Four tips to start out right with a children’s metal detector

A child’s metal detector requires a period of learning. While it is easy to turn a metal detector on and learn to make adjustments, there is a bit of a trick to recognizing the tones that the machine gives off and understanding what those sounds mean. Most units produce a different sound for each metal that is passed underneath the search coil. A piece of aluminum foil will produce a tone that is very different than a silver coin. This audible tone isn’t additional aid when treasure hunting, but it does take time to learn the different tones. For that reason it’s advisable that children starting off with a metal detector be taught to dig up everything that their unit gives a signal on. In this way, they can learn to distinguish the different tones that the machine gives off for different metals. Eventually they may want to lock out certain metals so that the unit will not give a signal when the search coil is passed over them; however, to begin with it is considered best to simply dig for everything that the unit finds.


Kids also need to learn how to use their digging tools properly. This is not like digging in the sandbox, many of the places that treasure hunters frequent may have rules about digging holes. Children need to learn to carefully remove sod and replace it well enough to leave no visible marks. A group of holes carelessly left open, or poorly replaced sod can mean the next time the child may not be allowed to search in that location. Different digging tools also have different uses, some work very well in sod and others work better in sand. Some tools are designed primarily to cut sod and some tools are designed primarily to scooped dirt. It is important that children learn which tool to use on which occasion in order to make filling the holes easier, cleaner, and neater.


Good manners are very important, especially when engaging in a sport where multiple other people may be harmed by the child’s thoughtlessness. All of us need to remember to ask permission before we go on someone else’s property, or on public property, searching for treasures. Often it takes several visits to a location in order to properly scan all areas, and an expedition that is cut short by an angry landowner may not have enough time to adequately cover all areas of the site.


Finally, the hobby is often about history and who better to discuss local history thAn longtime local residents. With proper supervision children should be encouraged to speak with longtime residents and inquire about local history. A store that closed and was torn down 30 years ago may seem like old news to some people, but to detectorist it could be a massive opportunity for coin shooting. Through these discussions, children can learn about local history and develop an appreciation for older people and the knowledge that they have. This is an opportunity for kids to gain not only in knowledge but in social understanding of the people and the world around them.


A child’s metal detector is a great gift, and treasure hunting is a great sport, but like all sports there are some preparations and considerations that we need to make in order to enjoy a safe and happy hobby

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