The Boy has recently started to show an interest in pirates. I'll admit to having withheld the swashbuckling realm from him before as I'm trying to keep him steered away from the 'treasure' chests of violence and theft for as long as is feasible. However, I fear that ship is sailing and so were dipping our toes in the waters to find out about pirate ships and treasure maps. Definitely no swords involved!
A while ago I was sent a fantastic pirate game by DJeco that is based around the world of treasure maps. The Piratrix Treasure Hunt is a simple retro style game aimed at 2-8 children aged 4+ but The Boy had no problem with it. The pack says that the game can take 15 minutes but that can be altered depending upon the complexity of play.
The idea of the game is to hide all 24 laminated images of treasure, chests and keys around the house. The first player to find one of each is the winner. The best part about this set is that because they are printed plastic, they are suitable for use outdoors in the garden or on the beach.
I taped some string onto some of the pieces so that I could hang them rather than keeping them all flat, it makes it easier for younger children to find them. Older children could create a treasure map to find the pieces, but that's a tricky concept for younger children as they can't relate the symbols to real life objects. I hid the pieces in (fairly obvious) places in the garden, and it took us a little over seven minutes for all three of us to each find a key, a chest and a treasure. Again, it could be adapted for older childrenthat you have to find them in a specific order; chest, then key to open it, and then the treasure.
Aside from being fun, it's a good game to help develop logical thinking, problem solving (especially if used alongside a map) and develop visual awareness. This is such an easy game that it would be ideal for a pirate birthday party, especially as there are eight of each playing piece.
The DJeco Piratrix Treasure Hunt is available from ToyJeanius for £4.95, which is an excellent price for a durable, quick, portable and fun game.
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I was sent this product for the purpose of this review, my opinion is honest and unbiased.