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Life At Sea Week III: Pirates!

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It's Pirate Week! The kiddos are LOVING it!  Bulldozer still remains afraid of pirates for the most part, but that hasn't stopped him from participating and learning more about them.

Here's what's on our shelves!

Pirate Vocabulary Nomenclature Cards
 Originally I wanted more than just 6 cards to this collection, but it was difficult finding pictures of actual objects that had specific pirate names.  In the end, the number seems to work perfectly.  Bulldozer actually chose this activity on his own.  He does not like nomenclature card activities.  This one did not overwhelm him. Hooray!
Source: I created the printable for this activity. The Pirate Nomenclature Cards are a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Phonograms: Long O
 We continue on our phonogram journey.  This week is long O.  Dinomite is doing fabulous with them.  His reading ability is growing by leaps and bounds. I'm hoping over time he'll apply them to his spelling.
Source:  I created this printable. The Long O Phonogram Cards and all other Long Vowel Phonogram Cards are Subscriber's Only Freebies. For your free copies, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Phonograms: Writing Long O
 Once again this activity is on the shelf, for more practice with our long O words.  It's funny, Dinomite is not a fan, but Princess LOVES these cards.  Any chance she has to write, she takes it.  I love how each kiddo is so different.  Princess may not understand the spelling aspect of the cards, but she's getting in a lot of letter writing practice which is great!

Source:  I created the printable for this activity. The Phonogram Writing Cards are a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Pirate Spelling Words
 Bulldozer LOVES using scrabble letters to learn new words.  I made this activity just for him.  Of course the other kiddos love using them too.  I made two different lists, one for Bulldozer and Princess, and then one for Dinomite.  I was even able to use words that would help reinforce his long O phonograms.
Source: I created this printable. The Pirate Words Worksheet 1 is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Pirate & Parrot Beginning Blends Match Up
I loved this activity when I saw it and couldn't wait to put it on the shelves. Dinomite flies through it with no problems and to my surprise, so does Princess!

Source: I found this free printable at Ms. Kist's Kinderkids.

Pirate Treasure Match Up
 One of my goals for the month is to make sure Bulldozer and Princess know their coin values and are able to identify all of them.  For them, this activity is just a sorting activity.  However, one of Dinomite's goals for the month is to be able to add money values and actually understand how to write dollar and cent values.  After he sorts the money, he counts each collection of coins.  Using our movable numbers and signs, he creates the money amount.  I've been quite impressed with how he's doing.
Source:  This free printable came as part of a packet at 1+1+1=1.

Adding Up Our Treasure
I can't go a week without putting addition or subtraction on our shelves.  This week we're adding up the contents of our treasure.  Dinomite and Princess did fabulous with this activity.  Bulldozer still struggles with understanding the concept of addition, especially when using manipulatives.  There are too many steps for him to follow.  Hopefully by the end of the year he'll understand it.

Source:  I created this printable. The Treasure Map Addition Printable is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Telling Time Like a Pirate
Pirates didn't have watches or clocks back in the "golden era" of piracy.  Instead they used the sun to tell time.  This activity is actually more of a science activity, but I decided to incorporate some Math too, so it works for both.

The kids have cards that show the location of the sun in the sky, a compass, to determine the direction, and a reference pirate point to where they are.  The cards also have the time written on them.  Depending on the kiddos' age, they choose a specific number of time cards.  Dinomite selects six. Bulldozer selects five. Princes selects four.  The first step is to position the hands on the clock to match the time on the card.  All three kiddos have done AMAZING with this.  I'm still in awe that Bulldozer and Princess understand time, at least on the hour times already.
The second step in the activity is to take a blank card (provided in packet) and draw a sun in the correct position (to match their other card).  This way the kiddos learn and practice both ways to tell time.  They've all done extremely well with this activity.  I was worried it would be a difficult concept for them.  I was wrong.  Bulldozer even mentioned the position of the sun as we were returning library books tonight after dinner.  It always amazes me how much he understands, when I can barely tell he's listening or getting anything out of what we do.

Note: The sun rises and sets at different times depending on the time of year. I went with a generic 6 AM and 6 PM sunrise/sunset time.

Source:  I created this printable. The Sun Directions & Time Cards is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Parts of a Boat
 I have searched and searched and searched for a diagram of the four basic parts or positions in a boat.  It was a very unsuccessful  endeavor. Finally this weekend, I decided to make my own.  The kiddos need to know the basics right?  I created a basic diagram of a boat with labels to use as a control. They're job is to place the correct words in the correct spots on their own boat.  All three kiddos have done great with this. They're remembering the words too, which is always a plus.

Source: I created this printable. The Diagram of Boat is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Pirate Ship Construction
I knew there was no way I'd be able to entice the kiddos to learn the parts of a pirate ship, however, I did know that I can always get them to try a new "puzzle" activity.  This would encourage them to learn the parts as they piece it together.  The puzzle is a little bit more challenging than they originally thought it would be, but they're learning new words and parts, so all in all, the activity is a huge success.

Source: I found this image HERE.

