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Kids love treasure hunts. They also love anything related to pirates. Today I want to share with you a fun way to make a pirate treasure hunt map for your kids using Google maps.
Grab a fun book to pair this activity with: The Usborne Official Pirate’s Handbook written by Captain indigo Stormface (a.k.a. Sam Taplin). It is a funny book that teaches kids how to be a pirate, anyhow not to be a pirate!
It teaches about all kinds of things like the ship, the flags, how they fight, how they talk, and more. It also teaches about some of the false myths we have of pirates, like walking the plank and wooden legs. My son loves reading this book.
Inspired by this book we wanted to show you a fun pirate treasure hunt related activity that we have done a few times at our house.
How to Make a Pirate Treasure Hunt Map of Your Yard:
Go to Google maps and take a screenshot of your house in the satellite view.
Then use an image of a grid with coordinates and overlay it on top of the image. You can use my image below. It is a PNG image with a transparent background. This means it can easily overlay another image with the background still showing through.
You can easily create this in any photo editing program or app. I like to use PicMonkey for making my images. But any image editing program will work!
Just overlay a grid image over your picture you are using. I changed my grid to white when I made it in PicMonkey so it would show up better.
I use this map to hide clues for my kids. I give them puzzles that they have to figure out that lead them to the coordinates. At each coordinate I hide a clue around the yard. At the end, like every great treasure hunt, there is some sort of little treasure for them to discover (I usually hide a treat or something for them.
Treasure Hunt Clue Ideas:
Hide clues in the mailbox, in a favorite climbing tree, under the front door mat, on the swing set, on a light, under a rock, under a patio chair or table, etc…
My kids really love doing this. Now that I know how easy it is to put together, I though I would share it with you guys so you can make your own pirate treasure hunt maps! It is a fun way to get kids exploring and active in the summertime, too!!