Let’s Play Pirates!
Arrrrrr mateys! Below you will find a collection of fun, and easy, activities all about pirates including stories, songs, snacks, and games! As you complete each activity with your child, ask questions to engage them: What just happened? What do you think comes next?
Please share these activities with family members, teachers, friends, and colleagues! Do you have more ideas for simple and easy activities about pirates? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’ll add our favorites to the list below.
Listen to a
Learn a New
Read A Story About Pirates
Listen to a story with your child. During the story, comment on the pictures. Every few minutes, pause and ask your child a question about the story. “What just happened?” “Who is this?” After the story, ask your child two or three questions about the story.
- How I Became A Pirate (7:12 minutes)
- Port Side Pirates (3:58 minutes)
- The Pirates Next Door (9:17 minutes)
- Pirates Love Underpants (3:30 minutes)
- Shiver Me Letters (3:42 minutes)
- Un Barco Muy Pirata (8:48 minutos)
- El Pirata Escacharrado (1:58 minutos)
- El Pirata y El Tesoro (2:29 minutos)
- El Pirata Bueno (3:25 minutos)
Learn a New Pirate Song
Build Your Own Pirate Ship
Build an imaginary pirate ship with your child! A couch or a bed works great to get started. Try using a broom as the mast of your ship – stand it up in the middle. Drape a sheet across the top for the sails. Find something round, like a pillow or a plate, to use as a steering wheel.
Make a Telescope
Explain to your child that a telescope is a tool that helps a pirate see a very long way away. Then make one together! Start with a paper towel or toilet paper tube. Decorate it with markers and crayons. Then, go on a pirate adventure around your house or neighborhood – what can you see?
Sailing the High Seas
Pretend you and your child are pirates, standing on the bow (or front) of your ship. The winds have started to rock your ship back and forth. Try different ways to keep your balance on your imaginary ship!
- Touch your toes and hold on.
- Reach up high and wave back and forth like the flag on your boat.
- Try standing on one foot for as long as you can.
- Bend your arm at the elbow, swing it slightly, and say, “Aye, Mateys!”
Draw a Picture of a Pirate
Imagine what a pirate looks like with your child. Out loud, talk about the different body parts a pirate has: head, body, arms, legs. Some pirates wear hats, eye patches, or striped clothes.
Next, ask your child to draw a picture of the pirate you just described. Be sure to come up with a fun name for the pirate. Use your imagination!
A Treasure Hunt
Look for buried treasure together!
What You’ll Need:
- A small pan, bowl, or dish
- Small treasures: buttons, coins, shells, small toys
Help your child dig for treasure!
- Fill a small pan with rice.
- In the rice, bury secret treasures: buttons, coins, small toys.
- Invite your child to sift through the rice, with their hands, to find the treasures!
- Talk about what they found. What is their favorite?
- Help sort the different items – match items that look alike.
Make A Treasure Map
Turn a new piece of paper into an old treasure map!
What You’ll Need:
- 1 sheet of blank white paper
- Cold coffee
- A pan that’s slightly larger than the piece of paper. It should be at least one-inch deep.
- Dish towel
- Markers, Pens
- Tear the edges of the piece of paper to give it a “rough” appearance and to make it the shape you want it.
- Pour the cold coffee into the pan.
- Dip the paper in the cold coffee, for just under one minute.
- Place the paper on a towel to dry.
- After the paper is completely dry, draw a map or design on the “old” treasure map! Help your child draw an “X” to mark the spot of the treasure and “O”s for different points along the path. Be sure your child connects the Xs and Os with a dotted line.
Cheese and Apple Pirate Ships
What You Need:
- An apple
- Slice the cheese into rectangles thick enough to poke the toothpick through. Or, use cheese slices.
- Slice the apple into wedges.
- Help your child poke the toothpick through the cheese so it looks like a sail of a pirate ship. If you’re using cheese slices, weave the toothpick throguh so the sail stays on.
- Help your child poke the sail (toothpick) into the boat (apple).
Banana and Raisin Pirate Boats
What You Need:
- Peanut Butter
- Raisins (or chocolate chips)
- Sticky notes (a small piece of paper and tape, or a blank rectangular sticker work great too)
- Slice the banana lengthwise.
- Help your child spread peanut butter on the flat side of the bananas. These are your boats.
- Have your child pretend that the raisins are pirates. Together, count each “pirate” as your child puts them on the “boat”!
Play a Pirate Game
What You Need:
- 3 matching plastic cups that you cannot see through
- 1 small “treasure” that fits under a cup like a button or coin
- Turn all three cups upside down on a table.
- Ask your child to place the treasure under one cup.
- Ask your child to keep track of their pirate treasure with their eyes!
- Start to move the cups around by sliding them on the table. Start out slowly weaving them around one another. Then, gradually speed up moving them more quickly.
- Stop moving the cups and ask your child if they can guess which cup has the treasure buried. If they guess correctly, they win the treasure! If not, try again!
Storms on the High Sea
What You Need:
- 1 small plastic, clear, soda or juice bottle with a cap that fits really well. Remove the label from the outside of the bottle.
- Vegetable oil
- Blue food coloring
- A few spoonfuls of sand
- Small beads, buttons, or metallic confetti
- Help your child fill their bottle half way with water. Add a few drops of blue food coloring.
- Help your child add a few spoonfuls of sand to the bottle.
- Help your child fill the rest of the bottle with vegetable oil.
- Help your child drop in a few small beads, buttons, or metallic confetti. Imagine these are treasures!
- Close the cap on the bottle very tight. (You may want to hot glue the top on, if you can)
Now it’s time to use your imaginations together!
- Your child can make waves with their bottle by moving it back and forth.
- Try making a storm by shaking their bottle, setting it down, and watching the layers separate.