The weather is great, the kids are home and...they just told you they're bored of running through the sprinkler for the third time this week. Keeping these guys entertained every day is tough, so it's time to get creative. If you haven't tried letterboxing or geocaching yet, get to it! It's basically a scavenger hunt, so it's part game, part exercise -- the kiddos will run around and tucker themselves out without even realizing it. More time alone at night for you!
To get started with letterboxing, head to an official website for clues. Once you pinpoint your location, you can find clues to tons of letterboxes around where you are. The coolest thing about letterboxing and geocaching? You can do it anywhere from your own neighborhood to wherever you end up on vacation this summer. Boxes or caches can be found from Washington, D.C. to New Zealand and everywhere in between.
Plus, it’s educational. Don’t know what a certain type of bush, tree or rock looks like? You will once your clue directs you to walk 10 paces to the right of one. Geocaching is the same idea, just more technological. Instead of finding clues online and printing them out, you’ll download the Geocache app. From there, you can see geocaches around you that are rife for the finding and use coordinates to locate them.
If you’re going to jump in to the game, though, you have to be prepared. Do you have the necessary tools? See if you're a letterboxing-slash-geocaching champ or need some guidelines to get started.
When you stumble across your letterbox or geocache, you'll typically find a stamp. This is where the kids get really excited -- you get to stamp your notepad with a new design for every letterbox you find. It's like filling a passport without leaving the country!
Just like you'll use the letterbox's stamp for your notepad, you'll also need to use your stamp to brand their notepad. This way, everyone who finds the letterbox after you can see that you were there!
After you stamp the notepad in the letterbox or geocache, you have to document your travels! Flipping through the stories past hunters have left behind is one of the most enriching parts of letterboxing.
If you choose geocaching over letterboxing, no problem -- just make sure you're set up on the app. As opposed to written clues, you'll need coordinates to find your prize.
Listen -- you might end up in some mud or dirt or sand. Don't miss out on a stamp just because you wore the wrong shoes.