Helping your kids to get into a hobby is crucial; this will play a big part to build their personality! Obviously there are several hobbies you can choose from, and Metal Detecting is certainly one of the finest hobbies that you can teach your kid …
… In this article, I help you:
- Choose the right detector and tools for your child.
- Understand the basics that your kid needs to learn.
- The Places he/she should detect in.
- Few things you he/she should be cautious about.
- … As well as few more useful things.
I am excited! Let’s dive right in …
First … Why Metal Detecting a Great hobby for your Kid?
Nowadays, children are turning into couched potatoes, rolling in the comfort of their houses, hiding behind the screens of television, video games, and mobile phones…
… An outdoor activity like metal detection is, probably, what these kids will need!
Most Kids out there are fascinated by adventurous activities such as exploration and treasure hunting. And this hobby is all about that! Thus, convincing them won’t be a tough task at all.
In addition, he/she will spend more time outside in the fresh air than behind the screens. Not to mention that this activity will nurture their spirit and curiousness…
…You can even partner your little one in his detection mission and spend more time bonding and having fun with him.
Best Metal Detector for Kids
1. Bounty Hunter BHJS Junior
This little machine (Check it Here on Amazon) is a very good pick! It can sense coin-sized objects seated 5 inches deep and larger objects up to 3 feet deep.
It can even eliminate unwanted wastes and iron.
The volume of signal increases as the intensity of signal increases, thus, making it easy for the beginners to sense how close you are from your target.
Further, the design is very sleek and light in weight for comfortable handling by the kids.
2. Bounty Hunter Junior T.I.D
This is another detector (Check it Here on Amazon) from the same constructor from Hunter Industries!
It is well suited for kids of all age groups. The sensor is light in weight and very easy to operate.
It comes with a feature to discriminate specified objects while detecting.
You can even see on the screen a depth indicator … This will help your little one estimate the depth of the target underneath the ground.
Keep in mind that the search coil is water resistant so you can use it on wet ground too.
3. National Geographic Junior
This device (Check it Here on Amazon) was designed especially for the kids and has a nice appearance similar to adult detectors … This will your kids a mature feeling about the hobby overall.
The coil is waterproof, so it could be used in shallow water and still detect valuable stuff.
As far as depth is concerned, you can go from 6 inches up to 1 foot depending on the size of the target!
Very very lightweight, about 1.4 pounds!
Finally, it comes with a cool short book that will help your kid learn about the hobby’s history and basics.
Additional Basic Tools your Kid will need
In addition to the detection machine your child will need few additional tools to make his tasks easier …
… Indeed, detecting the target is only a part of the process, you need to locate it precisely, dig the spot and recover it in handy manner …
… Below few additional tools to consider:
- Hand digger (Check it Here on Amazon) so he can dig through and reach out to his found treasures. Plastic diggers are the right choice for the kids to avoid any chances of injuries.
- Pinpointer (Check it Here on Amazon) to point the exact location of the target with more precision than the metal detectors. It can significantly reduce the time and effort by eliminating the need to dig up multiple holes.
- Collection bag to collect all his findings and preserve them to brag around in front of his friends. You can opt for a single container with multiple compartments for secure storage.
Tips on Getting your child excited about this hobby!
This activity could be frustrating at times, especially if your kid couldn’t figure out using the machine properly. He might even lose interest when he couldn’t find something for a while!
Below, I suggest few tips to keep your kids excited about the hobby, most of the time:
Offer company: This activity generally require swinging your machine for hours! And this could be annoying for a little kid when done alone! That’s why you should consider getting out with your kid, especially at the beginning until he falls in love with the hobby.
Visit different places: Do not stick on to local sites; instead, try to diversify if possible. Use a treasure hunting map that has a kids-friendly appearance and point the locations with him on where you will probably find interesting stuff.
Offer a bait: If finding something interesting is taking too much time to manifest, just hide something valuable purposely, and let your child dig through and find it. This is a nice rush of dopamine to keep him excited to continue on the expedition to find more.
