How To Create a Pirate Treasure Hunt & Other Easy Outdoor Pirate Activities (June Carnival of Natural Parenting)
Welcome to the June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their stories and tips for playing outside with kids. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Avast, ye scurvy dogs! If your little ones love pirates, this is the special outdoor activity for you. It takes some preparation and work, but the payoff is well worth it.
Kieran has been into pirates. We’ve read all of the pirate books we can get our hands on at the library, he is the proud owner of a pirate jack-in-the-box, he likes to run around the house yelling “argh! matey,” and our raised garden square out back has been dubbed “the pirate ship.”
One of the recurring story lines in any pirate book is buried treasure, so I decided to make a little adventure for Kieran.
The first thing I did I had Tom do was draw a map. He used landmarks from our backyard and drew an easy path for Kieran to follow to the “X” that marked the spot of the treasure.
Next, I came up with a letter from a pirate captain. I used this site to find some good pirate phrases. Tom “aged” all of the paper we used by dabbing it with a used coffee filter and crinkling it up.
I buried some treasure in his sand table. I buried a few shiny rocks (they have shiny gold flecks – like real treasure!), old costume jewelry, and small toys. We got the (cheapo) pirate hat and spyglass from a party supply store, I had the pirate stickers and tattoos in a box saved for a rainy day. 1
When the sandbox was in place with the treasure buried, I told Kieran that he had mail. He opened up the envelope and we read the letter together, then it was time to go find the treasure. I guided him through yard according to the map’s directions, and then he “opened” the sandbox with the key from the envelope. He dug up all of the treasure, and then he asked to do it again.
Other Outdoor Pirate Activities
1. Turn a play structure into a pirate ship using only your imagination.
2. Swab the deck by mopping a patio with water.
3. Walk the plank by sliding down a slide. 2
4. Decorate and fly Jolly Roger flags.
5. Make and decorate spyglasses using cardboard tubes, construction paper, and tape. (Simply tape construction paper around the tube.)
6. Play a modified game of “Red Light Green Light”: Kids run around like crazy pirates when you say “Ahoy, Mateys!” Kids freeze when you say “Thar she blows!” (or pick your own pirate phrases to use)
And when you’re done with that, check out this fun Eric Herman song about pirates – fun for kids and adults!
Do your kids like pirate play? Please share some of the ways you like to play pirates at your house.
“Come play at the Childhood 101 We Play link up
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Garden Treats — Asha at Mom Costume has once again been bitten by the gardening bug — and this time her baby’s tagging along for some fresh air and dirt exploration. (@titbagsandsnoot)
- Outdoor Free Roam — Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting follows her daughter’s lead whenever they go outside. (@mamapoekie)
- Summer fun in Austin with a toddler — Jessica at This Is Worthwhile is brainstorming ways to beat the heat in Texas. (@tisworthwhile)
- summer fun… — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children is looking forward to spending the summer outside with her children the way she used to spend summers with her mother.
- Outdoor Fun for Pre-Walkers — Maman A Droit has figured out ways to let her pre-walker enjoy the outdoors. (@MamanADroit)
- Summer Homeschool Fun at Camp Review — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now discusses how Camp Review motivated and captivated her homeschooling family. (@DebChitwood)
- Digging, Tree Climbing and Puddle Jumping — Laura at Laura’s Blog bemoans the loss of her girls’ climbing tree but knows they’ll find something else just as naturally tempting.
