What to do with this activity?
You may never have heard of geocaching, which is a really great excuse for an outdoor adventure with your child. It's a bit like Pokémon Go, but it's been around longer (since the year 2000) and is more respectful of the environment and nature. It can make a great shared hobby. It's important to always accompany your child in this adventure.
Geocaching is a kind of treasure hunt - cache is a French word that means hidden treasure - that has spread to nearly every country in the world. One person hides a weather proof box which contains a log book and other small items (the treasure) that can be swopped. They then put the details of the geocache and its satellite location online so that other people can find it. Geocaches get hidden in amazing places, so it's challenging and satisfying to find one. Watch this video for a quick introduction to geocaching.
Ideally you need a GPS device. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It works out an exact location, by using satellites that orbit the earth. The location is expressed as a number that tells you how far east/west and north/south you are (latitude and longtitude). If you don't have access to a GPS receiver, you can go geocaching using a free app on your smartphone. Download one for android phones here, or for an iphone here. However, this won't be as safe or accurate as a GPS in finding geocaches in more remote areas. Read this for more tips about geocaching with kids, and here are Geocaching Ireland's guidelines.
Why am I doing this?
Playing is one of the most effective ways children learn. It builds your child’s concentration and thinking skills as well as building their skills in using numbers, seeing patterns and being able to group things together. Playing games with others helps their social skills and gives them a chance to practice things they have heard and seen.
How can I do more?
Playing games that involve words are great for increasing your child’s vocabulary. Games that involve dices and numbers help with maths and logical reasoning.
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