cheap thrills & pirate booty
i don't know where or why i came up with this little plan, but it sure was fun! this little adventure can be adapted to fairy treasure, leprechaun loot, or anything else your little one is intrested in. our sweet neighbors handed down their awesome playfort swingset to my girls this past august. for some reason, the structure just screamed PIRATE HIDEOUT to me! i decided to make it official. summer was about over - it was lucy's first week at her new preschool, and i wanted to create a memorable end to a bittersweet adjustment week. (bittersweet for mamma...she had a blast!) i went to the dollar store and found a cool black bucket with rope handles, some gold and silver beads, lots of gold coins, little skull thingies on a rope, a pirate hat/patch set, red bandanas, and multi-colored decorative glass rocks (pirate jewels!). i think it was a $9 total. i placed the pirate booty in the bucket, then grabbed some scrapbook paper. i tore the edges of the paper, burned them a bit (i know you just rolled your eyes! it really did make it extra cool!), and wrote a note to lucy from the pirates. i used some pirate language to make it legit....something like: "dear lucy, please be a bonny lass and guard our pirate treasure....arg!" i rolled up the note, tied it with black twine, and stuck it inside the bucket. i hid the bucket in the back yard, then made a map that led from the new playfort to the pirate's treasure. i placed the treasure map in the playfort, under a pirate hat wrapped in a bandana. when lucy came home, we told her we might have see some pirates in the neighborhood! she was intrigued, and when she went out to her playfort, she was elated to find her map!!! she followed her treasure map to the pirate loot. she immediately hid the pirate booty in the sandbox under the playfort, where it stays buried today, awaiting the pirate's return. she still loves to dig it up and rebury it every time she's out there.
p.s....this could be a fun idea for a playdate activity. if you have more than one child involved, you could rip the map into pieces, and the kids could find pieces of the map first & put the pieces together before they could hunt for the treasure (remember that "backyardigans" episode?) it would also be fun to leave clues...bandanas, coins etc. hidden in spots along the way.