When I was at the TEDx conference a couple of weeks ago, one of the speakers there, Ben Klasky, CEO of IslandWood, said that kids today get an average of 7 hours of screen time per day (which freaked me out), but he went on to talk about using screen time as a way of getting outdoors, and one example he gave was Geocaching. Before we had kids I had seen people geocaching in the ravine near our house where we’d take our dog to run, and I was intrigued back then, but now I was super excited to try it with my kids. Geocaching is kind of like treasure hunting, where you use GPS and navigational tools to find hidden containers, called geocaches, hidden all over the world.
A few days later I told Nadine about geocaching, and she was instantly ready to go treasure hunting. So we downloaded the app on my iPhone, and headed to the our first geocache – the one nearest to our house. It was in a little pocket park and we searched and searched but didn’t find the treasure. So we tried another spot nearby, but my phone died and we didn’t have the exact coordinates. But we kept hunting, and eventually found a teeny tiny pill-box type container attached with a magnet under the park bench. Nadine was thrilled and wrote her name in the log. When we got home and charged up my phone she went to the geocache app and clicked “found” for that cache and left a little message. Very exciting.
Today when Nadine and I had the afternoon together, she wanted to go geocaching. So we set out on our treasure hunt, and had a blast. We found four geocaches within a couple miles of our house. One was hidden in a fake rock, another one under a park bench, one in a thermos type container in a newspaper box, and one buried in the ground under a bunny statue. We spent the whole afternoon outside and went to places we wouldn’t normally think to go. Now that’s a good way to use screen time!