Treasure sailors: Summer Camp at Home week 3
Ahoy, mateys! Thar’s treasure to be found. The pirate craze doesn’t seem to be going away, and if your kids are as fascinated by swashbuckling adventurers on the high seas as mine are, you can capture their imagination and make a fun pirate-themed week of activities and learning this summer for Summer Camp at Home.
Of course, we are going to be good pirates.
A pirate theme is so easy for keeping kids occupied not only because they love it, but because there is so much pirate stuff and great pirate ideas out there for kids. I have really only scratched the surface in planning for next week, and I’m sure if you look for other ideas aside from mine here, you will find a treasure trove of them.
We’ve had two weeks out of school for my soon-to-be-kindergartener, and we are keeping busy! Sometimes it feels like we’re a bit too busy. I can’t keep up with my to-do list. (I can’t even blog!) But the good news? My boys never say, “I’M BORED!”
Week 3 promises to continue with that.
- Language skills: We continue to read books, books, books! Here are some ideas for titles to look for — you can find more at your local library: Henry and the Crazed Chicken Pirates by Carolyn Crimi; Archie and the Pirates by Marc Rosenthal; I Love My Pirate Papa by Laura Leuck; Pirate vs. Pirate by Mary Quattlebaum; and my personal favorite, Dirty Joe, the Pirate: A True Story by Bill Harley. Older children may want to write their own treasure sailor story.
- Math skills: This is a great week for early elementary kids to learn about money, especially coins (because coins can be gold doubloons!). They can match each kind of coin to its amount on a piece of paper. Older children can practice adding up coins or making change, and younger children can just practice matching the same coins together. If you can get some fake coins, kids will love playing with them. (Just make sure they aren’t a choking hazard for younger children.)
- Music: My sons love listening to Sharky and Bones‘ album Jake and the Never Land Pirates from the Disney Junior show. My two-year-old especially loves the Tick Tock Croc song. Talk Like a Pirate gets stuck in my head every time.
- Field trip: When I first started planning for this week, I had hoped to find a boat tour of some kind that was safe and kid-friendly. (After all, we live in the Venice of America. How hard could it be to find a boat tour?) And then SCORE! I found the most awesome field trip of all: an actual pirate boat ride. We are going to sail the seas on the Bluefoot Pirate Adventures ship! My sons are so excited. We have some friends coming with us, too. If you don’t have a pirate tour near you, maybe you have a nearby boat tour or a friend with a boat. Or maybe a children’s museum near you has a pirate exhibit. You could even visit a park with a lake and pretend you’re about to set sail toward a faraway island.
- Geography: Treasure sailors need treasure maps. Take this chance to try out mapping. Show kids how to draw a map of their room, or your house, or your backyard. Older children can add more detail to their maps, or map out your town or state.
- Craft: There are so many excellent pirate crafts. I found a lot of them at Disney: a paper tricorn hat, a compass and a beautiful treasure chest (or a printable Jake and the Never Land Pirates team treasure chest).
- Fine-motor skills: My five-year-old is working on his handwriting every day to maintain his fine-motor skills. His occupational therapist recommends lined paper to help him print properly (otherwise, his letters are six inches tall). You can buy a pad of lined paper and write words that relate to the theme each week, like we do, or even download handwriting lined paper for free. Cutting out pictures and shapes is good hand work, and so is playing with clay.
- Role play: Dress up as pirates with simple costumes, working together and taking turns in different roles to solve problems like getting away from the bad guys, or how to find the best spot to hide and bury treasure. Make a cardboard-and-foil pirate sword. Maybe you’d like to create a fun pirate T-shirt with an iron-on transfer?
- More: Last year, I organized a treasure hunt. I got some plastic “gold doubloons” and a treasure chest from the craft store and planned to bury it at the beach. With some of our play mates, we visited a park nearby where a treasure map mysteriously turned up. The older children solved a riddle to get to the next stop to find the next clue. Then we drove to the next fun place for another clue. The beach was the last stop — where the kids would have found the treasure, but a bad storm blew in and sent us all back home. Still a great idea for a fun outing with kids. I’d do it again this year if I didn’t have to prep for my little guy’s birthday party.
Feel free to share your ideas, too.
Make it a great week!