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Geocaching with 2 year olds

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Anyone have any tips for caching with 2 year olds? Wether it is a drive in or, a long hike would love to know how many people actually do it and how are your results?

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We started our grandson when he was 3. He turns 9 next month. He is enthusiastic about caching. We would take him to caches that had short hikes (a couple hundred yards) and others that were hidden in parks. That way he could play on the equipment. I think we found every park in Las Vegas! Now he likes to travel the dirt roads and jeep trails here in Utah. He has his own name now and wants his own GPSr. Just take it easy and have fun. You wont find a lot in a day when you have him with you, but the one's you do find will be a lot of fun.

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Anyone have any tips for caching with 2 year olds?

 

We cache with a 3 and 5 year old. When we do a long day of caching (around 8-15 at a time) we try to mix it up. Some easy parking lot finds and some hiking as well as mixing up the size of the caches. Our kids don't mind looking for micros - they have both scored finds of their very own. We also gave them log books to keep track of finds. Mom or dad write the date and number and let them draw a picture about what we found or what we saw. Yeah, I know that I rarely get useful info out of the three year old, but she loves being a part of the process. They also have little bags of swag of their very own (you could probably find a tiny fanny pack or backpack that your little one can carry himself) that they can trade out of if we happen to find something that they want. (But we also carry baby wipes to clean off what they do want before they play with it! Can't be too careful!) They love looking at the GPS and following the arrow as well as carrying a flashlight when we are hiking in for a longer find. Granted, we have never actually needed a flashlight, but it makes it fun for both of them to be involved and it helps keep them on the path! (Though our 3 year old LOVES to bushwack. "Can we bushwack, Mommy?" Also, take lots of pictures and get a cheap photo album and put them in. (You don't even have to label it - just slide in the pics!) Kids love to see themselves doing things - great for language/memory development! (I am a teacher - it has to be a little educational!) Most of all, have fun! If they start to get bored, we stop. We want them to love it as much as we do so understand that they have limitations!

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One of the best things I have discovered when caching with kids is to bring the portable DVD player. I was against the idea at first, and then when I caved the kids were so much happier, and did not notice the stop and go that caching can bring.

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April 18, 2004 by BlueDeuce

Since the cache is near where I live, I figured I might as well be FTF. Took the two year old with me right after church and we found the cache with no problems. Jr. was pretty amazed that ol' dad could produce a container right there in the middle of the woods.

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We've been caching since April, just after our son turned two.

 

Now, with 200+ finds, only 40-ish of those were without the toddler.

 

The biggest thing we've learned is that the boy is boss. When he's hungry, eat. When he's tired, let him sleep. If he's done, we're done. Bring lots of snacks and drinks. Don't fall into the "one last cache" trap and stay out too long.

 

Patience is key. Be willing to give up looking for a cache that's taking too long and the toddler is getting bored.

 

Keep it interesting for them. Let them open the Lock-n-lock. Let them look through the swag. Let them keep swag (make sure you've got a good selection of trade items, and wipes to clean off the newly acquired swag).

 

Make it an adventure. Our boy loves going to look for "treasure". He loves "going for a walk in the woods". He loves The Backyardigans, and often sings the "Treasure, treasure, find some treasure!" song from the "Pirate Treasure" episode.

 

You will be limited to the terrain you can tackle. Many urban caches are stroller friendly. We use a backpack for some of the less urban caches, and let him walk for many of the others. For the most part, anything rated higher than a 2 is pretty tough with the toddler.

 

Bring a partner. Usually one of us is looking for the cache while the other is keeping the toddler engaged. Caching solo with the toddler is *really* tough.

 

It's not just about the hunt. You'll discover playgrounds you never knew about. Stop and let them run off some steam. You'll discover "attractions" you never knew about. Enjoy them. Sometimes you'll abandon the hunt because the toddler's discovered something more interesting.

 

Did I mention patience is key? We average about 4 caches per caching day with the toddler but a good day is about 8-10. Of course, that's a function of the cache density in your area too.

