In our world of distractions, it can be hard to get your kids to spend a little time outside. But, time outdoors is essential for balanced growth, fitness, and socialization.
Luckily, the allure of metal detecting makes it an excellent opportunity to spend some quality time out in the world with your kids. It may not sound fun to them at first, but it doesn’t take long for kids to understand why it’s enjoyable.
The thrill of discovery is enough to get even an adult’s heart racing. But, there are times when there won’t be ‘treasure’ around to uncover. So, I’ve decided to share how to make metal detecting for kids fun and enjoyable!
Start In The Backyard and Seed The Lawn
An excellent way to introduce your kids to metal detecting is to start in your own backyard. Plus, to make things interesting, you can ‘seed’ your yard with regular or exotic coins, trinkets, or historical items you may have around. Be prepared to surrender any items you place out, because your kids may want to keep them. After all, that’s part of the fun!
Seeding is a good way to familiarize your kids with the process and teach them how to use metal detectors. But, it’s essential that you manage expectations if you plan on going out into the world with metal detectors, because not every place you go will have an abundance of items to find like your seeded back yard.
Establish Safety Rules
Once you move out of the backyard, it’s time to set some safety rules, even if you don’t plan on letting the kids out of your sight. It can be easy to get too focused on the metal detector and not focused enough on the surrounding area. It’s a good idea to teach your kids to be aware of their surroundings by stopping every few steps to note where they are. It can be easy to get lost in an unfamiliar place.
It’s also good to establish a proper protocol for metal detecting, such as filling any holes they dig and not wandering where they don’t have permission.
Expand to Your Neighborhood
Another way to have some fun with metal detectors in your neighborhood is a scavenger hunt. You can place metal items around the block (with your neighbors’ permission, if need be) and attach clues to those items. Each clue can lead to the next in the form of a riddle or a treasure map.
Then, at the end, you can have something entertaining that your kids will love to find, or a prize attached to the item, like a pizza party or a new toy. It’s easy to wrap a note around a coin or other metal object. As a bonus, if your young ones are learning to read, a neighborhood treasure hunt can make it fun!
Make a Trip Out of It
A few great places to use metal detectors include beaches, parks, private land (with permission), stadiums, churches, and battlefields. You never know what you’ll find, and your kids will enjoy the outing.
However, keep in mind that you want to have something else for your kids to do, just in case there’s not much metal to detect. Beaches and parks tend to have built-in activities, but at other places, you may want to bring supplies for outdoor activities. That way, your kids can take a break from metal detecting and return to it later.
Pack a Lunch
As a parent, you already know how often your growing children get hungry. While metal detecting is fun, it can only divert them from their hunger for so long. Pretty soon, they’re going to want to eat, so don’t forget to pack a lunch or snacks on your detection outings.
It wouldn’t hurt to bring a lunch box or cooler full of food and drinks just to be safe. You never know how long you’re metal detecting adventure may keep you out and about.
Make it Fun With Accessories
For kids, getting a new toy is fantastic. This is partly why metal detecting is so fun and exciting. But even before the hunt begins, you can get a couple of accessories for your kids that will surely make them want to go out and hunt for hidden treasure.
You’ll want to equip your child or children with a shovel to do a little digging. Sometimes the treasure is buried, and it can be hard to locate it by using your hands.
We like this one for children. Its small, has serrated edges for easy digging, and has an over sized comfortable grip.
Chances are you have a few backpacks lying around the house. Bring one or more along to store any goodies you find, and to carry snacks and supplies.
PinPointers are handy for determining where precisely the metal is in the ground. Your standard metal detector can do the bulk of the work by telling you approximately where the metal is. Then, break out the small, lightweight pinpointer to narrow down the search area.
Pinpointers can get pretty expensive. For kids, its best to start off with something affordable and upgrade if they continue to show interest. For that reason, we recommend this pinpointer on Amazon. Its less than $30 (at the time of this writing), easy to carry, and lightweight.
Choose an Appropriate Metal Detector
Chances are if you’re excited to get your children into metal detecting, you already have a detector. However, metal detectors for adults can be too big and unwieldy for kids to handle, especially for long periods. But, you also don’t want to get a metal detector that your kid will outgrow in a couple of years. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there that are the best of both worlds.
This metal detector by Sunpow is one of our favorites for kids. It adjusts in length from 33″ to 40″, making it perfect for your growing child. It also comes with some really cool features such as the 10″ waterproof coil, LCD control panel, discrimination mode (choose which metals to detect), and pinpoint function. It also comes with a shovel and carrying bag.
Bring Your Metal Detector Along
You’d be surprised at all the places you can use a metal detector, so bring it with you whenever you’re taking a trip. Instead of sitting in the car, your kids staring at screens while your spouse runs an errand, grab the metal detector out of the trunk and go on a little adventure.
You never know what you’ll find when you’re out on the town. Your kids could come home with a few extra dollars in coins for their college funds.
Metal detecting can be a blast for kids, with a little preparation and some guidance. Seeding your lawn is a great way to start, effectively teaching your kid or kids the fundamentals of how metal detectors work. Then, you can establish a few ground rules and start planning family outings. Get a few necessary accessories like a shovel and a backpack.
If possible, bring your metal detector along for unexpected treasure-hunting opportunities. Pretty soon, your kids will be as excited about metal detecting as you are!