Looking for a fun treasure hunt sort of outdoor activity for your kids? Try geocaching! My husband got our family hooked on geocaching two years ago. Our girls love the mystery and excitement of treasure hunts and mysteries and we love that it’s an outdoor activity that we can all enjoy.
Geocaching is basically a GPS-navigated buried treasure game. How does it work? A geocacher hides a geocache, typically a waterproof plastic container filled with trinkets and a pen and log notebook, pinpoints its location using GPS technology, and then shares the geocache’s location online. Anyone with a GPS device, or a smartphone with a geocaching app that is used like a compass, can then try to locate the geocache. We use my iPhone for our geocache expeditions. Geocaching ranges in difficulty from beginners to experts, which makes it perfect for kids of all ages, even teens.
Five reasons geocaching is a great activity for families:
- Geocaching helps kids become familiar with their local terrain. We’ve had to take literal walks off the beaten path in our community parks and neighborhoods in order to locate a geocache. Sometimes they’re buried near creekbeds and sometimes they’re strategically tucked away in gnarled tree trunks.
- The entire family can get involved in geocaching. My daughers are 10 and 7 but depending on the difficulty level of the geocache you are seeking, teenagers could easily be entertained by the search if it involves a more challenging hike in rugged terrain.
- Geocaching is like a treasure hunt, meaning it will captivate kids’ attention.
- Geocaching reinforces teamwork and helps kids learn about geography and following directions on a map, as well as basic compass skills.
- It’s way too easy to get distracted by a screen indoors; geocaching gets you and your family outdoors! The only screen you look at is on the geocaching device or the app on your smart phone.
You can learn more about all the basic rules of geocaching at www.geocaching.com.
Thanks to Jamie of BlondeMomBlog for her inspiration for a fun weekend activity.
Jamie is just another mom seeking a few moments of Zen and zinfandel between soccer practice and supper. Her former beach bartender husband founded MouseCalls Computer Services in Nashville. They have two daughters, two dogs, and too much laundry. She believes laughter is the best medicine, especially when administered with a good glass of wine, or three.