Instant treasure hunt

Baby, it’s cold outside (or very hot depending on where you live) and we are exploring indoor activities to stop us from going bonkers. Taking a lead from Amber’s week of pirates and the fact that Amelia is always a big fan of anything pirate related (favourite riddle: Q. “Why are Pirates Scary?” A. “Because they ARGHHHH!”), we decided to put together an impromptu treasure hunt. Amelia hid a handful of costume jewelry around the house and then drew up a pirate’s treasure map (including sea monsters) with x’s marked to show me where to find them.

treasure map 01

After I hunted around and found all the bits and pieces it was my turn.

treasure map 02

The complexity of this game can be matched to your child’s age – the older the child, the more sophisticated the map and the hiding places could be. Perhaps things could even be mapped out according to how many paces it will take your child to reach the object – this could be fun to try at the beach.

When we were kids we spent hours making our treasure maps. A lot of time was invested in distressing the paper before we even began mapping out our treasure hunts with our specially purchased calligraphy pens. It was important to dye the paper with tea or instant coffee, rumple them up and rub dirt into it to make them look aged. Then, of course, there was the all important step where we would burn the edges with a candle (parental guidance recommended here). The ultimate destination was always marked in invisible ink (lemon juice). You can see that ours are pretty basic in comparison but still much fun was had.

8 Responses to “Instant treasure hunt”

  1. Meg

    That sounds like lots and lots of fun. My son is only 51/2 mos. right now but I can imagine that he would find this quite fun.

  2. Tin Lai

    Oh my! That’s brillant!! My little girl is also a fan of pirates. I’m going to try out the treasure hunt idea today. Thanks for the awesome idea.

  3. Sassy

    This reminds me, International Talk Like a Pirate Day is coming up – September 19th I think.

  4. jenney

    We had a treasure hunt for my oldest daughter’s eighth birthday. Each clue was a limerick and led to the next clue, but they weren’t explicit. They were hints and the girls had to figure out what they meant. The most fun one was pinned to her one-year-old sister’s back. In the end it led to a punchbowl of goodie bags for each girl: markers, sketchbooks, paints. My daughter liked it so much she did the same for me for Mother’s Day! Great fun!

  5. Lucy

    We used to do the kind of treasure hunt mentioned above (one clue leads to another) but for children who can’t read yet, so the clues were pictures. They don’t have to be too specific – a picture of a teddy or a clock can send them all over the house. It’s a nice game to play with just one child – not too competitive!

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