Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What makes a great hiding spot?

Can you say...Easter Egg Hunt? Growing up, I remember running around my church's yard in my Easter suit searching high and low with the other church kids finding those great candy-filled plastic eggs. What a great time! Were the eggs difficult to find? Not too bad, considering they were brightly-colored and within my childish reach.

An Easter egg hunt is what we should consider when looking for great hiding spots in the school yard. Remember that eye-level and below is key. Anything higher than your students' eye-level might be out of your shortest student's reach. Plant life can make great hiding spots. For example, mulch beds, shrubs, right around the roots of trees but covered a little by grass clippings or pieces of bark can hide smaller caches. Many trees have notches, holes, large roots among which caches can become more camouflaged. If you find a good spot up in a tree, use it, but be sure it's not so high that a child might be tempted to "go ape."
If you have a school yard which is bereft of natural plant life, perhaps there are metallic structures that may be used. Cache containers equipped with magnetic strips on them can be attached to fencing, poles, signs, and other metal school structures and still remain hidden.

Finally, care should be taken to carefully camouflage your containers. A roll of camo duct tape can be purchased from WalMart or other similar store for around $2-3. This can be wrapped around film canisters and other plastic containers. For a little more moola (around $5 per can), brown or green spray paint can be purchased to coat all your containers. Camouflage colors are available at similar stores. For years, I have used 2 cans (1 brown, 1 OD green) and used both to give my containers a nice camo look. Some geocachers have used hide-a-key rocks for tricky cache containers, among many other great ideas. I heard from a teacher years ago who glues grass clippings to the top of Altoid cases and those old floppy disk cases and hides these containers in the middle of an open field! The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and your students will appreciate your creative hides. Feel free to leave a comment with your great ideas to add!