The kids and I have started a new hobby, geocaching. Have you heard of it? Have you tried it? Here a little Geocaching 101.
This brief video describes exactly what it is.
Think of it as real world, outdoor treasure hunting. Instead of a pirate treasure map, you use a GPS enabled device, like a smart phone to locate containers, called geocaches. Each geocache is found using GPS coordinates and clues found at www.geocaching.com.
To date, we have only found a few caches in our area. I was surprised at how many were in our local suburban area (within 2 miles). To find two of the caches, the kids had to work together to decrypt puzzles and decipher the clues. The kids are excited about the adventure and ask to go geocaching regularly. Since we home school, I hope to use geocaching to incorporate learning about using a GPS, maps, geography, and history. I think you learn best when you are having fun. So they should learn quite a bit.
If you would like to get started in geocaching, all you need is a GPS device or GPS enabled smart phone and a Geocaching.com membership. The membership is free. To register go to www.geocaching.com. Geocaches can be found all over the world. Geocache locations may be at your local park, at the end of a long hike, underwater, or on the side of a city street. If there isn't a location in your area, you can always add one.
To help me incorporate geocaching into our school day, I have found a few great online resources. Here is a partial list:
Educacher blog Resources and ideas to incorporate geocaching and GPS learning in the classroom.
Educaching GPS based curriculum, lesson plans, and lists of online resources.
GPS Lessons Plans A list of lesson plans and geocaching in education links.
Geocaching and Education The forums share ideas, programs, lesson plans, and geocaching activities.
If you don't home school or don't want it to be an educational experience, just go out and have fun! If you geocache, I'd love to hear about your experiences. Until the next adventure…..