Wednesday, June 4, 2008
This weeks theme at Works for Me Wednesday involves sharing how you will keep your children busy and happy this summer. My children are almost 2.5 and 4.5 and have virtually no formalized plans for the summer--ballet class picks up again in July for my 4.5 year old and my 2.5 year old has a once a week Parent-Tot gymnastics class. That is IT though.
Our main activity this summer will be geocaching. The children call it treasure hunting. We started this family activity in late March and love it--last weekend marked my 100th find. Geocaching has brought us to some fun and interesting locations--we even cached on our family vacation to Oregon and just loved it! Caching involves using a handheld GPS (we bought ours for under $100--you can find them for even less on craigslist!) and coordinates that you find on the geocaching website...and then you go out and look for the treasure!
The treasure can be a vintage ammo can hidden in the woods (the picture at the top of this post is of Princess and Handsome after finding an ammo can after a short hike), a small magnetic container inside a lamp post, a tupperware hidden in the woods, an old crab pot attached to a dock, or any number of things. Larger containers have "swag" hidden inside that you can trade for--we bring bouncy balls and mini tubs of Play-doh to trade. There also are "trackable items" in some of the containers. You don't get to keep those; instead you bring them home, enter the item's code number on the geocaching website, and then move the trackable item (sometimes a coin, sometimes a small toy or car) to another geocache the next time you go out treasure hunting. Then the person who "released" the trackable item (aka the owner!) can look online to see where in the world their item has traveled. Yes, there are geocaches ALL over the world!
We really love treasure hunting and definitely will do it all summer long. And, as a bonus, my mom is into caching too and will go out with us this summer. It is a wonderful family activity and VERY inexpensive after you buy the GPS.
Here are some of the spots geocaching has brought us...I hope you enjoy the pictures! Isn't the one of my husband with his face pressed up against a mailbox rather bizarre? That was such a fun cache! It was a two part cache--part one involved finding a "tool box." Inside the box were balloons and on each balloon were coordinates to the second part of the cache. Once you found that cache (actually a mailbox in the fire department parking lot!), you had to figure out how to open it. The only way to open the box was to stick your balloon in a small hole at the back of the box and start blowing--soon the pressure of the expanding balloon caused the front of the mailbox to pop open! What fun! I first did that cache with the children and then we decided we had to bring Dada back so that Mama could get pictures of him figuring this out!
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