Opt Outside and Discover a New Treasure – Geocaching!

Motivated to get your family outside this spring? Geocaching is a great way for the whole family to PLAY!

Regarded as the world’s greatest treasure hunt, there are geocaches (or hidden treasures) all around the world – likely in and among places where you are every day. Encouraging discovery, exploration, and adventure, geocaching encourages staying healthy and being outside with friends and family.  My children LOVE geocaching and I LOVE that they want to do something with us that doesn’t involve staring at a screen. My husband first discovered it and we quickly learned how easy and fun it is to do!

If you are interested in hunting down a geocache, simply go the official geocaching website or app and discover marked caches close to where ever you are (even if you are on vacation!).  Using the app, GPS, or if you are brave a good old fashioned compass (we don’t do this!), search for the desired cache using clues and location information. You might agree with us that the search for the cache is almost as fun as finding it, but once you actually locate it, it is customary to record the date, your name, and a message if you like in the log (small notebook) that usually accompanies most caches. If the cache also includes a collection of “treasures,” it is tradition to take one only if you leave one in return. Some examples are small erasers, stickers, bracelets, seashells etc. You can be creative with what you leave or you can find things inside your car like we’ve done from time time (keeping it real). Some caches are in official geocache containers and some are in tupperware – you never know what you’ll find!

Whether you been searching for caches for years or head out on your maiden hunt this week, we’d love to see the pictures of the treasures your family discovers.


May The Field Day Be With You: A Step By Step Guide To Outdoor Star Wars Fun

Today I spent the day outside with kids I love doing what I love — PLAYING! It’s a treat to see 5th graders get to step out of the classroom and testing zone and enjoy their fleeting days of childhood. My daughter’s school simply rocks field day. Headed by her PE teacher, Mrs. April Cecil, and fueled by staff, PTA, and plentiful parent volunteers, they really surpass the norm for end of year fun. As a physical therapist, and play loving, outdoor activity advocate I appreciate the nice balance she strikes between choosing games that challenge them physically, are fun, rely on teamwork, and most importantly get them very wet. This is not your grandma’s day of potato sack races and tug of war. Because they do such a nice job – we feel the need to share.  Our hope is that other play loving, fun seeking schools will use this post as a resource to make end of year parties or celebrations simple and fun.

This year’s theme was Star Wars. Each class was a “team” and rotated through stations where they stayed and played for about 10 minutes. Breaks for water were built in. Volunteers ran each station and the PE teacher and PTA officers organized the stations, supplies, and volunteers.

Here are the stations they included:

  1. C3POP: Students will line up behind their cones in a single file line. On “Go” the first student runs down to the chair and grabs a balloon out of the bag. The student must pop the water balloon by sitting on it on the chair. After the balloon is busted, the student returns to his/her line and tag the next person in line. Activity is over when all balloons have been popped.
  2. R2D2 & C3PO Races: Students will get on a yellow (C3PO) or blue (R2D2) scooter and scoot to the cone and around it and then give to the next student in line. The first team who completes the relay race wins.
  3. EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Students will set up to play “Duck, Duck, Goose.” Instead of tagging people and saying “Duck” the students will hold a water balloon and say “Empire” as they pass each student. When they get to the student where they would normally say “Goose,” they will pop the water balloon over their head and run as that student chases them.
  4. END OF DARTH VADER: Students from each group will line up behind their color cone. On “Go” the first student in each line will run to the large “Kerplunk” and pull out a stick. If they successfully pull the stick without allowing any balls to drop then they turn around and tag the next person in line. If all the balls fall, that team loses and the game is set back up again.
  5. BATTLE OF ENDOR: 1 student from each group will gather under one of the squares and play a game of 4 square – but in the air! Students will volley the ball back and forth and if the ball lands inside their square their team gets a point. After each point, a new student from each team will take a turn in the square. The team with the lowest score wins. (**Set made with PVP pipe).
  6. ATTACK OF THE CLONES: Students will line up behind their cone within 2 feet of the next person on their team. Each student will sit with a bowl on their head. On “Go” the first student will fill their bowl with water from the nearby bin. The student will then pour the water into the next person’s bowl while the bowl is on their head. That student then stands and pours the water into the bowl on the head of the next student. This continues down the line. The last student will pour the water into the team’s bucket. The team with the most water at the end wins.
  7. CANTINAS: Water break station!
  8. DESTROY THE DEATH STAR:  Each student will have a squirt gun and will squirt the beach ball until it moves to the cone. When the gun is empty, they return it to the next teammate who refills and takes a turn. The game is over when the first team gets the ball to the cone. 
  9. REVENGE OF THE SITH: Students line up behind their color cone. On “Go” the first person in line for each team will grab the sponge of their team’s color from the bucket and squeeze the sponge. They will then take the sponge and toss it back to the next person in line.  That person will then dip the sponge in the water and toss it back. The team that can do this without dropping it the least amount of times, wins. 
  10. LIGHT SABER BATTLE: Students will take turns “battling” each other with pool noodles. If someone gets hit, you are out. The noodle must hit students on the legs ONLY.
  11. DON’T DROP THE STORM TROOPER: The students will line up behind their color cone. On “Go” the first student in line will put their stormtroopers on their spoon and walk/run/jog to the cone and go around it. The student then passes the stormtrooper to the next person in line.  The team who completes the relay first wins.  If the Stormtrooper falls to the ground, students must scoop it up with their hands.  The students may not use their hands to keep the Stormtrooper on the spoon.  
  12. FREE HAN SOLO: Each group will be given a block of ice with Han Solo in the middle.  Each group must figure out how to melt the ice to get Han Solo out.  The first team that does, wins.
  13. JEDI TRAINING: The students will line up behind their color cone. On “Go” the first student in line will grab a cup from the bucket of water and go to the jump rope and jump 5 times. They will then run to the cone, do 5 jumping jacks, go through the hoop, jump in and out of the hoop, and then run back to the start to tag the next person in line. The first team to complete the relay race wins.
  14. CATCH YODA YOU MUST: Students will line up behind their color cone. The first person in line will grab the basket and run down to the other cone. The next student in line will grab a water balloon from a bucket and toss it to their teammate. The person with the basket will attempt to catch the water balloon in the basket while holding it on top of their head. If the balloon doesn’t bust, they must place it inside the bucket.  They will then switch and the person with the balloon will hold the basket while the other gets back in line. The team with the most balloons in the basket at the end wins.
  15. LEIA’S BLASTER: Break for drinks and popsicles!

Enjoy! Get outside and may the FIELD DAY be with you!