My son loves the idea of treasure hunting, and this past weekend, we tried our hand at geocaching. I had heard about it before but wasn’t really sure what it was. I’m so glad I did the research! For anyone who is unfamiliar with geocaching, it is basically a treasure hunt where you use an app on your phone and coordinates to find a location that has a hidden box somewhere. Some caches are more difficult to find than others, and there are varying sizes of boxes. When you find the cache, you can pick a treasure hidden in the box. You have to make sure you replace the treasure with a treasure you bring though!
While my son, husband, and I love going on long walks and hikes, my daughters can be less enthusiastic. Being three, they aren’t always excited about walking. I figured that by using the motivation of treasure hunting, it might make them more inclined to take a walk with us. Yesterday, we started out on a walk and after about 1 minute of walking, Marie decided she was done. So, without much planning, I pulled out the geocaching app I have and we started our first hunt. I was right in thinking that treasure hunting would do the trick. She was much happier.
I left Jarrett to use the app and find the hidden coordinates while we followed, but once we got within a couple feet of the cache, we let the kids look. It was pretty cool to find the box. Once you find it, you can log your find and make the switch of treasures. Since we hadn’t done any planning, we didn’t have anything to trade. Luckily, we found some rocks in the box, so we traded rocks.
Our first treasure! A rock. Jack was thrilled with his rock.
Since the first hunt went so well, we decided to find another one in the area. They were ‘premium’ geocaches, but after talking with Jarrett, we decided to pay for the year membership. It was 37 dollars for a year of walking and treasure hunting. We figured it was worth it as long as we use it, and the app covers the globe. So we can hunt wherever we go.
After investing in the premium caches, we walked to an ‘earth cache’ which is a geological feature. Kids loved the big rock we found, but since we wouldn’t let them climb it, Marie got upset. That was the end of the hunt for her and Eva. Jack decided to do one more that was close as the girls and I headed down the hill we had hiked up.
So, under one hour, we did three hunts and had a ton of fun doing it. I’d call that a win. I’m really excited to continue geocaching becuase not only does it teach kids directionality, and distance, it forces you out of your normal box of where you usuaslly go. We have the opportunity to explore all over our neighborhood, town, and surrounding area. I can’t wait to explore and see what we find!