What is treasure? Absolutely anything to a child, making this theme super easy! Now, this is where the days spending more than half your pay at Diva back in the early 2000s will come in handy. Raid your jewellery collection and pick out your best trash and make it another man’s treasure! If your Diva days are well and truly over then take a trip to the local op shop or swap meet (Perth is riddled with them) and have a treasure hunt in the bargain bin. Save your egg cartons, shoe boxes, plastic bottles, bottle tops, raid the craft box or your local $2 shop for anything that catches your pirate eye!
It goes without saying we have to have a Treasure Hunt, right? It’s handy to have a treasure box, which can be anything you find in the home. We chose to decorate a small egg carton with my best friend, the glitter glue. I'm not being sarcastic - it's great! It barely creates mess and looks effective (to a child’s eye anyway.)
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I looked at our schedule for the week and worked within that, which is ideal for a busy family. Also, if you are ever stale on themes, you can take a look at what's coming up on ABC Kids for some inspiration.
Treasure Hunt #1 We started the week with an early morning bush walk at Perth's stunning Bells Rapids. As we took in the fresh air and discovered all of nature's treasures, I sporadically dropped a jewel here and there.
Make sure you are a fair few steps ahead of your child when you drop them and ensure the plastic jewels are found. This is where your toddler’s snail pace is a bonus, as there were only a few times I had to prompt and say oh look a flower, and - WOW the joy of finding a treasure!
My son’s legs don't have a lot of gumption, and get tired easy. I feared we would turn him off such a soul filling and mind clearing activity. But this really helped him enjoy the experience AND as a bonus we found some ROCKS! Leading us to……
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Treasure Hunt #2 Not just any old rocks but WA Rocks! Surely, you must know about the latest rock craze? If you don't you must be living under one - an enormous one. This is a perfect treasure themed activity, and you can check out WA Rocks for more information.
Treasure Hunt #3 This is a perfect activity for my “I need to get stuff done around the house” day and by far the most simple and effective activity! You only need two materials. I chose to use the pom poms as shown below because they look fun and sparky, like treasure, and because the sparkly texture on them is likely to stop the little ones from popping them in their gob but I didn't have that problem as mine were too caught up in the activity. I wish I had tried this sooner in life.
• Leave one of each colour pom-pom in each container.
• Scatter them all around the house or garden.
• Instruct the kids to go and find the sparkly treasure and put them back into the right container.
This was a hit in my house. My 3.5 year loved it and played it numerous times. I scattered about twenty but I think he would have been happily entertained collecting hundreds. Meanwhile, my 20-month-old gained great satisfaction from taking the sparkly treasures in and out of the containers over and over again.
Treasure Hunt #4 Sometimes it’s hard to find time and or something that is suitable and affordable with the kids. The best thing I did last year was try out a local fit club session. I wasn’t that big on exercise I gave it a crack and I've never turned back. There are plenty of these fit clubs suitable for mums and Bubs in Perth and great for treasure hunt play. My choice is Padbury Fit Club. It is relaxed and you can work at your own pace. The cost is $8 per class, which includes a pre-workout energy and nutritional shake.
Loretto, who runs the fit club is a treasure herself! Anyway, back to treasure - I made a map of the workout area and marked some pink circles on selected spaces on the map. I let River have a look at it and assisted him in working out what was what on the map. On arrival at Fit Club, I hid the same sparky pom poms, some coloured sea shells and a decorated rock in the designated spots. He quickly gathered his friends and off they went to find all the treasures, leaving us mums in peace, which was a win in itself, but it was even more of a win watching a group of 1 to 4 years olds sit down together and work out where they were sitting on the map. OH MY HEART!
Treasure Hunt 5 Here’s a few 'sit down in one spot activities' which we all desperately need at times.
Peg some magnets and fill a container of sand with anything magnetic then add some none magnetic items too. My sons loved the concept of finding and separating them. I taped some magnets to some foam letters, making a great spelling activity. Give them some blankets or fabric, some cushions, a washing basket and anything to represent a flag and watch them play pirates hours for on end.
Treasure Outings The perfect family outing in Perth, especially for the older kids is The Great Valley Rally. You can also find themed playgrounds in your area using Playgroundfinder.com. The pirate park in Mullaloo was my choice, and was perfect for treasure week!
It has a great playground to play on with some shipwrecked themed climbing equipment. Plenty of surrounding shrub where to our suprise we found some….rocks! The climbing equipment is a bit difficult for the little ones, but the fact it's all in a large below ground sand pit means a lot of them are happy playing with their trucks, buckets and spades. There is so much grassed area surrounding it's prefect for a BBQ, picnic AND it's right by the beach and what's more perfect than shell collection for treasure week? It's also directly across from a coffee shop, a fish and chip shop, and a cute pub with an ocean view, so treasures for mum and dad too. WINNING!