How to Play Pirates' Treasure

This version of Capture the Flag is more fun

kids running up grassy hill
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Pirates' Treasure is a variation on Capture the Flag that swaps beanbag "treasure" for colorful flags. This game gets kids running, jumping, and throwing as they try to grab all the treasure for their own team. Even though there are a variety of video games with this title, the Pirates' Treasure is more fun and will leave everyone in a great mood.

Difficulty and Time 

Easy. Kids and adults can easily play this game together so you may want to add it to your family get togethers.

What's more: Each round takes only 15-20 minutes to play, so it is easy to play the game as a tournament or playing three games where the winning team takes a majority of games.

What You Need

  • Hula hoops (one for each team)
  • Beanbags (10 for each team)
  • If you want to really get into character, you could have matching slashes, pirate's belts, eye patches, or pirate hats for each team.

How to Play Pirates' Treasure

  1. Set up the playing area. Split the playing field into equal parts, one for each team; mark boundaries with cones, chalk, tape, etc. Place a hoop in the center of each team's territory, then put 10 beanbags into each hoop. (If you're playing on a paved surface, you could use sidewalk chalk instead of hoops; in a gym or carpeted space, use tape to mark off the treasure chest's dimensions.)
  2. Players are pirates, hoops are treasure chests, and beanbags are the treasure. 
  3. Divide players into evenly sized teams.
  1. Within each team, players can be plunderers (trying to steal opposing teams' treasure) or protectors (trying to keep their own treasure safe). Neither plunderers or protectors can step inside the hoops.
  2. If a protector nabs a player carrying plundered treasure, the plunderer must drop the treasure and perform a fitness activity (such as five tuck jumps or four swashbuckling arm swings) before returning to the game. In the meantime, the protector can grab the treasure and return it to its chest.
  1. The game ends when one team has captured all of another team's treasure.


  1. Play with two to four teams, depending on how many players you have.
  2. Remind kids that they can toss beanbags to a teammate to avoid getting tagged.
  3. Protectors and plunderers can switch places at any time.

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