Treasure Hunt


You’ve got a limited amount of time, it’s not raining and there’s a toddler to entertain. What do you do? Treasure hunt!

The other weekend, I had a busy Sunday ahead of me, but wanted to make the most of the few hours in the morning with Robin and after his recent obsession with pirates, decided we should go looking for treasure.

Things you need:

  • A sheet of A3 paper
  • A black sharpie type marker
  • A rough idea of a route
  • A box of matches
  • A used tea bag
  • Inside of a kitchen roll
  • …and questionable drawing skills

We’re lucky to have a woodland walk not far from the front door, ideal for letting small people run around freely and find muddy puddles (thanks a lot Peppa), so we’re aiming for that. Having a rough route in mind, I drew our house and from there a route passing some obvious landmarks and things, with the route reaching a point where there’s a nice big X – because we all know that X marks the spot “where there be treasure”. Arrrgh.

With a completed route and some ‘artist impressions’ of local landmarks including the fish and chip shop, Robin’s favourite cars – the VW Beetles, the zebra crossing (with the all important and elusive green man), church and so forth we had plenty to spot on or way to finding some treasure.

To make the map proper, it’s a return to school days, grabbing a used tea bag and staining the paper before then burning the edges with some matches for the full effect. Note, do yourself a favour and complete this bit before your little ones get wind of the idea – matches and small people don’t mix apparently.

And finally I scrunched up the map a few times to age it further and presented it to the little one along with the very special spyglass (yes, that’s the kitchen roll tube to you and me or in this case, Robin has a special spyglass he’d made at nursery). Cue much excitement.

Enjoy the photos below and before you laugh too much at my artistic skills, note that I did all the above in less than 20mins, thank you very much.

Anyway, this was a great activity – Robin loved looking for treasure, using his spyglass to spot things and checking what else he needed to spot while on our way to the woods. It was a great way to have a laugh with a 2 year old and make them think and work things out. He ran about lots, walked far further than normal, before carrying was on the agenda and was consequently shattered and ready for a big lunchtime nap, leaving me to enjoy and work during the Grand Prix.

And the treasure? He found this under a log by a tree, exactly where X marked the spot – a small bit of chocolate wrapped in golden foil. Amazing that we found it, almost as though it had just been placed there when he said he was getting tired and couldn’t find the treasure. Funny that.

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By Adam