|On a hike in Swansea, MA|
|Luke's discovery in Somerset, MA|
We started letterboxing a few years ago, and found that it was a great way for our family to enjoy a hike together without hearing complaining from the kids that the unplugged activity was "boring". Letterboxing is considered the predecessor to Geocaching. It mixes orienteering (challenge with navigational skills) with stamp-making and collecting. This is basically a free activity folks!
|A local Geocache (we've done this too)!|
|On the hunt in Fairhaven, MA|
|Seth found this one!|
|Getting ready to stamp in.|
We have discovered so many new places in our area by going on these little treasure hunts! There are hundreds of letterboxes all over the world! The two best sites to find letterboxes near you are Atlas Quest and Letterboxing.org.
|Portland, ME area (Baxter Woods)|
|I have my kids carry a small backpack with their letterboxing kit and a bottle of water.|
|My cousin Ani's first letterbox discovery!|
|Everyone takes a turn|
My oldest son had a letterboxing birthday party a couple of years ago. The first thing we did was have the kids make their own letterboxing kits. They made their own "stamps" by sticking foam stickers to sponges with foam rubber hot glued to one side. They worked really well! They got to choose a notebook, a pen and an ink pad to put in their plastic boxes. These doubled as party favors for them to take home!
|Letterboxing kit-making station|
We hid five boxes in various places around the outside of our house and around the neighborhood. We split the kids into teams, gave each team a map, a compass, a set of gloves, a disposable camera, and written directions and set them free! Everyone had a blast finding the hidden boxes. The kids still talk about this party as one of their favorite parties ever.
|Teams setting out on "the hunt"|
A letterboxing kit makes a great gift! Make a special notebook, and put it in a nice plastic box (like a pencil box), a special pen, an ink pad and a rubber stamp and maybe a pair of gardening gloves and a compass. Include a homemade book about the history of letterboxing, and maybe a few choice letterbox locations close to you.
|Using scrapbooking materials, I covered ordinary notebooks to make special gifts.|
|Coordinating colored pens, stamps and ink pads|
What activities do you enjoy with your family? Leave me some great ideas in the comments below!