Looking to run a "release" party for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie? Want some activities that are inexpensive but fun? Try these on for size!

Pirate's Code of Honour

- chart paper
- markers

Every pirate ship had a code of honour to ensure that all pirates were treated fairly. This can become a "room rules" chart to introduce the importance of respect and fair play during the program. Have the kids contribute ideas, and add the important library rules that have been missed.

1) Captain Jack Mask (30 mins)

You need:
- stiff paper/thin cardboard (beige folders work nicely)
- beads and buttons
- markers
- scissors
- yarn
- construction paper cut into the shape of a pirate hat
- a straw

1) Cut an oval shape from the stiff paper, roughly the size of the wearer's face. Make two eye holes
2) Cut a length of yarn, long enough to be braided as dreadlocks using the beads and buttons
3) Glue the yarn on
4) Glue the pirate hat on
5) Attach the straw at the base of the mask

2) Treasure Chest (30 mins)


Popsicle sticks
Styrofoam plates/Paper plates
White glue

1) Glue the popsicle sticks together, arranging the layers into squares.
2) To make the bottom or top of the chest, glue the popsicle sticks into a criss-cross pattern
3) This activity can also become "make your own wooden pirate ship"

3) The Pirate Ship Competition (45 - 60 minutes)

You need:

- masking tape
- styrofoam plates (previously used for meat packets work!)
- straws
- cardboard
- newspapers, construction paper, and any other materials available at hand
- a sink that you can fill with water
- pennies or other materials to be used as weights
- a small prize

Distribute these to children, who have been previously divided into teams. They are to work together for 30 minutes to build the boat that can hold the most weight. Don't forget that every pirate ship needs a flag and a name as well. This activity builds leadership skills.

4) Maps and Charts

- chart paper
- markers/crayons/pencils

Explain to program participants how important charts were to pirates. Have the children scope out your library or community centre, and make a map. Each group can practice guiding other groups around the library/centre according to the map.

5) Design your own Pirate Flag

-white paper
- markers/other colouring tools
- photocopies of previous pirate flags

Pirates throughout the Golden Age of Piracy had their own take on the Jolly Roger. Get the children to examine samples and create their own!