Have you ever watched a child’s face light up when you talk about pirates? Simply mentioning a pirate to kids of all ages usually makes them get excited. Why not have a pirate party of sorts with kids during sessions to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19? Use the way pirates talk, work together, problem solve, and more to focus on goals. Think outside of the box and gather your mateys for a swashbuckling good time!
Pirate Tales a Plenty
Books about pirates are quite popular these days. There are lots of different stories that work around the lives, laughs, and adventures of pirates. Reading stories is the perfect way to immerse students into the pirate world. Some new books and old favorites include:
- How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
- Pirates Go to School by Corrine Demas
- Pirate Princess by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
- Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC by June Sobel
- The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup
- Pirates Love Underpants by Claire Freedman
- The Pirate Who Couldn’t Say Arrr! By Angie Neal
- Pirates Don’t Change Diapers by Melinda Long
Predict what the books may be about. After reading the book some groups may enjoy acting out the pirate adventures. Bring in props for everyone to play and act like a pirate.
Where Arrrr the Treasures
Pirates love to find hidden treasures. Think of skills your young pirates may be able to do during a session. Some ideas for pirate treasure hunts that will work in a variety of different therapy sessions These are flexible and may be switched up for the needs of your students.
For speech and language, kids may be hunt for treasures which make them say arrrr for the letter R. Kids will have a treasure map to find |-ar| sound words. If you do not have a lot of space, make a treasure hunt box to dig around and find the items to go with clues. Hide everything and let kids search for them. Examples are market, target, march, card, park, cart, dark.
Social skill groups may have word puzzles that they must solve for each clue on a map. As they work together to solve the clues, they move to different parts of the map. Eventually, these clues will guide them to a treasure chest.
During physical therapy, kids can use movement to act like pirates. Make a game board and use cards to get kids to move around them. Cards can ask them to walk a plank that’s a balance board, they may need to swim to the next space using their arms to act out swimming. Pirates may also do jumping jacks, hop on one foot, or anything else which they need to practice.
Occupational therapy sessions may make a sensory box with pirate treasures within it. Kids can use a pirate hook finger to work on fine motor skills. Use gold coins, plastic gems, and other pirate gear to hide things on a map that they must find within the box.
To tie in with home, therapists can send home pirate tie-ins that they can practice. Be sure to include directions so multilingual families will be able to participate. Pirate fun ideas may include a map that they can fill out together.