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Spring Break with the Kids – Letterboxing
3/21/2012  •  Comment
By SusanR

Letterbox in the Woods

Spring break is a great time to do a test run for summer activities. The kids are out of school and ready for some fun. If you're not traveling for spring break, why not try a close-to-home adventure?

I thought it would be fun to try letterboxing. Friends who’ve done it told me that it is a mix of treasure hunting, rubber stamping, and orienteering -- great for kids and families. I was certainly intrigued!

Basically, letterboxers follow treasure map-style clues to find hidden "treasure," usually located in a park or other natural area. The “treasure chest” is a letterbox, a Tupperware container holding a blank journal and a rubber stamp. Letterboxers come prepared with their own blank journal and personalized rubber stamp, and when they discover the letterbox, they stamp their stamp into the letterbox's journal, and the letterbox's stamp into their own journal.

What's so great about this hobby is that it rolls so many kid-friendly activities into one. What child doesn't love treasure hunting? It’s great to pretend to be pirate or feel like a Sherlock Holmes.  Crafty children love picking out their own personal rubber stamp as a kind of avatar.

Puzzling out the treasure map-style clues is a great way to exercise the brain while having fun. You can find clues on the Letterboxing North America website, ranging from the straightforward (great for younger children) to the tricky (ideal for older kids). Once the kids have the hang of finding letterboxes, they can exercise their creativity by making a letterbox themselves and planting it.

There are nearly 40,000 letterboxes scattered all over North America, so there's bound to be one nearby. A number of indoor letterboxes, located at museums and other public places, are available, so even if the weather this spring break turns out to be chilly, letterboxing is still an option!

Tags: letterboxing, kids activities, spring break, summer activities