Pirate Treasure Hunting

Question – Glyn its school holiday time and we have the Grand Children again for a few days.  We suggest doing several things, but all they want to do is play on their smart phones and tablets!  What on earth can you suggest to keep them occupied and get them outside?

kids on phones

This is a common scenario, repeated time and time again across the country every time the schools break for a holiday.  These days it is not unusual to find both parents having to work to pay the mortgage and routine bills involved in bringing up a young family.

It is therefore more and more common for the Grand Parents to become holiday ‘child minders’.  Unfortunately the days of sending them out after breakfast and recovering them in time for tea have long since gone.  In fact, to even get the youngsters to go out of the front door is a major challenge in itself.

So what can Grand Parents do in a case like this to occupy the ‘little darlings’ and try to tire them out.  Well the answer is quite simple really.

Answer – let’s go on a pirate treasure hunt and the Grand Kids can bring their Phone and Tablets along as well!

Hang-on, take their phones and tablets!  How is this going to help?

outdoors phone


All over the country there are hidden Geocaches. These are containers holding a number of other items, that has been hidden at a location whose coordinates have been posted on the Internet.  Geocaching is the act of outdoor treasure hunting using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.


Virtually all smart phones and tablets are GPS enabled which allows them to be used for geocaching.  Go to the App store and download one of the numerous apps designed for geocaching.  Look and see where  there are several geocaches near you and get the kids ready.

GeoCache app.jpg

If you can find a local park or open safe area where there are several geocaches then even better.  Make it a bit more entertaining by turning the activity into a Pirate Treasure Hunt.  Get them all dressed-up and set off in search of pirate treasure.

kids as pirates

The result – a great day out in the fresh air for all concerned, the kids are allowed to use their precious gadgets and dress-up into the bargain.  Weather permitting – why not take a picnic and make the whole day of it.

Treasure Maps

After lunch why not spend and hour or so creating a Pirate Treasure Map!  All you need is some graph paper and select an area with some landmarks such as trees, footpaths, maybe a rock or two, or a trig pillar.  Pace out the distance between the landmarks, work out the rough direction and plot them on the graph paper until you have a map.  Hid something and mark with an X on the map.

treasure map

If you have a large enough group, divide into two teams and each team creates a map and gives it to the other team.  See who can be the first to find the other teams treasure.  There are so many variations on this game but it still follows the basic Pirate Treasure Hunt principal.  But more importantly, what you have done is introduce your Grand Children to maps and map reading!

Try either or both of these ideas next time you are stuck with something different to do with the Grand Children.  It’s a great way to get them outside and also it gets you out as well for some quality exercise and fresh air.

Take some photos and let me know how it went.


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