Rewards: That’s a big one; Go for rewards and benefits motivation. Give your child small rewards for every successful attempt to keep him excited about the activity
Detection basics your kid needs to understand …
I don’t want you to get fancy with this, there are few basics your kid needs to understand …
… If he couldn’t understand them at the beginning, then there is nothing wrong with that, he will, surely, end up figuring these basics out over time.
Below some of these basics:
- Difference between ferrous and non-ferrous: ferrous targets could be attracted by a magnet and are generally junk with no value. On the other hand, non-ferrous are what he should be looking for, these include things like jewelry, coins, silver, gold …
- Swinging techniques: Your kid needs to keep consistently swing the detector to pick up a signal once over a target. The swinging should be slow and consistent. The coil should be in total parallel with the ground to not miss any signal.
- Digging techniques: Don’t let him dig with him bare hands, always use a hand shovel! Also, he won’t need to dig big holes most of the time. Don’t forget to remind him fill back the holes, that’s a nice code of conduct.
- Playing with the Settings: In fact, there 2 main settings that most modern detectors have … Discrimination and sensitivity. The first one is the ability to ignore ferrous (junk) metals, the higher the more it will ignore those. On the other hand, sensitivity means how sensitive your detector will be towards smaller targets. For example, if you want to pick up a very small coin you will need to set a higher sensitivity level to be able to do so.
Don’t forget to let your kid know about these elements that a regular detector can not find!
Best Places your child should detect!
You shouldn’t allow your kid to go trespassing, digging around anywhere. Below some suggestions of appropriate places that he/she should go for:
Your Back and Front Yard: Land, where you live today, have been in use for ages. Hence, there are high chances of finding some valuables dug beneath your on the back or front yard. This gives your kid a chance to understand his device better and learn the technique of using the shovel as well.
Someone else’s yard: It is easier to see permission to dig up and exploring yards of your family and friends than that of government lands.
Desserted towns: lands and cities which have been rendered unused now were once the areas of great hustle. There are high probabilities of finding valuables in such areas. Also, exploring through such areas can help your kid to learn about the civilization patterns that once existed in these old towns. However, before heading on to any such land, ensure to check government restriction policies for the same.
Parks and Beaches: Though private parks and beaches cannot be explored without permission. Free ones can be used as your exploration site. Children generally love visiting these places, and enjoying metal detection on their favorite picnic spots can make these places all the more enjoyable.
If you don’t have ideas, have a look at those metal detecting friendly locations that you can check with your kid!
Few Dangers you need to watch out for …
The hobby could represent few dangers; I will point them out below real quick so you could take them into consideration:
- Sharp objects: broken grass, corroded nails and sharp rocks are very common, and it is very easy to get injured. Using gloves and knee pads could be necessary in trashy places.
- Being lost: If you choose to go for broad places like the words, getting lost if quite possible few hours of detection! You probably should specify a perimeter that your kid mustn’t exceed.
- Sun Light: Could be dangerous for kids if they keep exposed for hours, proper hat is important in this case.
- Dangerous Animals: snakes and wild spiders are quite common, so you should warn him/her to not reach places suspected to have those.
Other similar activities to Metal Detecting for your child
This hobby could well become a window for other great hobbies for your beloved kids. Below a short list of these hobbies:
- Coin collecting: This is a great way for them to discover more history through collecting coins. There are many skills that you kid will learn through this hobby like identifying old age coins, studying them, somewhat grading them. Further, coins are the most natural treasure to find at almost every location while detecting, so this is perfect! (Check this Coin Collecting Guide for Kids)
- Mineral Collecting: Minerals are generally more valuable treasures. Your kid will learn all different types of available minerals, their value, where to find them and how to recognize them. Minerals as a collecting are really beautiful and your kid will certainly love them.
- Rockhounding: This one is wider, it is more about collecting rocks for fun. Many types of stones are rich in metal and hence can be detected using a detecting device. Rockhounding can provoke the interest of your kid towards geology and help him learn a lot. You can generally find more rocks and fossils in isolated lands, which can serve as the best ground for this activity.
I wish from the bottom of my heart that you will find this information useful for you to introduce your kid for this hobby …
… I am sure, he/she will love it, just give it a try!
Finally, to help your kid learn more about the hobby, I highly invite you to encourage him reading books! These books for examples are really very good!