5 Pirate Outdoor Loose Parts Activities for the EYFS

A-Hoy me hearties! Looking for some new Pirate outdoor activities for your little ones to get hooked on? This blog brings you a treasure trove of activity ideas using simple outdoor loose parts. From imaginative play to physical development, there are a range of ways little ones can explore the Pirates topic. Read on for more!

1. Walk the plank

Spark excitement with your little ones and create a pirate themed obstacle course! Add planks onto crates or tyres to create a raised platform for children to balance across. Why not add a tuff tray filled with water or slime below the plank for children to avoid!

Your little ones can practice their balance as they make their way across the plank avoiding the “sea” below! Why not further test their physical development and add small obstacles onto the plank for children to step over? Or add a classic pirate eye patch and see how children will adapt!

2. Build a pirate ship

Outdoor loose parts provide the perfect blank canvas for activities. Why not use various objects such as crates, planks and tyres to create a giant pirate ship! Crates could be used as seats complete with oars made of sticks, a plank off the side of the boat, a pile of tyres as a watch tower and of course a pirate flag!

This outdoor activity will encourage your little ones to work in teams, building their social and communication skills.

3. Go on a treasure hunt!

Using gems, gold coins and various silver utensils, children can go on their very own pirate treasure hunt! These items could be hidden in sand filled tuff trays requiring fine motor skills to hunt them out. Or hidden around your setting with a treasure map to find them all!

4. Fishing

What better way to get into the mindset of a pirate than a spot of fishing! Simply fill tubtrugs with water and add a range of objects from rocks and sand to coins and sea life creatures.

Provide your children with nets, scoops and tongs and see what they can catch! To add an additional learning element why not instruct children to catch particular numbers of each item, for example 1 fish and 3 gold coins!

5. Pirate boat races

Challenge children’s creativity as well as their physical development with this simple yet fun activity. Using elements from around your setting – set your little ones the task of creating homemade pirate ships – we used sponges and lolly sticks for ours!

Then using a tuff tray, guttering and pipes, your little ones can construct water channels and race one another in a fun water filled set-up! Add in some pipettes and jugs and allow children to explore what materials and resources can be used to make their boat move the fastest. This set-up is a great way for children to use their muscles and problem solve as they create the channels and also helps to develop their understanding of materials and their properties.


We would love to see how you got on with our Pirate outdoor activities! Tag us in your pictures or use the hashtag #explorewithEYR on social media!

Some of the images in this blog have been kindly supplied by Emily at the little nature tots play group. The Little Nature Tots is a playgroup for children in the EYFS with a particular focus on the outdoors and the use of natural and open ended resources – for more information about what they do then head to their Instagram here

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