 

Anyway, that's my experience. Your mileage might vary! :D

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I have cached muchly with Narg the Trolloc and we have always had a great time. The only advice I would give is go slow, make them walk most of the way, and get a child harness just to make sure heshe can't go running off over a cliff or something.

 

Then relax and encourage them to hug a tree:

 

8150426b-fa41-4063-afa1-9643270c728e.jpg

 

Play in the creek:

d6667fde-5665-4d1a-a8de-431e043d2cba.jpg

 

explore their world:

36fb4bb5-4682-4ece-896d-f68eba1e1e05.jpg

 

Or just wait right here till I find the cache and I'll be back for you: :D

 

237182f1-c7a3-4338-a101-f335f32af848.jpg

 

Note: the above picture is a joke picture. She was never left alone, not even for one second. (just in case any busy-body CPS HRS types are reading the forums) :D

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We've been caching since April, just after our son turned two.

 

Now, with 200+ finds, only 40-ish of those were without the toddler.

 

The biggest thing we've learned is that the boy is boss. When he's hungry, eat. When he's tired, let him sleep. If he's done, we're done. Bring lots of snacks and drinks. Don't fall into the "one last cache" trap and stay out too long.

 

Patience is key. Be willing to give up looking for a cache that's taking too long and the toddler is getting bored.

 

Keep it interesting for them. Let them open the Lock-n-lock. Let them look through the swag. Let them keep swag (make sure you've got a good selection of trade items, and wipes to clean off the newly acquired swag).

 

Make it an adventure. Our boy loves going to look for "treasure". He loves "going for a walk in the woods". He loves The Backyardigans, and often sings the "Treasure, treasure, find some treasure!" song from the "Pirate Treasure" episode.

 

You will be limited to the terrain you can tackle. Many urban caches are stroller friendly. We use a backpack for some of the less urban caches, and let him walk for many of the others. For the most part, anything rated higher than a 2 is pretty tough with the toddler.

 

Bring a partner. Usually one of us is looking for the cache while the other is keeping the toddler engaged. Caching solo with the toddler is *really* tough.

 

It's not just about the hunt. You'll discover playgrounds you never knew about. Stop and let them run off some steam. You'll discover "attractions" you never knew about. Enjoy them. Sometimes you'll abandon the hunt because the toddler's discovered something more interesting.

 

Did I mention patience is key? We average about 4 caches per caching day with the toddler but a good day is about 8-10. Of course, that's a function of the cache density in your area too.

 

Anyway, that's my experience. Your mileage might vary! :D

 

I agree 110% with this post! The only thing that I could add is to get a good backpack for carrying the toddler, one that is for up to about 3 or 4 years old and keep it in the car. When they are tired of walking it's a great thing to have and can lengthen your caching day!

 

We have been caching since our daughter was 13 months old. Started with carrying her in a hotsling, then spent the money for a Patapum carrier for her. Micke, husband, carries her 90% of the time since I have terrible balance, but we've hit terrain 3 and 3.5 caches with her on his back without any trouble. Ours also has a little bag that attaches at the hip that he keeps a compass, pen, and the GPS'r in when it's not being used, so that's nice to have.

 

Since you're going to be out with the kidlet, take some precautions. They are mostly common sense, but sometimes you just don't think of them! Insect repellent, bandaids and wound wipes, sunscreen, a LOT of water, extra diapers and wipes, extra underpants for those that are a little older, dry socks and maybe a t-shirt, in the summer a small towel and swimsuit is good for those unexpected swimmin' holes on warm days, benadryl for insect stings (triaminic has meltables that are kid dosed and diphenhydramine, the ingredient of benadryl, and travel very, very well), poison oak/ivy "antidote" if you cache in areas like that, and some sort of pain relief.Be sure that you mark where you have parked your car on your GPS'rand that someone knows that you've gone out caching with the kidlet, and be sure that your cell phone is with you and charged. A lot of folks have accidentally lost their cell phone as it has fallen out of their pocket when they lean over or jump a stream, or whatever, so be a dork and get a lanyard and either wear it around your neck or attach it to a belt loop. I know it seems like a lot, but set it up as a little kit to keep in the trunk of your car. Not all of it is necessary, but it sure makes it a lot easier should the unexpected come to pass!

