A Game Children Play with a GPS Teaches Problem-Solving Skills
written by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 2/23/2010
The game played by children with a GPS device known as geocaching will teach them problem-solving skills on several levels while giving them the opportunity to discover the beauty of the natural environment. Learn more about this below.
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What Can Kid’s Learn From Geocaching?
A GPSfor children game play? Enough already with your baby talk Google. What we’re continuing to talk about in this motivating portion of this article series is what a blast it is for the kids to learn how to geocache. In the first article we discussed how kids can initially find local geocache sites navigating online using the internet sites listed there. Also, the kids will have to learn how to use the basic functions of a GPS device for orienteering which they will later use to locate treasures left behind by other geocaching enthusiasts. But kids haven’t accumulated enough frustration yet to make learning how to use the latest technological gadgets an unpleasant experience so they will likely be more proficient than adults quickly.
In the second article I talked about the value of the physical aspect of locating those geocache stashes in the outdoors. Exercise is important to a sound mind and body and you can find many geocaching sites that also offer a decent hike while on the hunt. I also touched on the educational benefits in having this activity as a spring board to conservation and preserving parks and wild places for future generations.
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Problem Solvers of the Next Generation Rise Up
Now we’re going to keep on talking about how this treasure-seeking activity with the assistance of a GPS device also promotes and helps develop the all important problem solving skills on several levels. But since they’re essentially tapping into the age old adolescent desire to explore new places and some unknown bounty awaits them at the end of their journey as well, they won’t even realize they’re learning in the biggest class room of all.
To locate the geocache they must eventually arrive at the exact coordinates where it’s listed at. That will be the case for the first few they tackle but as they get better, more difficult geocaches require that they solve riddles, math problems, or ciphers in order to get to the right coordinates. Multi-caches send a seeker on a journey where they must solve one problem after another before they get to the final stash. How to Make a Puzzle Geocache fills you in on the details with information on decoding and thinking outside of the box.
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Along the way they might find some tracks or see some plants or trees that might spark an interest in the natural world. You can find a book on animal tracks later that sparks their interest. Perhaps you’ll see a bird of the scavenger class and you can point out the similarities in your present scavenging exploits. Spur them on to discover the wonders of nature by themselves.
There’s also the opportunity for learning about geology and how the land was shaped by ancient forces. A lot of geocaching enthusiasts go out of their way to combine their passion for geology with geocaching. Geological Wonders to Explore While Geocaching Across the World highlights some of the most amazing sites in the world for this and you might just find a place for this near you. But we’re not done in describing all the benefits of this activity can have for your kids. There will be something, some other interest or angle that is covered in this far ranging series that will appeal to a kid somehow.
The Best Learning Doesn't Seem Like Learning to Geocaching Kids
Geocacaching is a modern day scavenger hunt combining the knowledge and skills required to carefully plan an expedition starting from home navigating the internet and then using a GPS device to find a hidden treasure in the outdoors. This series shows why it's a great idea for kids on many levels.