From the iconic peg legs and squawking parrots to their distinctive vernacular, pirates have made their mark on our culture – and have a popular role in children’s fantasy and play. Sept. 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so in that spirit, here are some toys, games and costumes that will spark kids’ imagination and bring out their inner Blackbeard.
Aye, no pirate costume is complete without the definitive captain’s hat. Skip cheap plastic or synthetics and go for this authentic-looking felt tri-corner. Whether for a Halloween costume or just everyday pirate make-believe, your kid will look like a real swashbuckler with this cap! Also comes with cool felt hook. Get yours from arainydayplay on Etsy for $12.
In this skill game for children as young as 3, players stack cargo onto a wobbly pirate ship, trying not to knock over the piled-up plunder. Each turn, the player rolls a die that determines what type of cargo to load onto the boat. The ship is made of bamboo and the cargo is colored with all-natural dyes. Buy one at Growing Tree Toys for $39.95.
A pirate’s most prized possession is her treasure, so it has to be kept under lock and key! This treasure chest (with a working locking skull latch) by Melissa & Doug comes with a pile of gold doubloons, an eye patch and a Jolly Roger flag to let other sailors know you mean business. For ages 6 and up, snag the set on Amazon for $23.
Batten down the hatches and turn your kid’s bedroom wall into a unique pirate storybook scene. The non-abrasive stickers can be applied to most any flat surface and can be removed and replaced on the wall many times over. Make scenes of Captain Sam with his ship and crew, a number of sea creatures, different-size waves and a chest of sunken treasure. Get the set from lovemaestore on Etsy for $105.
You don’t even need your sea legs to take a voyage on this ship. This easy setup pop tent by The Pop Up Company is ideal for exciting make-believe adventures. Pretend it’s an old creaking vessel with the skull-and-crossbones flag flapping in the wind. Tent folds into a bag for easy storage and travel. Buy yours on Amazon for $56.99.
A great toy for a blossoming buccaneer-to-be! This colorful and cute pirate dress-up doll by Manhattan Toy has a button, snap, zipper and shoelace to enhance fine motor skills in your baby or toddler. Find one on babitha.com for $22.49.
This deceptively simple pirate-themed game by Out of the Box Publishing actually involves quite a bit of strategy. Up to three players make their way across the board, rolling dice and moving their band of pirate figures to collect treasure and bring it back to their side. Strategy comes into play when players must decide to attack their opponents or focus on acquiring treasure. For ages 8 and up. Grab yours on Amazon for $17.85.
Two pirates have set out to sea with a treasure chest of spoils. But their raft has been attacked by the Kraken – the vicious squid monster of pirate lore! Kids 5 and up will enjoy constructing the set then playing out scenes with the pirates and Kraken. For ages 6-12. Buy the set and others for $19.99 from the LEGO Pirates series on Toywiz.