- The Sweet Smells of Summer — Erin at A Beatnik’s Beat on Life is looking forward to the many smells of summer she and her daughters enjoy and identify. (@babybeatnik)
- June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor Fun — Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker is a confirmed couch potato who can’t help but be inspired by the outdoor opportunities Seattle offers her family. (@sybilryan)
- Take a Hike — Michelle at The Parent Vortex connects with her family and the Earth on frequent hikes in their Pacific wilderness. (@TheParentVortex)
- Following Paul — Julie at Simple Life gives her kids unstructured time to dig in the dirt and pick mulberries. (@homemakerjulie)
- Instilling a Love of the Outdoors in Your Baby/Toddler — Tessasdad at Stay At Home Dad in Lansing offers a photo book of tips for helping your little ones enjoy the outdoors. (@tessasdad)
- Camping, baby! — Jen at Grow With Graces has easy tips for tent camping with a little one. (@growwithgraces)
- Think Outside the Easel for Summertime Fun — Acacia at Be Present Mama finds several ways to bring art fun to the outdoors.
- Outdoor Learning in our Urban Environment — Andrea at Ella-Bean & Co. has found ways to get grass between her daughter’s toes, even in the city.
- Outdoor Education — Alison at BluebirdMama offers parents tips and resources for making each outdoor excursion a learning experience. (@childbearing)
- Turning Inside Out — Christie of Childhood 101 finds kids get a kick out of taking indoor toys outside. (@Childhood101)
- Watching Peas Sprout — Deb at Science@home combines fun with purpose in this educational outdoor activity. (@ScienceMum)
- How To Create a Pirate Treasure Hunt & Other Easy Outdoor Pirate Activities (June Carnival of Natural Parenting) — Dionna at Code Name: Mama has pirate-themed play ideas for ye scurvy landlubbers. (@CodeNameMama)
- What We Do — Luschka at Diary of a First Child has managed to expose her 8-month-old to a wide variety of outdoor fun, even with the notoriously dreary UK weather. (@diaryfirstchild)
- Summer Fun — Darcel at The Mahogany Way finds her family’s visits to the beach refreshing in so many ways. (@MahoganyWayMama)
- Playing outside without a backyard — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes doesn’t let the lack of a backyard stop her family from enjoying the outdoors. There are plenty of things to do outside of your yard! (@sheryljesin)
- Having Fun Outdoors, Playset Free — Guavalicious at They Are So Cute When They Are Sleeping has resisted a backyard playset in favor of the regular backyard. (@guavalicious)
- Moon Gazing with your Toddler — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries is keeping her toddler up at night, but it’s for a good reason: to share the wonders of the night sky! (@babydust)
- the great outdoors — The grumbles at grumbles and grunts wonders whether her urban child can experience the same free-range childhood she enjoyed. (@thegrumbles)
- Let’s Take It Outside! — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing is looking for ideas: how can she spend time with her pre-walker outside this summer? (@BlkWmnDoBF)
- A home by the sea: June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun — Lauren at Hobo Mama is living her dream of a home near the beach, and taking full advantage of it. (@Hobo_Mama)
- An Outside Girl — Zoey at Good Goog moved her family to (almost) the middle of nowhere so that her outdoor-loving girl could have more grass and less concrete. (@zoeyspeak)
- Neighborhood Nature — Kelly at Kelly Naturally has learned to connect with the nature she has instead of mourning the nature she misses. (@kellynaturally)
- Building Lovely Memories of Swimming, Spiders and Gravestones — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch and her family are simply outdoorsy people. (@kitchenwitch)
- “Buh-Bye” Season — Danielle at born.in.japan must leave laundry behind and follow her son’s call to the outdoors. (@borninjp)
- Backyard Camping — Becoming Mamas took her family camping very close to home! (@becomingmamas)
- The Color of Dreams — Seeking Mother at Woman Seeking Mother makes gardening magical by teaching her son that each flower is a faery. (@seekingmother)
- There is no reason to spend money on new toys for this activity. We’ve done it since then using only his old sandbox toys as the “treasure,” and he has just as much fun. Probably more fun, because there isn’t the added pressure of “oh’s and ah’s” for the new toys. ↩
- Use your judgment on whether this is too morbid for your kids. ↩
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"How To Create a Pirate Treasure Hunt & Other Easy Outdoor Pirate Activities (June Carnival of Natural Parenting)"
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