Tip #30: Treasure Hunt

I am not sure what started it. Maybe it was the sandwiches I found online. Maybe it was the girls sing-screaming “Treasure, Treasure, Where’s that treasure” from The Backyardagains) for a week straight. I am not sure, but last weekend we played Pirates and went on a real Treasure Hunt.

Having a Pirate theme was great! For a whole day we pretended to be Pirates looking for treasure. We copied the pirate sandwich from Ziggityzoom.com, grabbed some accessories from the house, a treasure map and hit the road.

Wait, did you say treasure map? Yes. Don’t you have treasure maps lying around your house? Just joking. Here’s what we did and how I created the theme. Enjoy the pictures! Try this with your own kids!

*P.S. It is worth noting that we made our Pirate’s Day friendly. I was walking around the grocery store having Pirate Alani “steal” all the veggies and put them in the ship (the buggy). But, we had to change that into “finding the treasure” and putting it in the Pirate ship, after my husband pointed out that we did not want to teach her to steal, even when being a Pirate… You can see why it’s good to involve the whole family!

Tips for a Successful Treasure Hunt:
Step 1: Pick a place you know pretty well to sketch a quick map. Color your map realistically so your kids can make the connection. Grey for a sidewalk, blue for water, green for grass… you get the point. Next, pick a place you know you could hide candy pretty easily when you get to the “area” where the treasure will be. Then put an X in that spot. I took a lighter and burned parts of the map to make it look old and fun. I rolled it up and hid it in the lunchbox for them to find.

Step 2: Set up a picnic. I recreated the Pirate sandwich from veggies I had in the fridge. My husband played ball with the girls while I set up the lunch. They were super surprised when they sat down.

Step 3: Get out the map. My husband found a treasure map and asked the girls if they wanted to play Pirate and find the treasure. He began explaining the map. “Here’s a river and here’s a bridge, what do you see?” They were so excited when he finally pointed out the big RED X mark for the treasure.

Step 4: Costumes. What is a Pirate treasure hunt without costumes? I packed a few bandanas and a chunky belt. I also had a left over eye-patch from a random Snowbird dress up event. The girls were transformed into Pirates! Knox was getting tired and not interested in wearing any of it, but Alani was ALL ABOUT THE TREASURE!

Step 5: Set out on the adventure. It took us a while to find the treasure. WE walked a long path under a bridge by the tennis courts to the Playground where my husband ran ahead to bury some chocolate coins in the playground yard. It took us about 20min to walk to the playground because she kept stopping to look at the map!

Step 6: Finding the Treasure. I have noticed chocolate coins in the candy section for years. So, when this idea hit me, I was sure to pick some up to use for our treasure. You could use anything for the treasure, but I found these chocolate coins in a check out line at Wal-Mart.

This was such a fun family adventure! My husband is already brainstorming on the next map! We may try it again when we go camping in a few weeks! Enjoy the tip!

P.S If you do go on a Treasure Hunt an/or put your own spin on this idea, please take pictures. I would love to see how your Treasure Hunt turns out!


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