This simple printable “buried treasure hunt” preschool game is a great way to get your kiddos moving, learning the alphabet, and practicing essential preschool skills–like matching.
Ahoy! Does anyone else ever question why we encourage our children to learn about and act like pirates? If you think about it, they go around hunting for buried treasure (usually other people’s) and making people walk the plank. Not exactly upstanding citizens. Oh well, I just choose gloss over the plundering part and focus on exploring the seven seas and finding “lost” treasure. We’ll worry about character education later on this one, I suppose.
Anyhow, as long as your moral dilemma about pirates doesn’t go any deeper than mine, I have another great pirate activity for your preschoolers today.
I wanted to balance out our math “Land Ho!” game from last week, so this one is literacy based. It’s actually similar to the Valentine’s alphabet scavenger hunt we did way back in February, but I reinvented it for pirate week because hunting for things just seems perfect when we’re talking about pirates. Plus, I gave it a face-lift by creating a snazzy printable board game (read on to download yours for free).
Enjoy, and don’t forget to use it to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day next Monday, September 18th.
Pirate Alphabet Treasure Hunt Game
What we’re learning:
- letter identification
- matching upper & lowercase letters
- letter sounds
- counting (How many letters are still missing?)
- Printable game board (see below)
- “gold” card stock paper (for printing alphabet coins)
- sticky tacky or tape (painter’s tape works well and doesn’t mark walls)
- a manila folder and ziploc bag for pieces
- First, print out your game board and pieces. I recommend using white paper to print the game board and yellow or gold card stock for the coins if you have it. If not, you can just use white.
- Cut out the alphabet coins, and glue the game board pages into a manila folder. You can do without the folder, but it will make it more sturdy if you think your kids will want to play it more than once. You can also laminate everything to give it a longer life, too.
- Tell your child that you are going to hide some treasure for him/her to find. Have them go in a different room and hide the coins where you want. I put a little sticky tacky on the back of each coin so I could stick them to walls, cupboards, etc.
- When you’ve hidden all the coins (most of mine are hidden in plain sight), bring your child back and show him the treasure map. Explain that to get from the pirate ship (A) to the treasure (Z), your child must find all 26 alphabet coins and match them to the right letter on the treasure map.
- Help as much as your child needs, and talk to him/her about the sounds the letters make as you find them together.
- Once you have found all 26 letters and matched them on the treasure map board, congratulate your pirate on their treasure!
Little Man (4) loved this activity (his love of hunts is no secret if you’ve hung around my blog for long), and wanted to do it again and again. Sometimes I hid the coins, and sometimes he hid them. It was a great way to get him moving, learning, and practicing essential preschool skills.
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