 

Kids are incredible. Try to see the world through their eyes, you see things ever so much more differently and they teach you so much!

 

Naomi :D

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Anyone have any tips for caching with 2 year olds? Wether it is a drive in or, a long hike would love to know how many people actually do it and how are your results?

We just started caching in September with a 2 1/2 year old and a 7 year old. The kids love to "treasure" hunt. Starting early in the morning works best for us and being realistic about the number of caches you can get to before nap time. We try to stick to regular sized caches because the "toys" are usually better. Sometimes it's hard. Today we found a cache that was on top of this huge hill that had a 60 degree incline. my husband carried the baby all of the way up Yippes!

 

Good luck and happy caching!

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I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old. Both have been caching thier whole lives. They love it!!

 

I carry the 2 year old a lot on the trails and he occasionally falls to sleep on the way but is always excited to make "the find". Just learn to carry all the supplies a 2 year old may require and be prepared to use them in odd settings!!

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No problems caching with my kids, the youngest being 2. It requires bringing lots of extra things that kids may need, and we're usually limited to about 4-6 hours or so until they're tired. My kids love it, walking around, exploring, getting dirty and playing hard, and they even have a tendency of finding some caches that I can't even find due to their small stature.

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Two is a little young for hiking, but we've taken our kids to parks where I can find a couple caches and they can play on the playground. If there's a cache they can walk to, so much the better. Might be a good idea to bring along some swag that you know they'd like and secretly get it into the cache so they can trade for it. If they're getting something out of the container, they enjoy it more.

 

Consider hiding a kids cache filled with dollar store toys for kids as well, and let them find that. One local guy hid a cache with treasure boxes that kids could take without trading, my son got one and we still have the little gold coins laying around here. He loved it.

 

He enjoys taking hikes as long as they're not too long or strenuous. The picture below is from GC12315, and he's holding the cache on his lap. He was 4 at the time. It was almost a 2.5 mile round-trip hike in the woods, but we had a great time.

 

6c3397ce-72de-4dd2-b34e-6584394adb25.jpg

Edited by DocDiTTo

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Aerodoq summed it up so nicely. Our 2 year olds are now 33 & 36, but the way a 2 year old thinks hasn't changed much over the years. If you want them to explore their world as an adult, whether it be geocaching, hiking, sports, music, or whatever, then let them do it now, but at their pace . Make it fun and when it's no longer fun for them stop. Don't ever let them get the feeling that stopping is annoying to you or is somehow their fault. Enjoy sharing the experiences he can handle and if a more challenging task is on your agenda for the day, find a sitter. Only too soon you will be the one needing the break... puffing up the hills... wishing the car was closer... as he runs ahead to make the find.

   

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Why can't we just delete duplicate posts? arghhhh...

   

Edited by edscott

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... Might be a good idea to bring along some swag that you know they'd like and secretly get it into the cache so they can trade for it. If they're getting something out of the container, they enjoy it more.

What happens with us is that our grandson takes something from the cache, and then on the way back to the cache-mobile, he says, "Nana, can I trade for something in your cache box?"

 

We buy Hot Wheels by the gross!

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Two is a little young for hiking,

 

I guess it is different for different kids, but Narg has quite a few miles on her already. She has gone along on hikes over 3 miles round trip with no complaints. We got custody of her at a little less than 2y/o and she just turned 3 a couple months ago. She's been hiking in the woods from the get go.

 

It's kinda funny I guess. When we got her we got an umbrella stroller. Of course the stroller won't work in the woods, but we used it once or twice at festivals. We soon learned that it was a waste of effort to lug the thing around and she seems to prefer to walk and hold our hands. About the only time she rides when she could walk is in WM and then only if we are in a hurry.

 

Personally, IMO with all the couch potatoey crap that is so popular these days like video games and TV and such, the more you make the kids get outside and walk the better. We don't know how long we'll have her so I hope she learns from us to love the outdoors if we aren't able to teach her anything else.

 

Just a little side tidbit, she was looking at some of my pictures and saw Murasaki rappelling and climbing and she seemed awfully interested. :) ...In a few years...

