Wet, rainy spring weekends call for fun indoor activities – especially those that use up even a fraction of kids’ seemingly endless supply of energy. To that end, I’ve found a couple of fun pirate-themed games that should keep everyone busy for at least a few hours; and the best part is that they are very inexpensive, if not free.

balance beam

credit: http://www.inlieuofpreschool.com

First up, the most obvious game – walk the plank! To construct the plank, you need a long plank of wood and two smaller identical blocks of wood. The plank should only be a few inches off the ground, so I recommend two short, sturdy pieces. Nail or join the two smaller pieces to either end of the long piece on the same side, and place on top of a blue sheet. Now you’re ready to walk – have each person walk across individually; if you fall off, you’re out! With each pass, make the walk a little bit harder, with challenges like walking backwards or sideways, being blindfolded, or adding in crazy arm movements.

My second suggestion, pirate battle, combines three of kids’ favorite things – cardboard boxes, arts and crafts, and throwing things! You need two large cardboard boxes (I find great ones behind big box stores and appliance stores) which everyone can help decorate to look like pirate ships, using craft paint, markers, a bit of fabric for a flag, and whatever else you want. There’s really no “wrong” way to decorate the ships, and the decorating itself could be its own activity. Once the two ships are ready, you just need cannonballs. For that, you could use crumpled up newspaper or aluminum foil, rolled up socks, or, if you want to spend a bit of money, small soft play balls.

credit: http://amandamedlin.com

Place the two “ships” a few feet apart, divide the “cannonballs” equally between the two ships, and let the battle begin! You can either set a timer, and whoever has the least amount of cannonballs in their ship when the time is up wins, or you can just have a free-for-all, and throw things at each other until everyone’s arms are tired. Either way, it will be a ton of fun!


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