aka The Frazzled Mom
Birthday Theme: Mario Party (or Mario Kart Party) with a twist – Geocaching
My nephew made up his mind. He wanted to do a scavenger hunt that I had setup for his older sister when she was thirteen. But that would have to wait until he was thirteen. Solution for this ten year old? Host a “geocaching” birthday.
Geocaching can get rather complication, but there was ways to simplify for an 8-10 year old crowd.
-treasure maps with “X” marks the spot
-geocaching smartphone apps (some are free) and mark coordinates Note: Do not register the coordinates on a geocaching site. Registering them means making them available for other members to find.
-running/jogging apps to record the geocaching/treasure hunting path
First: Scout the area you’ll use. Parks are a great place. Look for potential hiding spots and take a picture to remember for later. A nook in a tree, a space between concrete and dirt, under a rock, etc. For each spot, create a clue that will help, especially if it is to be a more difficult find.
Second: Decorate empty pill bottles or similarly small containers with leaves, dirt, gravel, rocks or camo tape. One fun and creative way is to glue a rock to the lid of the bottle and bury the bottle in the dirt, so only the rock is in full view.
Third: Fill these decorated cache with “loot”. Obviously it will need to be small. Since this was a Mario themed party, we chose small gold chocolate coins as one of the goodies. Other items could include small erasers, stickers…you get the idea. Just keep in mind the area. Candy might not be the best choice in the heat or where ants can be found.
Fourth: Prior to the party, recruit a volunteer, someone to be trusted with the cache to stash. Provide them with the map and pictures to make it easy. Better yet, if they have time, walk them through earlier in the week. This will give you time to host the party and distract the guests.
Finally: The birthday boy/girl will lead the hunt with the map or smartphone in hand. I’ve read that this might work with GPS units, such as Garmin, but I haven’t yet tested that out.
Check back next week for more on the Mario Geocaching Party cake, decorations and activities.