 

I say if they have two good legs make 'em use 'em.

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A really good exercise / jogging stroller with shocks has been great for us since our little guy was about 2. We have taken it on all kinds of terrain including beach (packed sand) and all types of hiking trails. Make sure it has the knubby mountain bike tires (your local bike shop can switch them out for you). We have also used a backpack carrier for trails that couldn't accomodate the stroller, but if there was a choice, our son always preferred the stroller. Have fun!

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Geocaching wasn't around when our kids were in the 2 year old range (they are 22 and 20 now), but we were camping, hiking, etc. even before they could walk, the same as my parents did with my brother and me. We did try a backpack carrier and it worked well but the kids most of the time wanted to walk themselves. You have to go at their pace and at their endurance. Let them stop and investigate whatever might catch their interest. Amazing what interesting and beautiful things they may find that we probably would not have noticed! Of course, as others have said, you have to bring all the necessary supplies along, diapers, first aid stuff, water, etc.

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I would strongly recommend one of these if you can find one:

 

4574c4ba-afae-4653-a084-1410f0bf82b1.jpg

 

Hi,any idea where I could get one of these from?I`ve looked them up on the web and can only find the pda version,no mention of GPS.

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I would strongly recommend one of these if you can find one:

 

4574c4ba-afae-4653-a084-1410f0bf82b1.jpg

 

Hi,any idea where I could get one of these from?I`ve looked them up on the web and can only find the pda version,no mention of GPS.

You're kidding right? :):)

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I don't cache with my 3.5 year old very often as the wilds here are pretty rough - thorns, poison ivy, skeeters, chiggers, nettles, spiders, etc. Occasionally we'll find a real easy cache near a playground though.

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I have three kids one of which has gone caching with me since she was two. So I have a lot of experience with this. First off the kid is the boss. His/her moods, abilities, likes, and dislikes dictate everything. So you need to make sure their needs / wants are taken care of and avoid caching during naps times. A crying kid will draw attention from muggles, plus it is not very fun. Stock up on drinks and snacks along with a toy and they will be good to go.

 

You might want to refrain from the extreme terrains and long hikes. Short hikes on solid terrain, park & grabs, country caches, park / playground caches can make for good fun. If you can find areas that they may find fun and cache there. This is good bonding and teaching time.

 

Explaining the treasure hunt aspect will get them exicted. They like the swag. So you might want to avoid a spree of finding micros and virtuals (sounds like some of the cachers on this board). Also get the kid near the cache and let them find it and open it. The more you do that, the more they will want to cache and get excited oevr it.

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I would strongly recommend one of these if you can find one:

 

4574c4ba-afae-4653-a084-1410f0bf82b1.jpg

 

Hi,any idea where I could get one of these from?I`ve looked them up on the web and can only find the pda version,no mention of GPS.

 

The only shop I was able to find it at was........

 

 

Photoshop! :)

 

Naomi :)

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I have three kids one of which has gone caching with me since she was two.

Excellent post - this one just about covers it all.

 

I've found that a backpack and/or jogging stroller (I've been on many hikes with them that no sane person would bring a stroller on) is a great idea, and of course, never, never run out of food.

 

I have a friend here who I cache with - his mantra is essentially 'if it's not fun, stop'. This is rule #1 when caching with kids. If you're not having fun, they'll know it, and if they're not having fun, everyone will know it!

 

Another thing to think about is social caching - grab some of their friends, and bring them along. We can't keep up with the kids when they're caching with their friends.

 

We've gone on caches up mountains, on hikes with sleds in 10 degree weather, etc. It's fun to bring along 'celebratory' items - we've had licorice, jerky, granola bars, hot chocolate and candy canes, etc. that we break out in celebration after the find.

 

And of course, be willing to wait longer for them to choose swag than they did for you to find the cache!

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Two is a little young for hiking,

 

I guess it is different for different kids, but Narg has quite a few miles on her already. She has gone along on hikes over 3 miles round trip with no complaints. We got custody of her at a little less than 2y/o and she just turned 3 a couple months ago. She's been hiking in the woods from the get go.

