There Be Pirates!

There Be Pirates!

After lots of ‘walking the plank’ games outdoors & some spontaneous pirate-map-making, I thought the children would enjoy a few pirates visiting Nursery.

Here are a few of the things we have experienced…


Treasure Hunt

Treasure & matching cards…

Treasure Hunt with Matching Cards from Rachel (",)


Pirates & Princesses in the Small World

Pirates and Princesses from Rachel (",)

Pirates and Princesses from Rachel (",)


Fine-Motor Fun

‘Storing’ the Treasure

– well, threading it onto cocktail sticks 😉

Pirates: Threading 'treasure' onto cocktail sticks - fine motor fun from Rachel (",)

Opening Padlocks

A tricky task, but they enjoyed it!

Pirates: Unlocking padlocks for the treasure chests - from Rachel (",)

Treasure Map ‘Tracing’ with Stickers

Peeling stickers is great for fine motor skills. They absolutely loved this!

Tracing a treasure map with stickers. Fine motor fun from Rachel ,

Tracing a treasure map with stickers. Fine motor fun from Rachel (",)


Pirate Maths

Counting & Sorting

Pirate Maths Fun from Rachel (",)

Pirate Maths Fun from Rachel (",)

Weighing the Treasure

Pirates: Weighing the treasure - from Rachel (",)

Pirates: Weighing the treasure - from Rachel (",)


Pirate Dough

Dough, coins, beads, jewels, feathers, swords (cocktail sticks) & pirates!

Pirate Dough Enhancements from Rachel (",)

Pirate Dough from Rachel (",)


Pirates in the Water Tray

A tray full of shells with a boat & some pirates. I also added some numbered corks…

Pirates in the Water Tray from Rachel (",)

Pirates in the Water Tray from Rachel (",)


Mark Making with ‘Parrot’ Feathers

I provided my pattern cards (downloadable from this post) to inspire some early handwriting ideas…

Pirate fun - mark making in sand with 'parrot' feathers (free printable pattern cards) from Rachel (",)

Pirate fun - mark making in sand with 'parrot' feathers from Rachel (",)


Mirror Box Treasures

This is the larger of my simple mirror box (yes, I have two – greedy!). I put some agate slices & gem stones in the basket to pattern with…

Patterns on the Mirror Box with Rock Treasures from Rachel (",)

You can see how to make the mirror box here.


Panning for Gold

Gold pebbles, shells & small stones hidden in the sand, for the children to ‘fish’ out with gold scoops…

Pirate fun - hunting for gold - from Rachel (",)


Map Making

Simple materials provided for this…

Treasure Map-Making Basket from Rachel (",)

Pirate Maps, Messages and Mark Making from Rachel (",)


Chalk and Water  Treasure Maps

Creating and ‘hiding’ treasure maps with chalk and water was fun…

Pirates: Creating and 'hiding' treasure maps with chalk and water - from Rachel (",)


Light Box

I made a simple gel bag with a piece of plastic, cheap hair gel (15p a pot from Tesco), sequins & stars…

Gel Bag on the lightbox from Rachel (",)


Walking the Plank!

Pirates Walk the Plank - from Rachel (",)

What a busy week! Am shattered & really ready for the holiday, but still 4 days to go until we break up…

Thanks for reading!

.Don’t forget that you can also find me on Facebook,  Twitter &  Pinterest.  I’d love you to come & say hello! 🙂 

– Rachel (“,)


Montessori Monday Link-Up


  1. Fantastic post as always, your ideas are inspirational! But I have to ask where you find all those pirates , princesses, bones , skulls and those beautiful gold scoops? Do you have books you would recommend? Thanks for sharing x

    • I’ve been collecting small world figures for years! Some of these pirates belong to school & some are mine, bought from private sellers on eBay.
      The bones & skulls were bought in a Tesco sale after Halloween a few years ago – they were necklaces that I took apart.
      The scoops were from a Chinese warehouse in Manchester.
      I love the Alistair Bryce Clegg books!
      Hope that helps! Thanks for your lovely comment x

  2. Fantastic. We started a topic on pirates last week and with your ideas will continue. Knew the skulls and bones would come in useful from Halloween. You are so inventive. xx

    • I don’t know why I haven’t used my skull & crossbones for pirates before! It seems so obvious, doesn’t it?! Good old Halloween sale stuff 😉 xx

  3. Absolutely amazing as usual! What an inspiration you are! Lucky children in your class! :))

    • Thank you so much for that lovely comment, Janet! 😀

  4. Hi Rachel

    I love your mirror boxes and think they would be a great resource in my Reception classroom. However, some of my children are quite destructive and I am worried that they would break them. Is the glass you use breakable and have you ever had any problems with breakages?

    I would like to use mirrors more generally in the environment but again am worried about breakages.

    Happy holidays and thank you so much for all your inspiring posts. I always look forward to reading them on a Saturday.


    • Hi Alison, I’ve never had a problem with any of the mirrors being broken in my classroom. The ones the children actually get their hands on are completely covered on the back with with masking tape or gaffer tape – you can see that in this post

      The standing ones aren’t though – as I’d have to take them apart to put tape on, but the children know that they have to be careful with them.
      If you are really worried about it, you could always use acrylic mirrors (although the reflection isn’t the same & they scratch much more easily).

      I have had one glass jar break in 8 years, but because the children were ‘trained’, they stepped back (after lots of gasping!! 😉 ) & came to find me. No-one was injured.

      Hope that helps a little! x

  5. Fantastic ideas , thanks for sharing

    • You’re welcome!


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