It's Treasure!

By Patricia Peters

Books to Share

Don't Mention Pirates by Sarah McConnell

How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz

Once Upon a Tide by Tony Mitton

You Can Do Anything, Daddy! by Michael Rex

Books to Show or Booktalk

Do Pirates Take Baths? by Kathy Tucker

I Love My Pirate Papa by Michael Rex

Little Badger, Terror of the Seven Seas by Eve Bunting

Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long

Bulletin Board

Treasure in the Library

Create a library map with sections labeled or a neighborhood map with the library marked "X" at the center. Cover the bulletin board with blue paper and set the map in the center. Surround the "island" with treasures, such as covers of books related to pirates and shipwrecks.


Treasure Chest

Make Treasure Chest nametags using the pattern provided at the end of this chapter.


Hidden Treasure Cookies

Make cookies using the recipe from Kaboose, Kids will love finding the treasure hidden inside.

Treasure Map Cookies

Make a sugar or shortbread cookie recipe. Shape the dough into rectangles and bake according to the recipe. Cover the cookies with white icing. Use piping to add a treasure map in a variety of colors.

Costumes and Props

Wear a pirate eyepatch, put a parrot puppet on your shoulder, and bring all your storytime items into the room in a treasure chest. A lot of pirate wear and props is available at local party stores or from online party suppliers.

Dance and Movement Songs

Pirate Song

The lyrics for this song are on the Creative Kids Craft website at

Action Rhymes

I'm Pirate Pete

(By Patricia Peters)

I'm Pirate Pete (Point to self)

With a twinkle in my eye (Point to eye)

And a parrot named Polly (Tap shoulder)

Who doesn't like to fly. (Flap "wings")

I stroll the deck, (Clasp hands behind back and rock side to side)

I turn the wheel, (Spin with hand)

And I search for treasure (Put hand above eyes "searching")

Off the starboard keel. (Look right)


A photo of My Neighborhood Map that has been drawn on a large piece of manila paper. Roads and buildings have been marked. There is a Main Street, a bank, the police station, a car shop, fire station, post office, and library to name a few.

My Neighborhood Map
  • Large sheets of manila paper
  • Pencils
  • Markers or crayons
  • Stickers

If you can take the children outside for a walk, create these maps in the library. Otherwise send the instructions home with the parents and let them create a neighborhood map.

At the library: Take the children for a walk around the outside of the library and then come back in and draw a map of the library neighborhood on a poster board or flip chart. Place the library in the middle of the page. Ask the children to tell you what they saw. As the children mention roads, sidewalks, other buildings, etc., place them on the map in the proper perspective or orientation to the library. Help the children understand how a map goes together. Include a simple compass rose to show direction. Include things like landscaping, large trees, and flower beds or whatever else the children noticed. Then show them how your finished map could help someone who had never been here know what is around the library.

At home, parents and children take a walk around their neighborhood. Afterward, they begin drawing their neighborhood map, placing their house in the center. Then they ask their child what he or she saw outside. Guide them to think chronologically through the walk. As the child mentions different things, add them to the map. Be open to labeling things like "the yard where the big barking dog lives" or "my favorite slide at the playground down the street." Allow the children to draw as much as possible for themselves. It's alright if the roads aren't completely straight or things are out of proportion. For very young children, parents may use stickers to indicate important places in the neighborhood. When the map is finished, add a simple compass rose to show direction. Then parents and children talk about how a map can help someone who has never been to the neighborhood before.

Games and Activities

Goin' on a Treasure Hunt

(By Patricia Peters. Adapted from "Goin' on a Bear Hunt." The children repeat each line after the librarian. They slap their knees in rhythm unless otherwise instructed.)

We're goin' on a treasure hunt.



Let's go.

Here's our pirate ship.

Can't go over it.

Can't go under it.

Can't go around it.

Have to climb aboard it. (Make climbing motions hand over hand up)

Let's get under way.

