DIY pirate treasure map

The kids have been obsessed with dressing up this Halloween.  Playing make-believe, exploring different characters and numerous job roles. Chasing each other around the kitchen as a dragon and a knight.  All of the above.  And more.  Their inspiration has become mine, taking my normal desire to create to a whole new level.  I have made it my goal to try to make even the littlest of things something fun and new for them.

We’ve been eating spooky meals, painting Halloweeny pictures, and going to our favorite places version of Halloween events.  Jaxon has really taken to the holiday and I’m just eating up all the excitement.  Lu is more or less following Jaxon’s footsteps, but with the same enthusiasm!  The two of them together are hilarious.  They liked dress up before, but this month so far has felt like waking up to a parade of different characters every morning!

To keep up with the excitement I decided that instead of just GIVING them their little Halloween care packages, I was going to make them work for it a little bit.  Jaxon has been all about pirates recently and I thought, boom, lightbulb!  Lets make a pirate map!  Such a simple concept, but the kids eyes couldn’t get bigger when they saw the rolled up paper and I don’t think Jaxon could peel his eyes off the map as he followed the red dotted line all around the living room looking for that X.

They were so into it Jaxon asked me the next day if they were going to do it again, and again, and again…  No babe, this is a once a year kind of thing. Ha!  You can check out the step by step pictures below to see how exactly I made mine!

Start with a large piece of paper.  I picked a more durable 11 x 17 piece of cardstock.

Cut it randomly all around so that it looks torn or ripped off in some places.

Draw your downstairs or wherever the treasure hunt is taking place using simple shapes.

Draw the path or the way to the treasure using a red marker.

Burn the edges and then gently run the flame over the paper to give it an old and destroyed look.  Do this outside, it gets smokey.  I know from experience….

Wrap it up with a bow and…

Give it to the kids!  I made mine simple enough that my 3-year-old could easily do it, but I am sure it could be made more difficult for older kids.

Here’s a shot of the kids “treasure” baskets and below is what I put in their Halloween goody bags!

Happy treasure hunting!