 

...

 

I say if they have two good legs make 'em use 'em.

 

I agree, if the terrain is suitable. The trails here in Pennsylvania are extremely rocky. (AT hikers always joke that PA is where hiking boots go to die). If the trail is suitable, then by all means take them hiking. The couple times I tried, my poor daughter was stumbling over rocks with almost every step, and mommy ended up carrying her the half mile back to the car. (I was carrying the older one, who was a bit crabby due to lack of sleep and about 25 lbs heavier). I guess that's another important point - make sure the path you choose is well suited to a person 2 feet tall, rather than 6 feet tall. The logs and stones you step over they have to climb over - and that's a lot of work.

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I had been caching for only a few months when I planned my first family trip to a state park. My family consists of myself and my wife who are in our 30s and a 2-year old daughter. I had grand visions of caching the day away and racking up 8-10 caches. When we actually got there it just didn't turn out that way. We found a nice spot by the river and decided to set up a picnic. Different people got hungry, had to go to the bathroom, etc etc. In the end we looked for and found a whopping 1 cache for the day. But we had a great time. Geocaching was the thing that got us out the door, which is the most important part. Once you're out the door just enjoy yourself and let your kids explore. If they are excited about the hunt, great. If they aren't you aren't going to be able to convince them otherwise. Let then wander, collect rocks, dig in the dirt, whatever. As long as they have fun, they are going to associate the outdoors with fun, which is your long term goal anyway.

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Our son has been caching right along with us since he was two and a half. At first he was a bit unpredictable but he has learned to stay on the trail and to keep within sight of each other. When we bushwack, he can now pick his own path through the trees and often refuses to be carried. He is good for about 4km worth of trails if we stop for a snack along the way. We carry a baby sling in our cache bag instead of a backpack carrier as it folds up really small but can be used to support him in a piggy-back position.

 

There has been a few occasions when we have reached a GZ and I am busy playing with the buttons on the GPSr only to hear him say “there it is”!

 

I am truly proud of his confidence in the woods. Geocaching has given us many adventures and an opportunity to pass on a love for the outdoors to our children.

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Our son has been caching right along with us since he was two and a half. At first he was a bit unpredictable but he has learned to stay on the trail and to keep within sight of each other. When we bushwack, he can now pick his own path through the trees and often refuses to be carried. He is good for about 4km worth of trails if we stop for a snack along the way. We carry a baby sling in our cache bag instead of a backpack carrier as it folds up really small but can be used to support him in a piggy-back position.

 

There has been a few occasions when we have reached a GZ and I am busy playing with the buttons on the GPSr only to hear him say “there it is”!

 

I am truly proud of his confidence in the woods. Geocaching has given us many adventures and an opportunity to pass on a love for the outdoors to our children.

 

I just wanted to say this is a great thread. I'm glad to see so many people caching with their kids. I've only taken my 4 year old daughter on a couple of hunts, but she enjoyed them alot. Now with the weather finally getting nice, I can't wait to take her and her two year old brother on some of the longer hikes.

 

Any tips for when the kids out number the adult, 2 to 1? :o

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I've taken my 4 year old on several of my cache hunts. She always has a pretty good time. We've taken her little (almost) 2 year old brother on a few hunts. We always have to talk Daddy into going with us on those and he's not enthusiastic about caching.

 

I plan to take them together on many more trips. Since we're basically still newbies, we have several in our area that I haven't found yet. I'm looking forward to finding one or two here and one or two there. I hope I can help them have as much fun with it as I do!

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We've been caching since April, just after our son turned two.

 

Now, with 200+ finds, only 40-ish of those were without the toddler.

 

The biggest thing we've learned is that the boy is boss. When he's hungry, eat. When he's tired, let him sleep. If he's done, we're done. Bring lots of snacks and drinks. Don't fall into the "one last cache" trap and stay out too long.

 

Patience is key. Be willing to give up looking for a cache that's taking too long and the toddler is getting bored.

 

Keep it interesting for them. Let them open the Lock-n-lock. Let them look through the swag. Let them keep swag (make sure you've got a good selection of trade items, and wipes to clean off the newly acquired swag).

