Jump to content

Guidelines for kid friendly caches


Followers 0

Recommended Posts

Are there limits to what can be described as a kid friendly cache?

I'm sure people will have many differing views on this subject but I thought it would be good to discuss.

 

The reason for asking is that I've recently released a cache that I have attributed as 'kid friendly'. I did so because it has a mystery to solve in the form of a story and involves a pleasant walk in the countryside from a homely inn - a great cache for taking the kids out on a Sunday afternoon IMO.

The problem is, it's a bit of a hike. About a 2 mile circular walk with a steep hill. Is this too far for geo-kiddies?

The terrain rating for the cache is set at 3, and so suggests the cache would not be suitable for small children.

Should I take the kid friendly attribute off the cache for this reason?

 

On a more general note:

What age range do you think the kid friendly attribute applies to?

Is there a terrain rating for which the kid friendly attribute really isn't applicable any more? E.g. is a kid friendly cache with a terrain rating of 5 a bit of a paradox?

Link to comment

I'd keep the attribute and note in the cache description that it involves a 2 mile hike and steep, etc. I think it's best to let the parents decide what is kid friendly according to their kids. Some might have little brats who can't walk more than 30 yards at a time, and some kids maybe more than open to attempting your cache and more.

 

As far as the general ?'s:

 

I've learned that considering ages is only a lame attempt at describing maturity level. For example, some 16 year olds are mature enough to handle operating a motor vehicle, whereas many others are not. Since there is no reliable maturity level test, we use age as a substitute. Same applies to caching. I could say the kid friendly attribute applies to 4-11 year olds, but that really doesn't say anything. I think it's better to rate things according to maturity level and hopefully the kids parents will be able to decided if a cache is acceptable for their kids. That's why my best suggesting is to describe the route to the parents and let them decide if it's kid friendly. That being said, the kid friendly attribute, I think, does a good job to suggest that a certain cache may be acceptable to kids.

 

 

BTW, I don't have kids and still consider myself a kid. I'm 25, but there ain't no way I'm having kids for a while. I know that right now, I'm not mature enough to handle that responsibility. Some 25 year olds are though.

Link to comment

For me to use the kid friendly attribute:

 

1. The total hike will be 2 miles or less (that is out and back or the entire loop)

 

2. Terrain will be 2.5 or lower

 

3. Regular sized cache stocked mostly with kid friendly goodies (Matchbox cars, water colors, small games, etc...)

 

4. There is something of interest to kids along the way. Could be a neat rock formation (kids love to climb on them), a playground, or the likelihood of seeing animals.

 

I'd say the kid friendly attribute applies to kids under 12 and I don't think terrain 3+ would warrant a kid friendly attribute. It doesn't mean a kid can't do it, I know many parents who bring their kids on tougher

terrain. It's just that I wouldn't advertise it as kid friendly.

Link to comment

For me to use the kid friendly attribute:

 

1. The total hike will be 2 miles or less (that is out and back or the entire loop)

 

2. Terrain will be 2.5 or lower

 

3. Regular sized cache stocked mostly with kid friendly goodies (Matchbox cars, water colors, small games, etc...)

 

4. There is something of interest to kids along the way. Could be a neat rock formation (kids love to climb on them), a playground, or the likelihood of seeing animals.

 

I'd say the kid friendly attribute applies to kids under 12 and I don't think terrain 3+ would warrant a kid friendly attribute. It doesn't mean a kid can't do it, I know many parents who bring their kids on tougher

terrain. It's just that I wouldn't advertise it as kid friendly.

 

To me kid friendly is also one in a safe location (such as a park), one that they could physically retrieve the cache themselves, should not be too hard to find, and it could also be a micro they might have fun finding. I just did one that was just a yellow rubber duck in the grass/weeds near a seldom used road.

Link to comment

Like "handicapped-accessible", "kid-friendly" is incredibly subjective, almost too subjective to be useful. I would say only use the attribute if it is very obviously kid-friendly. Don't base it on the exceptional, cache-happy kid who frequently does two mile hikes; base it on the average kid.

 

Also consider the surrounding area. I took my 2- and 5-year olds on a very easy cache on a rocky beach. Short walk, fun place for kids, but completely unsafe when they're disinterested in the cache and trying to get into the water while I'm trying to find the cache. I had to DNF.

