This simple printable preschool game is a great way to get your littlest landlubbers practicing their numbers and developing gross motor skills.Did you know that September 19th is Interational Talk Like a Pirate Day? Sometimes I wonder who in the world decided we even need a “talk like a pirate” day. At least it gives me an excuse make up fun and silly games to play with my kids.
This summer Little Man went to a summer day camp run by a few of the teenage boys in our neighborhood. One of the days was pirate-themed, and he loved it so much that I decided to make it one of our home preschool themes shortly thereafter.We did the typical treasure hunts and walking the plank, but then I came up with this “Land Ho!” game. It’s simple enough that both of my boys could actually play and they LOVED it.
Read on to learn how to play, and get your own free printable treasure map!
Counting and Gross Motor Preschool Game
What we’re learning:
- number identification
- gross motor skills
- Treasure map game board (FREE printable available below)
- A pretend boat (we used a laundry basket, but a box or even a blanket could work)
- Some “treasure” (pennies, plastic gems/coins, yellow paper cut-outs, etc.)
- Explain that you have a treasure map for your child, and that he/she will need to visit six different islands to collect all the treasure. On each island, your child will need to do the action of that island in order to collect the treasure.
- Give your child the map, and have them get in their “boat.”
- Have your child roll the die, and look at the map to see what island corresponds to the number rolled. (e.g. – #1 is “jumping island”). You will likely have to help him/her read the map.
- Have your child shout “Land ho! I see ___________ island!” You child can then jump out of the boat and do the action for whichever island he/she landed on.
- When they’ve completed the action, give them a piece of treasure (we put ours in a little treasure box we have, but you can use anything, even a plastic sandwich bag.
- Repeat steps #3-5 until your child has “visited” all the islands. If he rolls the same number twice, he still has to do the action to get off the island (otherwise the natives will hold him captive…or something), but he doesn’t collect more treasure.
- Once your child has completed the game, you can sing your favorite sea chantey to celebrate. Yo ho!
Ready to play?DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PRINTABLE GAME MAP HERE
A final note: If you have more than one child playing, you can make it a competitive or a cooperative game. We played cooperatively, where the boys took turns rolling and collected their treasure together. However, you could pit them against each other and see who can visit all 6 islands first and collect 6 pieces of treasure!
Want more fun pirate activities? Here are some more of our favorites:
- Read How I Became a Pirate and Shiver Me Letters (affiliate links)
- Design your very own pirate hat
- Print some pirate paper puppets for pretend play
- Make some apple/cheese pirate ships for a healthy snack
I regularly link up here.