Many years ago, we created this simple, but fun treasure map activity where children have the opportunity to develop important skills while creating their own unique treasure maps. All you need for this pirate activity is paper, markers or crayons, and optional decorations like stickers or glitter, for a creative activity that offers numerous benefits (fine motor skills and visual motor skills!)
Not only does using a map utilize spatial skills, there are so many ways to learn through play with this activity!
Treasure Map Activity
The treasure map activity we describe in this blog post is an old one, but it’s such a fun way to develop skills.
Occupational therapy practitioners often use treasure map activities in therapy sessions, including with sensory motor tasks like obstacle courses. You can move through an OT treasure map to different therapy worlds like a handwriting station, self-regulation area with deep breathing exercises, a gross motor task like a masking tape balance beam, or so many other tasks depending on the child’s specific needs!
Skills Developed with a Treasure Map Activity
Fine Motor- As children draw their treasure maps, they practice and refine their fine motor skills. Holding and controlling the markers or crayons helps strengthen their hand muscles and improve dexterity. The precise movements required for drawing lines, shapes, and symbols contribute to the development of their fine motor control and coordination.
Visual Motor- Creating a treasure map also supports the development of visual motor skills. The process of translating mental images and ideas onto paper involves coordinating hand movements with visual input. Children learn to align their movements with what they envision, improving their hand-eye coordination and visual tracking abilities.
Spatial Awareness- Playing with and drawing a treasure map promotes spatial awareness and understanding. Children need to consider proportions, distances, and scale as they depict landmarks, paths, and the overall layout of their map. This encourages them to think spatially and develop a sense of space and perspective.
Motor Planning- Using a treasure map to move around a given space involves motor planning. Children must plan and execute a sequence of actions to create their map, including deciding on the path, placing symbols, and adding decorative elements. This helps develop their ability to plan, organize, and execute tasks in a logical and sequential manner.
Body Awareness- Using a treasure map activity to navigate in the world around them offers kids the chance to incorporate body awareness into a real world scenario. They must navigate around objects and visualize how their body moves through a space. This is a great tool for building skills in this area.
Scissor Skills- The map activity we made made builds scissor skills, too. This is an open-ended craft that kids can make and work on cutting and snipping paper in a low pressure way.
How to make a treasure map with Preschoolers
This simple treasure map is a fun activity for preschool. Here’s what we did:
- card stock
- different colors of tissue paper
- markers or a pen
- some stickers
- a roll of masking tape
This project included tons of fine motor skills, cutting, tearing paper, pinching, rolling, folding…the list goes on and on.
activities. One hand will manipulate while the other is the ‘helping
hand.’ Bilateral coordination development will lead to hand dominance
(right- or left-handed).
Working on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, or scissor skills? Our Fine Motor Kits cover all of these areas and more.
Check out the seasonal Fine Motor Kits that kids love:
Or, grab one of our themed Fine Motor Kits to target skills with fun themes:
- Frogs Fine Motor Kit
- Unicorns Fine Motor Kit
- Vehicles Fine Motor Kit
- Apple Fine Motor Kit
- Back to School Kit
- Sports Fine Motor Kit
- Outer Space Fine Motor Kit
- Fairytale Fine Motor Kit
- Plus more in our shop!
Want access to all of these kits…and more being added each month? Join The OT Toolbox Member’s Club!