7 Secret Tricks Page | Rave Reviews | TOC | The Men Behind the Book!
AN ENCHANTING QUEST FOR A PIRATE'S CHEST
Have you ever dreamed of finding a
message in a bottle or discovering a pirate's treasure? Your kid probably has. You can fulfill those
dreams and share in the adventure. We've got the whole thing mapped out for you!
HOW TO SET IT UP:
1. CREATE A TREASURE CHEST
Find something to serve as a treasure chest. Any of these will work great:
- a cigar box
- an old jewelry box
- a tackle box
- a mason jar
- a lunch box
If you use a kid's lunch box, paint over the pictures, or invent a story to connect the pictures
to pirates. ("Pirates used to ride these silly ponies to the ends of these pretty rainbows to
search for pots of gold!")
2. FILL THE TREASURE CHEST
Fill the chest with small objects that are fun for your child and safe for the beach. Start
with these and add ideas of your own.
- jewelry (costume stuff or mom's discards)
- coins (foreign ones!)
- game room tokens
- colorful rocks
- toys and trinkets
3. LOAD THE MAP
We've drawn a map for you. You'll find it at the bottom of this page. All you
have to do is make it look like it belonged to a real pirate. Print the map onto parchment paper,
add tea stains, and burn the edges so it appear as authentic as possible. (Pirates were famous for
sparking fires and spilling beverages while using their copy machines!) The map is guaranteed to lead
you to a treasure every time, as long as you remember where the treasure is buried.
Roll up the map, tie a string around it, and get an empty wine bottle. (We couldn't find a way to
include the bottle with the book so you'll have to empty one of your own! Peel off the labels when you
are done.) Slide the map into the bottle and run the string out of the top. This will make the map easier
to pull out. Put the cork on the bottle and you are ready to go!
HOW TO PULL IT OFF
1. GET THE STUFF TO THE BEACH
Hide the box and the bottle anywhere your kid won't notice, in a beach bag, in a folding chair,
wrapped in a stack of towels.
2. BURY THE TREASURE
Have mom distract your kid. They can play in the water, search for shells, or retrieve something you
"accidentally" left in the car. Dig a deep hole, bury the box, and make an X to mark the spot.
Use seaweed, shells, or just draw it in the sand. Cover the X with a beach blanket, a towel, or a
chair. Sit back and put on your best poker face (and some sunscreen).
3. FLOAT THE BOTTLE
While your kid is playing safely in the water, secretly sneak the bottle down to the shore.
Conceal it under a towel that's draped around your neck, or hide it in the back of your bathing
suit. Slip into the water. When your kid isn't watching, release the bottle so he or she can discover it.
If you are caught holding it, explain that you just picked it up and were wondering what it was. Let your
child notice the paper inside.
4. BEGIN THE QUEST
Remove the note, read it aloud, then use your knowledge to decipher the deceptively vague instructions.
(In other words, go any direction you want!) The strategic design lets you lead your child right to the
treasure. The strange descriptions keep you laughing along the way.
5. UNCOVER THE TREASURE
The map will lead you to the object you placed on top of the X. Your child is likely to look under it.
If not, feign disappointment. Pick up the blanket or chair as if ready to go so that you "accidentally"
uncover the X. Help dig (making sure your child is the one who finds the treasure), then open the box and
marvel at the riches it contains.
Pack away the note and bottle when you are ready to go. Make sure not to leave any of the bounty behind.
As your child takes home the wonderful reward, you'll take home the wonderful memory, knowing the real
treasure is the adventure that the two of you were able to share.
Click here for a color JPEG of the map. (230.8K)
(To save the file to your hard drive for printing. PC: right click
and choose "Save Picture as..." or MAC: hold down the mouse button and choose "Save as...". Save the .jpg file to your hard drive and use your
painting or image editing progam to print a copy of the map.)