Turns Picking a Place
Browse the available places in your area. You may want to start close to home. Let the kids take turns picking the next place you visit. One of the biggest problems children have is that feel as though they have very little control over anything. Allowing them to pick the next site is a way to offer some limited power. This makes your children feel more like it is a group activity than it is just another thing they are forced to go along with. That is a very underrated tool in a parent’s tool chest with kids…perceived power can be very effective.
Use Terms Your Children Understand
GPS is used to find the geocaching site, but your small child isn't going to understand longitude and latitude. Guide him or her with visual cues. Make sure to note information that is useful in general. For example, help your child find direction by talking about where the sun rises and sets. Use a compass as well, but point out things that help indicate location. This is sort of an introduction to map reading without actually using the map.
As your children get older they can use the compass more frequently as well as the GPS. By then they should have a solid understanding of the basics. This includes skills like the using North Star, knowing which side of the tree moss grows on, what direction rivers flow, and so forth. Otherwise they will be completely reliant on technology for direction.
When you go geocaching you usually don't know what to expect of the area. It's a good idea to bring along things like a First Aid kit as well and methods for dealing with allergies. Sadly, you might also want to be prepared for unsavory characters as well. Most people who enjoy geocaching are just looking for something fun to do as they explore the world. However, since you are in a new area you should probably be prepared to protect yourself and your children. Always have a cell phone and bear spray if you are in the woods at a minimum.
When you go somewhere new with children it's always a good idea to keep them close by and to be prepared for accidents. That means you need things like wet wipes, First Aid kits, snacks, and anything else your children require when they are out. Remember to leave the areas as undisturbed as possible. Help your children to respect the area as well.
More Outdoor Activities for Kids
- Tips for Hiking with Kids
- Backyard Camping Ideas for Kids
- Nature Walk Ideas for Kids of Various Ages
- Backyard Obstacle Course Ideas for Kids
- Flashlight Tag and Other Nighttime Games for Kids
You can find more ideas for frugal summer fun for kids here as we share a new frugal summer activity for kids each day for 100 days!