In this article, I’m going thirty of my favorite reasons why I think metal detecting for kids is a fantastic hobby for youngsters that can really bring the entire family together for some good natured fun and adventure. And before we get started, please take a moment to view some of the top mental detectors on today’s market:
|Garrett AT Max||$$$||Waterproof to 10 feet|
|Fisher F22||$$||9″ Triangulated Concentric Coil|
|Garrett Ace 400||$$$||8.5 x 11" DD coil|
|Minelab Vanquish 540||$||Search Modes: Coin, Relic, Jewelry, Custom, All Metal|
1) Metal Detecting is Good Exercise
Metal detecting is great exercise for young and old alike. We all need a little help sometimes getting our recommended amount of exercise daily. Metal detecting takes care of that! Not only are kids swinging their detectors, but they are walking more and digging in the dirt. All of these are great exercises and help keep the body and mind fit.
2) Metal Detecting Gets Kids Outside
If your kids are anything like mine, they are content to spend most of their time indoors. Usually behind a phone screen or video game. Metal detecting helps kids learn to unplug and get outside. This generation of kiddos has always had electronic devices to keep them entertained, so many kids have not had a lot of reasons or desires to play outside as much as their parents did at their age.
Metal detecting can give them something fun to do and help convince them to get outdoors. The more time they spend outside, the more time they will want to spend outside! We take our kids camping and bring along our metal detectors. The places we go rarely have cell phone service, so the kids eventually decided to try metal detecting for something to do. They immediately fell in love with it and now enjoy our time camping and metal detecting as a family.
3) Metal Detecting Gives Kids a Reason to Play in the Dirt!
Who does not like playing in the dirt?! Especially with little kids, metal detecting gives them a great reason to play in the dirt! Even if they do not accomplish digging to a target, they still get to play in the dirt and that is plain fun! If you do not have a kid’s metal detector, they can oversee the shovel or trowel or the finds pouch. Kids just like to be involved so giving them a job to do will make them feel important to the cause.
4) Kids Can Learn a New Skill
Metal detecting is a skill. The more kids participate in this activity, the more they will learn and the better they will become at this skill. If your kiddos are hesitant, have them get on YouTube and search Little Dirt Diggers. This channel is the metal detecting hunts of 8-year-old Emily Copeland. Watching videos of kids their age having fun learning this skill might just motivate them to be more involved. Once they see other kids out there finding actual treasure, it may pique their interest a bit more.
Below, please take a moment to view some of the best selling metal detectors available on Amazon:
|1) Garrett AT MAX|
|2) Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV|
|3) Bounty Hunter Gold Digger|
5) Kids Can Learn About Geology
Kids (and adults) will learn about geological features and what to look for in terms of geology when metal detecting. Especially if you are in an area where gold has been found. You can help your kids learn how to spot bedrock, how to find old streams and channels, and what types of rocks are in your area. Kids are little sponges so they will pick up on this very quickly! Pretty soon, they may be pointing out geological features to you!
6) Kids Can Learn About Soil Science
Taking your kiddos metal detecting will help them learn about the soil around them. There are different types of soil composed of different elements. This is a good learning opportunity for kids. My kids both really enjoy science, so they have had fun learning about the different kids of soils in the places we have metal detected. Many places we go, the soil is highly mineralized or packed full of clay. We like to look at the soil composition and talk about what factors make the soil this way.
7) Kids Will Become Connected to The Environment
Metal detecting can help kids connect to their environment. Metal detecting will teach them to keep trash out of our environment and to remove any they find to help keep the environment cleaner. If they get discouraged that they are only digging pull tabs, soda cans, and old nails, remind them they are leaving the area cleaner than they found it, which benefits everyone and everything. My kids definitely find more trash than treasure, but they have learned that it is still important to find the trash targets so they can help clean up the environment.
8) Kids Can Learn History
History can seem boring to a lot of kids. They are more concerned with the here and now, typically. But metal detecting will show them the importance of history. Every buried treasure has a story, and every area where they are found has a story. You can teach your kids about the history of a certain area without it seeming like a chore to them. They will be interested in the history because of the treasures, or potential treasures, they may find in an area.
If you live near an old Civil War site, you can teach your kids the purpose of the war, the details of the war, and what relics you are likely to find. If you live in gold country, like I do, you can teach your kids about the Gold Rush and how it impacted America and beyond. We found some old railroad ties and iron pieces last time we detected in the mountains, and the kids were incredibly interested in how they had gotten there.