 

Not marking it "kid-friendly" doesn't mean it isn't kid-friendly. And I think most parents will read and decide for themselves what's good for their kids, whether or not the attribute is there.

Link to comment

Kid friendly to means that the trails are nice. Fore example, if the trails are very rocky or have a lot of roots many kids trip over that stuff. I think kids aren't designed to watch their step because there's too much else to look for. Now, I've brought my kids on plenty of trails like that, I just don't know if I'd put a kid friendly attribute on the cache if that was the case. I've also been down plenty of trails that are fairly even terrain and have hills. Perhaps the trail was an old fire road or something, so it's wide and reasonably free of "trip" hazards.

 

Another thing to consider if you use the kid friendly attribute is that some might be pushing strollers through.

 

I agree that kid friendly should mean that there's some interesting features along the way like a big rock, a cool bridge or boardwalk, a playground or birdhouses (anything really).

Link to comment

We cache with our 7 1/2 year old on foot and our 14 month old either being held or carried in a sling.

 

It's child friendly, in our opinion, if we can make it in and out fairly easily and with a minimum amount of b*tching from the older one.

 

It still rates as kid friendly even if whoever holding the baby has to sit out a bit of the trail, as long as the older one can make it.

 

I guess it's just an experience type thing.

 

We went to one last weekend that had a pretty steep hillside with lots of loose rock and ground cover, the type where you kind of sit on your rump and slide down it and grab hold of whatever you can find to help climb up it. The older one made it. Mamma sat at the bottom with the baby and the dog.

 

That one was pushing it on kid friendly, pappa and kidlet made it, and it was only the end of the trail that was rough. I don't know if it would have made the "kid friendly" rating had my oldest been smaller...

Link to comment

I don't use the "kid friendly" attribute on any of my caches cause it's to subjective.

 

Just set your own standards really high. For example I personally consider kids friendly caches for kids 5 and younger, less then a 5 minute walk for a child or for parents carrying a kid, hidden easily enough for dad to point and say 'hmmm, maybe you should look under there' and stuffed full of toys.

 

I have another cache that kids love, but the walk is too much for some three year olds to make on their own. So I'm not going to call it kid friendly.

 

Maybe if there was a toddler friendly attribute I could make the distinction.

Link to comment

Considering "mousekakat"s reply, I think maybe country of origin should also be taken in to account as far as what is "kid friendly". As we americans should realize by now, our kids are typically fat, and don't take very well to being outside of the house or away from video games, for more than a few minutes at a time. In some cases, a 2 terrain rating with a "kid friendly" attribute in Sweden may be similar to a 3.5 terrain rating with a "kid friendly" attribute here in the USA.

 

Ultimately, the decision to attempt a cache falls on the parents of the child who will be taking part in the hunt for the cache.

Link to comment

Considering "mousekakat"s reply, I think maybe country of origin should also be taken in to account as far as what is "kid friendly". As we americans should realize by now, our kids are typically fat, and don't take very well to being outside of the house or away from video games, for more than a few minutes at a time. In some cases, a 2 terrain rating with a "kid friendly" attribute in Sweden may be similar to a 3.5 terrain rating with a "kid friendly" attribute here in the USA.

 

Ultimately, the decision to attempt a cache falls on the parents of the child who will be taking part in the hunt for the cache.

 

Trust me, the kids here are catching up in the chunky department, sadly! BK and Mickey D's and pizza and video/pc games are no longer an "American" thing :P. My oldest isn't the only kid in her class that has a cell phone (with a prepaid card), game boy, mp3 player, etc.

 

My oldest is packing about 1o lbs she could easily stand to lose.

 

The terrain is one of the great things about caching. It gets us all up and moving, and as a family, no less! She can moan and groan all she wants, but she's coming with us and treking with us, too! I just pull rank and tell her it's time to go and to get over it. After the first cache and the goodies found in it she's good to go to the next one :D

Link to comment

Considering "mousekakat"s reply, I think maybe country of origin should also be taken in to account as far as what is "kid friendly". As we americans should realize by now, our kids are typically fat, and don't take very well to being outside of the house or away from video games, for more than a few minutes at a time. In some cases, a 2 terrain rating with a "kid friendly" attribute in Sweden may be similar to a 3.5 terrain rating with a "kid friendly" attribute here in the USA.

