I had been trapped for hours in the back yard. Forced to swashbuckle against my will. Someone put a twig in my hand and made me sword fight before I was told to walk the plank. This is not a bad dream. This is my children’s obsession with all things Pirate. Yes, friends my girls love pirates. The bad boys of the high seas. So, when a friend of mine hand delivered an invitation to her son’s pirate themed birthday party, I had no choice. I had to make them their own treasure maps. Mostly because I had two kids fighting over one treasure map. (Thanks G!)
Start by brewing some tea. Not to relax with, but to paint with! Be sure to allow the tea to steep long enough to make a dark brown color. The tea stains make the paper look like aged parchment paper.
Pour a small amount into a bowl, or cup.
Use whatever paper you have on hand. (We used regular drawing paper pulled from the tablet). Next, give your kid their favorite paint brush and let the painting begin. Or, you can place smaller pieces of paper on a tray with edges (baking sheet works too) and let them pour the tea over them. Hang it up to dry.
The color on our paper came out lighter than I wanted. After it dried I poured more tea over it and allowed to dry. This made a wonderful layered color effect.
Use paint brush to apply tea to paper
Since the pages were too wet to draw our maps on we left them in the sun to dry while we searched for treasure. The girls sorted their glass gems and gathered their “booty” from their dress up jewelry collection.
Once the pages were dry I tore them in half to give the edges a more weathered look. This also gave each kid two maps of their very own. I used our markers to add colorful nautical art to each map. In true pirate fashion, the girls dictated what they wanted me to draw on their maps.
After everything had completely dried we took the maps outside to walk a treasure trail in our yard.We took turns hiding and finding our treasures. Of course I had to walk the plank AGAIN. It’s not my fault I’m an awesome treasure hunter! Best part of the project is it didn’t cost me a single doubloon.
What ‘argh’ ya planning for your back yard adventures? ‘Shiver me timbers’ I need to get out more!