What You’ll Need for the Treasure Chest
- Shoebox (one with an attached lid works best)
- Paint in brown, gold, and favorite colors
- Aluminum foil
- Chenille sticks
- Colored beads (skip if your child is under 3)
What You'll Do
- Paint the outside of the shoebox brown and gold so it looks like a treasure chest. Let it dry.
- Paint the inside of the lid a favorite color.
- Glue felt to the inside bottom of the box.
- Paint small rocks to look like gold and gemstones. Press aluminum foil into round discs to make coins. Older kids can string beads onto chenille sticks to make jewelry. Younger kids can twist chenille sticks together to make bracelets.
What You’ll Need for the Treasure Map
- Paper grocery bag
- Markers, construction paper, or stickers
What You'll Do
- Cut off one side of a paper grocery bag and give it wavy or jagged edges.
- Decide where you’ll hide your treasure, then create landmarks on the map using markers, construction paper, or stickers. Hide the treasure.
- Measure how many steps (paces) it is from one place to another, and mark the number of paces with dots on the map. Mark the treasure chest’s hiding place with an X.
- Crumple the paper into a small ball several times so it looks wrinkly and aged. Then smooth it out.
- Roll up the map and tie it with a ribbon. Let friends take turns using the map to find the hidden treasure.
Extend the Fun
Younger children: Help your child pick places she wants as landmarks on the map. As she’s making the map, describe where the landmarks are and use location words such as next to, near, across from, under, and around. This will help her create a more accurate map (her friends or siblings will appreciate it!) and it will help her understand where places or things are in relation to others. You also might want to stay indoors for the first map.
Older children: Finding (or hiding) treasure is an incredible thrill! And even if your child doesn’t fully realize it yet, he’s probably already come up with a story about why he’s hiding the treasure or whom he’s hiding it from. So get him to record his story. Pen and paper, tablet, audio recording—any way he’ll tell the story is great. If he needs help getting started, prompt him by asking who hid the treasure, who wants the treasure, how people are going to go about finding the treasure, and what he would do if he found a super-secret hidden treasure.