GPS activities for kids?
January 2, 2012 10:26 AM   Subscribe

(asking for a friend) - Looking for eductional/fun activities for different kids age groups 5 - 12 using GPS units...

My friend is an environmental educator and has acquired some GPS units. She would like to figure out how to use them for activities to build outdoor programs for groups of kids, which will be grouped like 5-8 or 9 - 12 years old. She has a very basic understanding of what a GPS can do, but is interested in some ideas of what types of activities she can do. She has already considered the following:

--plotting some bird nests and having the kids locate them (learning to navigate)
--giving a designated area and having them mark what bugs/plants they find (collect data)

Does anyone have any great ideas about what would be fun for different age groups using a GPS unit?

Thank you for any suggestions!!
posted by foxhat10 to Education (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
posted by jquinby at 10:29 AM on January 2, 2012

Response by poster: forgot to mention that that is also something she has considered - thanks!
posted by foxhat10 at 10:33 AM on January 2, 2012

Hide and seek! How many units does she have? Divide the kids into that many units. Give each team a ball (which I would call a snitch and paint gold but that's me) and 20 minutes to hide their ball, marking down the coordinates. Then each team is assigned to find one other team's ball, using the provided coordinates. This works well for smaller kids; for the older ones, it can be more elaborate and involve times and rankings for what team comes back first, etc.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:43 AM on January 2, 2012

Response by poster: Awesome, DarlingBri!!
posted by foxhat10 at 11:54 AM on January 2, 2012

Make your own scavenger hunt with SCVNGR. A number of museums and other cultural institutions are using it these days.
posted by smirkette at 12:00 PM on January 2, 2012

I second the Geocaching and see the link has already been provided. My kids love it and it has brought us to so many interesting places locally and abroad. Plus it brings the bonus of treasure hunting and trinkets!
posted by YukonQuirm at 12:29 PM on January 2, 2012

Also reverse scavenger hunts! Hide an object at different coordinates, give them the coordinate list in different orders, have them go off and find (but not take) the objects and report back with a list of what each one is. For older kids you can add a layer of navigational learning: go to these coordinates, face due north to find your foo. Or, face due west, rotate 30 degrees to find your thing, etc. Or they can all find puzzle pieces, and bring them back to cooperatively build a puzzle (or lunch or A MAP! or whatever.)
posted by DarlingBri at 2:50 PM on January 2, 2012

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