A treasure hunt to discover the theme
(Open educa-decorate-Treasure) Print and laminate. Set the items throughout your daycare. Invite children to search for them. Encourage them to guess the theme.
(Open picture game-Pandas) Print and laminate the pictures in the format you prefer. Use them to spark a conversation with your group. Ask children questions about the theme. Children learn when they are having fun. Use this theme to change up their circle time spots and decorate your area with shiny and transparent items. Hang stars, veiling, white Christmas lights, etc. Prepare a simple surprise for your group and present it to them in a treasure chest. Hang pictures of treasure chests on the walls of your daycare.
(Open thematic poster-Treasure) Print, laminate, and display where children are sure to see it.
(Open educa-theme-Treasure) Print and laminate the different elements representing the theme. Use them to present the theme to your group (and children’s parents) while decorating your daycare.
(Open educa-decorate-Treasure) Print, laminate, and cut out the illustrations. Use them to decorate your walls and set the mood for the theme.
(Open stickers-Treasure) Print the illustrations on adhesive paper and use them to create a collection of unique stickers. Use them to reward children throughout the theme.
Stickers for rewards-Treasure
(Open stickers for rewards-Teasure) Print the items on adhesive paper and cut them out to create stickers you can use to reward children for good behavior.
Hang precious stones from your daycare ceiling. On the walls, display pictures of treasure chests and let children observe and admire them throughout the week.
My treasure floor
(Open floor illustrations-Treasure) Print and have children color the items. Cut them out and press them on the floor using adhesive paper. The illustrations can delimit your daycare corners and workshops and be used to create a path linking various areas.
A map to find the treasure
Roll out a large piece of Kraft paper. Lightly tear the contour of the paper to give it an irregular shape and make it look like an old map. Using a brown marker, color the outer edge of the paper. In the top right corner, draw a compass rose. Using a black permanent marker, draw dotted lines leading to an “X” indicating the location of your treasure. Along the dotted line, draw water, mountains, and other details. Display your giant map on a wall. If possible, hang a large fishing net over it and add tiny Christmas lights to create a magical décor.
An overflowing treasure chest
In one corner of your daycare, set a large blue blanket and add a large wooden chest over it. Leave the chest open and fill it with trophies, medals, large coin shapes cut out of gold or silver Fun Foam sheets, necklaces, and plastic precious stones.
Hang items representing treasure from your daycare ceiling.
Here are a few ideas:
- Use star-shaped cookie cutters to cut stars out of gold paper. Press them on walls, floors, under tables, in your various workshops, on toys, etc.
- Provide shiny stickers.
- Trace and cut out the letters required to write the word “TREASURE” and glue each letter on a gold paper plate. Hang the letters to create a banner.
(Open picture game-Treasure) Use the pictures to decorate your daycare or to spark a conversation with your group. Print, laminate, and store the pictures in a Ziploc bag or in your thematic bin.
(Open picture game-Treasure) Print the illustrations twice and use them for a memory game.
(Open activity sheets-Treasure) Print and follow instructions.
(Open writing activities-T like treasure) Print for each child or laminate for use with a dry-erase marker.
(Open educa-nuudles-Treasure) Print for each child. Have children color the sheet. Once they are done, they may use Magic Nuudles to turn the coloring pages into three-dimensional works of art.
Variation: If you do not have Magic Nuudles, ask children to fill the spaces designed for Magic Nuudles with bingo markers or stickers.
To order Magic Nuudles:
(Open stationery-Treasure) Print. Use the stationery to communicate with parents, in your writing area, or even to identify your thematic bins.
- Blocks of all kinds to which you have added shiny stickers or, if you prefer, blocks that you have wrapped in metallic paper.
- Wooden blocks that children can use to build pirate ships and hideouts.
Arts & crafts:
- Glitter for creating gold pieces.
- Cardboard tubes, scraps of paper, and imagination for representing treasure chests.
- Sand and white glue to represent beach scenes.
- Shiny stickers that can be used to create an oversized collage as a group.
- Rocks that can be painted to represent gold pieces.
- Coloring pages representing treasure, gold pieces, crowns, etc.
- Use glue to draw scenes and sprinkle glitter all over.
