I have been asked quite a few times if we take the kids with us when we go to the places we find and it depends in a few things but a majority of the times yes we do.
Now if it is somewhere we can openly walk around and nothing for them to get into to much then yes as a way to get them interested in exploring and taking out the fear of getting hurt factor then its a go. Aside from being fun the educational side to it cannot be beat. I mean come on we got to see a space shuttle external fuel tank!
If it is somewhere like the Yellow House that had some pretty extensive fire damage inside then it is a definite NO. Or if it is a place not easy to get into and we have to do some wall or fence scaling then that is also a definite no.
I think it is fun for the kids to not just check out these places with us but to also involve them in the information hunt as well. I have found that they are enjoying it more than I could have hoped for.
Some tips I would recommend doing if you plan on bringing the kids along:
Let them have their own camera
Even if it is just a little disposable camera I usually let them have my phone to snap their own photos. I love seeing what angles they choose (it gives me some insight of their perspective). Granted I typically get crazy selfies like this….
Let them help you find a place to check out
A majority of our finds come from just driving around and taking the road less traveled. They have found things we would have missed otherwise.
Make sure they fully understand the risks
We always do a safety check before we get out the car. We let them know that an adult is the first to check things out. There was one time I am glad we have this rule in place as he ran into a homeless man. Thankfully the man was really nice but you just never know.
Let them in on the research
I mentioned this previously but it is one that definitely bears repeating. We spent hours combing through old newspapers at the county library to find information since not everything is available online and this has been a blast and has really sparked an interest for both of my kids which is amazing to see!
Overall it is a fun experience and I hate when we can’t bring them even though it is for their safety but even if it is just through photos that they can experience it then I am happy with that as well.