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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Orienteering for kids

in: Orienteering; General

Apr 26, 2017 3:32 AM # 
I am considering doing an "event" for my daughter's school on World Orienteering Day. She is at an Outdoor School which I would describe as an outdoor Montessori school. It's just a primary class so ages 3-5.

I have been looking at some of the materials online to get some ideas but was hoping for some personalized feedback here. I also need to talk with the teacher to see what she thinks they would most appreciate/learn from.

I was thinking a short discovery (learning) portion and then some sort of String-O. Any ideas, suggestions, or guidance on either of those.

Apr 26, 2017 11:35 AM # 
Tim S:
String is a bit orienteering-less at that stage in my view... literally just following a string and punching, but still fun. My 5 year-old loves the super-small scale
orienteering round controls in a 3x3 grid. Crazy Numbers or whatever it's called
Apr 26, 2017 12:51 PM # 
Some combination of Barb Bryant and Ethan Childs and others associated with Navigation games has come up with a great progression for young kids:

1. Put out a bunch of controls (they use traffic cones with an SI unit on top and with pictures instead of numbers) in a confined area and have the kids just run around finding as many as they can and punching - no map, just run and find cones.

2. Now give the kids a piece of paper with some subset of the pictures and have them go punch at just the cones with the pictures they have (different kids have different papers) in any order. Faster kids can do this more than once with a new paper with a different subset.

3. Finally give them a paper and have them punch in order.

I'm pretty sure I have this correct but you might want to check with them.

You can then introduce a map showing all the cones and have the group figure out which animal goes with which cone.
Apr 26, 2017 8:13 PM # 
Tim, could you be more specific?
Apr 26, 2017 8:40 PM # 
Some Grid orienteering info

For 3-5 year olds you might also find that many of them can understand maps where the representation is less abstract -- if you're able to use the playground outside then you could use a tilt view image with pictures of the control sites as control descriptions. Even if they don't quite get the tilt-view they probably recognize the features they need to go to.

Also, kids love being able to go fast, so a string-o or streamered route is fun for them. Orienteering is also about running, not every activity has to require map thinking.
Apr 27, 2017 12:31 AM # 
"Orienteering is also about running"

Yup! Sure is and that's why we made running activities and games a big part of Adventure Running Kids and what SOGO Adventure Running has done in Calgary. Obstacle courses, capture the flag, relays, mud run, and so much more. I'd argue that ARK is a better development curriculum for youngsters for track and XC running than what the track clubs do. FUN first!
Apr 27, 2017 7:10 AM # 
We had kid training yesterday in our club and one of the boys (aged 7) complained at the end that the day's activities had too much orienteering. "It was like being in school!" It's important to give their brains a rest and let them run around, too!
Apr 30, 2017 12:14 PM # 
Brian, we did a string course yesterday at Zoe's birthday party. Brent put it together and the kids (and their parents -- almost none of whom had ever been exposed to orienteering) all had a ton of fun. Brent made a map with the CPs and then put a picture of an animal corresponding each with control. Then, on the control, he clipped the same pictures, so they knew where to punch. It worked really well. Happy to send over the map and pictures, if you're interested.
Apr 30, 2017 12:43 PM # 
Tim S:
Naughty numbers = grid-o as in Cristina's link. A 3 x 3 grid of controls, with a number of courses to choose from, doing the controls in different orders.

With electronic punching too.

This discussion thread is closed.