- Use flashlights to draw in the dark.
- Creative coloring activities.
- Pirate costume: shovels, jewellery, road maps, eyepatches, bandanas, a stuffed parrot, a mop and bucket, a compass, gold pieces, binoculars, etc.
- Memory game related to the theme using educatall illustrations or a store-bought version.
- Necklace beads that can be threaded onto a string.
- Star-shaped or round cookie cutters that can be used to represent coins.
- A Lite-Brite game.
- Various card games.
- Books about treasure, pirates, etc.
- Hang tiny lights and veiling to create a special atmosphere.
- Book and CD sets with earphones
- Sequential stories related to the theme.
- An obstacle course that children complete in the dark (treasure chest, gold coins, crowns, jewellery, etc.), and designed to represent a treasure hunt.
- A treasure hunt throughout which children search for the ingredients required to prepare a recipe.
- Parachute games. Children hide under the parachute, like hidden treasure.
- Activities in the dark using flashlights or glow sticks.
- Shadow games.
- A bin filled with colorful marbles.
- Small bags filled with painted rocks and glitter.
- A sand table in which you have hidden tiny treasure items.
- A saltwater table complete with seashells, buckets, and sieves.
- Use lemon juice to write invisible messages and watch them appear using the heat of a candle’s flame.
- Glow-in-the-dark items.
Use the flashcards to spark a conversation with your group, in your reading and writing corner, or to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Treasure) (Open giant word flashcards-Treasure) Print. Treasure, treasure chest, gold coins, surprise, pirate, sand, ingot of gold, ring, crown, necklace, diamond, medal
Let me tell you all about my treasure map
(Open treasure map story) Print the map and tiny illustrations for each child. Invite children to draw their map and press the objects along the dotted line to represent reference points. Each child’s map will be different. Let children take turns telling the group how to find the treasure using their map.
Print and laminate the theme’s word flashcards. Have each child pick a word. They can take turns presenting their word to the group (ex. diamond). Discuss each item and ask children questions to see what they know about the theme.
(Open educa-chatterbox-Treasure) Print and laminate the cards. To create your chatterbox, you will need an empty shoebox or a small bin that you can decorate as you see fit. Fill it with tiny objects, illustrations, pictures, and accessories related to your theme. To help you, we have created a series of cards that you may use. During circle time or, for example, when children are waiting for their lunch, have them take turns picking a card or object out of your chatterbox and naming the corresponding item.
To create your felt board, glue 4 pieces of black felt on a large piece of cardboard and hang it on a wall. (Open felt board-Treasure) Print. With children’s help, trace the shapes on various colors of felt and cut them out. Children will enjoy pressing the shapes on the board to create various scenes.
(Open word flashcards-Treasure) (Open giant word flashcards-Treasure) Print several word flashcards and hide them throughout your daycare or yard. Divide your group into two teams. When you give them the signal, children must search for the flashcards for a pre-determined period, for example three minutes. When the time is up, children must be able to “read” their flashcards to earn a point for their team. If they are unable to find the correct word, the other team can earn the point if they succeed.
If possible, find a small treasure chest for each child in your group. Before they arrive in the morning, select a few books for each child and use them to fill their treasure chest. Pick books corresponding to children’s interests and capacities. Upon arrival or before naptime, encourage children to discover their reading treasure.
(Open picture game-Treasure) Print two copies. Laminate and cut out the cards. Glue one copy of each card on the table using adhesive paper. Drop the other copies in a bag. Children take turns picking a card to determine their spot at the table for the day. You may also use the cards to determine naptime spots or for your task train.
My treasure path
(Open transition game-Treasure) Print, laminate, and secure the illustrations on the floor to create a path leading to areas frequently visited throughout the day such as the cloakroom or bathroom. If you prefer, the illustrations may also be used to delimit your various workshops.
My treasure routine
(Open positive reinforcement system-Treasure) Print and laminate. Use this tool to foster collaboration. Here, children collect gold coins. For example, a child may add a gold coin to his board every time he washes his hands.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Modeling dough activity placemats-Treasure
(Open modeling dough activity placemats-Treasure) Print and laminate. Let children pick a placemat and provide modeling dough. Encourage them to use the dough to fill or reproduce the shapes that are on their placemat.
