As promised, here are the activities I organized for Pirate Day, which is sort of a curriculum of sorts and mostly just an outline of fun pirate activities. My kids are 6 and 8, so consider that a guide for age appropriateness of these things. We had a couple dress-up items that were piratey and picked up the foam dagger at the dollar store, as well as some things for the treasure chest.
- Decorating Pirate Flags. I took some pieces of 14×18 muslin and drew a rough sketch of a skull and crossbones with a permanent marker. The idea was that the kids would then use their crayons or markers to further decorate after breakfast before the other activities began. My kids thought the flags looked good as they were and didn’t want to color anything else on them. My son isn’t artsy so I wasn’t surprised. Mom time spent: 5 minutes. Kid time spent: 1 millisecond (your mileage may vary depending on your kids)
- Treasure Hunt: This was by far the most popular activity, but required the most prep work. I had 3 old keys for something I can’t identify that I got from my grandmother’s estate, so I wrote up clues for locations I hid them, and then a final clue gave the location for the actual treasure chest. The treasure chest was a cardboard box they decorated ahead of time, and in it each child had a paper bag with their name on it. From the dollar store, I got them some glow sticks, ring pops, and giant fake money, and also added in about 20 pennies each and a disco ball Christmas ornament I got on clearance last year. Mom time: 30 minutes. Kid time: 15 minutes decorating the box. 15 minutes finding all the clues. Here are a couple of the clues I used in case you want to pirate them (yarg! pun intended):
- Congratulations on finding Key One! / The second is hidden in a place meant for fun. / Look in a room full of fun things for girls and boys / And investigate a drawer in the room full of toys. (key was in a drawer of the desk in the toy room)
- Here is the second key, now you’re almost through! / The third key is hidden where the movies are viewed. / Check near a ship that Mom really adores, / And find the third key behind some closed doors. (key was in the entertainment center cabinet under my giant Millennium Falcon)
- Cleaning Your Booty. This was not an exercise in hygiene, although I suspect both kids could use one at times. This was about cleaning those 20 pennies they got in the treasure chest using SCIENCE! We skipped the ammonia and pH tests, and just tested water, vinegar and lemon juice. Results were lackluster since we only spent 10 minutes of pennies soaking because my daughter had seen a frog outside during the treasure hunt that she wanted to go catch. Mom time: 1 minute. Kid time: an eternity of waiting crammed into 10 minutes.
- Pirate Attack! We made catapults out of popsicle sticks (I hot glued the bottle caps to the popsicle sticks since craft glue wasn’t working). The kids spent time launching little balls of paper at various targets, including a SpongeBob pirate ship toy we had. You could use paper plates as targets for different point values, but my kids are competitive enough without inviting that sort of drama in. Mom time: 10 minutes to make catapults. Kid time: Still ongoing. A definite win.