Making an old looking treasure map was something I had done as a kid as part of a history project and I thought it would be fun to relive it with the kids.
First of all we designed a treasure map on a sheet of A4 white paper with a trail leading to the X that marks the spot where treasure is supposedly buried.
Next we scrunched the map up a bit, to give it some creases and made a few rips and tears in it to make it look really old.
Before designing the map I had prepared a cup of instant coffee. Just instant coffee mixed into hot water. When the coffee had cooled down I poured it into a baking tray and lay out the map into the tray to soak in the coffee to stain it. We left it to soak for half an hour. NOTE: You can also get the same staining effect from tea.
After half an hour I carefully took the map out of the coffee mixture and placed it onto another baking tray and placed it under the grill on the lowest setting to dry it out and give it a scrunchy feel. Bear in mind that you need to keep a close eye on the map as you ‘grill’ it so that it doesn’t burn. It only takes a couple of minutes to dry.
Finally, if you want to be really creative, you could hold the edges of the map over a naked flame being extremely careful to not let it catch alight (as I did with our first map LOL!). This will give the map a smoke damage effect. This last step should be done by an adult or under adult supervision.
And when your map is ready you can go on a treasure hunt! We had great fun with out treasure map. I created sign posts around the house that correspond with the points on the map and the kids had great fun running around the house following the map to find the treasure!