Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How to Geocache and What To Do With All The Twigs and Pebbles The Kids Came Home With


Geocaching is a great way to liven up a healthy walk, just go to geocaching.com and enter your postcode to find the location of hidden treasures world-wide. The idea is simple, small boxes of kid sized treats are hidden in hedgerows and trees all over the country, find one and you can write your name in the log-book inside, and log it on the geocache website. You won't need a phone and app to do it, just sign up to the website (for free) and you will be able to see the location of the cache as a co-ordinate.

Copy this co-ordinate into google maps (or your map provider of choice), who will find it for you. You can then ask google for directions to the cache from your house, or a local car park or bus stop. Using your local knowledge and the closest zoom on the area will give you a better idea if there are footpaths you can take instead of following the road. Write the instructions down or draw a map for your kids to follow.

Do watch the introductory videos on the website, they'll give you an idea of how large a box of treasures you are looking for and the best way to find them.

At the cache you'll usually find a small log book to write down your visit in, a pen and possibly some small pieces of treasure (along the sparkly hairband or shaped eraser lines), take something similar with you so if your kids want to take something that's in there you can replace in for the next person.

You will need:
  • Wellies and waterproofs or sunhats and cream
  • A map
  • A pen
  • Some treasure.
 Take it further:
  • If you do have a swish phone the app is useful and can find caches nearby via GPS.
  • Send older kids out to find a cache on their own.
  • Drive or take the bus to a cache further away.
  • Make and hide your own cache
  • Take a picnic and take yourselves on a detour to a picnic area or park on the way.

And what to do with the delightful collection of gravel and dandelions the kids have come home with afterwards? Try nature printing.

You will need:
  • Leaves, pebbles, pine cones, flowers, feathers or anything else interesting you've found on walks out and about.
  • Paint on a large plate
  • Paper
How to do it:
  • Give each child a piece of paper and put the paint and their natural finds in reach
  • Let them at it. Plants and pebbles can be used as paintbrushes or to print, a small amount of paint of the underside of a leaf pressed against the paper will leave a copy of the veins/skeleton of the leaf behind.

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