I wanted to come up with something fun for the last day with the girls before they went back to school. We also had some extra "campers" for the day, and I knew that I needed to keep them as busy as possible. So last minute, I threw together Pirate Day.
They dug for buried treasure in the sandbox. You know those flat marble-looking things that people decorate their flower vases with that you can get at the dollar store? That's what we used. Karlyn hid them for me while I distracted the rest of the kids. After they found their treasures, they buried them again! I think this is as crowded as our sandbox has ever been!
Another activity that we did but that didn't work out as well as I had hoped was our sinking ships. Earlier that morning I had filled an ice cube tray with water, added food coloring and stuck plastic wrap over it. Then I poked coffee stir straws in and stuck it all in the freezer. I made sails for the boats with card stock.
The problem was, I must have filled the tray too full because instead of having all different colored ice boats, they all looked brown and dingy from where all the colors ran together. They didn't really float in the water either, since the water table was too shallow. And the paper sails? I shouldn't have bothered. They were immediately worthless. But even though the activity didn't turn out they way I had hoped, the kids still had fun with it. They enjoyed watching the water turn colors and how quickly the ice cubes melted outside.
After a bit, I scooped the water out of the side compartment of the table and filled it with bubble solution. It was a good thing I had a lot of it, because it kept getting diluted mixing with the water. And I don't think it was that great to begin with. What they really seemed to enjoy was playing in the suds!
After a long time outside, we went in, got cleaned up, and had popcorn for a snack.
While they were all contained at the table, I set out our pirate craft to do. I had constructed pirate poppers earlier and they were ready to be decorated. I also had a bag for each of them to decorate to put all of their stuff in.
Basically, it's a toilet paper roll, balloon and tape. You tie off the balloon, cut the end off, and then stretch it over the roll and tape it. We used pom poms as our ammo. You may have seen this idea online as a marshmallow shooter, but I didn't want food all over the house, so we used something inedible and still safe to shoot around.
The day ended with a treasure hunt. Karlyn made maps for the kids to follow around the house. I made each of them a small treasure bag of candy, "treasure" from their dig earlier in the sandbox, and extra pom poms for their pirate poppers.
It was an exhausting day, but I think it went pretty darn well. All of the kids appeared to have a good time, and I had fun as well :)