Ever since Disney released “The Little Mermaid” when I was 8 I’ve been hooked…and my littles love to play pirates so I knew with summer coming up a “pirates and mermaids” theme was a must-do in our house! Dive in with us this week as we hunt for treasure and find mermaid magic under the waves! Tip: My littles are more into pirates so my plans lean a bit more in that direction- if your little is more into mermaids just present all of the treasure activities as sunken mermaid treasure instead of pirate treasure!
–Sea shell sort: I gave my little a variety of sea shells and asked him to sort them into two piles- the big sea shells and the small ones.
–Mermaid/sea king crown: I gave my little a cut out of a crown (my preschooler did his own cutting) and had him decorate it with plastic jewels (I placed wet glue on the crown and had him stick the jewels on- older children can do their own gluing). After the gems were dry, I taped a strip of paper to the back of the crown so that it fit his head and let him wear it to play.
–Sequin mermaid tail: These are so easy to do and turn out so pretty! Just print a picture of Ariel or any other mermaid, then have your little glue sequins to her tail to make it shine like real scales!
–Mermaid and pirate dress up/imaginary play: We busted out all of our pirate gear and I drew beards and mustaches on my littles with a liquid eyeliner pen. Then we spent the morning having epic swashbuckling adventures lead by their little imaginations and my spot on pirate accent! hahaha You could also do a mermaid princess dress up and play day!
-Shape pirate ship: I gave my littles the shapes they’d need to make a pirate ship then gave them oral instructions on how to glue them together. I made sure to use shape and color words to help build their shape and color recognition skills.
–Treasure hunt: I hid a bunch of plastic gold coins we had on hand from St. Patrick’s Day around our house while my littles hid in the playroom. Then when I was done I had them come hunt for the coins. They had so much fun we did this several times- and then they hid the coins for me to find which they thought was even MORE fun! LoL If you don’t have plastic gold coins on hand, chocolate coins work great too!
–Sunken treasure sensory play: I made foam by using my hand mixer to whip a splash of water with a good healthy squirt of dish soap (about 1/4 cup of each…I honestly didn’t measure! LoL) and some blue and green food coloring. If you have a whisk attachment, it’s a lot quicker, but if not the regular beaters work fine too! Then I put treasure like plastic jewels, bead necklaces, and plastic gold coins in the bottom of a cake pan and covered them with the foam. I let my littles hunt for the treasure in the pan- and we discovered the necklaces (and our hands) made fun bubble wands!
–P is for pirate letter hunt: I gave my little this “P is for Pirate” letter hunt page and showed him what the letter P looks like. Then I had him find the other P’s and mark them with a gold do-a-dot marker.
- plastic jewels
- liquid eyeliner
- pirate costume pieces (hats, eye patches, beads)
- several shells of different sizes
- plastic coins
- bead necklackes
- cake pan
- dish soap
- hand mixer
- large blanket