Get Your Kids Moving and Hunting Treasure with Geocaching

Get Your Kids Moving and Hunting Treasure with Geocaching | Houston Moms Blog

When I was a girl, we spent countless hours playing outside. My mom’s favorite thing to say was, “If you’re not bleeding then you better not come back inside!”  {The 80’s were fun, weren’t they?!} Anway, one of our favorite games to play was ‘treasure hunt’. We would hide something in the yard, and then draw a map for the rest of us to find it. It was like The Goonies, but with a lot less cussing! But these days life is different. Our children {and the rest of us!} are constantly tempted to sit in front of a screen, especially this time of year. According to heathlychildren.org,“Children and teens spend more than 7 hours per day on average using TVs, computers, phones, and other electronic devices for entertainment, and only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day!”  

Since February is American Heart Month, I thought I’d share one of my favorite ways to be active with my kids.  It involves getting outside, taking a walk, and treasure hunting! {The last part is really what the kids enjoy}  This activity is called Geocaching! If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re in for a treat! Parks, neighborhoods, and even parking lots are filled with tiny treasures waiting to be found; all you have to do is LOOK!

Get Your Kids Moving and Hunting Treasure with Geocaching | Houston Moms BlogAre you ready for an adventure? 

  1. Download the app.  You can begin by looking at Geocaching.com or downloading the app and then locating a “cache” near you.
  2. Follow the Coordinates.  The app will give you coordinates and a compass to guide you on your treasure hunt. This is where most of the fun happens! Try to be patient, which can be difficult for little ones, because each cache tends to be well hidden.  I’d suggest starting with an easy one so that the kids can feel the thrill of finding the treasure.  That way, they’ll be more apt to stay the course when searching for a more difficult one! 
  3. Log your success. Once you have found the cache, you can log your success on the app, sign the log book found inside the cache, or just pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Some caches have little treasures that you can trade {like a toy car or a quarter} If you’d like to take a treasure, good Geocaching manners ask that you bring something to leave behind. The kids have the most fun when we can trade treasure! 

If this sounds like something you’d like to try with your kiddos but you’d rather have a guide, parks around Houston offer “Intro to Geocaching” activities for the whole family!  For example, check out the Family Activity Calendar at the Kickerillo-Mischer Perserve in NW Houston.

In my experience, Geocaching is a good fit for children about 6 and up, as it requires some patience and willingness to walk a little distance! Obviously, you’ll want to use your good sense when looking for caches that take you into the woods, as there are snakes, fire ants and mosquitoes around {or you might actually have your Goonies cussing moment}.  But each cache is rated by its level of difficulty, so you’ll know what to expect. We have found a cache in the McDonalds drive-thru {Yup!} and one deep in a wooded area near us.  So, you can tailor each adventure. 

Get Your Kids Moving and Hunting Treasure with Geocaching | Houston Moms Blog

Besides just getting fresh air and exercise, you’ll get to explore new areas, slow down in a fast paced world, and hopefully teach your kiddos how to use a compass! If you’d like a bit more info on the subject, here is a video from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

 I hope you enjoy an adventure and I’d love to hear what you thought about it!  Happy hunting and health!

 


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