Art activity – treasure map

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Here is another activity I set for my expressive arts group…

Draw a treasure map. What is the treasure? Where is it buried? How deep is it buried? What are the obstacles to getting the treasure? How do you overcome the obstacles? How do you feel when you finally get the treasure. How long did it take?

This sounds like a fun activity for kids, but it is also loaded with metaphor. I explained the activity just as I have written it above. I let the kids interpret it for themselves. Some worked in small groups and continued their artwork over two sessions.

Most of the kids had fun with it. Many of them have been with the group for almost two years, they have worked through a lot of emotional issues with and through their art.


This post has been transferred from another blog, and backdated to its original posting date. I’m sorting through all of my blogs and putting things where they belong. Below are the comments that this post attracted on the other blog…

phrogmom Says:
January 25, 2011 at 12:08 am   this sounds cool! i kind of want to do one in my art journal!!

David N. Says:
January 26, 2011 at 1:21 am   This looks like a cool idea. I’ll have to try this with my daughter when she’s a little bit older. I’m sort of a map junkie.

hakea Says:
January 26, 2011 at 7:05 am   hi David, thanks for visiting. i got the idea from one of my sons, he’s always drawing treasure maps, trade routes, and battlefields.

Thomas Cleveland Says:
November 5, 2011 at 12:04 am   I was googling for treasure maps and I found a treasure in your post. I own an art school and have thought of doing this as well but really will take the time to do it now with your questions because it’s a great life lesson. i notice my kids are always in a rush to finish when the seeking is the true reward.
If you would to see my kids work visit
Thanks you inspired my morning and reminded me to slow down and seek.

hakea Says:
November 5, 2011 at 7:36 am   Hi Thomas, Thank you for taking the time to comment!I get over 100 hits per day on that post. All of the traffic comes from a Google search on “treasure maps”. I am perplexed why such a large number of people are looking for treasure maps.

The treasure map activity was within the context of an expressive arts group. I have been trained in art therapy and respond to the children’s artwork in a very specific way. If you would like to know more please check out my other posts in the “expressive arts” category.

I am not art trained. For me art is more about the process rather than the product, and as you know it can be a very powerful process. I try to take the need for aesthetic out of the kid’s work and get the process flowing. I tell them “there is no such thing as a mistake in art” and I get them to scribble and be messy.

I had a look at your website. You are right – there is an artist within everyone.


About Narelle Smith

Child & Family Worker

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