Posted: Sep 11, 2014 5:00 AM
 
National Talk Like a Pirate Day might make for some eye-rolling business meetings, but little pirates are too adorable not to celebrate. From crafts to snacks, try our tips for an easy but fun pirate play date.
Photo credit: Alistair Berg/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Raid your playroom for easy decorLego set

Make like a pirate and plunder the toy box to prep for the play date. While you're doing a quick clean-up and setting up the craft table, enlist your kids to put together Jake's Pirate Ship Bucky (LEGO Store, $40). The Duplo set targets ages 2 to 5, so many preschoolers will be able to complete the project with minimal supervision. When it's finished, Bucky will make a perfect centerpiece for the snack table.

Craft your own pirate gearPirate hat

Supply pirate hats for your play date guests and let them customize them during craft time. The Darice Foamies 3-D Pirate Hat is the perfect choice for a pirate craft (Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store, $5). A skull and crossbones design is already on the hat, so even non-crafters can become fierce pirates. For pirates who want a personalized hat, Darice Foam Pirate Stickers are easy to apply — even for little fingers (Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store, $3).

Provide alternate activities

Puzzle

Play dates, even meticulously planned ones, can be overwhelming for some children. Melissa & Doug's Pirate Booty Floor Puzzle is a simple alternate activity for a child or a few children who need time to ease into the planned action (Toys R Us, $13).

Book

Even a few books about pirates — we love Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long — can help kids feel like part of the play date while feeling out the situation (Barnes and Noble, $16).

Pirate-opoly

If your play date includes school-aged pirates, consider offering a board game table. Pirate-Opoly is designed for two to four players (Amazon.com, $12). Kids around 5 will be able to play on their own, though there are small pieces that can be a choking hazard for little ones.

Snack like a pirate

Pirate booty

As silly as it may seem, Pirate's Booty is a pirate play date dream snack. Kids love it, and it fits perfectly with the theme. The rice and corn puffs are mom-friendly, too. All Pirate Brand products are produced in a nut-free facility, so peanut-allergy moms can be comfortable with the packaged snack. They're gluten free and don't contain any artificial colors or preservatives, making Pirate's Booty a yummy treat that fits a lot of dietary restrictions (Amazon.com, $24 for 24 bags).

Balance the savory snack with a bit of fruit. You don't need to abandon the pirate theme for this portion of the snack. Melon balls and grapes can be called cannonballs, and frozen banana slices are a sweet but nutritious stand-in for gold doubloons.

Send your pirates on a treasure huntTreasure hunt

Little pirates will love to search for treasure with a pirate scavenger hunt. You can create your own with a little bit of planning, but Paper Fox Design has saved you the trouble with the Pirate Treasure Scavenger Hunt Printable (Etsy.com, $7). You can personalize with your favorite pirate's name, and the store has coordinating materials if you want to add additional printed pirate gear.

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