Updated: Oct 9, 2020
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My goal in creating Pirates was to find a way to delve deeply with my kids into a fun theme across all different modes of learning, in a way that didn't break the bank. Here are the supporting materials that I recommend as you're preparing to set sail. Keep in mind, this list is just if you need any of the items - to save money, you can probably find many resources at the library or online, and make do with lots of things you have around your house already!
I have tried to find the lowest-priced fair-quality items, but this unit is infinitely scalable in terms of how much you want to spend on supporting materials, so don't worry if you don't want to spend a ton, or have fun if you really love books and art materials! Please note that not all of these items are young-child safe; make sure you get items that are safe for your family if you have kids under three in your house. Please comment or email me if you find materials that you like better or if you have issues with any of my suggestions - I will try to keep this list updated!
Recommended Supplies for the 8 Cycle-End Reward Activities:
Kinetic Sand (this pack is good for one, maybe two kids)
Recommended Supplies for Daily "X" Activities
(unless buying bulk, the dollar store and Walmart have better prices)
Finger Paint (could also use paints above)
Acrylic Paint Pens (same as above)
Food Coloring (same as above)
Paints (same as above)
Markers (same as above)
Ribbon or Twine (same as above)
Supporting Materials (Pick a Few, Per Materials List)
Ocean Puzzle Books:
Ocean Sticker Books:
Pirate Puzzle Books:
Pirate Sticker Books:
Ocean Board Games:
Pirate Board Games:
Media (These Are Our Favorites!)
Books - Johnny Duddle's Pirate Books are Absolute Must-Haves!!
These are enjoyable for all ages (and even for parents who have to read them over and over), with extremely detailed illustrations (keep an eye out for the pirate cruncher in all of the books!) and themes that build and resurface throughout the series. My kids want to read the picture books over and over, and sat in rapt attention listening to the chapter books too, making connections back to the picture books when we saw the characters again. If you only buy a few books for this unit, you won't regret getting any or all of these! *Note there is also a sticker/activity book that goes along with this series above, and also a TV show available on Amazon Prime. I'm so glad we have these in our library - they will age well with the boys as we do this pirate unit over again in coming years!
Books - Great Ideas for Younger Kids
Books - Great Ideas for Older Kids (or to read out loud)
Pirate Music on Amazon:
We made a playlist for singing and one with just instrumentals for thinking:
(Unlimited or Buy MP3 - our FAVORITE)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Swashbuckling Sea Songs, Various Artists
(Unlimited or Buy MP3; some repeats with the above)
Pirates of the Caribbean, 2 Cellos (Unlimited or Buy MP3)
Silly Pirate Song, Jack Hartmann (Unlimited or Buy MP3)
All Time Favorite Pirate Songs, Carl Peterson (Prime)
The City of Prague Philharmonic (Prime)
Pirate Baby Shark, Pinkfong (Prime)
Octopus, Charlotte Diamond (Prime)
Eric Herman and the Invisible Band (Prime)
The Goldfish, The Laurie Berkner Band (Prime)
Treasure Island (Disney+)
Muppet Treasure Island (Disney+)
Riot and the Dance: Water* (Vidangel) *A spectacular Creation Science resource.
Hook (Amazon, Buy or Rent)
Swiss Family Robinson (Disney+)
Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney+) *Note PG-13 rating.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Amazon Prime - Free with Ads)
Drain the Sunken Pirate City (Disney+)
Ocean TV Shows:
Wildest Places Season 2: Pacific (Amazon Prime)
Ocean Odyssey: The Blue Realm (Amazon Prime)
Atlantic: A Year in the Wild (Amazon Prime)
Pirate TV Shows:
Jake and the Neverland Pirates (Disney+)
The Pirates Next Door (Amazon Prime)
Ocean Animal TV Shows:
Barney's Great Barrier Reef Series (Amazon Prime)
Ocean Mysteries (Amazon Prime)
Ocean Apple Apps:
Ocean - COMOMOLA (for young kids)
Archaeologist Deep Blue - Magisterapp (for young kids)
Splash - Runaway (all ages) *If you don't want to raise Sea Monkeys or an animal of your own, this is a great digital option to grow and care for your own coral reef.
Pirate Apple Apps:
Pirates - COMOMOLA (for young kids)
Fiete Match, Islands, and Choice - Ahoii (for young kids)
Pirates & Pearls - G5 (older kids or with parent help)
Blocky Pirates - FullFat (older kids or with parent help; watch for ad content)
Jewel Apple App:
Dazzly - Cour De Jeu (very fun, especially with iPad Pro pen, but really annoying ads)
How to Make a Pirate Music/Video Playlist in Youtube Kids
The restrictions on made-for-kids videos in Youtube are infinitely frustrating! Because of new privacy regulations, you can't save them to a playlist (I wish I could just share ours!) like you can regular videos. To get around this, I finally figured out that you can make a playlist in the Youtube Kids App by creating a separately named "Pirates" user, then going into Settings and choosing "Approved Content Only." You can search "pirates," "fish," "ocean" or other sea-related searches, and choose songs and videos you think your kids will like. If you lock the user, they can only watch the videos you have chosen. Usually to lessen screen time, we just turn the iPad upside-down and just use this for another song soundtrack!
I Know This Feels Like A LOT of Resources!
But don't worry! Please don't ever feel like you need to buy everything on this list to have a great experience. I simply wanted to pull a wide range of awesome themed materials for multiple ages together in one place, because honestly the hardest part of creating an incredible unit of study like this is just finding the supporting materials in the first place! But that legwork is now done for you - so you can just choose a few things you think your kids will like! And with some books, music, a few shows, apps, games, and activities...no matter the budget...you will be amazed how your little ones engage and love learning about pirates and the ocean. Now that you've stocked the larder - it's time to set sail!