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Last Updated: September 2008
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As my wife has explained several times in her blog entries, we have an
almost 8 year-old boy and twin almost 4 year-old boys. The inside of
our house looks like the 1971 Pontiac GTO
in the high school parking lots of our youth. There are some worn seat
covers and the paint job has patches of white plaster and dents that
remind me of bondo
on a fender. So in trying to come up with a fun hobby to spend time
with the kids, the number one objective was something where they
explore outside the house rather than jump on the furniture and glue
themselves to the floor inside the house. A friend recommended geocaching and it has proven to be a fun family treat.
Geocaching is organized treasure hunting for all
ages with treasure boxes, or “caches”, of varying sizes hidden in
public areas (not private property) all over the world. The GPS (Global Positioning System)
coordinates of these hidden caches are documented on the geocaching web
site. It was started in May 2000 with the first cache hidden in Beaver
Creek, Oregon. Today, there are over 33,000
people worldwide who have registered on the geocaching website. With
more than a quarter of a million active geocaches in 222 countries,
there is no shortage of potential family treasure hunts. Many of the hidden caches are easy to locate with a standard GPS device (I purchased mine at REI in Redwood City) but there are caches accessible only by airplane, kayak or with scuba gear if you feel especially adventurous.
What makes this an especially great activity for
parents and kids in the bay area is the sheer number of hidden
geocaches in our own backyard. So far, my kids and I have uncovered 16
of these hidden prizes in neighborhoods all over Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Redwood City. Our first cache was in downtown Palo Alto.
Some of our next discoveries were at a park in Redwood City with a
World War II tank, near the ducks outside the Menlo Park library, in a
sculpture near the Palo Alto main library,
on a walking bridge over highway 101, two in Suburban Park, three in
different parks within Menlo Park and one on a bridge over San
Francisquito Creek. Yesterday, we found one in a neighborhood tree. We
are having trouble finding the one located in Holbrook Palmer Park and in the underbrush of Flood Park.
All in all, geocaching has been a great way to get
the kids out of the house and “searching for hidden treasure” in their
own back yard.
Here are 5 things to know about me.....TechMama (her nickname) started her career in application development (yes - programming), then system auditing and her last role was Senior Manager, Computer Process Integrity, for Deloitte. She jumped off Partner track at Deloitte to jump onto the parenting track and utilized blogging and online social networking to stay involved with technology. (with husband and three boys, two of which are twins). Now she spends time being taught new superhero and sports tricks by her sons. As a mother, she went through technology withdrawal and decided to try blogging.
She also founded MTB consulting (mother of three boys) for social media strategy consulting (currently on hold until blogging slows down!). Corporations and organizations have asked her to speak on topics ranging from how to start blogging, online social networking and how to choose the right technology for families. She also assists Corporate clients on the technical side of using social media to reach their target market.
TechMama in Books:
The Internet Mommyby Kimberley Clayton Blaine - My chapter is about a pillow fight I covered on TWITTER!
See Mom Runby Beth Feldman - My chapter is called "Night of Horror, i.e. The Night the Wireless Went Out ".
WHY TECHMAMAS ? Beth saw a need to have a central place where parents can discuss their use of technology, get tips, give tips, have links to other tech blogs that offer relevant information. While many tech professionals have access to the the latest tech information, parents may not know where to start or even what to ask. They rely on talking to other parents or searching through the big tech sites to see what they are looking for. We hope to offer links and juicy bits of information for one stop shopping for family related technology issues.
Techmamas is a site where scrapbooking discussions are about which
digital camera and online sites to use for creating family photo
albums, famillies are struggling to keep track of the numerous
communication technologies available (Instant Messaging, Cell
Phone/PDA, email, texting), CrackBerry addicts have a safe place to
share tips, treasure hunts include use of GPS systems, everything from
birthday party invites to birthday presents are virtual, 4 year olds
know how to use TIVO, 8 year olds need parental controls on their own
laptop, 12 year olds have their own blogs..... And by the way, what is a "wiki"?
Please forgive me if I don't have multiple posts each day: I HAVE THREE BOYS TO TAKE CARE OF! But I am always happy to have some tips from fellow techmamas or techdadas!