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Geocaching with Kids
 
What is Geocaching? How to Begin Geocaching? Tips for Geocaching with Kids Geocaching Codes Safety Tips for Geocaching

Tips for Geocaching With The Kids...

Geocaching with your children can be strictly for fun or you can take it as an opportunity to use it as an educational trip disguised in fun.  For instance it can be a learning experience by teaching them to read a map, use a compass or just improve outdoor skills.  You may find that you can turn the event into a small history, science or geography lesson in the process of your find.   You can make it fun for the  kids by including a list of items to look for along the way to keep their interest. 

You should have the kids join in the location selection for your cache search.  It is beneficial to all for you to adhere to the terrain and difficulty ratings especially if your will be traveling with small children.  A traditional cache is the size that should contain items for trading.  Click here for information on Geocache types.

Once you get to the location remember that the final 100 feet can be the most difficult because the cache will often be cleverly hidden. Try and leave it up to the kids to find the cache to add to the excitement.  Use your clues to help with the process.   Check for things that look out of the ordinary like a pipe sticking out of the ground with a screw off cap, an unnatural pile of rocks or a pile of sticks.  This is where it helps to know the type of container that you are looking to find. 

When you locate a cache, it usually will contain small items to trade.  You will find that this is the best part of the adventure for the kids.  Cache etiquette requires that if you remove an item you need to replace it with something of equal or higher value.  In some caches you may find traceable items known as geocoins or travel bugs.  These items have an identification number on them that you should write down.  You can use this number to look them up on geocaching.com to see where they have been.  Travel bugs and Geocoins usually have a travel goal stated by the owner so you are expected to help it on its journey by placing it in a different cache within a reasonable amount of time. 

Prior to leaving on your adventure help the kids to select items for trading.  It is important that you have at least one item for each child.   Put things in zip lock plastic bags for extra protection.  Remember tems must be non-persishable.  A few things that any child would love to find:

  • Small toys from the dollar store

  • Bouncy balls

  • Playing cards

  • Miniature flashlight

  • Keychain

  • Golf ball

  • Magnets

  • Coins

  • Jax set

  • Gel pen

  • Stickers

  • Stencils

  • Scrapbook Supplies

  • Arts and Crafts Supplies

  • Marbles

  • Packet of flower seeds

  • Baseball Cards

  • Yoyo's

  • Match box cars

  • Pins

  • Patches

  • Pencils

  • Erasers

  • Finger puppets

  • Dice

  • Post card

  • Something that represents your state or country 

  • You can get really creative and have the kids make craft items to put in the cache.   

Craft Ideas For Geocaching Trades:

  • Beaded safety pins: take a large safety pin and simply slide different colored beads onto the straight section and then close it.

  • Friendship Bracelet: Make a bracelet out of beads or thread.

  • Construct a magnet:  Attach a magnet to a small seashell, painted wooden disk, or a flat back glass marble (used for vases).

  • Make a book marker and laminate it.

  • Create a "Geo-Ball" - Take a golf ball and using sharpie markers add a face to the front and the date/state on the back.

  • Decorate a pen or pencil with feathers, ribbon or beads.

What To Do After You Find The Cache?

It is extremely important that you seal the cache and return it to the location it was found in the exact way it was discovered.   Return home and log back into your caching website. Find your cache page and follow directions to log your visit.  Remember that the cache owner will be notified of your log and is always interested in knowing the condition of the cache and any obstacles that you may have encountered.