A Pirate’s Life for Me

Ahoy Matey Pirate Theme 2015

In our Pirate theme this month we had some fun with motor planning, following directions, referencing others, and teamwork.

We started the day with a pirate story, a pirate song, and playing pretend pirate ship.  These activities helped our children develop attention and listening skills and regulation with auditory stimuli and singing.

We played pirate dress-up and “pirate treasure adventure” – with an obstacle course, in which our little pirates sailed on a pirate ship, climbed a rope ladder, rode the zip line, and walked the “plank” balance beam. The Kinder groups created a map to find pirate treasures to bring back to the treasure chest. Through these pirate adventures we worked on following directions, symbolic play, turn-taking and waiting, safety and spatial awareness. July 29 D

Next, we worked on fine motor skills, creative play, and social participation with the “my treasure chest” craft. Children decorated their treasure chests with “gold” and “jewels.”

The kids collected small treasures from “hidden treasure sensory bins,” increasing their tolerance to tactile input and increasing regulation.

Arrrrrr You Hungry? Kids ate “gold,” “jewels” and “treasure” (pirate booty and fruit snacks) and “boats” (celery and orange slices). During snack they worked on tool use (fork and spoon), requesting, reciprocal interaction, and increased food tolerance and variety.

Things you can do at home:

  • Pirate Dress-up: a fun way to practice self-care and dressing themselves
  • Create a treasure map and build an obstacle course: helps children organize creative play ideas in their head into a plan of action
  • Treasure chest crafts: build fine motor skills through cutting, gluing and touching materials. Creating art as a family can help develop kids’ confidence and self-esteem.
  • Sensory bins: a great activity for children with sensitivities to tactile input! Sensory bins are a fun way to motivate kids to try touching sand.
  • Snack time: children with sensory, attention, or feeding challenges sometimes need to play with their food in order to master eating. Here are some tips:
    • Have at least one food on the table that your child already loves.
    • Present food in a fun way. For example, use creative placemats and turn food into symbols, such as “pirate ships and pirates.”
    • Family members can model how to eat the food – the sillier the better.
    • Celebrate the fact that your child is tolerating the sight and smell of a new food, even when he or she won’t touch or eat it.
    • Don’t be afraid to get messy!
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