What is geocaching? It’s basically a treasure hunt where you search for stashes of objects using GPS coordinates. For a fun family activity reminiscent of pirates searching for gold treasure, try geocaching with kids.
Check out geocaching.com for a short video that shows you how to do this high-tech treasure hunting. On this site, you’ll also be able to grab the Geocache app to get you started.
The app is free to download, but for more challenging caches, try the app’s premium version!
Before you head out, get tips on how to be prepared while enjoying nature with your kids. Then get the whole family outside!
Join Twin Cities Kids Club FOR FREE and stay on top of Twin Cities family fun today. You’ll receive discounts to local, family-friendly businesses that you could use on the way when you go geocaching with kids.
Kids Love a Good Treasure Hunt
Geocaching is great fun for adults and kids! Just think: someone has hidden a cache and provided directions, hints, and coordinates to lead you to it. Use your phone or GPS device to guide you there.
Google “geocache SWAG” to get a good idea of the kinds of things other geocachers leave as treasure. SWAG stands for “Something We All Get” and includes simple fun stuff like little plastic animals or balls.
The first treasure hunt happens before you leave home when you scavenge through your trinkets. Choose things your kids are ready to release. Keep it positive by being sure they’re happy to say goodbye to the SWAG you pack!
When you find a cache, sign its logbook and see if there’s a treasure your kids like. If you want to take something, be sure to leave an object at least as good in trade!
If you find a trackable in the cache, only remove it if you can take it to another geocache that fulfills its goal.
Trackables are game pieces put in motion by a fellow geocacher. It’s a good idea to read about them before you go geocaching with kids. They might enjoy the feeling of helping a trackable along on its mission!
Walk Before You Run and Grow as You Go
Geocaches get rated by T (terrain) and D (difficulty). You know what kind of challenge your kids will handle well. Choose how demanding a trek to take (T) and how much effort to exert to solve the geocache’s path (D).
To get some early success, choose a cache that’s rated easy to find. It’ll likely be a happier adventure if you choose a simpler cache for your first outing geocaching with kids.
Larger caches might be simpler to sight and could even have bigger SWAG. Kids love a big prize! Start with a few of these adventures, and then grow into harder searches, if that sounds good to your troop.
Geocaching may catch on for your family and may even be a new way to get together with family friends. It’s a special kind of bonding experience when you work shoulder to shoulder, finding a cache as a team.
Whether your family geocaches together or even includes another family, you’ll knit new connections through your group successes.
Leave Only SWAG When Geocaching With Kids
As you’re trekking together, let them exercise those outside voices if you know it’ll do them good to be loud. Then again, if you all travel along quietly, you’re more likely to see some wildlife.
Enjoy the beauty of our Minnesota flora and fauna, and then leave on a high note! Notice if your littles begin to get overly tired or fussy.
As the saying goes, if your kids get crabby, put them in the water! Get your fill of nature, then turn toward home to wash off the good dirt you’ve all enjoyed.
On the way out, show them how to care for the natural world by packing out all you carried in. (Except for the treasure you left behind in the geocache, of course!) Geocaching with kids is a great opportunity to teach them how to leave no trace.
Bring Home the Best Treasure
Each family can create its unique kind of wonder together. Part of yours may become geocaching with kids.
Children will be giddy about a knick-knack found today. Someday they’ll fondly remember the wonderful feeling of smiling together as a family on the hunt for the cache!
Geocaching with kids is a time to build your family relationships and memories. You’ll find fun toys in the geocache, sure, but the best treasure is the happy family experience.
Talking along a trail, you may hear your kids share more of their inner landscapes. You’ll navigate the map, but you’ll also relate to each other as you get to forgive missteps along the way.
Figuring out the cache as a team will forge a sense of mutual accomplishment. Amusing things happen when you get outside geocaching with kids. Savor the laughter and the feelings of joy as you figure out the way together.
This modern treasure hunt feels like good old-fashioned family fun. Instill a sense of wonder and adventure in your children and reclaim it for yourself while out geocaching with kids.
Good Investment for Everyone
The treasure of shared time and succeeding together—these may prove the best rewards of geocaching with kids.
Author Richard Louv wrote in Last Child in the Woods: “Time in nature is not leisure time. It’s an essential investment in our children’s health (and also, by the way, in our own).”
Invest the effort to get into nature geocaching with kids. Look to the rewards of refreshment together and incredible memories. You never know what you’ll find geocaching with kids!
At Twin Cities Kids Club, we love to help your family explore the kid-friendly world in our area. Join Twin Cities Kids Club to find discounts at businesses in our metro. Look for a deal for the perfect pit stop to enjoy after locating your first geocache as a family.