 

Ultimately, the decision to attempt a cache falls on the parents of the child who will be taking part in the hunt for the cache.

 

Trust me, the kids here are catching up in the chunky department, sadly! BK and Mickey D's and pizza and video/pc games are no longer an "American" thing :P. My oldest isn't the only kid in her class that has a cell phone (with a prepaid card), game boy, mp3 player, etc.

 

My oldest is packing about 1o lbs she could easily stand to lose.

 

The terrain is one of the great things about caching. It gets us all up and moving, and as a family, no less! She can moan and groan all she wants, but she's coming with us and treking with us, too! I just pull rank and tell her it's time to go and to get over it. After the first cache and the goodies found in it she's good to go to the next one :D

You write very "American", if there's such a thing. Are you a transplant or are the English schools in Sweden that good?

 

Cheers.

Link to comment

To me "kid friendly" means my 3 and 5 year olds can do it. They can hike for a long time, no problem. The problems arise when that hike is through 4 feet of thorn grass - to me that's not "kid friendly". My guys can hike for hours, up rocks, over hills, you name it, but that long bushwacking stuff full of thorns - nope. It seems to hit them right in the eyes and face.

Link to comment

You write very "American", if there's such a thing. Are you a transplant or are the English schools in Sweden that good?

 

Cheers.

 

Hehehe, I'm as American as apple pie... I'm originally a Texas gal who met a Swede online, fell in love, got knocked up, and then moved to Sweden to continue living the "American dream" there :P

 

Life is good! Especially since discovering that our GPS is good for something besides getting us from point a to point b :D

 

Now my hubby, with the exception of a few minor words or if he's really, really tired, he will fool you! He's had other Swedes argue him that he's not really Swedish when they hear his English, it's almost perfect, but 8 years with a big-mouth, talkative American wife will do that to ya, so I hear :D

Link to comment
I'm originally a Texas gal who met a Swede online, fell in love, got knocked up, and then moved to Sweden to continue living the "American dream" there

 

:P The exact same thing happened to me!

 

Except I'm not from Texas.

 

Oh and I'm not a girl and I didn't marry a Swede.

 

And I didn't get knocked up and I live in Iowa.

 

But I am living the American dream.

 

Isn't that amazing? The similarities are kinda spooky.

Edited by BlueDeuce
Link to comment
I'm originally a Texas gal who met a Swede online, fell in love, got knocked up, and then moved to Sweden to continue living the "American dream" there

 

:P The exact same thing happened to me!

 

Except I'm not from Texas.

 

Oh and I'm not a girl and I didn't marry a Swede.

 

And I didn't get knocked up and I live in Iowa.

 

But I am living the American dream.

 

Isn't that amazing? The similarities are kinda spooky.

 

OMG! Just boggles the mind! Talk about scary coincidences! Do you breathe, too? I do! :D:D:D

Edited by mousekakat
Link to comment

We cache with our 7 and 5 year old boys. At this point, we pretty much ignore the child friendly attribute as it means different things to different people. If it is somewhere where that my boys can get there and back with a minimum of blood loss, then it's child friendly. What really got me concerned was the time that we found a PB jar stuck up INSIDE the pole of a live streetlight and that one had the child friendly attribute. In that case, the owner figured that because a kid could reach it, it was kid friendly. Me, I don't particularly want my kids to be ok with sticking their arms inside light poles.

 

simpjkee....I am a bit upset by your generalization that "our kids are typically fat, and don't take very well to being outside of the house or away from video games, for more than a few minutes at a time". I think that is a bit broad and stereotypical statement.

Link to comment

I think of the "kid friendly" designation as more of "kid oriented", that is, it is designed to appeal to young kids 4-11. That includes a less challenging terrain/difficulty as well as a safe environment, the swag, sights and theme of the cache. I would have a hard time describing a 2 mile hike as kid friendly, but I'm sure many kids enjoy it immensely.

