This week I decided to bring out the pirate fun. I couldn’t wait for the official Talk Like A Pirate Day to come around again. There’s just something about storybook pirates and their socially acceptable mischief.
We had a regular guest reader join us for stories and songs this week at the library so he read the stories while I worked with kids on the letter ‘P’ scavenger hunt and the pirate crafts. It’s amazing how many kids don’t know how to make a pirate hat out of newspaper! Twenty more do now! It’s great rainy day fun and offers adults a bit of nostalgia.
This morning, I headed out the road for my outreach program. This week’s only stop was the fire station. The group of kids and parents that regularly comes to the fire station is not as big as at the library, but that’s fine. They are all familiar faces and we are getting to know each other better in a more intimate setting. I am happy to see everyone because there are a few faces I tend to see at the library only in the summer. It can be difficult to get into town for specific events during the winter-either because of weather, kid schedules, or just because of a shift to the wintertime mental state.
During storytime on the road, it was my turn to read the pirate books. While everyone got settled, a couple of kids and I talked about the letter ‘P’ and looked through My ‘P’ Book. They quickly rattled off a list of other words beginning with the ‘P’ sound while the littlest ones took turns playing with my felt ‘P’. We then moved on to stories. I read the tongue twisting Sheep on a Ship, The Pirates Next Door: Starring the Jolley-Rogers, a great book about differences, and Pirate Girl. Feisty girls need role models, too.
The flannel board was a success! I was proud to create this one and the kids loved it. The older kids chimed in on the song’s refrain and the youngest storytimers bee-lined to the board and the felt pieces as soon as I added them with each verse. After which the little ones spent the rest of storytime taking off and putting on the pirate pieces. Win, win. I got the flannel board idea (and the song suggestion) from Sturdy for Common Things.
Pirate Song (Sung to “This Old Man”) via Work of Heart
This old pirate, has a hat
Where a skull and crossbones sat.
With an Ar, Ar, Ar, and an Ay Matey!
This old pirate sailed the sea.
This old pirate had a patch
Sailed the sea without a scratch.
With an Ar, Ar, Ar and an Ay Matey!
This old pirate sailed the sea.
This old pirate has a hook, uses it to hold a book.
This old pirate has a map, keeps it handy in his lap.
This old pirate has a bird, barely knows a single word.
This old pirate has a ship, travels the world in a single trip.
This old pirate looking for treasure, more than anyone can measure!
And on to craft time! We made our hats and pet parrots before doing the letter ‘P’ treasure hunt, well, because pirates need accessories to find treasures! If you need a tutorial on pirate hat making, check out Instructables. There are some other curiosities there also worth your time! As for the parrot, I took the template from spoonful.com and instead of making a pirate designed to wear on the shoulder, I modified the drawing so the parrot could be carried with the help of a Popsicle stick. It worked well for the wide range of ages at the library storytime and at the fire station.
For the ‘P” treasure hunt, I laminated letters in different kinds of paper (2 of each) and then made a treasure hunt map with one of each kind of ‘P’. The others I placed around the room so that kids could explore and identify the letter. They brought the letter back to the map and taped it next to its match. Once we had all of the letters on the map matched, it was time for the treasure! I gave out library pencils to smiling pirates and we found out those pencils make great drumsticks!
By the way, if your library has access to Mango Languages, you should check out the Pirate tutorial. What a great sense of humor they have! I often show school age kids Pirate on Mango Languages because it is a great gateway to learning other languages on the site and exploring our library’s online resources.