Ingredients: Sand box (I just use a large plastic tub with lid on the patio, so no need for a proper sand tray, get play sand cheap from Wilkinsons or B&Q), various treasure items including shells, plastic dinosaur bones, costume jewellery, plastic coins, etc…, paintbrushes (large and small), spade, sieve

The Big Sell:  Let’s be archaeologists and discover hidden treasure!!!

Strategy:        Tell the kids to close their eyes, you hide the toys at different depth levels, then teach them how to use the sieve / paintbrush to gently discover the treasure

The Verdict: Both ages loved it, youngest (18 months) found the toys on the top and played for fifteen mins before getting distracted. Eldest (5) dug deeper, then developed their own idea to create a treasure map and bury that too for younger one (and me) to discover – the game lasted over an hour. They both ended up in full pirate dressing up! It’s become a popular game to revisit since, requiring no set up on my part as they have the idea now and will find their own props to bury.

Catchphrase: “What else can we find to bury Mummy!?!”

Left wanting more?

  • Look at BBC website for a computer game that allows you to be a Viking archaeologist at this link:
  • Whilst on the subject of pirates, the book Pirate Pete by Nick Sharratt, published by Walker Books Ltd is great for younger and older kids. I took it camping once and the youngest (age 16 months) sat in the travel cot and played with it for OVER AN HOUR whilst we snoozed! Incredible!