The Geocaching Blog


Kids, Geocaching and Lava – A Parent’s Guide to Geocaching with Kids

I enjoyed a three-hour geocaching adventure with Quadmommy this week.  It did, however, involve a little molten lava.  I’ll explain.

Quadmommy wasn’t alone. As her name implies, Quadmommy has four kids. There’s more.  The mom from Washington State, USA, doesn’t just have four kids.  She has four boys.  And get this, all the boys are eight years old. They’re quadruplets. We can all learn from her.

Quadmommy is a very patient person, who’s like an attentive director for her boys.  She’ll say, “Go there.  Stop that.  Don’t jump in the water. Put THAT DOWN!”  She’s on high alert now. The boys are out of school for the summer.

Quadmommy's quads.

Imagine occupying four boys for the whole summer?  Quadmommy has a plan. She started geocaching with the kids in 2005.  She’s a professional at engaging her children. Geocaching is part of the family’s summer routine. The boys take turns holding the GPS. They race to be the first among them to find the cache. They’re outside and away from the TV.

Quadmommy enjoys geocaching to expose the kids to new adventures.  They family has geocached in multiple states.  She says, “It’s so much fun, we go all sort of places.”  They’ve even cached outside of the Grand Canyon.

But Quadmommy isn’t working alone to keep everyone entertained.  The kids bring something to the geocaching equation too.  They bring  LAVA.  Half the time that we were geocaching, we were also tossing a stuffed animal over an imaginary lake of lava.

Not imaginary lava.

Geocaching wasn’t just an exercise, in well, exercise. It’s also an exercise in imagination and creativity.

But I think this lava thing might be catching on among geocaching kids.  Probably just like where you live, there’s a geocache not far from my house.  I was walking my dog this morning.  I walked past a family geocaching.  The kids there were jumping rock to rock, avoiding the “lava.”  Then I remembered that I used to jump from couch to couch as a child to avoid the “lava.”

Maybe lava is a great gift idea for kids? Okay, let’s strike that idea.  Don’t buy lava for your kids.  Imaginary lava is the best way to go on this. Plus, it’s free.

Quadmommy’s quads brought more to geocaching than just lava.  They turned toys from caches into “Franken-toys” – combining pieces of one toy with another to create a new toy. We had a local TV crew along for the geocaching adventure, so you too can  watch some of the adventure with Quadmommy and the quads.

So, the next time that you’re geocaching with kids, don’t forget your GPS, pen or pencil and some swag- and definitely don’t forget your “lava.”

Tell us, how do you engage your kids while geocaching? What tricks and games can other geocaching parents learn from you?

  • Mike B. (thebertas)

    This is a great idea. I've been trying to find ways to keep my dear daughter engaged during the hunt (not just the find) and testing the imagination might just be the ticket. Might need to be a Princess rescue though

  • Icashjk

    I think this is Cool. When I was shopping for Swag at the Local Liquidation World I came across a game for Road trips. When driving along or even walking(As we don't drive) you can look for things like a school bus and it is worth 10 points for a car antenna ball worth 15 points and so on. You can make up your own as you go, and set it up so Who ever gets to 100 or 200 or 500 depending on how far you need to go. I can't wait until we go on longer trips to do this with my kids. They love it now but we don't go Geocaching far. Just in our small town.

  • Bearinheart

    So great to see the new story. Due to Donna we found out why people always parked in front of our home and walked around the block. Yes, a cache.

  • http://www.familytentsworld.com Bettina@FamilyTents

    I've never geocached myself, but I think it's a great way of combining being outside and imagination with modern technology. And for kids it's certainly a great way to spend free time. Love the idea of lava. I think, almost any kind of topic would work. You can be knights or pirates hunting for a hidden treasure, or some hero who needs to find a mysterious object to save the world. Let your kids take the lead, they know which theme captures them most.

  • Peggy305

    When we geocache, we do all sorts of things, we do most of it in the forest, so hunting for feathers, berries, cool plants, trees and animals are enough to keep our 7 year old busy. We did learn to pack plenty of supplies though, drinks, snacks, lunch and of course, bandaids and bug spray. We have also played “follow the leader” and I give the little one the camera.
    Last week we saw a bear, a buck, a snake, blueberries, feathers, tracks and horses going down the road. So much fun that we would have never discovered without geocaching!

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