We started the day with a treasure hunt, complete with 8 clues and a real treasure. Gracie hunted down her prize like a real trooper--although next time I will not do as many clues, because she would get so excited and not think about the clue and would give up way to easily in the end.
Her final clue lead her to a corner in the kitchen which now houses her "I-Can-Do-It-Myself-Box." Getting Gracie to play by herself and decide on her own what to do remains a struggle, so I came up with this ingenious idea. I filled this old potato chip canister (from Cracker Barrel) with play dough, stampers, a mini chalkboard, wipe off books, coloring books, paper, and more. So, now when she can't think of something to do, or I am busy, she can go to the box and get an idea. My plan is to change these things often so nothing becomes boring.
After our treasure hunt we made our own pirate flags. This was definitely her favorite craft. I took one of Garren's old undershirts and cut it in two. We used magic markers to make flags, and since we had a left over dowel rod from staking the tomatoes, I actually put hers on a "flagpole."
After the flag we made our own treasure maps, spy scopes, did pirate-themed school work, made the couch into a pirate ship and played "I spy." It was a fun day, and Gracie is still bouncing from all of our imaginary fun!
If you want to have a pirate day at home:
Old T-Shirt or white bandana. Cut out a large rectangle. If you have a stick, cut three small holes along one side and tie with rope or string to said stick. Use markers or paint to make designs (before putting on stick), although I recommend the markers as paint can bleed through and take a long time to dry.
1 brown paper bag (we used the lunch bags). Cut the bottom off, and cut along one of the folds. Open to make a large rectangle. Make your design with markers or paint (again I recommend markers since you will have to wait for paint to dry.) After design is complete ball up your map 10-15 times each time opening and then balling again--this gives it a worn out look and makes it feel like leather. Next spread smooth and add petroleum jelly. I use a cotton ball and spread over the entire surface (one side is fine) LIGHTLY. I have used too much before and it takes days to fully dry! This makes the map look old and worn and more authentic. Sometimes I tear small parts off the sides for added effect.
1 paper towel roll. Wrap a black piece of construction paper around the bottom 2/3 of roll--use tape to fasten (glue takes forever!). Use a piece of yellow construction paper to cover 1/3 of roll. This gives it a 2-D look and is more authentic. Kids can decorate with makers or stickers to personalize.