Link to comment

Considering "mousekakat"s reply, I think maybe country of origin should also be taken in to account as far as what is "kid friendly". As we americans should realize by now, our kids are typically fat, and don't take very well to being outside of the house or away from video games, for more than a few minutes at a time. In some cases, a 2 terrain rating with a "kid friendly" attribute in Sweden may be similar to a 3.5 terrain rating with a "kid friendly" attribute here in the USA.

 

Ultimately, the decision to attempt a cache falls on the parents of the child who will be taking part in the hunt for the cache.

My kid doesn't own a video game system, has never watched a network TV show inside my house, and goes on pretty much any cache I take her to. Unacceptable risks? Call me a terrible parent. I think she's learning self-confidence by challenging herself. She's pretty skinny, too.

 

"Dangerous Trail" warnings don't stop her:

 

0a9745a6-0ee9-4a55-bb60-04484c7bbe3d.jpg

 

Storm drains that spit out a group of adult cachers weeks earlier didn't scare her:

 

181a49ac-c84d-4b82-8a63-c19a68112768.jpg

 

Little Lep didn't let a bit of whitewater interfere with finding a string of terrain five caches last month:

 

425d664e-294e-407f-8674-10bc66c8602c.jpg

 

This shot of my daughter crossing a 20 foot deep ravine on a log made the banner gallery:

 

edf7ff79-2687-474c-b4e0-e68ea4777308.jpg

Link to comment

 

simpjkee....I am a bit upset by your generalization that "our kids are typically fat, and don't take very well to being outside of the house or away from video games, for more than a few minutes at a time". I think that is a bit broad and stereotypical statement.

 

but it's true. I didnt just make it up. i'm just as upset about this truth as you are I assume.

Link to comment

Considering "mousekakat"s reply, I think maybe country of origin should also be taken in to account as far as what is "kid friendly". As we americans should realize by now, our kids are typically fat, and don't take very well to being outside of the house or away from video games, for more than a few minutes at a time. In some cases, a 2 terrain rating with a "kid friendly" attribute in Sweden may be similar to a 3.5 terrain rating with a "kid friendly" attribute here in the USA.

 

Ultimately, the decision to attempt a cache falls on the parents of the child who will be taking part in the hunt for the cache.

My kid doesn't own a video game system, has never watched a network TV show inside my house, and goes on pretty much any cache I take her to. Unacceptable risks? Call me a terrible parent. I think she's learning self-confidence by challenging herself. She's pretty skinny, too.

 

"Dangerous Trail" warnings don't stop her:

 

Terrible Parent????? Heck no. I'd say you got the right idea. Your daughter looks like a fun caching partner. Cache on.

Link to comment

 

simpjkee....I am a bit upset by your generalization that "our kids are typically fat, and don't take very well to being outside of the house or away from video games, for more than a few minutes at a time". I think that is a bit broad and stereotypical statement.

 

but it's true. I didnt just make it up. i'm just as upset about this truth as you are I assume.

 

I agree with you, kids are getting lazy and fat, no question.

 

They also want everything right of way. Why it took my 3 decades of beer drinking and partying to reach my current state.

Link to comment

Are there limits to what can be described as a kid friendly cache?

I'm sure people will have many differing views on this subject but I thought it would be good to discuss.

 

The reason for asking is that I've recently released a cache that I have attributed as 'kid friendly'. I did so because it has a mystery to solve in the form of a story and involves a pleasant walk in the countryside from a homely inn - a great cache for taking the kids out on a Sunday afternoon IMO.

The problem is, it's a bit of a hike. About a 2 mile circular walk with a steep hill. Is this too far for geo-kiddies?

The terrain rating for the cache is set at 3, and so suggests the cache would not be suitable for small children.

Should I take the kid friendly attribute off the cache for this reason?

 

On a more general note:

What age range do you think the kid friendly attribute applies to?

Is there a terrain rating for which the kid friendly attribute really isn't applicable any more? E.g. is a kid friendly cache with a terrain rating of 5 a bit of a paradox?

 

If you have ever been around a lot of children that are same age, you'd know what a wide variety of ability, personality, and desire they possess. I think the best thing to do is to not to try to cover it with an attribute. If you think it might be good for kids, state the specific reasons why you think so and let the parents make the call.

Link to comment

Trust me, the kids here are catching up in the chunky department, sadly! BK and Mickey D's and pizza and video/pc games are no longer an "American" thing :angry:. My oldest isn't the only kid in her class that has a cell phone (with a prepaid card), game boy, mp3 player, etc.

