Mother and Baby

Summer Holidays Activities For Kids: Build Your Own Pirate Ship

Start the holidays as you mean to go on – for free – and get creative with some sheets, chairs, laundry baskets and tea towels

Ahoy me hearties! There's no need to spend out on everything this summer - for an activity that will keep your toddler or pre–schooler occupied for a few hours this summer, either indoors or outdoors, try building a pirate ship den.

What you’ll need:

  • Chairs
  • Old bed sheets or blankets
  • Laundry dryer
  • Laundry basket
  • An old tie
  • Tea towels
  • Empty kitchen or toilet rolls
  • Black cardboard and string
  • Black eyeliner pencil
  • Plenty of imagination
  1. Position the chairs into an oval boat-shape, with the seats facing inwards.
  2. Lay the sheets over the chairs, so they drape down to the floor.
  3. Stand the laundry dryer in the middle of the chairs and drape a sheet over it – this will be your main sail.
  4. Using the tie, attach the laundry basket to one of the legs of the chairs – this will be your dinghy.
  5. Cut the cardboard into small ovals – big enough to cover your eye – and tie string to them. These will be your pirate eye patches.
  6. Drape a tea towel over you and your toddler’s head and fix with extra string for your pirate headscarf.
  7. Draw scars, beards and moustaches onto faces for a bit of extra pirate grittiness.
  8. Use the empty kitchen rolls as telescopes so you can search out buried treasure.


Imaginative play such as this is great for boosting your toddler’s creative skills. It also helps encourage language development, empathy and communication, and is great fun for your little one. Plus, you’ll hate to admit it, but you're pretty impressed with your own impression of Long John Silver…

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