 

Make it an adventure. Our boy loves going to look for "treasure". He loves "going for a walk in the woods". He loves The Backyardigans, and often sings the "Treasure, treasure, find some treasure!" song from the "Pirate Treasure" episode.

 

You will be limited to the terrain you can tackle. Many urban caches are stroller friendly. We use a backpack for some of the less urban caches, and let him walk for many of the others. For the most part, anything rated higher than a 2 is pretty tough with the toddler.

 

Bring a partner. Usually one of us is looking for the cache while the other is keeping the toddler engaged. Caching solo with the toddler is *really* tough.

 

It's not just about the hunt. You'll discover playgrounds you never knew about. Stop and let them run off some steam. You'll discover "attractions" you never knew about. Enjoy them. Sometimes you'll abandon the hunt because the toddler's discovered something more interesting.

 

Did I mention patience is key? We average about 4 caches per caching day with the toddler but a good day is about 8-10. Of course, that's a function of the cache density in your area too.

 

Anyway, that's my experience. Your mileage might vary! :anitongue:

I started caching when my was right at 2. I was going to reply with my own wisdom, but Aerodog already covered most points.

 

The only thing I'll add is to WATCH THE TERRAIN RATING, especially if caching without someone to watch the toddler while you duck into the bushes/scale the cliff/climb the tree. I usually cache with just myself + Joshua (my wife never really got into the game), and I avoid caches with terrain ratings above 3.0 when he's with me. Sometimes I'll contact the owner to get recommendations on toddler friendlyness, because not everyone strictly follows the clayjar rating system. I've seen caches rated at 3.5 stars that consist of a leisurely stroll across a park followed by a short walk up a moderately steep hill, and I've seen caches rated at 2.0 stars that I passed up because I felt it was too dangerous for him.

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I always wondered about cachers with kids...how did they make that work...how do you get any cache hunting done with all the kid stuff you have to haul and the carrying when they get tired...

 

Then my wife and I had a beautiful girl 19 months ago. It really changes your view of things.

 

I take my little one out and go for walks for treasure. We stop and look at the leaves, birds, and of course the play equipment. :anitongue:

 

All the ideas above are right on the mark. Just go out and have fun with the family. Pick some caches that are close to other things to do. The biggest thing is to skip over the caches with long hikes and lots of poison ivy.

 

I have never had as much fun caching than when I cache with my little one. It really makes me slow down and enjoy the journey of getting to a cache and seeing all the small things that I might have missed if she didn't help me see them.

 

I look forward to many years of geocaching adventures with my little one, all while exploring the outdoors.

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We've been walking with kids since forever, only geocached recently but I think the advice is about the same.

 

We have four girls, from 11 to 4 mos.

 

- I don't do a terrain rating over 2.5. It just gets discouraging for the kids and the three-year-old gets too tired. We also don't do micros; they said it would be no fun for them after I explained what they were.

 

- A third or half-mile walk in and the same out is just about right. Takes about 45 minutes total and is enough to stretch everybody out and tire out the toddler but not so long that we're carrying her.

 

- Count on at least 10 minutes at the cache while the toddler pores over each and every item and considers a trade. Remember that for them, this is the whole point of the walk, and getting the best and exactly appropriate toy is a BIG DEAL. Let the toddler pick out a trade item to leave in--many kids that age really can understand that the toy you leave needs to be as good as the toy you take, but if not then just make sure to present a few options that are all appropriate.

 

- Involve them in the game. My three-year-old can now tell you exactly what a cache is, what an ammo can looks like, what the function of a travel bug is, what a geocoin is, etc. Her job when we get to the cache is to dig out any TBs, and she carries them back to the car. My older kids are getting at least a little more into the hiking aspect, but for her it's still entirely about the treasure and, to a lesser extent, TBs.

