My son loves imagining that he is a pirate and we have lots of fun in the boats he’s been making, sailing across the stormy oceans to find treasure. So I’ve put together these 10 Pirate themed wellbeing activities for kids, encouraging our little pirates to find a little calm.
A great way to connect with kids and teach them important life skills, like emotional regulation and self awareness is to make them fun and include something they are interested in. When you add fun, the work gets done! In the wellbeing activities below you’ll find opportunities for kids to practice gratitude, positive imagery, breathwork and other fun calming strategies. So anchors away, lets set sail for some calm, relaxation and happy feelings!!
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Anchors Away! – 10 Pirate Themed Wellbeing Activities
1. Ocean in a Bottle – A Calming Sensory Activity
I have seen this activity popping up everywhere, but hadn’t tried it until we started to think about Pirate themed activities. Great thing is it’s really quick and easy plus there’s just three ingredients. Just add oil (I used baby oil), water and food colouring into a bottle. Mix them together and Bam! It’s a great little activity and its pretty mesmerizing to watch. Great for a moment of calm.
2. Treasure Island Holiday – Imagery Activity
Pirates love to take a holiday every now and again and they always head to their own private treasure island. It’s a calm and relaxing place filled with all the things that make them feel happy and full of joy.
Why don’t we try and create our own treasure island? Firstly close your eyes, take a pirate breath and think about your island.
- What does it look like?
- Can you smell anything nice?
- What things can you feel?
- Are you on the beach or in a tree house?
- What can you hear?
- Are you near the water?
- Finally what can you taste and what delicious treats do you have on your island?
Now draw or write a story (or both) about your treasure island.
3. Pirate Breaths – Breath Work Activity
Pirate Breaths aka falling out breath is a great way to release physical tension in your body. We will practice taking in a big inhale and release our breath with a ‘pirate’ sigh. This sigh signals to the body that you are safe and you can relax. If we start to relax the nervous system and release tension in the body, we find a positive relaxing effect in the mind as well.
Why are pirates so calm in a storm? Because they ARRRRgghhh. Today we are going to practice pirate breaths and use our special pirate sigh to relax our bodies and minds. Pirates may look like a fearless bunch, but just like anybody else they can feel scared, worried and sad sometimes.
Like when there is a big storm at sea they may feel scared or when they bury their treasure they might worry that someone else will find it . But pirates have a secret pirate skill to help them, the pirate breath.
1) Take in a big breath and imagine you are digging deep down for treasure with your breath.
2) As you exhale, let out a big, ‘AaaARrRrRGGgGGhhhh’. Add in some arm movement if you like.
3) Try this breath two more times. Makes sure your pirate sigh is loud and long.
4. My Treasure Chest – Gratitude Activity
Print out the worksheet included in our Pirate Breaths printable activity or make your own treasure chest box and fill with notes, pictures or reminders of things you are grateful for. We created a treasure jar.
Ask the children to draw, write or talk about what are the treasures in their lives? This could be people, animals, things, nature, food, music etc anything they like. Finally, Print off our free poster and talk about the idea that…..
“Not all treasure is silver and gold.”Pirates of the Caribbean.
5. Go On a Treasure Hunt – Distraction and Movement Activity
Practice your pirate skills and go on a treasure hunt. Treasure hunts can be a great distraction and a great way to get the body moving. Maybe you could go on a colour hunt and find something in every colour of the rainbow. Inside, outside or online this is a great activity.
6. Listen to the Ocean – Mindful Listening
Head to the beach, close your eyes and listen to the ocean. If you can’t make the trip then just pop on an ocean sounds track. You’ll find lots on youtube.
7. Make a Sand Tray – Mindful Senses
Use a tray and fill with sand. Then add lots of pirate themed items, like shells, coins, costume jewellery or glass pebbles. Have a good look around your house you’ll be surprised what you will find. Add them to the sand tray and then let little hands play. Encourage children to use their senses to explore each object in detail.
8. Pirates have feelings too – Emotions are like waves!
Remind children that pirates experience all sorts of emotions just like you. Emotions and feelings are like waves. Some are small and gentle, some big and wild and all are ok to experience. It’s just important we learn to be captains of our own ships and learn to sail the waves in ways that are good for us.
9. Create a Cozy Pirate Den – A Safe Place
Time to get cosy! Make a comfy calm corner. Add a few pirate books, your ocean sensory bottle, Pirate breaths activity, gratitude treasure jar and our free pirate quote poster. Print off our free feelings cards too and have a feelings check in.
I hope that your little pirates enjoy trying out these activities and practicing their wellbeing skills. If you’d like to try out anymore breathwork with kids then check out our other breathing activities.
I’d love to hear if you use any of the activities, Take Care Emma x