How To Set Up a Pirate Dramatic Play

How To Set Up a Pirate Dramatic Play

When I posted a sneak peek of this Pirate-themed dramatic play over on Instagram stories a couple of weeks ago, I got lots and lots of interest in learning more. So today, I am sharing all about how to set up a pirate-themed dramatic play that will have your little one ready to talk in a pirate voice and walk the plank in no time. 

pirate dramatic play

The great thing about this dramatic play is that it doesn’t take up a lot of space, you can easily set it up in your home or corner of your classroom. The majority of the set-up is just print and go, so less time shopping for supplies and more time playing (or sipping your coffee while your little ones play)! 

pirate dramatic play

My Pirate Activities lesson plan has all the printables to set up your Pirate School. Once the signs are up, I like to get the littles in pirate mode by reading one of my favorite picture books, The Treasure of Pirate Frank. Once the kids were excited to have their own pirate adventures, we started the day by getting them outfitted with handmade pirate hats.

Make a Pirate Hat 

To create the pirate hats, all you do is print the pirate hat template from the weekly lesson plans. There are multiple colors or BW options to choose from. There is an editable version where you can insert any name or a non-editable one if you want to use the “pirate” hat for everyone. 

pirate hat craft

Littles then get to use those pre-writing skills to trace their name and cut out their hat. It was so funny watching how quickly the kids slid into their pirate characters once they had their hats on. 

pirate hat craft

Color Pirate Treasure Maps

pirate treasure map craft

Another simple activity to include in your pirate center is the treasure map coloring station. All I did was print the pirate treasure maps and set them out with colors. This was a great option for littles to do while they waited for their turn for different activities. 

pirate treasure map

There is also a blank option for littles to create their own maps! 

Treasure Hunt Sensory Bin

Raise your hand if your littles love a sensory bin... I am just going to assume all of your hands are up.

If you are a member of our e-mail community, you would know we are so passionate about sensory bins that once a month we have a whole e-mail dedicated to our “sensory bin wins” as we call them. 

pirate sensory bin
Sensory bins not only provide hours of entertainment for littles (while adults can enjoy a coffee or put their feet up) but they are also so important developmentally because they encourage kids to explore new textures and materials freely. The more they do this at a young age the less likely they will be to have sensory issues later on. 
pirate treasure dig

This treasure hunt sensory bin was simple to put together. I filled my bin with kinetic sand, some gold coins (hello, st. patrick’s day leftovers), gems, and other little objects. They can dig and play for ages, finding and burying treasures for themselves or their friends. 

Walk the Plank 

This was by far the kids' favorite activity. First, I made a plank out of brown construction paper but learned very quickly this was not sturdy enough. So please learn from my mistake and use a piece of cardboard or something else more durable for kids to trample. 

pirate walk the plank activity

I printed the Walk the Plank cards which each have a different way they could walk, such as in a zig-zag or backwards. There are 12 different options so lots of opportunities for everyone to have a few turns. 

pirate walk the plank activity

I had the kids sit in a circle and they took turns choosing a card for me to read aloud. Then they got to show off their silly plank walks. One of my sweet kiddos was so funny and would only do her walk across the plank if her friend went ahead of her each time, so that lucky little girl got LOTS of turns. 

Other Fun Pirate Stations

A few of the other stations I had set up included the Talk Like a Pirate station where we could practice using our silly voices and saying pirate phrases. 

talk like a pirate activity

The Dress Like a Pirate center is always a fun one for littles to see what pirates wear and if you have a dress up box or even just different materials or scarves, they can create their own costumes! 

pirate dress up

The Pirate Duty station is great for prompting play for the littles who need a little help getting started. There are eight different cards with pictures of different jobs the littles can do at their pirate school such as pretending to sail the ship, cooking food for the other pirates in the play kitchen, and plenty more ideas to get them pretending.

pirate jobs center

The pirate dramatic play was so fun for the kids and so simple for me to set up. If you are looking for more pirate-themed activities, check out my Pirate Activities Lesson Plan on TPT.

The set includes 5 days' worth of activities, crafts, and book recommendations. Each weekly lesson plan also includes a focus on specific letters, colors, shapes, and numbers. 

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