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How to Find Meteorites with Your Kids

how to find meteorites

Strewn fields can be miles long. Deserts preserve meteorites better an forests.

This is a beginner’s guide to how to find meteorites with a metal detector so you can take your family for an out of this world treasure hunt.

Meteorite hunting may be the most challenging of treasure scavenger hunts for kids and their families. This hunt for treasure activity will often take you far off the beaten path into less than favorable climates and success will depend on lots of luck and knowledge gained through experience.

However, this treasure hunt with your family is also sure to be a memorable adventure, could be profitable, and will teach your kids about geography, navigation technology, geology, cartography, and astronomy through hands-on experience they won’t find in a traditional classroom.

Where are Meteorites Found

Strewn fields are the quick answer to where is the best place to find meteorites. Strewn fields are the area where the fallen asteroids were “strewn” when falling to the Earth, usually in an elliptical pattern. However, not all strewn fields preserve meteorites.

Meteorites can and have been found all over the world. But most are found in deserts, making any dry arid region the best place to find meteorites for the beginner. This is because a major component of these rocks is iron. In humid environments such as forests, that iron decays. Also, in deserts with few plants and rocks, meteorites stand out and are easy to spot with or without your equipment. Although a forest may have had a large strewn field, they won’t be around for long or easy to find.

Strewn Field Maps are Kept Secret

Finding maps of areas you wish to hunt is a task in and of itself. There’s not a single good comprehensive collection of maps and because of the value of meteorites, expert and professional meteorite hunters don’t like to share their maps with beginners. You can easily find well-known strew fields throughout the U.S. that are known to produce easy finds. So the first step is to google. You’re looking for known strewn fields in the region you want to search and news reports of recent meteorite sightings.

You can also search The Meteoritical Society’s database for known meteorite finds. After entering your search parameters, click on the meteorite name to get the coordinates of where that meteorite was found. You can click the “view Google map” button to see exactly where the meteorite was found. The proximity search will allow you to see if other meteorites have been found nearby, which will give you an idea as to how densely populated that strewn field is or was.

You also don’t necessarily need to go meteorite hunting in a known strewn field area. You can turn a walk into any dry region into a hunt for meteorites.

Make Your Own Strewn Field Map

Anytime you have a successful hunt, you want to mark the exact location on your GPS. From this, you and your family can make your own strewn field map and plan future searches. Experienced hunters follow the meteorite hunting code of marking each find on the GPS and taking a picture of it exactly where it was found.

meteorite gold metal detector

For meteorite hunting, you need a high end metal detector such as this Garrett found on Amazon.

How to Find a Meteorite: The Equipment and Their Use

Other than your strewn field map, you’ll need some basic equipment to actually find meteorites, with the metal detector being the most important. However, the cheap metal detector for beach combing won’t cut it. Experienced meteorite hunters recommend spending more to get a metal detector made for detecting gold. If you are not inclined to spend the several hundred to over a thousand dollars on a new gold detecting metal detector, opt for a used one at about half the price.

Other basic equipment you will need include:

Magnet—some use a magnet tied to the end of a string, while others use a magnet on the end of a stick. Run the magnet over the spot where your metal detector made a hit to determine if the find is magnetic. Almost all meteorites will be magnetic, although not every magnetic object you find will be a fallen meteor.

GPS—for navigation and to mark your finds.

Camera—to document finds and off course take candid family photos of the treasure hunt.

Pick Axe—you may need to dig a bit to get to the find.

how to find a meteorite

Meteorites are magnetic, heavy for their size, and my have thumbprint like impressions.

What Do Meteorites Look Like? Meteorite Identification

Not every magnetic rock that sets off your metal detector is a meteorite. The first basic test is to use your magnet. If it’s magnetic, you are off to a promising start, but certainly not yet guaranteed you’ve found a meteorite.

Examine the rock and look for regmaglypts. These are impressions on the rock that look like thumbprints and are created when the meteor passes through the atmosphere. Other characteristics commonly found in meteorites include, but are not limited to, rounded corners and edges which occurs when passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, having rust and metallic colors, having a fusion crust—a shiny darker area on the rock, and feeling heavy for its small size.

