School Holiday Program - April 2020 Become a Pirate!

Ahoy me hearties … welcome to our first on-line School Holiday program! Its all a bit of an experiment but please find below some “Pirates for a Day Activities” that we hope you can enjoy with mum and dad.

(We recommend enjoying this program under adult supervision - and that you have as much fun as our wonderful volunteers did putting it together!). 

Dress up for the day – become a Pirate!

As Captain you will want a big hat.
You can recycle the inside of a large cereal box.
Cut your shape. Staple ends.
Paint it black.

As a crew member you will want a cap. 
Use a beanie, or a hanky folded over to make a large triangle and tie behind your head,
or make a bandana and tie it round your head.

You can also make a Captain’s hat out of a piece of folded newspaper!
Follow the picture below.


Sewing repairs to clothing

Pirates had to take care of their own clothing repairs as there wasn’t anyone else to do it for them.
They also had to patch the sails as well as their own clothing.

You can practice sewing a button onto a piece of cloth, but you may need some adult help with the needle.

Time to get yer ‘slops’ on Matey!

Slops’ were the loose fitting trousers (or long shorts) that sailors used to wear.
They could hang to just above your knee or calf.
As one of the crew you could wear a loose, billowy white shirt with top buttons undone, probably
ith tear holes or patches, all tucked into your ‘slops’.

If you wanted to dress as a Captain, you could still wear the white shirt but wear it with tight black ‘breeches’ (pants) or leggings.
Wear some pointy black boots or brown sandals on your feet.

As the Pirate Captain you might wear a vest and coat for the captain would get the best pickings from the booty stolen from another ship.
Around your neck you could tie a thin scarf and tuck it down the front of the vest.


Build a Pirate Lair

Every good Pirate had to have a hidden place to hide their loot!

Arrange 4 chairs in the form of a square with backs facing outwards leaving an open space in the centre. 
Hoist a large sail (large sheet) across the backs of the chairs to create a secret lair in which the Pirate crew can camp the night while on land.


Make a Pirate Chest for your ‘booty’ (loot).

First, find a cardboard box! Cut the side flaps in a half circle shape.
Then use a larger piece of card to go over the top.
Use tape to make hinges for the lid.


Draw a Map to the Pirate Treasure

Making a map is great fun.
You can invent a place, perhaps an island and draw features on it like mountains, rivers and a land place for your pirate ship.
Don’t forget to mark “X” where the treasure is!

Or you could draw a map of your house and make up  clues for others to follow to find the treasure.

To make your map look really old, you can use a wet tea bag to ‘paint’ your sheet of paper.
Then let the paper dry before you draw on it.
You can tear the edges of it as well so it looks well-used.

Pirate Loot - Spanish Doubloons (coins)

Doubloons were gold coins made in Spain.
British Pirates liked to capture Spanish treasure ships and keep all their gold.

You can make your own doubloons.
Cut out some cardboard circles by drawing around a 20 cent piece.
Paint the pieces with yellow or gold paint.
You can also make silver coins by using silver paint. 
You can even draw your own designs on the coins, perhaps something which shows how much they are worth.


A Pirate’s got to eat! 
Time to prepare some ‘hardtack’

Hardtack was a simple type of biscuit made from flour, water and sometimes salt, and was used for long sea voyages.
Not that much different from damper really, which was often made by early settlers in the Australian bush.


You will need to get some help from your parents to find the following ingredients:
- 250 grams of self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 25 grams of butter or margarine
- 175 millilitres of milk



Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Rub in the butter/margarine until you have fine crumbs.

Stir in the milk with a spatula to make a soft dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and  shape it into a soft smooth ball, then flatten it slightly.

Cut a deep cross in the dough, brush lightly with milk.

Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes until the dough is golden brown.

Serve warm with butter & Jam.

Enjoy with all your Pirate shipmates! Maybe you could have a feast in your pirate lair. 


Pirates liked their jewellery too!

Pirates often wore rings and necklaces as it was easier to carry around their wealth.
Sailors of that time often wore a gold earring in one ear.
The earring was often used to pay for their funeral when they died.

Thread a necklace: Using plastic or paper coloured straws, cut into smaller pieces then thread straw ‘beads’ onto string or wool.

Earrings: You could use pipecleaners or wool to make an earring that loops over your ear.

Gather your Crew

Recruit your crew from amongst your teddies and other friends or your Mum and Dad!!
Dress them as pirates.
Make a cardboard cutlass (sword) so they can protect your chest of loot.
Cut out some stiff cardboard as shown below and colour it to make it look impressive.

Make your Pirate Ship

Using a large cardboard box (a shoe box would be okay as well), turn it into a pirate ship.

Add a ‘deck’ at one end, then make a hole for a flag pole and use a skewer or stick.
Then draw a Jolly Roger flag and stick it on the flag pole.

Or you use the laundry wash basket to make a pirate ship for your crew (ask a parent first!).

Sing a Pirate Shanty

Choose and sing a Pirate Shanty! 
You might be able to look on the internet and find some great songs.

An example is a song called “Weigh hey & up she rises” (or another name for “What shall we do with the drunken sailor”).
Or make up your own pirate song.
But make sure you sing it loud!!

For a printable pdf please click here

For a printable 'Pirate dot-to-dot' pdf click here

For a printable 'Pirate Maze' activity sheet pdf click here

For a printable 'Pirate Word-Finder' pdf click here