Are you looking for a way to drag the child in your life away from the video games this summer? Metal detecting might be the answer to your problem — it will get them outside for some healthy exercise!
The first step to sparking a love of detecting in a child is finding a detector that will make him feel like metal detecting is fun.
Lightweight, cheap, perfect for kids
The Bounty Hunter Junior Target ID is a fun metal detector your child will love, and it’s small and lightweight enough for kids of any age.
What we like:
- It’s lightweight and compact so a child can carry it with ease.
- It’s affordable.
- Easy to operate with only two buttons — one to turn the detector on and off and one to operate discrimination.
- The detector is a fun color that children, whether they are boys or girls, will love.
What we don’t like:
- The only real con is that this detector is meant for kids who are as young as 6 years old, which means your child will likely outgrow this detector in three or four years. But for this price point, that’s not too big of a deal. Besides, it’s a small price to pay to introduce children to this great hobby and get them outside to get some exercise!
The Bounty Hunter Junior Target ID (see latest price) is a fun metal detector your child will love, and it’s small and lightweight enough for kids of any age.
The Bounty Hunter Junior Target ID metal detector has decent features considering this is a machine aimed solely at young kids. Here are some of the things your child will like about it:
- It has three target identification categories — iron, rings and other desirable targets, and coins and valuables.
- It uses an ergonomic design which will make it comfortable for even small children to swing their detector.
- It has a battery strength indicator, which means your child will always be able to tell when his battery is getting low on power.
- The volume level is louder with a strong signal and quieter with a weaker or more faint signal.
- It uses a graphic target depth indicator which will help your child understand how far he’ll have to dig to get to the target. That will let him know whether he needs to call you in for reinforcements if the dig is more than he can handle.
- It has an operating frequency of 6.6 kHz, so while it’s a child’s toy, it really will do a decent job of finding targets.
- The detector has three-tone target identification so your child will learn to recognize good signals just from the sound they make.
- It has a wing stand, which will protect the detector when your child puts it quickly on the ground in his haste to dig a good signal.
The fun faces
The fun faces on the screen will let young children know whether or not they should dig.
Even kids who can’t read yet will understand what the faces mean — a sad face means the find is likely nails or other junk, the more interested face shows the item could be a ring or a nickel, and the happy face means it could be more valuable like a coin.
This is a great way to keep young kids engaged with what they are doing. It sure beats using bar graphs or numbers that they’ll have a hard time deciphering.
The discrimination feature
Another great feature on this junior metal detector is the discrimination that can be turned off or on with a simple press of a button.
That means he can get rid of signals that are likely to be junk, like nails.
This is an important feature on a junior metal detector because many adult detectorists can be turned off of the hobby by finding too much junk. Many kids will feel the same way.
If all a kid digs up are nails, he’s going to think metal detecting is the worst hobby in the world!
When you introduce metal detecting to a child, you want it to seem as interesting and exciting as possible. That means you want to keep nails and other trashy finds to a minimum.
Discrimination is a great way of doing that.
And when he hits his first coin, he’ll likely be bitten by the same metal detecting bug that got ahold of you!
It’s super lightweight
Metal detecting may look easy enough, but once you begin doing it you realize how physical it really is.
That’s why it’s so important for children to have lightweight detectors that don’t make them feel like they’re part of some unannounced boot camp!
If it’s too difficult, they won’t want to stick with it for long.
This detector only weighs 1.5 pounds, which is perfect for the little arms that will be carrying it.
Plus, the search coil isn’t too big or bulky, which would make it difficult to swing if there was too much weight at the end. The Junior Target ID detector comes with a 6-inch water-resistant coil.
The detector is adjustable so it can be lengthened when your child hits a growth spurt.
It adjusts in length from 19 to 31 inches.
With a detector like this on his arm, you’ll be tired long before your child will!
Junior TID vs. regular Bounty Hunter JR
The Bounty Hunter Junior metal detector is another detector aimed at children as young as 6 years old.
These machines are similar in many ways, including the depth they can detect to, the way the volume increases when you get closer to a target and the fact that there’s a discrimination mode.
They also both weigh the same and have the same operating frequency.
The biggest difference is the appearance of the detector. This one is black instead of blue.
That may appeal to kids who want a detector that looks less like a toy and more like the one you are using.
But if you go with this detector, the fun screen will be gone.
The junior model doesn’t have a digital screen. It uses a standard needle instead.
When you have the right tools, metal detecting can be a thrilling hobby, especially for children who get to live out a real-life treasure hunt while their friends are only reading about them.
You can stage a few coins on the lawn until they get the hang of it, and even call them over when your detector indicates a good shallow find.
You can let them have the thrill of making the discovery.
They’ll have a great time spending time with you and looking for finds that will impress their teachers and friends on show-and-tell day!
For more metal detector reviews, see our full guide here.