Truth is, children love to learn. They are born that way! Unfortunately by time many have reached adult hood much of that drive and curiosity has been beaten out of them by schools and society in general, forcing kids to fit the mold.
As parents we have taken the responsibility to encourage our children to be intelligent and responsible adults. A fun activity that we focused on for our fall camping trip was Geocaching.
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
Benefits of Geocaching for children
- Self Reliance
- There is no one out there to help with directions!
- More emphasis on the technical aspects can be given depending on the child’s abilities.
- My daughter learns the value of bringing the proper supplies, ie. water, food, bug spray, etc.
- Simple to Complex problem solving
- Exercise (And lots of it)
- The level can be adjusted to your needs. We try to do 6 or so in a day if they are new to us.
- Self Esteem
- She is rewarded when she completes the task with a well defined result often times a small toy or trinket.
- Sharing (Voluntary of Course)
- She always brings some of her toys to trade out.
- Problem Solving Skills
- Caches are not always where you might think and sometimes they do not exist at all. Children need to be exposed to problems to learn how to solve them.
- Children may find new hobbies or interests they didn’t know existed.
- Experience Working In Groups Or Experience Working Alone
- Children may want to work together to cover more ground or work alone for a little friendly competition.
- Learn Science, History, & Geography
- Many Locations are of historical or geographical significance and there are many scientific encounters along the journey.
- Parents can get in depth on encounters along the way.
- Experience Nature
- Though not all caches are in the woods many are. In our area most caches are in parks and wooded areas.
- Learn Survival Skills
- Sometimes we will identify wild edibles along the way.
- Navigation alone is an extremely important survival skill.
- Terrain Navigation for example. Should we go up the steep hill or go around? Through the briar patch or find another way?
- Experience Reading GPS or even Map & Compass
- Understanding Of The World Around Us
- Most of all FUN!
What better way is there to encourage a child’s learning but by allowing them to have fun doing it?
The editor of Ethical Living, and pursuer of relatively interesting information, Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.