(Open string activities-Treasure) Print for each child. Children trace the lines with white glue and position string or yarn on the glue-covered lines.
Follow the X’s
Cut several large X shapes out of red construction paper. Press them on various items in your daycare or yard and invite children to find them. They can collect and follow the X’s to find a treasure (a book for story time, a special snack, pirate hats, etc.).
En route towards the treasure
Draw a map of your yard on a large piece of white paper. Draw various reference points (slide, swings, sandbox, etc.). Next, connect the items with various types of lines: zigzags, curvy lines, dotted lines, twirls, etc. In one corner of your map, draw a legend. For example, children shall walk between objects connected by zigzags, run between items connected with curvy lines, hop between objects linked by a dotted line, and twirl where there are twirly lines drawn between items. Use the map to encourage children to move around your yard.
Fine motor skill cannons
(Open fine motor skill cannons) Print for each child. Children cut out the rectangles and represent the cannonball trajectories using the illustrated tools.
Tiny treasure to manipulate
(Open treasure chest frame) Print a treasure chest frame on heavy paper for each child. Have them color and cut out their treasure chest. If necessary, help them cut out the bottom part of their chest to create a “window”. Give each child a resealable plastic bag and have them glue their treasure chest on it. Provide hair gel, glitter, pennies, etc. that children can add to their bag before sealing it. Invite children to set their bag flat on the table so they can manipulate the items in their treasure chest window.
Searching for gold pieces
(Open miniature gold pieces) Print and laminate. Insert printed gold pieces in manipulation bins filled with feathers, sand, dry cereal, etc. Let children search for them.
Where is the treasure?
(Open miniature treasure) Print and laminate. Set tiny treasure illustrations throughout your daycare. When you give the signal, children must search for them. Here, there is no winner, the goal is simply to have fun. At the end of the activity, give each child a small treasure that they may take home.
The disappeared treasure
(Open treasure game) Print and glue the treasure chest on a wall, at children’s level. Hide gold pieces, jewellery, precious stones, etc. throughout the daycare. Have children search for treasure. When they find an item, they say “treasure” and press it on the treasure chest.
Homemade treasure hunt
Create a list of items that children must find. Make sure all the children in your group recognize the items they are to search for. Draw a map of your yard (or daycare) and add an X to indicate the location of the treasure. You can, for example, fill a treasure chest with chocolate coins wrapped in gold paper or plastic jewellery. Divide your group into teams of 2 and challenge them to find as many items as possible.
Fill a bin with gold-colored toys. Children take turns picking a toy out of the bin and returning it to the correct spot in your daycare.
Gold coins are falling from the sky
(Open miniature gold pieces) Print and laminate several gold pieces. Set them on your parachute and have fun shaking the parachute with your group to send them flying in the air.
Colorful treasure hunt
Visit your local hardware store and collect several paint sample cards (various shades of gold), making sure you have two copies of each sample. Cut one set of cards into pieces and hide them throughout the daycare. Give each child a paint sample card and encourage them to search for the matching colors.
(Open models-Treasure) Print, laminate, and cut out the illustrations and press them on the floor. Children must hop on the shapes. You can encourage them to hop forwards, backwards, sideways, etc.
Our treasure island
Divide your group into 2 teams. For each team, form a circle (using 2 large hula hoops). Leave a certain distance between both circles. Each treasure island shall contain a treasure (item of your choice). The pirates (children) from one team must attempt to steal the other team’s treasure. If a pirate succeeds in bringing the other team’s treasure back to his own team’s island, his team wins.
Search for gold
During naptime or at another time when children are not present, hide gold pieces (marbles or gold painted rocks) in your sandbox. Don’t forget to count them to make sure they are all found. Let children dig them out.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
At the dollar store, purchase a few small burlap bags. Add 2 series of 5 plastic gems to each bag. Use a permanent marker to draw a tic-tac-toe grid on each bag. Invite children to play tic-tac-toe.