You should know that not all meteorites have all of the above characteristics. If you think you’ve found a meteorite, place it into a sealable plastic bag to carry back with you. Unless you are a highly experienced meteorite hunter, then you will need a meteorite testing lab or college professor of geology to confirm your find.

The success of this treasure scavenger hunt is not about whether you and your kids actually find a real meteorite. The success of meteorite hunting lies in the hunt itself and allowing the kids to tackle major parts of the hunt from planning, map making, using the technology, and to trying to identify the rocks you find.

*Meteorite photo by Museum de Toulous/flickr

*Meteor crater photo by Alan Stark/Flickr

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How Does Geocaching Work?

How Does Geocaching Work

Geocaching with kids will get you exploring places you would have never found otherwise.

In this beginner’s guide to geocaching with kids you will learn what is a muggle, the technology you need to find a geocache container, and the code of conduct all geocachers follow.

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is today’s high tech treasure scavenger hunt that gets people exploring new places. Thousands of caches are hidden around the world and there are probably several hidden in your area. Geocaching is open to anyone, kids and adults, that enjoy the outdoors and a little (or a lot) of adventure. By adding a geocache to your day hiking exploring outdoors, you’ll be taken to new discoveries you may never have found otherwise. Often people hide the geocache in places they frequented as children or are known only to a few local residents. You might discover a hidden waterfall or new park, remnants of homes from previous centuries, trace the path of early residents to the area, or learn about the local wildlife.

How do you geocache

Buy a GPS unit like this one to find geocaches. You will need a GPS that directs you to a longitude and latitude point by road and by walking. Smartphone geocaching apps only work with cell service.

Can You Geocache with a Smartphone?

Yes, you can use an app on your smartphone for geocaching. And it these apps work very well, as long as you have cell phone service. If you plan to travel away from civilization and cell phone towers, then you will need a handheld GPS unit.

How Do You Geocahe?

Go to the official geocaching website (geocaching.com) to find a cache. Basic membership is free, although the paid membership gives you access to more caches and website features. If you have a geocaching app on our phone, then you can just turn it on to look for nearby caches. However, by browsing the website for caches you can read the cache clues and background information and pick caches that sound most interesting to you.  These can then be downloaded to your GPS.

Geocaching with kids

Geocaches are often hidden under rock or debris piles.

Choosing a Cache

Choose a general area that you would like to explore. You can search by zip code or city. Find a zip code for the area you want to visit by doing a search at USPS.com. Entering the zip code into the geocaching.com search feature will give you a list to choose from starting close to the zip code.

If this is your first time and you are just learning how to geocache, then pick several easy caches to find, more than you think you will have time for. Often first time geocachers have trouble finding their first couple of caches. If you have several easy ones to try for, you will be more likely to have cache hunting success.

Dress appropriately for the elements and the trail that will take you to the cache. Pack food and water and gas up the car if you are traveling to less populated areas.

geocaching swag

Bring geocaching swag. These are things, toys, or trinkets to trade. Many caches are containers full of items. You are allowed to take an item if you trade it for something you brought.

Geocaching Etiquette

Do not let the “muggles” see you seeking out a cache. “Muggles” are people nearby that do not know about geocaching or the nearby hide. Keeping muggles in the dark is part of the game and protects the cache from unwanted attention.

Sign the notebook that will be inside the cache; think guest book for cache finders. Many geocachers create team names to sign the book with.

Put the geocache back exactly where you found it. Even if your GPS unit says the cache is in the wrong location – do not move it. Each GPS can be off by several feet. You can leave a note for the cache owner who can decide if it is correctly placed or needs to be move.

Be a responsible and respectful geocacher. Do not leave trash behind and do leave nature where you found it. “Cache In Trash Out” (CITO) is the motto all geocachers follow.

For more, watch this What is Geocaching video:

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What are the Best Inline Skates for Kids and Teens?

Inline skating is an excellent way to exercise and get kids and teens moving. Skating burns an average of 285 calories per half-hour and builds the hip and thigh muscles. Inline skating can be used for getting to and from school and as a sport. The best inline skates for kids and teens really depends on the child’s age and how they plan to use the skates.

Types of Inline Skates

Inline skates are often commonly called rollerblades. Rollerblade is actually a trademarked name for a specific brand if inline skates: Rollerblades.

Best Inline Skates for Kids

Kids inline skates such as these sold on Amazon are adjustable and will grow with your child through several shoe sizes.