 

- Carriers have turned out to be critical, especially when we want or need to move faster than a toddler's walking speed. We have been quite displeased with frame pack kid carriers; they don't fit either of us well (smack me in the back of the head, hurt his belly) and the $$ for an adjustable frame one is unreasonable considering that the behavior of the kids isn't conducive to frame packs. The toddler wants up and down several times on each leg, and getting her into and out of the frame pack is a five-minute wait every time. Drives me nuts. So we've switched to Asian-style baby carriers that tie on; I carry the baby on my front and he carries the toddler on his back. I can lift her in and out of his carrier in about three seconds, and he just leaves it tied on all the time. My fave for this is a brand called Bamberoo, which is available on etsy.com. The body and shoulder straps are wide and lightly padded and make carrying very easy.

 

- Most days she carries her own Camelbak (the tiny one, I think it's called the Sparkle). She'll walk the whole way sucking on the end of that thing. As you can imagine, we've had lots of experience finding toddler-friendly pee spots on the woods! But giving her that to carry has totally changed her attitude; she calls it "hiking" now and is much more willing to walk.

 

- I absolutely agree that when they're done, you're done.

 

It is INCREDIBLY rewarding to walk and cache with kids if you have the appropriate tools and attitude; if you don't, it's a frelling nightmare. We try to make sure it's the first and not the second, or we don't go.

Edited by thekimballs

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The advice from TheKimballs is spot-on. I've done nearly 100 caches with kids, all of them under age 8. My own kids started around 2 years. It's really like any other outing with the equipment, diapers, sunscreen, etc. But in this case, cache selection is everything. Spend more time than normal picking out the cache and be sure everything is ready to go because once you announce that you are going on a treasure hunt, the wee tikes won't have much patience while you fiddle around with coordinates on the GPSr.

 

Caching with kids is great. It has helped my kids a lot and toughened them up a bit (we live in a tame suburb) and created a sense of adventure for them. More than that, though, it is fun for them and they are very interested in hiking, maps, and all the related learning that goes along with geocaching.

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Our Family cahces routinely with a 2 year old (who will be 3 in June) and a little guy who just turned one.

Definitely get a decent carrier. I carry our 2 year old in an Ergo, and my wife carries the little guy in a Baby Hawk. Our two year old is usually eager to start out walking, then once we find the "treasure" or "geo-tash" and trades her trinkets, she is usually keen to get in the carrier and have a rest.

 

We also have a dual sroller with rubber tries for the trails.

 

The best tip is to not burn them out. whether or not to keep going has to be on their terms. We've ended hunts 60' from ground zero before because we could sense a bit of crankiness setting in. Sometimes we've turned back 100' onto the trail if they're just no into it. And sometimes we'll find a neat bridge or brook along a trail, and sit there for a while, and forget about the hunt for a bit.

 

-No park n' grabs. No micros! TB hotels are favourites since they are almost always secluded, out of the way, terrain not too difficult, and usually have some neat stuff to swap.

 

Anyways, we have had great success introducing our little ones at a young age, and hope it only gets better as long as we keep it positive!

Edited by Pod-Cache

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I have been caching with my daughter who is 3.5yrs for about a year now. I will not take her on any caches that require much bushwacking if any. The best caches that I have found are those in parks so that she can play on the equipment at some point. Also she does not like to find micros or nanos. No stuff to trade. to her that Mc Toy is really cool and worth hanging out with Dad. :lol:

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Anyone have any tips for caching with 2 year olds? Wether it is a drive in or, a long hike would love to know how many people actually do it and how are your results?

 

I started caching just before my daughter was born, the first cache we took my daughter on she was a few weeks old, as she has grown up she goes through stages of wanting to go treasure hunting or just wanting to hang out at the swings, she is now 2.1/2 and enjoys getting involved.

 

It's great but you need to pick your targets, I usually pick ones that are a little bit away from town but wont involve a lot of walking we expect that she will want to sit on mine or mummy's shoulder for part of the way, but usually we find something on the ground for her to explore and then she forgets about being lazy :lol: dont bother with micros's go for something that will have swaps in... If I spot the cache I always wait and see if Vicky will spot it, unless its in the middle of a lot of nettles and brambles, always check the cache yourself before letting your little one loose on it, always make sure you have something to put in, make a rule I always say that she can have one piece of treasure and give her as long as she needs to choose.

