Buried Treasure – Magnet Activity

Put on your pirate hats and grab your treasure maps and discover buried treasure with this magnetic discovery box . It was so much fun and a great way to work on a number of things from colors, counting, letters… the sky is the limit. This is not at all safe for infants, toddlers or any child still putting things in their mouths. My 4 year old son was happy as a clam playing this over and over again while his sister napped. Especially since I explicitly told him it was only for big kids, no babies allowed. It’s nice to have things just for him now that he has to share so much.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a magnetic wand , some magnetic marbles ( ours came with our wand),some magnetic letters/numbers,  a dish tub, some cracked wheat and or rice. I know some parents are concerned about using sand for crafts so I searched for the best replacement and this bulk cracked wheat really looks like sand!
  2. Pour your rice and cracked wheat into your tub.
  3. Take some time feeling the pretend sand , talk about how it feels, ask your child if they like it or not.
  4. Ask your child to cover their eyes and hide the magnets. * hint about keeping everyone in your family safe. Count the magnets before they go into the tub and do a “headcount” of them after you are done playing. Magnets are really fun toys and great for learning but in the wrong hands/ mouths they are very dangerous.
  5. Search for treasure!
  6. Ask what they found- it’s a fun way to practice letter and number recognition, counting , or even addition and subtraction!
  7. This is what baby girl was doing while we explored.


X marks the spot

Naptime Creation
Treasure Map!

This easy peasy treasure map is so much more than a craft, it is a tool for learning and endless fun. Although I have this listed as a naptime creation younger preschoolers could do this with a lot of adult help, but kids of all ages will enjoy the games played withthe maps once they are made.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white paper, permanent markers ( see why it’s not a toddler activity?), used coffee grinds in the filter, and some ribbon.
  2. Using permanent markers draw a treasure map. I like to use things in my backyard as the “stops” in the map. I have our trees, a basket ball and blocks – you don not have to use real things. However for the activity below using real things will make it easier.
  3. Taking out most of the coffee grinds rub the outside of the filter all over your map to make it look old and dirty! Let dry. You can also use tea but it takes much longer and we all know how much kids love to wait.
  4. Randomly rip the edges to make the map look more authentic!
  5. Roll up and scrunch and secure with a ribbon!
All Ages
Treasure Hunt
A few years ago I had a small but amazing class of 2-3 year olds who challenged me because they were such smart little people. In an effort to find a fun outdoor activity I developed this map game. I would draw a map and together we would all follow it. Using your map you can go to each “stop” then you must complete a challenge before moving on.Here is where I snuck in some totally unrelated learning. At the stops the challenges were things like : Sing the alphabet, find something blue, jump in the air 5 times, find a word that rhymes with pig… anything but they loved it. After a few times playing with me they became the masterminds and developed their own challenges- pretty cool for children who weren’t even potty trained!

With my toddler we went to the park and hid his new ball. We busted out the map( that I made ) and followed the pictures. We counted to ten, reached up high, found something red and touched our noses! As you can see you have to fit the challenges to the specific child but trust me, everyone will be having so much fun they won’t even notice all the learning they are doing!

 

Arrrrr Matey!

Newspaper Pirate Hat


  1. Gather your materials. You will need one section of the news paper ( min 4 pages) , a stapler ( I can not find mine so I used some left over snowflake brads) and something to decorate your newspaper with. We are using the do*a*dot*art paints I reviewed yesterday.
  2. Have your child decorate/ paint both sides of the newspaper. I actually really really like using the dobbers cause they dry FAST!
  3. Fold the paper in half, and the corners down.
  4. You may need to tape the corners down if the newspaper is thick.
  5. Now fold the bottom up, and secure with a staple, or if you are disorganized like me and can’t find your stapler, get creative!
  6. Pop it on and go pillage something!

Song!

Click Here for a Pirate Song Arrrr !

Books!


” Pirates Don’t Change Diapers”
by Melinda Long is a really touching look at older siblings, inside a funny book about pirates. The pirates need Jeremy Jacob’s help finding their treasure, but he needs their help babysitting his baby sister. My favorite part of this book is when Jeremy Jacob realizes that the baby is gone and he gets really worried . Also even when he is offered up his choice of treasure, he picks something for him mom, how could I argue with that?

“Pirates Ahoy” by Hilary McKay is a interesting book, the book revolves around 2 cousins and their day at Gran’s house where they play pretend. I like that this book is about pretend play, most kids now days don’t get enough chance to do this, but the test is awkward and seems too sophisticated for the general premise of the book. The author needs to pick one age group to target and go for it, the story itself suits younger kids but the wording and the figurative language used is above most preschoolers heads.

” Busy Boats” by Tony Mitton is a fun little book packed full of good information about boats. The text is short , rhymes and matches the illustrations perfectly. It’s hard to find non fiction books that small ones will sit for and listen to, the cartoon characters in this book will grab and keep your child’s attention , I also like how small the books are, perfect for car rides and longer travel!