Inline Skates for Kids

Inline skates for younger kids may be adjustable so they grow with your child. Match the smallest size on the adjustable skate with your child’s current shoe size. This ensures you get the most value out of your skates because you use each size setting. Typical adjustable skates will grow about four sizes. Avoid buying skates that are slightly larger than your child’s current foot size. These will rub and be uncomfortable. You won’t save money buying larger skates if your child refuses to wear them.

Best rollerblades for kids

Recreational skates like these are make to be comfortable while skating around the neighborhood.

Recreational Inline Skates

These skates are designed with comfort and support in mind. They have a higher ankle support and a softer exterior than other boots. The wheels are an average height – usually 80 to 90 millimeters. However, you can change the wheel size on most models as you progress. It’s not unusual to have extra venting and other comforts added to the skates. Recreational skates are good for beginners.

 

aggressvie inline skates for teens

These aggressive inline skates are for teenagers who skate at the skate park.

Aggressive Inline Skates

Aggressive skates are the only serious option for individuals who are rough with their skates. Teens wear aggressive skates at skate parks to do tricks. The skate is extremely solid and nearly indestructible. The wheels are smaller and flatter than other wheels. They are not designed for commuting or skating to a destination.

 

kids roller hockey skates

These youth roller hockey skates adjust to shoe sizes 11 to 1.

Inline Roller Hockey Skates

As the name implies, the skates are designed for playing roller hockey. They come with a hockey boot and smaller wheels, which work well for quick stops and turns.

Choosing Inline Skates

Once you know what kind of skate you are looking for, it’s time to start trying them on. The ideal place to do this is in a store that specializes in inline skates. The staff can help you fit the skates and narrow down your options within your price range. If you don’t have a speciality store near you, you may need to shop at larger, multi-purpose sporting goods stores. The staff in these stores vary in their specialized knowledge of inline skating.

Get a Comfortable Fit for Your Child

The skate sizes are comparable to your shoe sizes, but they don’t always come in half sizes or varying widths. You can add a liner to the skate or adjust the boot. When you stand in the skate, the heel of your foot should be right to the back of the skate boot. However, the skate shouldn’t be too big either because with use, the boot liner becomes compress making the boot fit looser. Some inline skates come in half sizes while others don’t. Others have more options for adjusting them, which can provide a better fit.

Where to Buy Inline Skates for Kids and Teens

If you can’t find a store that sells the type of skates you want, shop online. Amazon has a wide selection of inline skates. Always look at the return policy in case they don’t fit. Go to the company’s original website and see if they have advice on sizing skates.

A Little History on Inline Skating

Inline skates date back to the 18th century where they have a history in Northern Europe countries. The first patent for inline skates was purchased in France by M. Petitbled. The skate had three inline wheels, a wood base and leather straps. It was strapped onto the shoe. In 1984, Bob Naegele, Jr purchased a company from Scott Olson. This company later became Rollerblade, a name now synonymous with inline skating.

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Cheap Android Tablets for Kid: A Nabi 2 Kids Tablet Review

Nabi tablet for kidsUntil recently, tablets made for kids had not received much attention because the overall quality of them was not up to par. This was the case with the first Nabi tablet. However, the newer Nabi 2 Tablet is definitely an upgrade over its predecessor, and sense it’s an older model, it’s now a cheap tablet for kids.

This tablet is a high quality Android tablet that is fun to use because of its speed, responsiveness, and numerous other qualities.

Let’s take a close look at some of the features that make the Android Nabi 2 a winner. You can buy the Nabi tablet for kids here on Amazon.

Build and Features of the Nabi Tablet for Kids

The Nabi 2 resembles the original Nabi with its red drop-safe bumper and big rounded corners. With a weight of 1.31 pounds and measurements of 8.7 x 6.1 x 1.14 inches, the Nabi 2 is a bit thicker and heavier than most 7-inch tablets. However, this adds to the durability of it

The bumper can be removed, but if you have very young kids that tend to be a bit rough with their toys and other objects, you may want it to remain attached. However, the tablet’s body feels sturdy enough to hold up to some abuse with or without the bumper

The power and volume buttons are located at the top. The bumper is made so that the buttons are easily accessible.

