Our vacation in Sanibel is over now (boo!), but we had so much fun while we were there! One of the kids’ favorite activities during the week was the pirate treasure hunt we set up for them. All of our planning was worth the effort and the event turned out even better than we thought it would.
We started by using our tutorials and templates to create some pirate flags, booty bags, and eye patches. They were all pretty easy to create, but if you don’t want to make them yourself, there are some really nice pirate flags, eye patches, and loot bags available for purchase online.
We also bought some felt pirate hats and glow-in-the-dark toy swords for the kids to play with during the hunt. The hats were so fun that Jo’s baby girl even wanted to show one off. She was the tiniest pirate in training!
We decided to have little prize bundles at each leg of the hunt, so we picked up some pirate crayons, coloring books, mini telescopes, stampers, and pirate figurines. We bundled each set of prizes together in a red bandana and tied it with a little ribbon.
The final goal for the treasure hunt, of course, was the treasure chest that Jo decorated for the event.
Little Jo kept telling us that “X marks the spot!” so we cut a giant X out of a piece of black cardboard and sent a couple of the guys off to the beach with the chest and a shovel. They buried the chest about a foot down into the sand and put the X on top, then stuck a few flags around it to make it easier for the kids to find. Meanwhile, Jo and I took our treasure hunt clues (see how we made them here) and the bundles of prizes and went off to hide them.
(By the way, do you like my shirt? I had so much fun with the iron-on skull and crossbones that I used for the booty bags that I decided to make an extra and make myself a pirate T-shirt!)
With everything in place, it was finally time to start the kids on the hunt. They had been looking forward to it for days and were really excited when we handed out the hats, swords, bags, and eye patches.
They opened up the first clue, figured out that it was leading them to the swimming pool, and off they went!
They found clue #2 under one of the white lounge chairs, along with a bandana full of prizes. They were so excited to get a prize so early and were quick to put it into their booty bags.
Then they took the clue out of the bottle and started reading it. The clue led them to a garden area where they were supposed to look under a bush with red flowers.
There was clue #3, under the hibiscus bush, along with another prize.
Clue #3 led them to the tennis courts, where they found the next bottle and prize right by the net.
Clue #4 was an easy one and they were at the canoe racks in no time, searching for the next bottle.
The last bottle was hidden among the boats, and when they took out the paper inside, they expected to have another clue…
…but this time it was the treasure map to tell them where to find the treasure!
The kids followed the drawings on the maps and started running straight to the beach, with their swords in the air and yelling “Ahoy mateys!” the whole way. We could barely keep up with them!
When they got near the shore, they narrowed it down pretty quickly and then spotted the flags over in the sand. “That’s it! I see the treasure!”
They dug in right away, and between all of them they had the handle of the chest in no time.
A little more digging, and ta-da! Treasure! Oh boy, they were so excited!
The kids swarmed the chest and took out all the wonderful treasures, yelling things like “We’re rich! Rich, I tell you!” and “We’ve hit the jackpot!” the whole time.
It only took a couple of minutes for our little pirates to empty the chest and fill their booty bags. They were so thrilled and played with all the goodies for days.
We had such a fun pirate treasure hunt and will definitely do something like this again next year!
P.S. We held this treasure hunt at Blind Pass Condos, where we were staying. We gave the clues and bottles to the folks there before we left, so if any of you are planning to stay at Blind Pass and want to have your own treasure hunt, just stop by the office and they’ll let you borrow the supplies!