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Justin Of Terrytown

Geocaching with kids

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I have two nieces and one nephew.  My oldest niece and nephew (brother's two kids) are 9 years old and 8 years old (there birthdays are in a few months) and my youngest niece (half-sister's daughter) is 4 years old (her birthday is also in a few months).  I do try to spend time with them doing something special with them (going to zoos, aquariums, insectariums, parks, est.).  

Do you have any advice with Geocaching with kids, especially the oldest two?  I live closer to my brother and his family.  

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From my personal experience. Stop if they are not having fun! If you are caching at a place, and they just want to run around and play while there, say yes! 

I reflect often on geocaching when my kids were little, and have told them my regret of sometimes putting the next cache as a priority.  I wish I had let them lead the activity. All's good now, but you asked for advice and that's my best one.

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I would pre-select a few caches, and go out and find them. This way, you can make sure that they are in good shape, and kid-friendly. I always look for regular sized caches, something that can hold swag for trade.

 

A 4/5 year old will get tired quickly, so I would search for caches in parks, or along a short trail. Let each kid have a turn holding the GPS, and leading the pack. I happen to have multiple GPSr units, so I can give my grandkids their own GPS.

 

The biggest issue I have with my grandkids is that one of them always has to be the first to the cache, and is always pushing his sister out of the way.

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I'll add to that. When I used to teach geocaching to groups of kids at the Parks and Rec, I made sure each child got a turn taking us to GZ.  Now with the app it's a lot easier to have multiple "units" among the group.

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I started caching when I was 12. Speaking from experience, I enjoyed the large, easy to find and easy to access caches with plenty of loot. You'll probably want to double-check that you've got a decent amount of swag to trade. Obviously, not all kids are created equal, but I would probably rule out micros and roadside caches. I'd look primarily at low difficulty, low terrain caches, and especially those with a good amount of favorite points. Small, local parks are probably a good place to search. You could also try filtering by the "kid-friendly" attribute, but I'm not sure how effective that is. 

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Agree with max and 99, when the kids want to do something else, you're done (that "letting kids be kids" thing...).

 

When we had simple trail/park hides with ammo cans, if an adult would email that they're hitting our caches, I'd stop over and fill 'em with "stuff".

Caches loaded with things they can play with now are always a hit.  :)   That let's the adult cache just a bit longer.

 - One near an open field we'd fill fulla balsa airplanes.   We'd get emails of the fun the kids had after the hunt. 

We've seen the "kid friendly" attribute by some to mean ease of access, not necessarily that it has fun things inside. 

I'd stick with regulars and larges, and reading logs.    An ammo can I  loaded last May with toys was almost empty in February this year.

 - Taking isn't really trading...   Pencils and sharpeners too.   So reading logs, and looking at pics might save some disappointment.

Like TheLimeCat says, parks a good idea, as that playground's often nearby when boredom sets. 

Stopping for an ice cream afterwards often guarantees another outing.   :D

Good luck.

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I love taking my nephew and niece caching, I save the top favorite and park caches for them.  My advice is to let them play and try not worry about the next cache to find. They are older now and want to find one after another.  Taking kids along for high muggles caches does help. Lol. 

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Posted (edited)

Let the kids solve the gadget caches... 

 

(Below is a group of Scouts pouring water into one of my gadgets to get the gate lock inside to open)

WaterInside.jpg

Edited by CachedIronSkillet

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5 hours ago, Justin Of Terrytown said:

I have two nieces and one nephew.  My oldest niece and nephew (brother's two kids) are 9 years old and 8 years old (there birthdays are in a few months) and my youngest niece (half-sister's daughter) is 4 years old (her birthday is also in a few months).  I do try to spend time with them doing something special with them (going to zoos, aquariums, insectariums, parks, est.).  

Do you have any advice with Geocaching with kids, especially the oldest two?  I live closer to my brother and his family.  

This is a *great* age to go geocaching.  For starters, try to find some ones with a whole lot of favorite points.  Those are always favorite'd for a reason.  But mostly, incorporated it into something else.  A nice hike with a lot of geocaches is great -- but just use the geocaches when they ask for one or get bored.  It's sometimes tempting to let yourself be the focus of the day's adventure.  If they want to chill out or slow down, do that.  I've been caching with my kids since they were 4.5 and 1, and they're now almost 15 and 11. It's been a terrific recurring theme in their childhood and they shift to and from it over time, but it's definite part of who we are.  Go for it!

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