Monday, October 22, 2007

Backyard Treasure Hunting

Brendan is always digging in the same spot in the back yard for treasure. We have gone Geocaching quite a bit, but it is hard to explain using the compass and GPS together when finding those treasures. So, I decided to make up our own backyard treasure hunting game for him this weekend. Hopefully, he will unknowingly learn how to use a compass in the process.

First, I took a 35mm film can, and hid a prize in it. Then, I buried it in the back yard. I drew out a map of the backyard and then did the following:

- Picked a starting point.

- Converted number of Brendan steps to the number of my steps.

- Picked a compass bearing and paced it out.

- Converted that to Brendan steps.

- I repeated the bearing thing two more times. I didn’t want to just point him straight to the treasure.

- I tried to pick even bearings that were on the compass dial. Trying to count out bearings on a small compass dial is a bit much for a 5 year old.

- I drew this all on the map.

That was it. We started, and I helped him read the numbers on the compass until we found treasure.

He wanted to do it again and again, except he started pulling out things from his tackle box (rubber worms) for treasures. He also wanted to hide the treasure himself and pick the starting point. I helped him create the map and of course he didn’t have any trouble finding his own stuff.

Overall, it was pretty fun. We will have to do it on a larger scale soon.


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