 

Hey, I'm an American and none of those things apply to me. And, by golly, I was climbing 14ers when I was 14.

Edited by Uberquandary
Link to comment

 

4. There is something of interest to kids along the way. Could be a neat rock formation (kids love to climb on them), a playground, or the likelihood of seeing animals.

 

boy that is the truth. I've taken my kids (1 boy (12) & 2 girls (10 & 8) on about 75% of my adventures. Regardless of what the listing says I decide if my kids can make it or if I think they would have a good time.

d6f74128-e4c6-4bdd-8777-afa08516cdfb.jpg

and when they look like this when they are done this is also a kid dad friendly cache

5658221a-2f17-4fb5-890d-e631517df280.jpg

 

The girls have NO FEAR, took all three of them on some very big adventures and all I have to show for it is some extra grey hairs. Mmmmm the "underground" adventures were the best :angry:

 

71abebbe-dbe8-42b4-a261-85b3f019f5e9.jpg

 

If we are out and the kids had a good time or they like the area then I would use the kid friendly attribute otherwise I'll leave it out

Link to comment

When you return from the cache with the same number of kids that got out of the car, then it's kid friendly.

I used to think that way--then one of my girl scout troop parents convinced me that the kids I brought back should at also look at least a little bit like the ones I took with me. :angry:

 

Seriously, to me, kid friendly implies what so many others have said---interesting things (to children) to see along the way or very nearby, kid approved swag, and a route that can easily be navigated by a parent pushing a stroller or carrying a tired and sleepy toddler. When I see that symbol, I think "young family, small kids"

 

If you intend the cache primarily for older children (5-13), then if it were me, I'd just add a note saying something along the lines of why you think that age group would enjoy the cache.

Link to comment

My kid doesn't own a video game system, has never watched a network TV show inside my house, and goes on pretty much any cache I take her to. Unacceptable risks? Call me a terrible parent. I think she's learning self-confidence by challenging herself.

 

I think you're one of the exceptions and not the rule!

 

I also applaud you, it's a tough line to toe nowadays! Kids want it all and they want it now! Mine are only allowed dvd's and very little network tv, tv is only on if mamma or pappa want to watch it.

 

I don't think you're terrible at all, I wish more parents were like you, actually.

Link to comment

We had a cache recently placed in our area that was listed as "kid friendly." It was listed as such because it had small toys in the container. However, it was in a cemetery and required trampling all over the grave site of two children (that's a whole other issue I have). I don't see how dragging your kids through a cemetery to show them how easy it is for a child to die is "kid friendly." I thought it was pretty morbid and disrespectful to the families whose children are buried there. I've also seen a few listed as kid friendly where it required crossing creeks and climbing things. For older kids that's great. Not so much for little ones. Mine are old enough to rough it a little, but I wouldn't bring them to a cemetery to see the graves of people their age. How is that fun?

 

I think there's a little risk in all geocaching so if your kids are tough skinned, go for it. It's just as risky walking them across the street.

Link to comment

We had a cache recently placed in our area that was listed as "kid friendly." It was listed as such because it had small toys in the container. However, it was in a cemetery and required trampling all over the grave site of two children (that's a whole other issue I have). I don't see how dragging your kids through a cemetery to show them how easy it is for a child to die is "kid friendly." I thought it was pretty morbid and disrespectful to the families whose children are buried there. I've also seen a few listed as kid friendly where it required crossing creeks and climbing things. For older kids that's great. Not so much for little ones. Mine are old enough to rough it a little, but I wouldn't bring them to a cemetery to see the graves of people their age. How is that fun?

 

I think there's a little risk in all geocaching so if your kids are tough skinned, go for it. It's just as risky walking them across the street.

 

That is a good point. Kid friendly to me suggests that the cache is do-able, safe, and would be enjoyable for an average young child. This does not seem to be a hard concept.

 

The fact that some kids can do and enjoy a physically challenging cache, does not make that cache kid-friendly. It kind of defeats the purpose of a kid friendly atrribute if the majority of caches are given that attribute because the owner feels that kids should be physically fit and be able to do the cache.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 0
×
×
  • Create New...