Like all parents, we are working hard to get the kids out the house, keep them busy and during these times, stay socially distanced – not easy with a lively 5-year-old in tow!
This weekend, we had the pleasure of trying out some new Treasure Trail Maps during an afternoon out in our local World Heritage Site, Ironbridge.
Founded in 2020, Treasure Map Trails is the brainchild of Daniel Johnson, a Bedfordshire dad who was looking for new ways to entertain his young children. These maps provide a brilliant focus when out and about in your local areas, all for the price of a couple of coffees!
We have experienced Treasure Maps before but have always found they were aimed at older children or adults – it has been tricky, in the past, to keep the littlest one engaged in the treasure hunt! However, these maps are a good size for little hands, robust enough to withstand being dropped a couple of times and each map uses a fantasy theme to hold the children’s interest whilst incorporating the local features and landmarks.
The maps are a great way to get children interested in the history of their local towns. Every Treasure Map Trail is based around a small section of a real town, aiming for no more than one mile between the two furthest points so that little legs don’t get too tired. We found that it took us around 30-40 mins to complete (we do know the area well though so that helped us to move the kids along to find the clues). You have to fill in on the map where you found each image and there is a sneaky cheat sheet on the back if things get tricky! There’s also no need to complete a map in one go so if you only have a few minutes to spare, and this is your local town, you can find a treasure or two, and come back to do the rest another day.
With every map completed, your child moves up one rank in the Treasure Map Trails Academy, from Cadet to Captain to Explore to Adventurer and finally a Treasure Hunter Master, earning their very own certificate each time.
We really enjoyed completing our map, we worked our way through the town and found that this was a great way to engage and encourage the children on what would ordinarily have just been, in the words of the kids, ‘a boring walk’! We also ended up with chips on the bridge as a reward at the end of our journey so everyone was happy – including the dog! It was great for us as a family of 4 (with children age 5 and 10) and a dog to find something that easily involved and entertained everyone but was relatively quick to complete so kept everyone’s attention and focus – the children took turns which also helped alleviate arguments!
The maps cost £5.99 each from https://treasuremaptrails.com/ and the price is reduced the more you buy, for example, all 4 maps for Ironbridge would cost £10.99 so a great way to buy presents for local little ones or, as my daughter suggested, they would make great party favours!
We are certainly going to try out the other maps in our local areas!