My kids love dressing up! We made a dress up area in our house, and I recently added some pirate items to it. I made pirate eye patches, a couple of pirate hooks, and little gold doubloons. My kids also love to make treasure maps and sending people on treasure hunts. They started doing this spontaneously over the summer, and occasionally will go back to it. I was wondering if they would do this once they saw the pirate stuff.
My daughter saw the gold doubloons first and asked what they were. As soon as I told her, she asked to play treasure hunt. I showed her all the pirate eye patches and she asked for one...for me to wear.
They set up a treasure hunt with the gold doubloons. I made about 40, but she felt she needed more so she made some out of yellow construction paper. The kids had to negotiate where the treasure would be, and they decided to hide the treasure in one of our upstairs room. Then they made me a map on a sticky note, and a trail of doubloons that led to the treasure.
My son decided to help me on the treasure hunt. He picked up the doubloons as I followed him. When we got upstairs I found the treasure in my son’s slipper - the Lego Batmobile!! So I guess technically they didn’t dress up this time around, but they had pirate treasure hunt fun :-)
To extend the pirate fun, I set out pirate stickers, and wrinkled up some paper bags for them to use as a treasure maps later. We’ve also been reading the Backyardigans book, Pirate Treasure.
The Backyardigans is a great show for the preschool crowd, especially if you want a great example of what it means to play pretend and dress up. Each of the characters has a little personality and each show they play pretend in a different locale. The music is pretty catchy too. We found it a few years ago when my daughter was little, and now my son likes them too.
We played pirate at various times throughout the day. My daughter and I even made a pirate ship out of a huge cardboard box we had in the basement. It was a great way to spend a cold winter day inside.