The treasure chest used to be just a metal watch case and all the treasures fit neatly inside.
The metal case has transformed from a place to keep the treasures into just another of the many treasures. The treasure chest is now actually our coffee table which has a lid that lifts up, in fact it is an actual chest. And the treasures sit on top of it.
And there are now lots of expanded activities we do with the treasure chest and the treasures. Though some of these activities I find a little on the odd side, I recognize that they all have some real-world benefit.
- Get more treasures - Lucas finds little things all over that for some reason make it a treasure. I can understand some of the things, like coins and beads. But when the receipt from 5 Star Video makes the cut, or the random piece of thread on the ground, one really has to wonder. And of course, the coins, which are his favorites, probably because he knows they are of some value outside of his treasure chest world. (I let him insert coins when we're at parking meters and stuff like that.)
Benefit: Lucas knows the value of a buck, or a bean, or a dried-up flower.
- Pirate's Booty Game - This was a game Kevin invented. Basically, you take all the treasures and put them in the middle of the two "pirates". Before each player takes a turn rolling the dice, he has to say a pirate phrase, like "Ahoy Matey!" or "Yo ho ho and a bucket of prawns!". Then whatever number you roll, you are allowed to choose that many treasures to add to your own pirate's booty. And at the end, the pirate with the most treasures wins.
Benefit: Counting and number-object relationships. Plus he'll learn (sadly) a true fact of life in today's world, "Those with the most toys wins."
- Quid Pro Quo (aka Trading Treasures) - Basically we put the treasures in the middle, then we each take turns choosing something. At some points in the game, Lucas will whisper, "Mommy, say 'But I want that button.'" So I'll say it and then he'll say "Okay, I'll trade it for the chicken plate." Sometimes if I pick something, he'll say, "But I never get the eraser," which is a cue for me to say "Okay I'll trade it for the...". The goal is sometimes to see who has the most treasures, but mostly there is no goal since this game could go on forever (and sometimes does).
Benefit: Debate, compromise, barter
In the photo below, Lucas deliberated for about 30 seconds about what he would give me for the coveted plastic coffee cup lid. Turned out the fair trade was the somewhat coveted, but not quite as valuable, plastic coffee cup lid insert.- Organize the treasures - After breakfast every morning, he goes and organizes his treasures in some special way, only known to him. I know this because sometimes he'll ask me to help him organize. I'll try and stack up coins together, or group things by color or type. He'll always tell me that I'm not organizing them right and will show me his random organized pile of treasures and say, "See, do it like this mommy."
Lucas has already said that the coffee table is too small for all his treasures. I need to think of a good way to reduce the number of treasures so they don't completely take over.