Purchase a small cheap jewelry box, the kind that have the ballerina in the top the twirls to the music. Unscrew the ballerina from the jewelry box. This is your "treasure chest".
In the bottom of the box, put all sorts of buttons or cheap "jewels".
Have the children sort the "treasure" into piles. To extend the activity for older children, have them divide the treasure equally between your little pirates. For a formal activity on dividing the treasure between two pirates use this link.