Land Forms Part II
Back in August, we worked on our first set of Land Form cards.  It being Pirate Week, I thought it a perfect time to bring in the rest of the cards.  After all, these are definitely terms and visuals pirates would need to know, while reading maps.  We've done the clay models and water activity before.  The kiddos loved it, however, they really didn't learn much as they were so focused on pouring the water (and loving it).

As I was trying to come up with an idea, as to how to use the cards, I came across some blue and brown felt in one of my drawers.  That's when the idea hit me.  I'll use felt! They'll have to make the land forms! Now, I'm guessing I'm not the first person who's come up with this idea, however I have not seen it done in other places to give someone credit.
The felt pieces are working fabulously!  Even better, the kiddos are really learning the names of the land forms.  Bulldozer is even doing well with them!

A Pirate's Map Activity
I'm not really one for treasure hunts, especially when I know how distracted my kiddos get in the blink of an eye.  Still, I was trying to think of something to do to help them learn how to read maps and incorporate our pirate theme.  I came across the treasure map above.  I think it's fabulous. I loved it so much, I decided to color it and taint it brown.  The kiddos even decided to color their own too.

Anyways, I digress.  What I loved about this map, was that I had a miniature version of every item on it.  Instead of searching the house or room over, following a map, I decided they'd create the ocean using the map, and then have the pirate ship sail around each place to the treasure.  It's been a really fun creative play activity for the kiddos with no script to be had, which I love for my two autistic boys.
Source: The activity idea was my own.  The map came from

Parrot Nomenclature Cards
Pirates have pets, the most well known ones being parrots.  Why not learn about the different kinds?  Little did I know there are over 350 different species of parrots.  With some research I selected 8 that are known to be really great pets.  To my surprise the kiddos really love this activity.  Bulldozer and Dinomite couldn't stop talking about their favorite parrots.  Both really like the Lovebirds.

The kiddos want to go to the pet store to see if they can identify any of the parrots, now that they know some of the names.  I'm guessing that will happen this weekend.
Source: I created this printable. The Parrot Nomenclature Cards are a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

A Pirate's Life
The kiddos get so excited to learn a new songs, especially when I pair it with a fun music video.  They have LOVED this song!  I must say it's a pretty cute video!

The kiddos also continue to work on their piano piece for the month.  I'm hoping Dinomite will have the whole thing down by next Monday with confidence.  Bulldozer tries about every other day to play, but he really struggles with the hand coordination.  Still he loves the piano and has such a great touch for it.  When he gets bored playing the piece he's supposed to practice, he plays his own masterpiece.  He's always been my music kiddo. Though he never sings along during our singing time, I find him singing around the house all the time.  I think he really struggles to process the words fast enough when they're set to music.  Princess hasn't really shown much interest in the piano but LOVES to sing.

My Very Owen Treasure Box
Pirate Week just wouldn't be the same without a treasure box of some kind.  I don't have a cute little pirate treasure box, so I decided the kiddos could make their own.  I'm not one to have the kiddos do crafts and projects unless they'll actually have a use for the end product.  Already, I know Dinomite will use his box for all of his LEGO guys.  Princess will use it for her mini My Little Ponies.  Bulldozer has said he's using it for his "special" marbles.

I picked each kiddo up a treasure box and their favorite color glitter paint.  Dinomite's is black.  Bulldozer's is purple.  Princess' is pink.  They've been working on them every day so far.  Once the base coat is on, they're add stripes or dots or whatever, using the other colors provided. Lastly they can glue sequins on to the boxes.  I'm not sure if the sequins will hold with Elmer's glue, but it's the only glue Bulldozer's not allergic to so... It's just going to have to do.

Monday the kiddos couldn't wait to paint their first coats one at a time, so they all sat down together to work on their boxes.  It was super cute.  Painting definitely proved to be challenging for all of them, especially Bulldozer.  Today he seems very happy about his first coat though.

Physical Education:
The kiddos are almost in full swing with their extracurricular activities.  Dinomite is bowling and doing fabulous in gymnastics.  Bulldozer went to his second private tennis lesson today.  He's doing so well.  His coach, who is ranked very high in the state, told me today that Bulldozer's hand eye coordination is the best he's seen in a kiddo that age.  He's truly talented in the sport.  Now we just have to teach him to move his body the way he wants it to go. Bulldozer is amazing at hitting a tennis ball (you wouldn't believe it unless you saw him), but can't catch a ball for the life of him.  His coach is fabulous and does so great with Bulldozer.  Bulldozer also started his private swimming lessons tonight.  These were recommended by his previous OT to help him regulate and work on sensory issues he has.  He LOVED The lesson and didn't want to get out of the pool.  Granted, he's still trying to figure out how to make himself move in the direction he wants to go in the water, while keeping his mouth closed, but still, he's made such progress. Two years ago he wouldn't step foot in the water.  Bulldozer continues to bowl also.  Princess continues swimming and gymnastics.

