Although Pirates are perhaps not the best role models for young children, they still hold a certain fascination. Perhaps it's the adventuring at sea and the hunting for buried treasure. For a child obsessed with anything pirates there is so much scope for crafting and imaginative pirate play.
Here you can see how to make a wonderful pirate island from a cardboard box, and this post is also a linky with lots of other great pirate ideas all in one place.
Paper plates are really versatile for crafting, here's how to make a paper plate pirate.
Here's a simple pirate hat, with free printable.
Most cardboard boxes with a lid can be adapted to make a treasure chest with a bit of paint. Fill with treasure - either traditional chocolate coins and jewellery or your child's own little treasures. I made my son a treasure box to keep his precious things out of reach of his baby sister.
Make a simple pirate sword from cardboard and tin foil.
The birthday party that I remember with most clarity from my childhood was a pirate party. We all dressed up of course, then we played games like musical islands (like musical chairs but standing on islands cut out from pieces of cardboard) and then tea was served in an enormous treasure chest made from a cardboard box. Here are some more brilliant pirate party ideas.
My son loves hunting for and finding buried treasure, like this sandpit treasure hunt.
Use an old kitchen roll tube (longer than a toilet roll tube) to make a telescope and go around the house or garden to see what you can see. It's easy to play pirates in the house, you just need a sofa for the boat, and if you have a baby or toddler crawling about they can be the mermaid!
Make a treasure map. It's a good way to introduce your toddler to the concept of maps if X marks the spot where the chocolate coins are hidden!
Pirate fancy dress is easy - all you really need is a stripy top! Add to the outfit with a simple eyepatch, bandana and cardboard cutlass.
Pirate Pete's Potty: A Ladybird potty training book - Potty training isn't always the easiest time, so if you can make if more fun with a book that sparks your child's interest then so much the better!
That's Not My Pirate (Touchy-Feely Board Books) - This is one of the first books that we bought for our son, both babies and toddlers love the simple style and different textures in the books in this series.
Pirates! (Mini People Shape Books) - A lovely little pirate book.
Pete Bath Book NON-PVC Soft Cover - For bathtime pirate fun.
The Pirate House - A picture book for older toddlers, a story about a child's overactive imagination with all the key pirate elements!
There are all sorts of pirate toys available, from costumes to pirate ships, so I've tried to pick out a few that are a little bit more unusual!
Pirate Treasure - 60 Pieces - A fantastic set for treasure hunting.
Manhattan Toy Dress Up Pirate - Young children will love this cuddly pirate, with the added bonus that it will help teach your child some early dressing skills and develop their fine motor skills.
Jake and The Neverland Pirates Splashin Bucky Bath Toy - The bath is a natural place for pirate role-play, and this pirate boat set is perfect.
Wooden bendy Pirate Dolls - Anything can be a pirate ship or pirate island with this set of figures to bring it to life.
Yo Ho Ho! - Orchard Toys make some brilliant games for young children - both imaginative and excellent quality.