9) Kids Can Learn How Metal Detectors Work
Learning how metal detectors work is a lot of fun for kids. Not only do they learn the basics of metal detectors, they will soon learn to identify the possible targets they are finding based on the sounds the detector makes.
10) Kids Can Learn About Different Kinds of Metals
Kiddos will get the opportunity to see different kinds of metals when detecting. They will learn what objects are or were made of what metal, and what metals are valuable. This can help them understand what the best targets to hunt for are.
11) Digging Targets is a Good Surprise for Kids
Remember when you first started metal detecting and every time your detector would alert you to a target your heart rate would pick up a little bit? Well the same goes for kids! When their detector chirps indicating a target, they will be extremely excited to start digging for a possible treasure! Older kids will be able to differentiate between trash targets and good targets, but for smaller kids, all finds are great!
12) Metal Detecting Can Teach Kids Patience
Metal detecting requires a lot of patience, for kids and adults alike. It can be frustrating when you are not finding treasures or are only finding trash targets. It is important to reinforce to your kiddos that every target is a good target and not to get frustrated. If you can see they are losing interest, you can always bury a coin or other valuable object for the kids to find on their own. They will be thrilled when they dig up a coin and so excited to show you their find!
13) Metal Detecting Can Teach Kids Perseverance
This goes along with patience. Perseverance is a great skill for everyone to have. Teaching your kids perseverance with metal detecting will help them later in life. You can teach them that no matter how many trash targets they find, if they keep going, they will eventually find a good target. This is something they can apply to their futures. It is important that kids know they need to keep going, even if things are not going their way.
14) Some Metal Detectors are Made Just for Kids
There are many options for kids’ metal detectors out there. Bounty Hunter Junior model is the perfect beginner metal detector for kids just starting out and one of the most affordable options. Bounty Hunter Tracker IV and Quicksilver are also great for kids ages 4 to 9. These models are simple to use and do not require a lot of tinkering to adjust settings. Kids can turn them on and go!
For kids 10 and over, I recommend the Fisher F11 or Fisher F22, the Garrett Ace 300 or Garrett Ace 400, or the Minelab X-Terra 305. Each of these have more features that older kids will appreciate and will help them hone their metal detecting skills.
The Bounty Hunter Tracker IV and Bounty Hunter Quicksilver, Fisher F series, Garrett Ace line and Minelab X-Terra are also great metal detectors for adults to use. As you would when buying a more expensive detector for yourself, when you upgrade your kids’ detectors, purchase one in accordance with their skills. You do not want to frustrate them with too many settings when they first start out, so choose an easy to use machine for their first metal detector. Also keep in mind the weight of a metal detector. Heavier detectors are appropriate for bigger kids, but a smaller child will struggle with a heavy machine.
15) Kids Can Gain Some Independence
As kids get more experienced with their metal detectors, you may notice them straying farther away from you. While it is important to keep them close by, metal detecting can help them feel more independent. If they feel like you trust them to be a little way away from you and have a metal detector and other gear with them, they will develop skills necessary for their future. Just be sure to set clear boundaries with them so they know to stay nearby, especially when you are in areas that may be dangerous.
16) Kids Learn to Focus Better
Metal detecting for a few hours with your kids and helping them stay on task will help them learn to focus on something for longer, even with no immediate payoff. The amount of time our kids spend on social media and phone apps makes them crave instant satisfaction. Learning a skill that teaches them patience, perseverance, independence, and focus will help them in many ways. They may focus better at school and at home.
17) Kids Like Having Their Own Gear
All kids like to have things that belong to them (adults, too!). If they have their own metal detector, finds pouch, shovel, or trowel, and even a pinpointer, they will feel like this is really their hobby, too. If they constantly must borrow your tools, they may lose interest. It will also teach them to take care of their tools. Remind them to keep track of their gear, and to treat it kindly.
18) Kids Get to Explore
Who does not like exploration?! Kids enjoy seeing new things and going new places. Take the kids to the mountains or a beach and let them explore with their metal detectors. Even if they are not finding quality targets, they will enjoy the day being in a new place and exploring. They may like watching wildlife or looking at new plants. Explain the surroundings to them, give them a little history lesson on the area, and tell them what types of treasures could be under the soil.
19) Kids Need Hobbies
It is so important for everyone to have a hobby. Kids are no exception to this. We all want our kids to be well-rounded and engaging. This comes with having interests outside the home, outside social media, and off their phones or computers. Exposing kids to different hobbies is the best way to help them find a hobby they enjoy. That may just be metal detecting!
