The Ultimate Pirate Unit Study

This is the Ultimate Pirate Unit Study! If your kids love the pirate theme, they will love everything on this page! Not only will I share all the fun pirate activities I've done through the years, but I will be linking to the best pirate activities on the internet. Are you ready?

The first thing you will want to do is go to the library and check out some books about pirates. Find out about real pirates from the past, and get ideas from the pictures in the books, as to how to use this theme for some fun activities.

Of course, you will want to make a pirate costume. This can be as easy as tying a bandana around your head and making a home-made eye patch. Or you can go to a costume shop and go all-out and get a great pirate costume. I usually get my costumes at yard sales and Goodwill. My entire family was dressed as pirates for $5 or less per costume. Here is an eye patch tutorial to help you make your own pirate costume:

You will also want a pirate ship. You can change your back deck into a pirate ship with inexpensive PVC pipe and an old white bed sheet. The plans for this design are the same as the Mayflower we constructed for the Pilgrims Unit Study, only we flew a pirate flag at the top. Here are some other ideas for pirate ships and shelters:

We've had many pirate parties over the years, but the biggest one was when we invited a Cub Scout group of boys to our house. What a rukkus there was! We put together an obstacle course where the boys had to cross a balance beam (with a blue tarp under it representing the river with alligators) while sword fighting with another pirate. And a jolly time was had by all...

An easy pirate cake design is to make a pirate ship out of Legos and place it on top of a blue frosted cake, representing the waves of the ocean. I've also seen a rectangular cake look like a treasure map, with graham cracker crumbs looking like the sand on the cake. You could use black icing gel to mark the dotted path and the X where the treasure is hidden. You could go all-out and make a cake in the shape of a pirate ship, stacking several cakes on top of each other until you have the shape of a boat. Then stab skewers with sails in the top. Or make the cake in the shape of a treasure chest, with candies spilling out of it.

What about treasure maps? You can easily make a treasure map by drawing a map with crayons, and using either old tea bags or brown watercolor paint as a crayon-resist by painting over the top of the map. You can even burn the edges of the map for an ancient look. We have made treasure maps for treasures hidden in our backyard. You can dig a hole and bury a treasure chest (or cardboard box) in it. Throw a bunch of cheap costume jewelry into it (that you get at yard sales). Or you can buy chocolate gold coins. Those are always popular with kids. Then follow the map to the treasure. If you don't want to bury the treasure, you can just hide it behind a bush or shed. Here are some ideas for making innovative pirate maps:

You can make a pirate treasure chest by painting a box brown and hot gluing fake jewels on it. You can also add fake leather straps if you want to. Here are some other ideas for treasure chests:

Pirate Treasure Chests

If you would like to print out pirate coloring pages, educational worksheets, or pirate lapbooks, here are some fun links for that:

Pirate Coloring Pages

Educational Pirate Printables

Pirate Lapbooks

Why not write some assignments taught by a pirate? Here are some YouTube videos with exciting pirate writing assignments that your kids will love: Pirate Creative Writing Assignments

Finally, if you do not know how to talk in piratey language, you can use this handy-dandy translator: Pirate Translator

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