Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Theme-A-Week: Pirates

OK all you mothers with boys--here is a TAW you can sink your teeth into! This week's theme was chose by Sweetheart, age 8. Are you ready to set sail?

First, we scoured the house looking for anything to do with Pirates. This made our pirate collection, which we keep on the fireplace all week. They have played with these toys every single day. I couldn't help but notice how, um, commercial our collection is. I also realized I bought very little of it--thanks to grandparents and aunts. I would have told you we really didn't own that much pirate stuff, but I would have been wrong! I'm sure boy houses might have more.

I was excited about this theme because it was a bit "older" giving the big girls a chance to learn something as well. We checked out two kinds of books from the library this week: fiction...
and non-fiction. I think that's the biggest thing Sweetheart learned this week: that pirates were real and not nice. But fictional pirates can be fun!
First, we made pirate hats. I learned how to fold them here. Sweetheart went with the bone stencil idea from the website, but Little Bit chose a smiley face just like Pirate Pig in this Dora book. So, I made the stencils. Then the girls painted their hats because they will paint anything.
Here are the finished products, along with eye patches and earrings from the party store. AARRGHH!
It has rained here everyday, so we got pretty crafty. I realize in a boy house where there are swords, pirate week might look a bit different. We made anchors (can't remember where I found the pattern, sorry!) with paper chains attached. Here is Little Bit working on the ABC pattern I started on her chain.
All done!

We also made telescopes, or rather spy glasses. You could make them from a paper towel tube, but I had a sturdier carboard tube. We almost never got it cut though. We put plastic wrap over one end and colored the tube with crayons. Sweetheart didn't want to wait for paint to dry! We covered the plastic wrap end with colored paper and they were done. Don't you just love these natural poses? It's like I caught the action while it was happening, isn't it? Or not.

One other project we did this week was to make treasure maps. I found the maps online and the kids colored them with colored pencils. It's important not to use markers for this project. Then we cut them out, crumpled up a piece of brown paper sack and also crumpled up the map then glued it on the brown paper. Then I rubbed a used tea bag (wrung out) over the map to make it look old.
You have to be careful or the tea bag will bust. Wanna know how I know?

Which I wouldn't recommend as far as clean-up goes, but it did make good maps! I just kept rubbing the tea all over the map anyway. I think they came out great.

All this pirate work inspired lots of play in the girls this week. The couch became a ship, a flag was fashioned using a stick, fabric and pony tail holders, and a fan was used to make the storm. It was fun to see them use their imaginations.

At my sister's house they made pirate skeletons this week. She asked them "How do you think he died?" They made up some story about how he was a nice pirate so he got kicked off the ship for being too nice. I told her we even managed to "girl up" a pirate theme! We watched Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, a Pippi Longstocking pirate movie which was rated G but very, very weird, and my sister's kids enjoyed the Muppet's Treasure Island. Like I said, it rained all week.

The big finale was our treasure hunt. First, they had to dress up in the appropriate attire. They followed clues all over the house until they found their treasure. Little Bit followed picture clues, while Sweetheart read her clues.
We're rich!

Have a great weekend, mateys!


  1. Oh boy, oh boy! You're right, Pirate Week at this house is oh, every week, I think. Or maybe every other week, alternating with Star Wars Week.

    The only add my guys would do (that you didn't mention) is the whole face painting thing. Pirates love scars and beard stubble. Looks like it was a seafaring adventure!

  2. Okay, so the summer is half over here at Indescribable Life (with other things planned in the other half), so I might have to store these ideas away for next year! I think this one would be a good one for Lil' Bro!

    Fun to look at the pictures!

  3. Your family sure are having a fun time during holiday's. And may I say, your kids are as cute as..

    On a slightly different topic - are you going to be hosting any more Keeping it real posts?

  4. My kids are as cute as what? :)

    Thanks GB...I don't feel like one a lot of times so that is nice to hear.

    Elle, I never thought of scars and beard stubble. That's too funny. I was thinking of your boys too b/c you said on a WFMW post that they love making treasure maps.

    Karly-get ready. Lil Bro will be loving this stuff!

  5. OK, I am awarding you the mother of the week award. You are fabulous!

    Looks like a wonderful time. I may have to dig down to the bottom of the toy box to find some pirate stuff of my very own.


  6. Ok, I am totally shamed by this.

    Not your intention, I know, but it had that effect anyway.

    I just don't have the motivation right now. Maybe when school starts again next time...

    ...Or not. Maybe I'll let my kids read your posts on this and write about what activities they would choose if they lived at your house.

  7. Oh please don't feel shamed!!! I shine at arts and crafts. It's the everyday things we need to do that I'm not too good at getting done.

    Plus, I have the encouragement of doing this with my sister and her kids. And my kids picked the themes so I want to do it for them.

    But I like your idea for your girls' assignment!! :)

  8. As cute as cute can be, Adorable.

  9. You aren't kidding about boys having more pirate stuff. My MIL bought Ben every pirate set Playmobil put out one year for his birthday. I've sucked up about a million pieces of eight in the vacuum.

    Oh, and too funny, we checked out the Pirate Ships and Weapons book last week! The Daring Book for Girls also has a little section just on girl pirates.

  10. I love your books that you found! We love the library here! I found you on the HSL


  11. DUDE!
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!
    Thanks for sharing!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)