20) Metal Detecting Can Lead to Other Hobbies
Kids can start collections with their metal detecting finds, and this may lead them to other hobbies. Maybe they have unearthed a coin dump. They may find they enjoy collecting the coins and learning about them. They may decide they want to collect minerals. They will learn about the different types of minerals, their composition, and how to identify them. They may even decide they want to rockhound. This is one my kids have picked up from myself and my husband. We have always been obsessed with rocks, and now the kids always bring us interesting rocks they find while we are metal detecting.
21) A Little Praise Will Keep Young Kids Interested
All people like praise. Praising a child for finding a target, regardless of the target, will make them feel important. Tell them they have done a good job, point out what type of target it is, and tell them what will be done with it. For example, if a child finds a pull tab or soda can, congratulate them. Tell them this is something someone left behind when they were enjoying the area. Now we can recycle it or throw it in a proper waste bin to help the environment.
22) Kids Will Learn to Handle Disappointments
At some point, kids will learn what targets have value and what targets are trash. They may be disappointed if they have hunted for 2 hours and not found a valuable target. It is important to reassure them but remind them that disappointments are a part of life. You do not want them to revel in their disappointment, but you want to let them process it.
At some point they will be able to handle bigger disappointments in a healthy manner. At some point, both of my kids have wanted to go back to our camp because they are not finding anything while hunting. I usually let them go, then go back a few minutes later. After a little rest and blowing off some steam, they are almost always ready to go again.
23) Kids Will Learn to Make Decisions
Sometimes we must let our kids make their own decisions, even when we do not agree. Metal detecting can help them learn to make decisions. They may be small decisions like where to hunt, or how long to hunt. But they will all teach them how to make decisions and show them you respect their decisions.
24) We Like to See Our Kids Excited
When your kids are excited about something, you generally get excited with them. It is rewarding to see your kid bounce up to you and proudly display something they found with their detector and recovered from the ground. They will be proud of their find and excited to show you. It is so rewarding to see your child so excited about something they have done by themselves.
25) Your Kids Can Hunt Right in Your Own Yard
You do not have to take your kids far for them to use their metal detectors. I recommend they start with your yard when learning to metal detect. This way it is a controlled environment and they can learn the basics. Once they get the hang of it, you can go somewhere farther from home.
Metal detecting your own yard is a great way for your kids to not only learn the hobby, but to potentially find treasure. Most of our homes are built in areas where people have lived before. So, odds are, there are numerous finds in your own yard. Have your kids search the yard and show you what they have found. Maybe you can learn something new about your property.
26) You Get to Watch Your Kids Grow with the Hobby
One thing us parents love is watching our kids grow and blossom. It is so fun watching them go from being confused about metal detecting to darn near professional! They will learn this skill so quickly, and become very proficient at it, if it is something they genuinely enjoy. It is rewarding as a parent to watch your kids enjoying themselves.
27) Kids Will Feel Proud of Themselves
When your child locates a target with their metal detector, digs the target, and successfully recovers that target, they will be filled with a sense of pride. This can help a child build their confidence. Regardless of the target found, your children will be excited to dig it. As I mentioned before, make sure you make a fuss over what they have found to give them added encouragement.
28) Kids Enjoy Detecting with Family Members
My in-laws enjoy metal detecting as much as we do. We like to meet somewhere between their home and our home and go camping for a few days. We all take along our metal detectors, and the grandparents love taking their grandkids with them to hunt. They have been metal detecting longer than my husband and I, so they have more knowledge to teach the kids than we do. This is something we can all benefit from! And last, but not least….
29) Metal Detecting is Just Plain Fun!
Metal detecting is an incredibly fun hobby for adults, seniors, and kids alike. So, while we are getting more exercise, teaching our kids about science, teaching our kids important life skills, and finding treasures (or trash, as it may be), we are having fun! That is most important part of any hobby. Why would we do it if it were no fun? Kids are the same way! They will not want to participate in anything they think is not fun. Lucky for them, metal detecting is a lot of fun.
30) Metal Detecting is a Good Way to Connect the Family
Some families like to metal detect together. My family likes to detect together any time we can. We got the kids involved when they were younger, and they both really enjoy metal detecting now that they are a little bit older. It makes them feel included when they get to do the same things the adults are doing. Metal detecting as a family is also a great way to make memories. You will come back with stories from your hunt that you can all relive together.
There are many reasons for everyone to pick up a metal detector and get out there. With the variety of kids’ metal detectors and equipment on the market, there is no reason to exclude them! Kids will find this hobby as rewarding and fun as you do. So, pack up the family, head out, find that treasure and make some memories!
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