Five DIY Pirate Play Ideas

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Ahoy matey! This month we are studying all about Island Treasure with our Experience Early Learning box! Our first week was all about Setting Sail and getting ready for adventure!

Setting sail + Adventure = Pirates!

Pirate play is so imaginative- full of adventure, destinations, and uncertainty! Add in some learning elements and you have one of the best ways to review all your learning during the summer months.

Here are some ideas to help plan your pirate adventure!

1. Build a Pirate Dramatic Play area.

Building a pirate ship is perfect for getting outdoors and having fun! We flipped a few chairs, added some washer boards for port holes, and threw a blanket/sheet on top so it looked more like a ship to make this fantastic STEAM station. Add a piece of cardboard (better if kids can decorate it) or an umbrella for your mast. Baby pools filled with sea creatures are a perfect addition on really hot days.

2. Make costumes.

I love how our EEL box sends us Make and Play crafts, especially dress up ones. I hardly ever buy dress up stuff, so I really love it when we have these crafts. In the pic above, the kids made captain hats! Perfect for our dramatic play area. EEL also sent us materials (yarn and black cardstock punch out) to make an eye patch, and a piece of cardstock rolled up makes a great spyglass that you can decorate! You have to admit, trying to decorate brown toilet paper tubes is not easy. Pirates, captains, or pirate captains… which one do you want to be?

She’s got her pirate face down! I think he found land, ha!

3. Make a treasure map.

Use a paper plate and draw out a map. Our EEL guide suggested using letters, while reading the Alphabet book Ahoy! that came in our box. We drew letters as we read each page anywhere on our plate. When we finished writing our letters, we swapped plates and then connected the letters in order with colored crayons. This became our ABC map. You could even make a map of your yard. Put it in a sheet protector and mark an X with a dry erase marker wherever you can find treasure. Erase the X afterwards, and have someone else bury treasure and mark the dry erase map.

4. Find buried treasure!

Use a map (or make your own like above), or just dig a hole in the sand/dirt box. Use sticks to mark an X. We didnt have any gold coins, but our black walnut tree is dropping golden nuts all the time, that are great as golden nuggets. Use what you have! When kids see you use your imagination, they will start to see the world as endless possibilities. Here we are finding our buried treasure…

5. Add in learning fun with Islands.

I drew 26 Alphabet Islands and the kids took turns running to each island, grabbing the treasure (rock, gem, whatever) that was on the island, and bringing it back to the ship. You could write site words or draw numbers as well. We also played with our floating numbers from our EEL box. I added a few extra for my girl to practice adding 2 digits. You could even practice multiplication for those older kids!

That’s just the tip of the ship yall! You could do so much! But my biggest encouragement is for you to have as much fun as possible with your kids! If you are having fun on your learning adventure, I guarantee they will too!

Happy Learning friends!

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