My son is an only child so we go on a lot of play dates.
Our all-time favorite is a Pirate Play Date. If you have a upcoming play date, or want an excuse to invite some friends over try no-prep pirate activities (see below). You can skip the work of preparing activities & just buy ready to go supplies.
If you have more time like a sleep over, extended play date or if you’re looking for several summer fun kids activities then try our DIY pirate ideas.
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DIY Pirate Activities for Kids
- Read Pirate Books
- Make your own pirate hat (sleep over or play date)
- Go on a Treasure Scavenger Hunt
- Make a treasure map
- Make your own pirate costume
- Make and eye patch (see video above)
- Make a Pirate flag
- Pirate Sensory Bin
- DIY Treasure
- Pirate Play-dough
- Pirate Book Club
- DIY Pirate Telescope (made from recycled materials)
Read Pirate Books
Check out our book list for the best pirate books for kids!
DIY Pirate Hat Video
DIY Treasure Map
Making your own maps is SUPER fun way to get some art in. We Googled images of “kid treasure maps” none of them were super simple (like my son’s example) so they were a bit overwhelming for him.
We drew our maps together and talked about what we were drawing. I wanted mountains & water and dangerous animals protecting my treasure. He wanted a “pom tree” a “skl” (skull) and an “oshn” (ocean). He “spelled” them for me and I wrote the letters.
No- Prep Pirate Activities, Dramatic Play:
Purchase these items to skip the prep work and just PLAY!
You (obviously) do not have to buy your costume, especially if you’d like to extend the Pirate Activities. It may take a few days to pull together all of the things needed for the Treasure Scavenger Hunt (which is way more fun when done in costume).
Go on a Treasure Scavenger Hunt
A’hoy Matey, now you have your hat, eye patch, costume & map it’s time to hunt some treasure!
Gather up your Seadogs and prepare for your treasure hunt!
Put on your costumes, grab your compass & set out to seize some buried treasure. I made a map of our house on the back of my treasure map when my son was napping for our real treasure hunt. It showed on the map where to start and how to get to the buried treasure (our sandbox).
Make and eye patch (see pirate costume video)
If you made your own costume you’ll also need a DIY pirate eye patch. For this craft you’ll need:
- patch of black felt or fabric
- piece of elastic (or twine, elastic is better)
- black card stock or painted cardboard (use the tempra sticks & paint ahead)
- school glue
- Draw an eye patch shape on the cardboard & cut it out. (If repeating for several eye patches use this as a stencil to draw the rest.)
- Staple the elastic on each side of the card stock eye patch.
- Cover the eye patch with glue (only if your felt is non-adhesive. The recommended felt above is self adhesive) & press on one long piece of felt to cover both sides of the eye patch (using the single piece).
- Trim off any excess felt & enjoy!
Make a Pirate flag
- tempera paint sticks, black & white
optional: card stock or post-it stencils.
NOTE: homemade stencil can be made for the entire skull (eyes, nose & teeth) or just for the eyes & nose holes. We just did the eyes and nose holes. I made ours with cut up Post-its & painted over them. The eyes turned out great, the nostrils not so much so we covered it with black tempera paint.
Stencils should be made with card stock (if you want them to last).
I didn’t have card stock or the patience to make a proper stencil so I made a 60 second stencil for the eyes out of cut circles from Post-its.
I took two 2×2 Post-it’s and cut so that the sticky side would be part of the eye I wanted to paint over. They are the blue circles in the background of the photo to the right.
Pirate Sensory Bin
- Pour filler material into bin
- Add treasure and pirate toys
- Set it out after nap-time or breakfast
We bought our treasure because mommy didn’t want to clean up another craft mess. :o) However, I am always one for frugal alternatives so I found a super cute kid made treasure video. If you have school glue, glitter and ice cube trays you can make these 2 ingredient treasures!
Another alternative is to paint items you can find around your home or in your yard. And there is the good old fashioned imagination. Pretend rocks, sturdy leaves & sticks are your treasure.
- Make or buy play-doh
- Add treasures & or pirate toys
- Kids can build a play-doh pirate ship or treasure chest to put the treasure in or they can just explore and play on their own.
Pirate Book Club
Check out pirate books at the library. Read pirate books all day (week) and start your own Pirate Book club!
DIY Pirate Telescope (made from recycled materials)
- Tempra Paint Sticks or markers
- Recycled paper towel rolls
- glitter, school glue & paper plate optional (glitter is super messy)
- Paint or draw on the recycled paper towel rolls.
- Squeeze or paint glue onto one end of the paper towel roll holder
- Dip in a shallow paper plate with glitter