Have hours of pirate fun with this easy to make paraphernalia

pirate map trial

Little ones love pirates and the idea of adventure, but rain can pretty much put a stop to plans of venturing outside for fun, especially during the summer holidays. But don’t let the rain spoil your holiday. What if I told you that you can have hours of indoors fun with a little imagination and very little material?

You can make a pirate hat and a map for a treasure hunt. Use a jewellery case and some chocolate coins or costume jewellery as treasure. You can also use old clothes to make a pirate costume.

This activity combines both the fun of arts and crafts through paper folding and drawing, imagination via costume making, treasure hunting and some exciting indoors (and outdoors) adventure.

Pirate hat

This hat is easily created by folding a black piece of paper and decorating with a skull and crossbones.

For the hat you will need :

  • 1 piece of A2 black paper (the bigger the piece of paper, the bigger the hat)
  • Pencil
  • Glue
  • White paper

Lay the paper on a flat surface with the sort end facing you. Fold the paper over itself along the long side like a book and press flat.

Folding the pirate hat paper

Spin it around 90 degrees and fold the longest piece on itself again. Open it up and flip it back so that the loose ends are facing you. Fold the corners down to make the hat shape.

hat folded corners

Then fold over the bottom edge up to meet the bottom of the triangles. Turn over the hat and repeat. Use some glue to make sure the hat is held together.
To decorate you can draw a skull and crossbones (or use a pirate rubber stamp and an inkpad if you have one) on a white piece of paper. Cut them shaped as badges and glue them on the front of the hat for that pirate-y finish.

pirate hat and treasure


Treasure map

You can create an antique-effect treasure map using tea, water and a piece of paper.  You can draw an imaginary island or your back garden – either way children will use their imagination and will have hours of fun with their friends.

You will need:

  • 1 piece of white A4 paper
  • 1 teabag and water
  • Sponge
  • Paint brush and coloured paints
  • Fine black pen

Tear all four paper edges to make them slightly rugged and uneven. Make some tea and leave the tea bag in the water until it becomes dark brown. Make sure it’s not boiling hot! Dip the sponge into the tea and then dab all over the paper to stain it and leave the paper to dry. If you want the paper to be a darker shade, repeat.

For an even more enhanced antique effect, you can use dark brown to pain the edges of the paper, then leave to dry.

For finishing touches use your imagination to draw an island, palm trees, fish. Don’t forget the position of the treasure and to add the clues!

pirate map


You can also draw a map of your home, similar to a plan and put different sets of clues but each ending at the same final location. The easiest way to set up the treasure trail is by working backwards. Begin by placing the treasure in the final spot, take the clue for this location and hide it in another chosen spot. Keep doing this for all the clues until you are left with one. This will be the starting clue you give to the treasure hunt players.

Pirate suit

You can use a pair of trousers and just roll them up just below the knee with an old shirt (the more ragged the better).
If you are really in the mood to make costumes, you can convert an old pair of trousers. To convert these, if you don’t mind getting rid of them, cut the legs at an angle, with the long, tapered end facing out.
The cut will look like a long triangle from the side. Cut through the middle of this triangle up to just below the knees. Then tie the two ends of each legging.

And this way, the whole gang is ready to find the hidden treasure! Use chocolate coins or some piece of jewellery in the hidden treasure.
Happy treasure hunting!