Pirate Storytime

Yo, ho, ho ya scurvy dogs! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is tomorrow, September 19th! To celebrate, the Sunday Storytime was everything pirates! We talked like pirates, read books about pirates, sang pirate sea shantys, and dressed up like pirates– eye patch and all! ARRR!!!!

Pirate Storytime Line-Up:

How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, illustrated by David Shannon

A favorite book among children and pirates alike! It was also a great introduction into how to talk like a pirate. After the story was over I introduced a few phrases listed below and we practiced aloud as a group. All phrases and definitions were found and modified from Talk Like A Pirate.

Avast!– Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise.

Aye– “Why yes, I agree most heartly with everything you just said or did.”

Aye, aye!– “I’ll get right on that sir!”

Arrr!– Can mean, variously, “yes”, “I agree”, “I’m happy”, “My team is going to win it all”, “I enjoy reading this book”, and “That was a clever remark you or I just made”.

Jolly Roger– a pirate’s flag including white skull and crossbones over a black field

Seadog– old pirate or sailor

Thar she blows!– whale sighting

Yo, Ho, Ho!– cheerful exhortation to demand attention

Port Side Pirates by Debbie Harter, illustrated by Oscar Seaworthy

I thought I would try to sing a couple pirate sea shanties with the kids, but when I started to look a few up they were… er… not quite appropriate for storytime. Even this Disney version– yikes! But this book sung to the tune above work out extremely well.

Pirate Song

I came across this flannel board from the blog In The Children’s Room and was so happy I did! It was the perfect addition to Sunday’s Pirate Storytime! It goes like this…

Pirate Song (Sung to “This Old Man”) via Work of Heart

This old pirate, has a hat
Where a skull and crossbones sat.
With an Ar, Ar, Ar, and an Ay Matey!
This old pirate sailed the sea.
This old pirate had a patch
Sailed the sea without a scratch.
With an Ar, Ar, Ar and an Ay Matey!
This old pirate sailed the sea.

Additonal Verses:

This old pirate has a hook, uses it to hold a book.
This old pirate has a map, keeps it handy in his lap.
This old pirate has a bird, barely knows a single word.
This old pirate has a ship, travels the world in a single trip.
This old pirate looking for treasure, more than anyone can measure!

Started out with this old pirate decorated with only a few mere pirate accessories…

…And then continued to add on items with each verse.

This flannel was so fun. It was stressful creating it at the last minute (Sunday morning), but it all came together in the end. All of these flannel pieces are my own except the ship. I used this ship template from Rovingfiddlehead Kid Lit.

Pajama Pirates by Andrew Kramer, illustrated by Leslie Lammle

For our last Pirate Storytime book, I read a new picture book with lovely illustrations about three siblings and their fantastic pre-bedtime pirate adventure.


You ain’t a pirate if you don’t have an eye patch and a trusty parrot!

I pre-made eyepatches for each storytimer to tie around their head after storytime and then they made their very own parrots to perch on their shoulders.

Materials used: Black foam sheets, black yarn, colored cardstock, feathers, glue, scissors, googly eyes, and tape.

For the eye patch,  I used these instructions found on About.com as a general guideline. Since I wanted a slightly larger patch, I drew one free hand on the foam, cut it out, and then used that as a stencil for the remaining eye patches.

Cut out your patch/patches. After they are cut, carefully using scissors or an exacto knife, make small slits on each side.

Cut a piece of black yarn slightly bigger than the eye patch wearer’s head. For the storytime kids, I cut 16 in. strands.

Thread the strand through the slit.

So that it looks like so.

Fit by placing the patch on the eye and then tying the ends to the back of the wearer’s head.

AVAST! Now… for the parrot!

Using this template I found on Family Fun, I printed out parrot figures on red and green cardstock.

And cut them out. That was all the prep. ARRR!

After storytime and after the kids afixed their eye patches to their faces, they went on to decorating their very own pirate parrot using crayons…

…Googley eyes

…and feathers. Lots of feathers!

“Polly wanna cracker?”

Bend the tab on the line marked “A” and tape to child’s shoulder.

Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! It’s a pirate’s life for ME!


13 Responses to “Pirate Storytime”

  1. Elizabeth St. Laurent says:


    I really want to do this shoulder parrot craft. I am just having a really hard time locating the template. I have combed the Family Fun printables website, and it doesn’t seem to be there. If you could help me find it, I would really appreciate it! I am trying to do this craft tomorrow for the kids at the local children’s hospital here.

    • Rebecca says:

      Shoot!! I can’t seem to find it either. I know we have a copy at my old library, but you need it asap it sounds like. My only last minute suggestion is to copy the photo from this blog post into a blank document, scale to the size you’d like it, print it out, and trace your own pattern from it. Sorry about that! Good luck!

  2. leah says:

    trying to find the parrot printable but the link is just bringing me to the main page and not the project. searched and couldn’t find it either. do you know where to find it? Thanks!

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi Leah! Unfortunately, you are not the first to have this problem. The template was on the old Babble website and after the redesign it is no longer available. I wish I would have saved a PDF! Your best bet is to use a different template like this one. Good luck!

  3. Laura says:

    I used the Wayback machine at archive.org to find the parrot picture.

    Not all websites are archived but I’ve had good luck finding pictures and website addresses that are no longer valid but still in my bookmarks. You might have to try several different years or months to find the correct page you are looking for.

    • Rebecca says:

      NICE WORK LAURA!!!! I’ve had so many people emailing me the past few weeks about this craft and have even created a parrot template for a couple that were unsure how to go about doing so. And of course, everyone wants the template that was used and not something else. Oy! I will link this PDF to the post now. Thank you so much!

  4. Casey says:

    Thank you for your contribution for my Pirate Day!!


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  4. […] I started out with my usual opening song–“If You Want to Hear a Story.” Then, we went through a few pirate jokes; What’s a pirate’s favorite letter? “Aarrr,” of course! What’s a pirate’s favorite store? Taarrrrget! What’s a pirate’s favorite movie? Staaaarrrrr Waaarrrrs! Etc. Then, we sang a song I found at Sturdy for Common Things: […]

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