Message in a bottle
Set a recycling bin filled with water in your daycare. Add a clean 2-liter soft drink bottle in the bin for each child. Invite each child to draw a picture, roll it up, and insert it in a bottle. If they wish, you can also help children write a special message. At the end of the week, sit around the bin with your group and invite them to discover one “message” at a time.
Use clear plastic bottles to create stimulation bottles. Fill them with beads, gems, glitter, pearls, etc.
(Open coded message) Print and laminate the legend along with the coded message. Display the legend on a wall. Hide a “treasure” (ex. pirate hats) in an outdoor play structure. Discover the coded message with your group. Indicate the first symbol with your finger and invite children to find the corresponding letter. Write it on the line and continue, one letter at a time. Read the message with your group.
Counting gold pieces
(Open counting gold coins) Print, laminate, and cut out the tiny bags. Paint 20 hockey pucks using gold spray paint. Let dry. Children take turns picking a bag and stacking “gold pieces” per the number shown.
Sorting precious stones
(Open sorting precious stones) Print and laminate the treasure chests and spread them out on a table. Print, laminate, and cut out the precious stones. Insert them in a small opaque bag. Children take turns picking a precious stone out of the bag, naming its color and shape, and setting it in the corresponding treasure chest.
Cut circles out of gold and silver Fun Foam sheets to represent coins. Print and laminate the theme’s word flashcards. Write a word on each coin and insert them, standing up, in a shallow bin filled with sand. Provide a pirate telescope. Give each child a word flashcard. They can take turns using the telescope to find the coin that has the matching word on it. The other children confirm that their peer found the correct word.
Hide several Fun Foam or magnetic letters in a bin filled with sand. (Open letters-Treasure) Print for each child. Children take turns using a small sieve to extract a letter from the bin. They must then trace the corresponding letter on their sheet using the same color (if the letter F was red, they must use a red marker or crayon to trace it).
I am learning to count-Treasure
(Open I am learning to count-Treasure) Print, laminate, and display at children’s level. You will need 20 blocks that are all the same size. Press a gold coin on each block. Invite children to use the blocks to build a tower, stacking them in numerical order. Encourage children to use their tower to measure items in the daycare.
(Open game-Four treasures) Print, glue the cards on opaque cardboard, and cut them out. Arrange all the cards upside down on the floor or table (so you can’t see the illustrations). Children take turns rolling a die. Every time a child rolls a “1”, he can turn a card. If he doesn’t already have this treasure in front of him, he keeps the card and places it in front of him for everyone to see. The first child who has collected all four treasures wins.
(Open counting cards-Treasure) Print and laminate. Prepare a series of wooden clothespins on which you can paint or draw numbers 1 to 9. Children count the items on each card and place the corresponding clothespin on the correct number.
Color by number-Treasure
(Open color by number-Treasure) Print for each child. Have children color the picture per the color code.
Snakes & ladders-Treasure
(Open snakes & ladders-Treasure) Print and laminate. Use a die and small toys as playing pieces. The object of the game is for every child in your group to reach the final square.
Story and memory game-Treasure
(Open story and memory game-Treasure) Print, cut out, and laminate the illustrations. Set them upside down on the floor. Children pick three cards and use them to invent a story. Variation: Print the illustrations twice and use them for a memory game.
(Open educ-trace-Treasure) Print for each child. Children must trace the lines using a crayon of the corresponding color and then color the object at the end of each line using the same color.
(Open educ-pairs-Treasure) Print. Children must draw a line between identical items or color them using the same color. For durable, eco-friendly use, laminate and use dry-erase markers.
Hunt and seek-Treasure
(Open hunt and seek-Treasure) Print and laminate. Children pick a card and search for the illustrated item in the scene.
Organize a treasure hunt in the yard. Decorate a cardboard box to create a unique treasure chest. Fill it with chocolate pieces wrapped in gold paper and plastic gems. Let each child bring his share of the treasure home at the end of the day.
Fill a bin with flour and add tiny stars. Encourage children to search for them. If you wish, you can add glitter too.
On the lookout for gold
Go for a walk with your group in your neighbourhood and search for gold items. Make a list of all the gold things you see (or take pictures) and discuss your findings during lunch time.
