Fun Stuff for Kids

Family Activity – Let’s Go On A “Real” Treasure Hunt

Do you enjoy treasure hunting?  In another blog I wrote how my husband and I like to search for treasure in Antique Stores.  What you don’t know is that we also like to go treasure hunting for real.  On the night we met, we discussed a hobby of his called Geocaching. I didn’t know very much (or anything) about it.  Needless to say, on our first official date I experienced Geocaching in action and have enjoyed it off and on ever since.  In fact I have even gone a couple of times without my husband.

 

Geocaching_logo

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.  The only necessities are a GPS device or a GPS-enabled mobile phone so that you can navigate to the cache, and a Geocaching.com Membership.  Free memberships are available.

Here are some links to videos with an overview of what Geocaching is all about.

  1. What is Geocaching a good overview from Geocaching.com
  2. Geocaching: Treasure Hunting With Your Kids – from Dadlabs.com takes you through the entire process from start to finish.
  3. Introduction to Geocaching –  from REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) about finding a cache and etiquette to follow during the game

Three main rules for the game:

  1. If you take something from the geocache (or “cache”), leave something of equal or greater value.
  2. Write about your find in the cache logbook.
  3. Log your experience at .

Suggestions:

  • Select caches with easier ratings for difficulty and terrain if you have young children. Move up to more advanced ratings as you and your kids gain experience.
  • I know we all want to be the one to find the treasure, but let your children discover the cache. Most of the time they are located within a few feet of the coordinates and just off a trail. Caches can sometimes be hidden under a rock or in a tree stump. Open the cache back on the trail: You don’t want to tip off or alarm non-gamers and hikers of the cache’s location. Also, be sure to follow the rules of any park or public land you visit.
  • Always sign the logbook, re-seal the cache, and return it to its original hiding place as you found it. If you’re taking a treasure from the cache, be sure to replace it with another item of equal or greater value. You want to leave the cache in better condition than when you found it.
  • Keep it clean! “Cache In, Trash Out” (CITO) is a Geocaching tradition, where you collect and dispose of litter along the way.  By cleaning up after others, you are leaving the environment better for everyone.

I love that through caching you can visit new places, even in your hometown, which you never even knew were there.  I like spending time outdoors with others, working together to find the hidden prize.  I enjoy the challenge of locating the smaller caches and uncovering new ways to camouflage the containers to fit in with the surroundings.  However, I prefer looking for the larger caches and look forward to discovering trinkets to collect and trade.

Since we have had children, we haven’t had as many opportunities to cache, but since the kids are getting older I think this is the time to get back into it.  We have cached a couple of times with our kids, and I can tell you my son is hooked.  He keeps asking to go look for more caches.  I’m glad he likes it because with a couple of upcoming road trips in the near future, caching will give us some great stretch breaks along the way.

Want to try geocaching?  Begin by looking at the website for start-up information and helpful hints. Chances are there are several geocaches near your home. You can make an afternoon out of searching for one or more. Make it a fun adventure for the whole family.  I would love to hear about your adventure!

Have a Great Week!

Lisa

 

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ABC – Alphabet Boxes

Last spring we took our son to Kindergarten Round Up.  In one of the rooms there were shoebox-sized boxes.  Each box represented a different letter and was filled with an assortment of items starting with that letter.  Needless to say when we got home, all he could talk about was the letter boxes and how we needed to make some for our house.

Over the next several weeks I found some reasonably priced small boxes with lids and we proceeded to gather items to place into each box.  First we went through his room and selected items that would fit in the boxes.  Then we looked throughout the house for additional things.  After that we made a list of the letter boxes that were low on items, and I went on a search of the dollar stores, bargain bins, and craft stores to complete our collections.  We labeled the boxes on the lid and side so that we knew what went together.  I used the free Play Dough Mats, Wall Posters or Flashcards download from All ABCs.  I liked this download because I could print multiple letters on a page and resize it.  I ended up printing a larger tag for the top of the box and a smaller tag for the side of the box.  We used clear package tape to secure the tags on the boxes.  He loved those boxes and would play with them for hours.  Then over the summer they were delegated to the closet, and he explored them less and less, but they still came out occasionally.

Then all of a sudden there has been a renewed interest in the letter boxes. So recently we moved them back out so that he has easy access.  Each day he comes out of his room and asks about things that start with “so and so” letter.  He is constantly looking through magazines, catalogs, and anything else he can get his hands on and cutting out pictures of things starting with the letter. Now he is also cutting out words that start with the letter as well.

Today I wanted to share a list of ideas for things you could include in your own letter boxes.  Have fun!  We had such a good time creating these boxes together.  I hope you do as well!

Have a Great Week!

