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Getting kids started


lisquo
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hello everybody! well the weather is starting to break here in ohio and it's finally getting nice out! I'm starting my kiddos out caching this year and wondered if anyone could help me? we live in northwest ohio in Delphos...close to lima and van wert. does anybody know of some kid friendly caches that are fun and decently easy with some swag to keep them interested? I'm trying to teach them how to use their head for something other than a hat rack and to a 3yr old boy, two 4yr old girls and a 6yr old boy if there isn't something "cool" in it they will lose interest pretty quick. any help would be much appreciated!!!

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Welcome!

 

I'm a bit south of you (Dayton), but thought I would chime in here anyway. I don't know specific caches, but as you are new and with kids, I wanted to give you some hints.

 

When looking for caches, and you want them to contain swag, you need to plan for those that are sized regular or large. This should be a more enjoyable find (you will probably do better finding because they are bigger) and are more likely to hold swag. Do your research before you leave the house so you know what you are going after.

 

Secondly, if you are really new, you might want to go out first without the kids to get a feel for finding the caches. And if you find a good one, you could even plant swag and then bring the kids back later. That way, you can be more helpful to the kids, and more assured of success of finding.

 

Good luck!

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I can relate 100% w Lisquo here.

 

I tried when my daughter was about 5 and to be honest, it really didn't click w her. Now that she's 10 I tried again and she is absolutely in love with it. Now having said that and in hindsight, what I could have done to make it more interesting for her is (like Fuzziebear said) plant some goodies and stick to regular or large caches that actually are going to have stuff and not just a rolled up log.

 

Also what you could do, since you have multiple little ones, is give them each a fanny pack and get them all some tradeable items to start with. I took my little one to Walmart and hit up the clearance isle for little knick knack things. I'm thinking once they each have their own little caching kit, the contents of which changes with each trip, they'll be more into it.

 

My daughter really gets into the trading aspect of it. She's alwasys asking me stuff like "Do you think this key is worth about the same as this [plastic] gem?". And now that we're back into the game and she's learned all about it, she wants to start placing more of our own.

 

Good luck and be sure to report back in with what worked for you and what didn't. Have fun!

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I'm not from your area either, but I want to agree with Fuzziebear3. I introduced my nephew to caching when he was visiting two years ago. I did exactly as Fuzziebear suggested, I researched a few regular and large sized caches ahead of time and planted a couple swag items I knew he would like. Then I also brought more swag items with us when I actually took him out to find the caches. I let him search, only giving hints if he got stuck. The swag I had planted the previous day got him excited and interested. The swag we brought with us taught him the importance of "trading even or up". I'm sure you agree that kids should learn how to give back, be responsible and leave something fun for those who come after you. We even brought a garbage bag with us and did a little CITO around GZ.

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Our boys (and extending geocaching newbie friends) are all within the 5-9 age range. They are able to walk a bit further than a less than 5 yr old.

 

We made sure the first cache had some SWAG, but were sure to mention our family mentality of the fun and importance of the journey over the destination. Don't get me wrong, they LOVE trading SWAG. But they are just as excited with the adventure involved in finding it.

 

We have only just begun and their FAVORITE cache was a nano (listed as a xsmall). It was a TINY magnet at the location. They have continued to talk about it for DAYS as being the best cache and a hard one to beat.

 

They truly understand the THRILL of the game!! :wub: I think that really is the point of the whole thing...at least for our family.

 

I love the aspect of "trading even and up".

 

CITO...LOVE this idea. Unfortunately, we would leave with a contractor bag full with each trip. We are in a high drug use area, and hypodermics and alcohol bottles (both nip and full size) are a typical find. Very sad. I have been thinking about ways to make this more feasible for our family. Perhaps, adults carry and pick up the trash??? Maybe we pick it up on the way out, as well. Would love people thoughts on CITO with kids.

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I geocache with my grandkids. When we head out, we tend to go after non-micro caches, something that has the possibility of swag for trade.

 

I am also a Geospatial project leader in 4-H. You can do geocaching as part of that project. Our local 4-H office has GPS units for loan, so every kid can have their own, without a major investment by the parents. Contact your local Extension office for more information on 4-H.

 

Skye.

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Start with 1/1 caches with favorite points or good logs. Like what some say large containers that may have some items they can trade. You can go to a 5 and dime or 99cent stores and find tradeable items or have them make something on their own. Best to always put them in plastic sandwich bags so in case the container leaks a little yours will be in the best shape.

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