Geocaching is a fun and educational activity for kids to help them learn about science and nature, math and mapping, and technology. It’s also ideal for homeschooling and packed with family field trip potential.
How It Works
In this outdoor treasure-hunting game, players use a GPS device to find hidden trinkets, called geocaches or caches, left behind by other players. A cache can be any small object, such as an action figure or keychain, and could have traveled from almost anywhere in the world.
To get started, go to a geocaching website, such as geocaching.com, and search the travel log for a cache hidden near you. Then, use the geographical coordinates to find the container with the cache, and leave one of your own of equal or greater value for the next person to discover. Lastly, return to the website to record your find and location. Your family can then have fun following your cache’s travels on the log and watching it cross miles, states, or even oceans.
What It Teaches
“Geocaching encourages children to explore their surroundings while using critical thinking skills to find the cache,” noted Tiany Davis in her article, Geocaching Homeschool Lessons, at sheknows.com.
Incorporating the hobby into your homeschool also gives you several opportunities to supplement your child’s subjects:
- Teach math, mapping, and geography skills with GPS, latitude and longitude, and a compass.
- Practice writing skills with a travel journal that can include your child’s notes on nature and scientific research.
- Choose a geocache that calls for a hike to cover physical education, health, and safety.
- Add a creative touch to your expedition by having your student create the cache that you’ll leave behind.
Has your family gone geocaching? If so, did you incorporate it into your homeschool?