Metal Detecting is about finding treasure and treasures comes in all shapes and sizes!
Recently, my six year old son has shown an interest in metal detecting. He’s actually had his own metal detector for over a year, but this spring he has shown a real interest in metal detecting! He swings a Bounty Hunter Jr and it seems to fit his size perfectly!
The Bounty Hunter Jr. Metal Detector is designed for ages 6 and up and extends up to 22 inches when assembled. It features a discrimination control which allows unwanted targets to be eliminated. The design is compact and ergonomic, and my son seems to really like swinging his and I’ve not heard any complaints about the machine from him.
One of the greatest treasures that I have ever found while metal detecting was simply spending time with my son. He knows how to dig a plug and how to use a pro-pointer and watching him retrieve a target with anticipation is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. He also knows how to know fill his plugs, something that he’s learned from ole dad here.
Benefits of Metal Detecting for Children:
The hobby of metal detecting is beneficial in several ways. For instance, metal detecting can teach children about history. Each artifact that the child finds is an opportunity for you both to share a teachable moment. Learning is about having fun, and children especially learn while at play.
Each artifact not only tells a story about a time or place in history, but metal detecting can also teach children about the importance of picking up trash and cleaning up the environment. The Earth belongs to our children, so it is important to instill a sense of pride in the environment and each do our part to clean up any trash that we dig or find.
Metal detecting can also teach youngsters how to respect nature, both flora and fauna. One thing is for sure, you aren’t going to see any fish in a stream or any deer in the meadow while sitting on the couch! Recently on a hunt I spotted a Bald Eagle soaring over the lake. It was mesmerizing, and I felt privileged to have witness such a majestic bird in it’s natural surroundings.
Our Metal Detecting Code of Ethics state “Never do anything that might contaminate wells, creeks or other water supplies.” It also states to “Never spook, taunt, provoke or otherwise disturb wild or domestic animals.” Both codes are a teachable moment that can educate children on why we must keep our water ways clean and why we should disturb the wild life as little as possible. Morals and Ethics are dying amongst our youth these days, so any chance that we get to educate our young people is an opportunity we should feel obligated to take.
Metal detecting is also great exercise, something that seems less important to this generation of youngsters than playing 3 hours on he XYZPLAYBOX game system. As parents or role models, we all have an obligation to our children to see that they get the exercise they need in an effort to help combat child obesity. Taking a kid metal detecting is a great way to spend some quality time with our children while burning a few calories along the way. We’ll all benefit from it in the long run!
” So, How Do I Choose A Detector For My Child?”
In the beginning it might be best to start out with a simple detector. Buy an introductory machine without all of the bells and whistles until you find out if your child will stick with the hobby. You also don’t want to spend too much money on a machine with a bunch of buttons or knobs because children have a short attention span, so use the old adage “K.I.S.S” (Keep It Simple Silly!)
The object is to not overwhelm them with too much input or too steep of a learning curve, so by choosing a simple to operate machine they will be able to concentrate more on finding targets and less on learning the machine.
The Bounty Hunter Jr. and the Tesoro Compadre are both light-weight and affordable machines for children that can be adjusted easily to fit their smaller size.
How Can I Teach Them The Difference in a Good Target vs A Bad Target?
One way to teach a child what to dig and what not to dig is to make a test garden. This is an area free of junk targets that you have planted coins in the soil at various depths to use as a practice area. Have your child swing the coil over each target while paying attention to the tone the detector makes as it passes over each target. Likewise, direct them to notice where the meter on the screen registers each target.
If using the BH Jr, you can take it a step further, and use a marker to mark where all targets except coins are eliminated out as indicated in the image above. If using a machine that features notching, you can discriminate every notch except coins which will cut down on most trash so the child can focus on coin hunting.
Make It A Game!
Sometimes when my son wants to practice detecting I will take 5 or 6 nickels and throw them off of the back deck in a small area and then have him look for them in the tall grass with his metal detector. It is great practice, and it’s a fun and educational game. He knows that there are 6 coins that he has to find, so when he accomplishes his goal he is excited and feels a sense of accomplishment, the same as we feel when we finally find that elusive coin that we’ve been searching for all year.
When I watch my son dig a coin out of the dirt, his excitement is contagious. Something as simple as finding a penny with his metal detector gives him a sense of accomplishment and joy and I love being there to see those moments. Our children grow up so fast that the years seem to just fly by. We only get one chance to make a difference in their lives before they are out of the house and on with their own lives.
Seize the moment while you can, because someday ole mom and dad aren’t going to be fun to hang out with anymore. Likewise, don’t cheat yourself out of an opportunity to make memories together. The sites, the sounds, the smiles, the conversation, the smells, and the bonding are all treasures that can not be found once the opportunity is gone. Don’t miss the opportunity to make a difference in a childs life. The rewards are much much more than just an old coin or piece of jewelry.
Memories last a lifetime, so get out there and make some memories together while metal detecting! Who knows, you might even find a few gold bars along the way, you just never know, but one thing is for sure, you can’t find anything if you aren’t out there looking!
HAPPY HUNTING My Friends!
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