Saturday, April 17, 2010

Using GPS Technology To Get Kids Outside

One of the main things that parents of today notice about their children’s lives and that of their own when they were young is the amount of time spent outside each day. Before the internet and technology as so present in our lives many kids and even families spent more time outside playing and being together. Kids today spend a considerable more amount of time inside playing video games and browsing on the internet. Electronic gadgets are fascinating and fun but this lack of exercise is taking its toll on our youth.

But there is a way you can use those electronic gadgets to get the kids outside and spend some quality time together as a family. GPS technology is good not only for getting directions in your car of even as a child locator device but it can be the center of a fun game as well. Most everyone has at least heard of geocaching but few have actually gave this fun pastime with a GPS a try.
In short geocaching is the use of a GPS enabled device to find a stash located somewhere in your area. There are many clubs, organizations, and individuals who create caches and post their locations on the web for others to find. These caches are most often a can with a few trinkets inside like key chains and those who find the cache is free to take something from the can but they need to add something else back in.

These caches are sometimes very easy to find while others are hidden at their location to add a little extra challenge to finding them. Those looking for them use a GPS to get within the last ten feet or so then have to finish searching for the cache on their own. This modern day treasure hunt is a big hit with kids since it is a fun adventure with a prize at the end.

Many are surprised to find out just how many caches are in their area already as well as places they visit and vacation. Of course you do not have to search for these existing caches there is no reason why a family cannot go out and place a few of their own at a park or wilderness area to find on camping trips and more. Kids have just as much fun hiding the treasure as they do finding it with their GPS unit.

Parents will find that this modern day treasure hunt with a electronic personal tracking device is a big hit with the kids that will get them outside more and more. With school almost out for the summer finding ways to get them outside and off the computer or away from the television is important for their overall health and will make for a tighter family when these activities are done together.

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