Lisa

 

ABC Boxes

AlphabetFun

 

Aa apple, ant, alligator, ax, acorn, artichoke, alarm clock, ace, arctic wolf, airplane, anchor, angel, arch,
Bb beach ball, blast board, book, bookmark, bear, rubber ball, blimp, bandana, brush, Band-Aid, bell, banana, bowl, block, blue, bottle cap, broccoli, bobber, beluga whale, bone, balloon, basket, bow, barrette, beads, buttons, box, bat, bookmark, barn, bird, birdhouse, bubbles, bottle, baby, belt, butterfly, boat, bag, beans, bed, bang
Cc Clifford, cheetah, coin, cat, car, crayon, cookie, cake, candle, cupcake, can, cow, coke, cup, candy, card, comb, cards, coconut tree, cap, collar, candy cane, caterpillar, calendar, carrot, calculator, corn, cotton ball, chap stick, caribou, chopsticks, cross, cactus, chicks, chicken, coffee coupon
Dd dog, doll, deer, donkey, dime, dollar, dinosaur, duck, dolphin. dump truck, dice, dirt, dominos, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, door, “Do Not Enter” sign, drum,
Ee Earth, egg, elephant, envelope, eraser, eggplant, Eskimos, eight, eyes
Ff fish, fan, fingernail file, fork, firetruck, farmer, feather, foot,  football, fence, Frisbee, football player, Flash, fruit, flower, fingerprint, flashlight, fairy
Gg goat, ghost, game, gold coin, gorilla, gift, Goofy, grass, glove, globe, guitar, grapes, Green Lantern, glue stick, giraffe
Hh Hand, hammer, hat, horse, hamburger, hotdog, helmet, heart, hair, hippopotamus, hay bale, Honeybee, huskie dog, harp seal, handkerchief
Ii ice cream cone, invitation, Indian corn, igloo, ice skates, ivy
Jj jump rope, jacks, jeep, jack-o-lantern, jar, jellybeans, jam, juice, joker
Kk kangaroo, kite, key, king, ketchup, keychain, kazoo, koala bear, komodo dragon, knight
Ll Lollipop, list, ladybug, lion, lei, lemon, lime, lipstick, leaf, Lego, letters, letter, lamb, Liberty Bell, leprechaun, log
Mm marker, monkey, mask, milk, marble, moon, mailbox, motorcycle, magnet, mitten, map, mouse, microwave, money, marshmallows, macaroni, maracas, mirror, mower, mail truck, Mater, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse
Nn napkin, nail, nickel, numbers, necklace, nut, newspaper, notebook, nametag, names (list), notebook, Nemo, NASCAR, nail clippers, nest, nail file
Oo octopus, orange, oval, owl, Olympics, olive
Pp pen, pencil, paper, penny, paperclip, picture, pipe cleaner, paint brush, pig, pickle, puppet, palm tree, ponytail holder, purse, pumpkin, pony, policeman, pillow, pan, pot, pear, pineapple, potato, pompom, potholder, pinecone, poinsettia, puzzle, pin, puzzle piece, play dough, picture, Purdue, Pluto, ping pong ball, polar bear, paper plate, piston cup, parsnip, paper towel
Qq quarter, queen, quilt, Q-tip, quartz
Rr ruler, rose, ring, ribbon, rainbow, rug, rubber band, reindeer, rock, rat, raisins, radio, rice, recycle, rocket, rabbit, red, Railroad sign, rhinoceros
Ss scissors, spoon, sucker, string, sunglasses, sock, soap, Santa, seahorse, sand, Super Man, sushi, star, seal, shark, snowplow, Saki, saw, speed limit sign, stripes, spool, Scooby Doo, Snoopy, skateboard, soccer, strawberry, shamrock, snake, stop sign, safety pin
Tt toothbrush, tape, telephone, tiger, tie, tomato, tag, turkey, toaster, toothpicks, truck, tractor, taxi, turtle, tee pee, traffic light, tissue, toilet paper, tennis racquet, triangle, ticket, tree, tent
Uu paper umbrella, unicycle, underwear, unicorn, umpire
Vv valentine, vase, van, violin, Velcro, velociraptor, votive candle, vegetables, Vee (from Chuggington), vest, vise
Ww wagon, wheel, washcloth, worm, Winnie the Pooh, watch, wallet, witch, whistle, wiggle eyes, wood, wallpaper, window, wand, walrus, whale, wooden nickel, windmill
Xx x-ray, xylophone, x marks the spot
Yy yarn, yogurt container, yellow, yo-yo, yield sign, yeti
zz zebra, zipper, zig zag, zero, zoo keeper

*Alphabet puzzles make a great resource to break apart into each letter box.

Printable List of ABC Box Ideas

 

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