On the right panel, there is a 3.5mm earphone jack, USB ports, mini HDMI port, and microSD card slot. Considering the Nabi 2 is a tablet for kids, this is an impressive array of connectivity options.

The 1024 x600 pixel display is bright and crisp. However, the screen darkens quite a bit when viewed at a steep angle.

There is a 2MP front-facing camera. The picture quality isn’t the greatest, but you’re probably not looking to replace your camera with a tablet. However, the camera is just fine for Skype video chatting.

Performance

It is speedy and highly responsive thanks to its quad-core 1.3 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. From high-end gaming to media playback, the Nabi 2 easily handles any task that its user throws at it.

The battery can last through an impressive seven to eight hours of activity. You’ll really appreciate this during road trips with the kids.

Preloaded Content

A very strong point is its preloaded content. There are popular games such as DoodleJump, Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, and more. Kid-friendly music and videos can be purchased through the Spinlets+ apps. The MeeGenius app has 30 preloaded children’s books with accompanying audio tracks.

When the tablet’s child-safe Nabi mode is activated, children can only access a list of pre-approved websites that can be customized by the parent.

Educational Tools

There are four main educational apps: English, Science, Math, and Social Studies. The apps have easy-to-navigate colorful interfaces that are a cut above competing tablets.

The Math and Science apps come with activities and tests for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. English covers kindergarten through third grade, and Social Studies has beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Parents can use an online interface to check their kids’ progress.

There is a Chore List that parents can use to create weekly schedules and reward offers for tasks completed. Your kids will earn Nabi Coins that they can use to acquire new apps.

Android Nabi 2 Kids Tablet Review Conclusions

The Nabi 2 is a quality full-featured tablet wrapped in a kid-friendly package. It is built with durability to withstand lumps and bumps, and it’s pre-loaded with educational apps, games, and tools that give parents control over the content.

The Nabi 2 is a cheap tablet for kids that serves as a wonderful learn-and-play tool for kids of all ages.

More for You  Cool Coding Toys for Kids

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Alarm Clocks for Teenagers Who Can’t Wake Up in the Morning

If your teen can’t wake up to your alarm clock, then you need the most effective alarm clock. The “I slept through my alarm clock” or “My alarm clock didn’t go off for some reason” excuses can only be used so many times. The right alarm clock for your teenager may be one with a sonic boom noise or one that simulates natural sunlight that gets the brain to wake up gradually and naturally. Here are some of the top selling alarm clocks for heavy sleepers you can buy that come with outstanding reviews from others like your teen who has trouble waking up in the morning. These alarm clocks for teenagers will get your teen up and moving in the morning. No more sleeping through the alarm and being late for school.

Alarm Clocks for TeenagersThe Super Loud Sonic Boom and Vibrating Alarm Clock: The Sonic Alert with Bed Shaker Review

This cheap alarm clock for heavy sleepers gives off a 113 decibels alarm sound combined with vibration to get you to wake up on time. The volume can be adjusted and most reviewers find that setting it at level 2 or 3 is sufficient, any higher becomes painfully loud. The sound is a loud whiney and screechy beep that is quite annoying – exactly what you need to wake up your teenager. There is a shaking device attached to the clock with a cord long enough to slip under your mattress. It will shake the entire mattress.

Do read the time setting instructions when you buy this one. If you live in America you need to switch the setting on the back to 12 hours and 60hz or it will not keep time properly or function as well as it should. It can also be used with batteries should your power go out.

Best alarm clocks for heavy sleepersSunrise Wake Up Light Alarm Clock

If you’ve tried every extra loud alarm clock and bed vibrators, maybe it’s time for a new idea. Instead try using a wake-up light alarm clock. These gradual brighten your room with natural sunlight stimulating your brain to gradually wake up. They often come with an alarm sound as well so you can combine the two to get out of bed in the morning.

These work my naturally stimulating your brain that it’s time to get up, but it does so slowly just as if you were being woken by natural sunlight. These are best for people who have to get up for work when it is still dark outside. You set it to start turning on about 20 to 60 minutes before you actually need to get out of bed. With a sunlight alarm, you don’t get woken up to a jarring noise. Some models will also have a nigh time feature that slowly turns off as you go to bed.

See how the Philips Wake-up light simulates a sunrise to help your teen wake up gently and naturally.

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