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Tips for geocaching with kids 6 and 4


terkmadden
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I just started myself and we are having fun with a 11yr old 10yr old 3 yr old and 6 mo old. I would make sure you have all the necessities BUG SPRAY, sunscreen, water and swag. Swag is the stuff you trade with and that makes my 3 yr old squeal with delight when she gets a new treasure even if it is a old mc donalds toy. I always trade something nicer than we take but my little one could care less. The older ones love taking turns holding the gps thing. I make sure they have a certain responsibility and they get real excited about there job. Make sure you don't go during down time/nap time because cranky kids don't do well with bugs, hot sun and excessive searching in lots of weeds that are over there head. Start with low level of difficulty and large or regular sized caches and you should be good or that is the experience we have had and the kids have wanted to go every day since we started last friday. I repeat bring bug spray and lots of it and don't for get extra batteries.

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I have a 4 year old and a 3 year old. Honestly, my 3 year old is a reluctant participant. He doesn't really get why we're walking in circles any why we've been walking for so long. But my 4 year old!!! He loves it! Here's what we do:

 

1) I have a "geobag" where I carry everything the previous poster suggested:

  • bug spray
  • snackies
  • water
  • trade items

and for me:

  • a pair of rubber-dipped garden gloves
  • my Buck knife
  • notebook
  • compass

2) My son has his own "geobag" where he carries:

  • a bunch of fold-out nature guides so he can identify bugs and trees and flowers and things
  • magnifying glass to see said bugs and things with
  • compass
  • kid-sizes rubber garden gloves
  • sunglasses
  • hat
  • HIS OWN LOGBOOK

I ordered an official Groundspeak Geocaching patch that I ironed on to his backpack. Very cool.

 

3) After each find (or at the end of the day) we make an entry in his own log book and he chooses a sticker to signify one "find." After 10 stickers he got an award ribbon. When we do a multi he gets a sticker for each stage, and sometimes an extra sticker if he goes the extra mile for a cache, like being willing to don the gloves and wade way into the blackberry bushes (I was majorly impressed).

 

4) He is working toward 30 stickers to earn a new backpack that is a little bigger and has a waist strap (like mine).

 

We have a GREAT time! As soon as my 3 year old catches on, we'll institute a log and things for him too!

Edited by nericksx
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New to geocaching. My kids are 6 and 4. Any tips for me to get started on a good foot? Thanks. We are pumped! :P

I would recommend searching for larger caches first... smalls or regulars. When you reach GZ and spot the cache, you could stand back encouraging the kids to see if they can find the cache themselves. :P

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I have two daughters 7 and just turned 9. I didn't think they would be too up for the chase, but once I get them taking turns holding the gps they are loving it. One will hold it to a cache then take turns.

The couple times I've had the kids out theyusually end up spotting the cache before me. they are pretty good at seeing the obvious for some reason.

 

It is a great times with the little ones.

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My kids are 14, 6 & 1. I agree with what the previous posters have said. Bring plenty of bug spray, water snacks and good swag items. It also seems to help to give them clear expectations. So they know how long each trip is, how many caches we are looking for in the area, when we'll stop for lunch. So far it's been great. The kids are so busy they hardly have time to bicker and annoy each other. Although yesterday on the trail My oldest was complaining that his brother keeps "following him." I'm not sure where he expected him to be. :P:P

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Don't under estimate what they are capable of. We started just after my youngest turned 3. We did them all. The long, the short the terrain 3. We avoided the micros. She is seven now. Has great trail sense. Sometimes we need to use our track log to get out of the bush but she can just direct us out based on what she saw on the way in. We never carried her. The only challenge was once when she need to defecate in the woods. That caused weeks of post traumatic stress. I would recommend preparing the kids mentally for this because you are not hiking a mile out if they need to "go". Last night we hiked over 5 miles. Not a word of complaint from her.

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We are new to this as well, but my husband and I bring along our just turned 4 year old, our 2.5 year old and the soon to be 1 year old. I wear the baby in a mei tai carrier, and he has a blast looking at everything new all around him. And the bouncing from the walking has him asleep most of the time! He never naps at home so its a blessing! If it is not a clear path, I wear him in the front to protect his head as we bob and weave! Sometimes we wear the 2.5 year old as well, since her legs are tiny and she is easily distracted. Mommy and Daddy get down to business when its time to seek! The 4 year old is really loving the trading of treats. We just did a forgein currency exchange, where he put our coin in, and the 2 year old picked what we kept. We are making a photobook of our travels, and take LOTS of pictures. I am thinking of getting the 4 year old his own camera, and let him make a book from his own perspective. We bring lots of drinks, as many snacks as we can, and some extra "special" snacks they don't get every day, in case we need melt down diffusual. We try and make it about them as much as we can, even though we are the ones chomping at the bit to GO GO GO. :) As with anything and kids, the more involved they are in the process, the more they love it.

 

Mikels_Clan in NJ

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