You may have seen my photoessay on geocaching here. It had moments of lots of fun and moments of deep frustration as we tried to use an auto GPS for tracking latitude and longitude in the bushes while looking for something well-hidden. But I'm going to focus on the fun.
First, if you are unfamiliar with geocaching, it's essentially a sophisticated, high-tech game of hide and seek. Here is a nice video explaining is (sans frustration):
So here's what I have to say about geocaching. It's a great way to drag kids outdoors. Caches are hidden in urban, rural, and wilderness environments; you can find something to suit your needs. When I went to the website, I found over 70 caches hidden within five miles of our house. Not bad. You don't need anything special beyond a GPS, and now most smartphones have it. You can even get an app to make it easier, make maps, and record your findings.
On our adventure, the boys were interested until we ran into the problem of searching for something well hidden. In this case, it was fairly well hidden for newbies like us. Fortunately our boys have imaginations only rivaled by the drug-addled cartoonists of the 1920s and they managed to trek into the thorny shrubs to find a "cave" and then they proceeded to convince my wife to climb in. She couldn't make it.
But after I found the cache, the boys were very interested in what it was, where it was hidden, and how it was hidden. On our way home, the boys wanted to explore more, but we didn't have time to search for a second cache in the neighborhood.
I could prattle on about how important it is to get kids outside, have them explore their environment, use their bodies, learn about nature, play games to stimulate their intellect, etc. Instead I'll leave you with this:
The boys slept great that night.