 

Another tip is, have a spare Tupperware box with some swaps in it in your bag, if you cant find the actual cache then hide it and let the little un find it and choose something from it, put it back then when you are off, say you have forgotten something and run back to retrieve it back. (obviously this only works if your caching with another adult) I wouldn't do it too many times as kids ain't stupid, it also does them good to be disappointed occasionally.

 

Most of all it needs to be fun!!!

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We've been caching since July of 2007 at that time our youngest was about 6 months. Now our kids our 1, 3 1/2 and 6 years old and they enjoy geocaching. I would have to agree that when caching with kids, they are the bosses as to where, when and how long we go. We have found as many as 20 (when caching with another couple without kids) to just 1 a day with the kids. When we go geocaching we take along something to drink, snack on and even a few toys for while in the car. At the cache site, we allow our oldest to use a GPS and help point the direction to the cache--he thinks he's big stuff when he gets us to the right area and finds it. When searching, one of us tries to help the 3 1/2 year old find the cache after we spot it so she can get a find to and not just watch everyone else pull the container out. The 2 oldest bring their own backpack with and have their own trade items and we allow the kids to trade up. If one of the kids don't have anything with them, the other one usually helps them out. It's a good way to teach about being fair and sharing. Our youngest at this time is along for the ride and the scenery. He really hasn't gotten the hang of it yet, but with time he'll be out joining in on the race to the cache. He usually gets carried by mom or dad if it's a short trip to the cache or in the backpack carrier if a longer hike. If we are making a day of caching and travel to another town or area to cache, we stop to eat when the kids are hungry and usually do a picnic lunch and then go out to eat for supper. They always enjoy picnics and playing in the park for awhile, and that helps break up the day so they don't get so burnt out on caching. We (mom and dad) have also taken turns waiting in the car with the kids if they are sleeping or just want a rest a little while the other goes to find the cache that is usually nearby. We have really enjoyed caching with the kids because it's good family time and it helps us to again see the world through a childs eyes and get excited again about the little things in life that we all take for granted or have forgotten about.

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We've been caching since the first of this year and have age ranges from 2-12 (a total of 6 kids when no friends come along between my sister's family and mine). The two year olds have a great time, but we do have to be done when they are. Stop for meals, stop for playgrounds (or don't go near them for caches), let them lead. We sarted this as a way to get the family out of the house and spend some time together so if it isn't fun any more, stop!...find something else to do for a while that day and try again another day. Jogging strollers are great for the woods! Also, beware of dangerous areas....

afee1717-bb01-4096-88ad-e93d1bfc1ce7.jpg

 

this was this past week when we were visiting waterfalls to write a new earthcache.

Edited by pairadice

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We cache with a 4 year old which isn't always the easiest thing. He will do a few and then gets bored. SO it's easier to have a portable DVD player for the car and do some quick stop and grab ones. Or I play a game with him like finding rocks, leaves, bugs whatever works if it is a hike.

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We've been caching since the first of this year and have age ranges from 2-12 (a total of 6 kids when no friends come along between my sister's family and mine). The two year olds have a great time, but we do have to be done when they are. Stop for meals, stop for playgrounds (or don't go near them for caches), let them lead. We sarted this as a way to get the family out of the house and spend some time together so if it isn't fun any more, stop!...find something else to do for a while that day and try again another day. Jogging strollers are great for the woods! Also, beware of dangerous areas....

afee1717-bb01-4096-88ad-e93d1bfc1ce7.jpg

 

this was this past week when we were visiting waterfalls to write a new earthcache.

I think that's one of the coolest Caching pictures I've seen!

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Anyone have any tips for caching with 2 year olds? Wether it is a drive in or, a long hike would love to know how many people actually do it and how are your results?

 

My 4 year old loves going treasure hunting. Since he’s very active, when he’s with me I only hunt caches that are in kid friendly areas. Locations that are away from highly trafficked roads, in out of the way areas, etc. This allows him to help hunt without the worry of traffic or getting into trouble. Makes it fun for both of us. He gets to choose the item we take and I put one back.

 

Chris

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