Plan a Pirate Theme for your Preschool! Activities, Ideas & Suggestions

Appealing to the imagination of children can be a beautiful event to experience. With your help, the children can be exposed to a new world, the world of imagination. You will teach them how to live in a world that they themselves can create with their minds. In this world, they will actually make up the rules as they go along or they can have no rules at all.

Their world or their creative kingdom is one where they can learn, too. If you are able to incorporate yourself into their utopian universe, you can teach them about many subjects. You can guide them while they play, even teaching them about pirates.

Prior Knowledge: Before beginning the lesson, have the students answer questions like:

  • Do you know what a pirate is?
  • Do you know what a treasure chest is?
  • Do you know what a map is?

After you receive their responses, be prepared to show them a photo that will give them a visual of what the answer should be for each question.

The Pirate Book


Pirates are a great topic for children of all age groups. They can become pirates and learn the pirate language such when to use the word "Ar!" Children can also learn the mannerisms of pirates. I know of a great book that will have your students requesting repeat readings: How I Became a Pirate written by Melinda Long and illustrated by David Shannon. This addictive little book on pirates will take your class into a world within a world, leading them in play tactics using their imaginations. This book will definitely become one of their favorites.

The book How I Became a Pirate is one that has colorful illustrations and catch phrases that the children will simply adore. Among the numerous reviews given to this work of art, one stuck out because it is from a learning institution. Here is a portion of their review:

"A must-have for your classroom. Children’s books do not get much better than this. Reviewed by the Education Oasis Staff"

Reading this book with an overemphasis on some of the more exciting parts and accentuating the pirate language will bring amusement to your children. After reading the book, you can have a quick discussion with them about the book. Reviewing the book with them will prove they understood what was read.

This review is the perfect time to give your students a preview of the activities and crafts that are ahead of them. It is the best time to rehearse one or two of the pirate phrases for fun when they go on their pirate adventure.

Please continue to page two for the activities and assessment for the preschool pirate theme.


  • Spyglass TelescopeMaterials: Empty paper towel tubes, colorful construction paper, scissors, and glue or tape. Instructions: Use one color of construction paper to cover the paper towel tube. Use a one to one and a half inch piece of another color on the end opposite of the eye. Have the children help cover and glue the materials onto the telescope.
  • Pirate PatchMaterials: Black felt fabric, scissors, 1/4 inch silky or satin black ribbon, and black construction paper. Instructions: Cut out the eye patch from the fabric or construction paper. Cut a hole through the patch. Thread the ribbon through each hole in the patch, and tie at the back of the child’s head.
  • Treasure Chest Materials: Large shoebox, brown and gold construction paper, glue, toy coins, plastic beaded necklaces, plastic rings, stapler, candy of various types including miniature chocolates and hard candies, and other trinkets. Instructions: Cover the shoebox with brown construction paper. Cut at least twelve one-inch golden or yellow strips of construction paper, and glue them down on the back, bottom, and front of the box. Staple one or two pieces of brown construction paper over the top of the box; this should resemble a loop or large tunnel. It needs to be stapled to the front from the inside flap, then folded in a half loop that should be open. Staple it to the back from the inside of the box. Use more of the golden strips to connect in the same pattern as before. Cut one of the strips in half and use for handles on each side. Cut out what should resemble a lock and glue in the front of the chest. Fill the box with all of the goodies.
  • Sword: Materials: Gray spray paint, cardboard, black construction paper, scissors, glue, and (optionally) stickers. Instructions: Spray the cardboard and let dry. Cut out the swords with a handle from the cardboard paper about six inches in length. Cover the handles with black construction paper. Have the children help to cover their swords. Help them put their names on them.
  • Bandanas or Scarves – Have the children bring one from home and tie them on their heads.
  • Ship – Use a very large piece of paper to draw a ship, but do not make the ship too elaborate. Tape the ship onto small chairs, long enough to for the back of five chairs.
  • Map – Draw a map of your classroom with key places or landmarks the children will recognize. Draw this map to lead to the treasure chest.

Treasure Hunt – Have the children dress up in their pirate gear. Have them use some of the pirate language while everyone follows the map to the buried treasure. You can "bury" the treasure outside or in another classroom. You will actually teach them how to read a map with this activity. While in the ship, have them use their swords when they say words like "Ar." Have them pretend all at once to swab the deck when you say. Alas, have fun finding the matey’s treasure chest.

You can end your pirate adventure by finding the treasure chest full of goodies that is fun for any boy or girl pirate!


Assessment: After your class has had their fun hunting for treasure, you can quiz them on what they have learned. Ask them if they like being a pirate. Ask them what is a map. You can ask the children any other questions that will help to reiterate what they have learned from this lesson plan.

In summary, this preschool lesson plan on pirates send an important message to them. This lesson should teach them that your imagination is a awesome way to learn. The pirate theme for preschoolers will help them learn how to read a map. Reading the map will take them to a wonderful chest full of pirate’s booty. Once you see their eyes light up after opening the chest, you will know that your collective experience is priceless.