DLTK's Crafts for Kids
Pirate's Treasure Map
Tasha started kindergarten this year and has been in "craft overload" a bit so we don't do as many projects at home as we used to. But every once in awhile, I come up with something to intrigue her and "making" the paper for the treasure map definitely did! CLICK HERE to see a full sized photo of the craft. Close the photo window when done viewing.
- cold coffee or tea (about 1/2 cup),
- piece of white paper,
- a blowdryer,
- a little imagination and
- some markers.
- Take a piece of nice white paper and rip off all
the edges (don't cut them with scissors, rip them!) If you rip the paper a bit more
than you meant to, it's not the end of the world.
- Crumple the paper up as tightly as you can into a ball.
- Flatten the paper out again and put onto a plate
or cookie sheet. (if you haven't told the kids what you're doing, they'll start
thinking you're really weird right about now).
- Pour coffee or tea over the paper. Swoosh around with your hands to make sure it covers everything.
- If you're doing this with a large group of
smaller kids, you may want to get it to this point and set them aside for a couple minutes
(get the children arranged at the table for drawing their maps). Then pull out some
finished, dried sheets that you premade. It keeps the kids from having to sit
through the "waiting" parts of the project.
- Let it sit for about 5 minutes (if you're doing
it with a group, you don't have to let it sit so long... 2 minutes is enough to give it
- Pour the coffee off into the sink.
- Blowdry with a hand held blowdryer on high for
about 5 minutes (leave it sitting on the plate while blowdrying or it will tear to
pieces). When it's pretty dry (and starts to lift a bit) switch the blowdrier to low
to finish off (about another 2 minutes).
- Now... Take some markers and draw your map.
There should be a big X in the middle, a dotted line trail that winds around and
maybe a title that says "Pirate Island" and a North, South, East, West arrow in
- Once you've drawn the trail and X you can draw
and label some "obstacles". Some ideas are:
- Bloody Beach
- Waterfalls of Doom
- Skull rock
- Monster Mountain
- Skeleton Jungle
- Captain's Cave (Captain's Cavern)
- Serpent Pass
- Bloody Beach
- You can roll the map up and slip into a 1/4 tp
roll holder or tie with a ribbon, stick it into a bottle or just hang it up on your wall!
Thanks to Gordon for the following great idea!
I would just like to add one thing to your pirate map craft, and that is invisible ink for hiding the 'real'
location of the treasure. Just use lemon juice and a paintbrush to add the X or some secret instructions and let the map dry
completely (you can use a hairdryer to speed this up). Then, when an ADULT
holds it over a candle or hot lightbulb, the invisible ink turns visible and brown. The kids I did this with were open-mouthed with surprise, and it was fun for me too.
Thanks to Rachel for the following great idea!
If your in a hurry (maybe trying to prepare for a
birthday party?), a quicker alternative would be to use pieces of paper grocery
bags. They turn out great also.
Thanks to Marsha for her additional comments!
I have taken the brown craft paper, or grocery bag, tore them into shape I wanted, and then dunked them in water and wadded them up. Squish awhile and then
half-heartedly smooth out and let air dry. They become almost leathery. It's very easy to write on and really looks old.
Thanks to Vickie for sharing her idea!
We are going on vacation and we get small toys and beach things and put in a box. Last time the men went out at night and dug a place and buried
it in the sand and the boys had such fun finding the treasure map (complete with Bible verse so they will find the real
treasure) and finding the X marked in the sand and digging up the 'treasure'. We put in extra stuff for
the other children who come around.
Thanks to Caryn for sharing her alternative!
I drew a simple floor plan of our house and made a few photocopies of it. We played treasure hunt, and we'd do a crayon X to mark the spot (a new color for each round).
Thanks to Kāto for sharing this suggestion!
For your treasure-map I have an alternative to make any paper look old (apart from crumbling it up).
When you tear off the edges/sides of the paper, instead of using tea/coffee and waiting for it to dry, you can use
cinnamon powder. Just sprinkle it over the torn edges and rub it in a little. It will color the wrinkles and torn
edges more than the surface of the paper.
Thanks to Barbie for sharing this suggestion!
After you let the paper dry from the tea bag or coffee and you have drawn the map...if you brush a thin layer of cooking oil and then blot it dry- it will look and feel like genuine
Thanks to Elizabeth for sharing this suggestion!
I just thought I'd let you know, I'm making treasure maps for the invitations for my son's party. I loved your ideas and the other peoples suggestions, but I thought I'd let you know, you can put two of them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven for a few min. And they dry perfect!! SO much easier than the hair dryer. I've turned on the light to the oven and I sit and watch them, as soon as they start lifting up from the sheet they're dry! WHAT A TIME SAVER!!! (Just make sure you keep an eye on them so they don't catch fire!)