Gold treasure hunt
Hide gold objects throughout the yard. Invite children to hunt for them. Make this activity even more fun by hiding very tiny items and providing magnifying glasses.
Variation: This activity may also be done indoors or even in the dark with flashlights.
Add plastic gold coins to your sandbox. Provide sieves and show children how they can fill them with sand and shake them to see the coins appear.
Find the treasure
(Open treasure map) Print, laminate, and assemble the map. Set it on the floor and ask children to toss bean bags (or gold coins) on the X, or as close as possible to it.
(Open treasure hunt items) Print and laminate. Hide the corresponding objects (real items). Using the illustrations, display the items children need to find on a wall and ask them to set them in a treasure chest.
Fill a bin with sand and hide plastic coins in it. Children take turns digging out the treasure. You can time them and compare the results.
Using a black permanent marker, draw 2 eyes, a nose, and a mouth on a banana for each child. Draw an eye patch over one eye on each banana. Wrap the bottom part of each banana in a square napkin that you have folded in half and knot it under the pirate face to represent a bandana. Children will love eating their banana pirate at snack time.
Edible treasure map
You will need a cheese string for each child. Using a black permanent marker, draw a dotted line representing the path to follow to find a treasure on the wrapper. Draw an X at the end of the dotted line on each cheese using a red permanent marker. Children will love unwrapping their treasure map snack.
Little pots of gold
Prepare cake batter with your group and use it to make cupcakes. Prepare homemade icing and add a few drops of yellow food coloring to create a golden color. Once the cupcakes are ready, invite children to spread the gold frosting on their cake. They can add “Corn Pops” cereal on top to represent golden nuggets. Use rainbow-colored licorice ribbons to add a rainbow to each pot of gold.
Bake 2 rectangular chocolate cakes and spread chocolate icing on both. Assemble both cakes to look like an open treasure chest. Add chocolate coins wrapped in gold paper.
Arrange a variety of objects on a table (ex. nails, paperclips, coins, rubber bands, crayons, LEGO blocks, lipstick, etc.). Set a magnet next to one item at a time to see if it is attracted by the magnet. Sort the items into 2 groups: objects attracted by a magnet and objects not attracted by a magnet.
ARTS & CRAFTS
My treasure hat
(Open educa-decorate-Treasure) Print and cut out the items. Glue them around a paper headband.
(Open models-Treasure) Print and let children decorate the items. Cut them out and hang them in your daycare or in your daycare entrance.
My treasure map
Give each child a brown paper bag and invite them to open it and tear it to give it an irregular shape. Show them how they can then crumple their paper before flattening it on a table once again. This will make their map look old. Let them create a treasure map as they see fit.
Captain Hook hand
For each child, you will need a black disposable drinking glass (or color of your choice). Using scissors, make a hole with a diameter of approximately 1 cm in the bottom of each glass. Give children a piece of aluminum paper measuring 30 cm x 30 cm. Encourage them to roll the aluminum paper tightly and shape it to make it look like a hook. They can insert the other end in the hole in the bottom of their glass, placed upside down in front of them. Children can slide their hand inside their glass to pretend they are Captain Hook.
Find old necklaces, pearls, and rocks. Have fun using them to paint on a large piece of cardboard. Children will observe various types of impressions while exploring new textures.
Cut the top of a tissue box for each child to represent a treasure box lid. Have children decorate their treasure box with tissue paper and glitter. Children can add balls of gold tissue paper to it to represent gold nuggets. If you prefer, ask children to collect tiny rocks that they can paint with gold paint.
Decorate brown paper lunch bags with glitter and jewellery items. Fill them with surprises.
(Open jewel models) Print. Cut a strip of construction paper for each child (about 2 cm wide). Cut out the jewels and have children glue the ones they prefer on their strip of paper. When they are done, use glue to fasten the two ends and create a bracelet (or a necklace).
Collect several different types of boxes and containers. Have each child choose one and encourage them to paint it. Once the paint is dry, provide plastic gems they can use to decorate their jewellery box.
(Open mandalas-Treasure) Print for each child. Ask children to color the mandalas to help them relax whenever necessary during the day.
(Open coloring pages theme-Treasure) Print for each child.
The educatall team