Practical Life/Sensorial:
Pirate Sensory Bin
I've had little images in my head of what our pirate sensory bin would look like for quite some time. Of course when it came down to it, I couldn't find any of the things I had wanted to put in it.  We made do.  Our bin consists of:
Plastic Coins (They're actually our St. Patrick's Day Coins as I couldn't find any pirate coins anywhere.)
Square Glass Beads
Plastic Diamond Like Beads
Mini Kazoos to act as telescopes
Mardi Gras Bead Necklaces
Safari Toob Pirate Figures
Plastic Dollar Bill Signs

Unlock the Treasure
I saw this idea on one of my favorite blogs, Sorting Sprinkles,  and just had to use it.  Pirates need to know how to unlock their treasure!  Dinomite and Princess are so fascinated with this activity, doing it over and over again.  Bulldozer hasn't tried yet.  They love how the locks pop open with the turn of the key.

Dressing Like a Pirate
Bulldozer still can't put a shirt on or take one off.  Dinomite and Princess can't tie their shoes yet.  I figured this dress up outfit would be great practice for them.  I couldn't find my eye patch or earring, but they don't seem to be missed.  Rolled up in the basket is a pair of elastic waist pants, a pirate shirt, a belt to tie around the waist, and a bandanna to tie around their head.

Wind Up Toys
I found two parrot wind up toys for the kids to practice their fine motor skills with, but they didn't move along a flat surface, so I grabbed two fish instead.  Dinomite and Princess have had a blast with these things .I can't wait for Bulldozer to try them. I'm hoping he doesn't become too frustrated trying to wind them up.  If he does, I'm sure his siblings will help him so they can race their fish together.  Oh the giggles!

Clipping Parrot Feathers
We've done this activity before, about 9 months ago.  All of the kiddos really struggled with it, especially Bulldozer. I'm hoping this time around they'll have developed more strength and succeed.  Even if it's a little difficult, they were super excited about "parrot" feathers.

Scrubbing the Deck
I thought it would be fun to have the kiddos learn to "scrub the deck" just like pirates.  Little did I know what a hit this activity would be.
Bulldozer LOVED this activity on Monday.  He scrubbed and scrubbed until my entire kitchen floor was clean.  He cracked me up because he sang the entire time and would have done more if I hadn't said learning time was all done.  Dinomite did the same thing today.  I guess I know who's chore it will be to scrub the floors from now on.  I just have to remember to give them only a little bit of water. Lol.

We are having a fabulous week!  The kiddos have been begging for learning time to start each day so they can do their pirate activities.  Next week we start our Fall Harvest/Halloween themed month.  The kiddos can't wait for Halloween.  Bulldozer asks every day if it's Halloween yet.  Keep an eye out for our Halloween Countdown Calendar coming soon!

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  1. These are awesome ideas! I definitely want to do a pirate theme with my boys now. They would both love learning more about pirates. Thanks for all of the printables!

    1. You're welcome! I thoroughly enjoy reading your site. I have recommended it to several people. Your comment means a lot! I look forward to seeing a pirate themed post soon, with more new ideas!

  2. This pirate week looks like so much fun! I am thinking of doing a pirate week soon. I found your blog on the PreK and K corner @ homeschool creations.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. We had a lot of fun! Can't wait to check out your blog!

  3. Renae! You have thought of everything! Talk about an integrated curriculum! I honestly don't think kids would learn so much and such a wide variety in school. Absolutely fantastic! Very impressed! I pinned my heart out!

    Carla M. (

    1. Thanks so much Carla. The compliment means a lot. We had a lot of fun during our Pirate Week. It's definitely a theme that will probably come back again.

  4. We are SO doing a pirate theme soon! You have done amazing job of pulling links together so we can share in you fantastic theme. It is truely a blessing. Thank you!

    3 questions;
    1. What program do you use to create you printables?
    2. Do you have the printable for the parts of the deck? Fore,aft,starboard?
    3. What type of "trays" do you use? The compartments for the addition /subtraction and the 3 compartment boxes are awesome!

    1. I'm so glad you liked the activities! We had a blast for sure. Here are answers to your questions:
      1. I use Microsoft Publisher to create my printables.
      2. My apologies for not providing the link to the parts of the boat printable. I have since gone back and edited the post. There is a link provided now. Enjoy!
      3. My trays with compartments are Melissa & Doug trays recycled from toys and gifts the kiddos receive. The stamping trays in particular. I love them and find any excuse to buy more of their toys, just so I can have the containers. Lol.

  5. What an amazing job working so many activities into the pirates theme.

    We are sharing pirate ideas at Empty Your Archive this week and I would absolutely love for you to link up - Alice @ Mums Make Lists

  6. This is SOOOOO Perfect to go with the Build Up Summer learning we are doing tomorrow! So happy to see this.

    1. Thank you Cassie! I'm so glad it will go along with one of your packets. Always a score!

  7. Thank you! Just a big thank you!

  8. I am doing a pirate theme with my babies this week and got a few great ideas from your blog!!! Thanks.

    1. I'm so glad some of my ideas worked for you! Thank you for stopping by!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Love, love, love. What fun ideas. I can't wait to try this theme out. Thanks.