Spin the wheel. (Make spinning motions)

Hoist the sail. (Pull hand over hand as if on a rope)

Scan the horizon. (Put hand above eyes and look around)

"Land ho!" (Point ahead)

Drop the anchor. (Move hand in a circle as if cranking a pulley)


Climb down to land. (Make climbing motions hand over hand down)

(Resume knee slapping.)

Now we're on the island.



Let's go.

Looking for treasure.

But wait.

There's a giant palm tree.

Can't go over it.

Can't go under it.

Can't go around it.

We'll have to climb up it. (Make climbing motions)

Look around. (Put hand above eyes and look around)

Climb down the other side. (Make climbing motions)

(Resume knee slapping.)

Let's keep going.



Let's go.

Now look!

It's a river!

Can't go over it.

Can't go under it.

Can't go around it.

We'll have to swim through it. (Make swimming movements)

Climb out. ("Pull" yourself onto the riverbank)

Shake yourself dry. (Shake like a wet dog)

(Resume knee slapping.)

Let's keep going.



Let's go.


That can't be!

A giant X right in front of me!

Can't go over it.

Can't go under it.

Can't go around it.

We'll have to dig straight down! (Make digging motions as if with a shovel)

Hooray! (Cheer with arms above head)

We've found it!

The pirate treasure! (Lift out the treasure chest)

(Whispering) Sssh! (Put finger to lips)

I hear something. (Put hand to ear)

It's more pirates! (Shouting)

Take the treasure and run! (Tuck treasure chest under one arm)

Leave the X behind! (Slap knees with one hand)

Swim through the river! (Swimming motions; climb out; shake to dry; resume knee slapping)

Climb the tree! (Hand over hand up; look around; hand over hand down; resume knee slapping)

Quick! Back on the ship! (Climb up the rope ladder)

Raise the anchor! (Move hand in a circle as if cranking a pulley up)

Hoist the sails! (Pull hand over hand as if on a rope)

Spin the wheel! (Make spinning motions)

Scan the horizon! (Put hand above eyes and look around)

"Land ho!" (Point ahead)

Drop the anchor! (Move hand in a circle as if cranking a pulley; end with a "splash")

Off the ship! (Climb down the rope ladder)

We're back home!

Now bury the treasure somewhere safe! (Resume knee slapping)

Dig! (Make digging motions as if with a shovel)

Drop it in! (Drop in the treasure chest)

Cover it up! (Use the "shovel" to fill in the hole)

Whew! (Wipe back of hand across forehead)

Being a pirate is a lot of work!

Library Scavenger Hunt
  • Scavenger Hunt sheet or map (may contain numbered squares for the stickers)
  • Poster or sign at each location containing the clue for the next destination
  • An envelope or plastic bag for stickers at each destination
  • Stickers for each destination (choose a different color or design for each location)
  • Prizes for each child who completes the scavenger hunt

Children participate in this activity with a parent or responsible adult who can read the clues and help guide them through the library.

In advance, identify several easy-to-find locations throughout the library. For preschoolers, use no more than six destinations. Use artwork, prominent, or easily-located sections throughout the collection such as the wild animal section in juvenile nonfiction as destinations.

Write clues to get your hunters from one location to the next, beginning at the service desk or a table near the entrance. A clue might be: "The place where we return books that we've already read," which would lead the hunters to the bookdrop. Place an envelope or plastic bag containing stickers that the children may attach to their scavenger hunt sheet at each location. In addition, make a poster or sign with the next clue and post it at each location. The final clue should lead the children to the location where they will receive a prize when they complete the scavenger hunt.

As an alternative setup, print copies of each clue and place them in an envelope or bag at each destination so the hunters can take the clue along as they search.


I Spy Treasure Hunt

Craft Materials

Treasure Chest Nametag Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (198 KB) (Full Page)

A full page with four treasure chests outlined to be used as nametags.


Texas Reading Club 2011 Programming Manual / Dig Up a Good Book!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011