Friday, June 7, 2013

DIY Pirate Treasure Hunt!

I still remember one time when my mom spray painted some rocks with gold paint, and then sent us on a treasure hunt for "gold" around the yard.  Since my boys have been getting more into pirates lately, I though I'd give it a try!

I made the "treasure" a few days ago as I was planning to do this soon, so it would be ready for treasure hunt day.

I already had a can of silver metallic paint from my kitchen projects, so I used that to make some silver nuggets, and spent about $5 on a can of gold to make gold nuggets....
Some river rocks from our landscaping, spray painted gold & silver
 I thought it would be fun to make some look like sparkly gemstones so used some glitter I had around...
Some glitter added with school glue, then sprayed with clear coat

 And now for the treasure map!!  I just took a piece of white printer paper and cut the edges all jagged to look like an old treasure map.  Then I drew some little icons for our house and other things that the boys could recognize and find throughout the yard, with a red "X" wherever I had treasure.

Treasure map!!

It's been chilly, cloudy, rainy and dreary for so long here, and today was the day I really wanted to lure them outside.  While they were finishing breakfast and watching their morning cartoon (Jake and the Neverland Pirates of course), I told them I was going to go take some garbage out and quickly hid some treasure in the front yard, then slipped out to the back too, and they never noticed!

Next I told them they had to gather up their pirate stuff (head wraps, swords, etc) and they were pretty excited to hear that there was treasure "buried" in the yard! First we studied the map to see where the hunt should start, what things we are looking for and how to follow the dotted line.

Treasure hiding under the fire pit in the gazebo

Looking for treasure...
Sammy spotting treasure in the bird nest we found laying in the yard this spring

Treasure in the flowers!

Toby found treasure on the BBQ grill!

My little pirates and their loot!
When they had gathered all of their treasure, it only took about 2 minutes for them to decide to go play on the swingset...the sandbox was going to be their pretend pirate ship, and the swings are the life boats.  They talked about how they are going to make some treasure chests for their treasure, and how they can hide the treasure for each other to find, too. They played outside for over an hour while I did some weeding and made lunch!  :-) 

This would be a really great idea to do inside too on a rainy day...I have a feeling we'll be re-using our gold nuggets again!


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