Pirate craft on a budget

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Jess Neale

PingleI’d like to start by introducing the little ones in my life.  The Bobs, or more specifically Big Bob, my eldest nephew who loves playing on the Wii and drawing Ben 10, and Little Bob, a gorgeous girly who runs just like Usain Bolt – pretty fast for a two year old! More on them soon.

Then there’s my nephew Pingle, short for Pingle-otomous who loves dinosaurs and pirates. Last but not least is Lady-Baby who’s not quite a baby any more at 20 months, but very much the little curly-haired madam.

I love spending time with my family and it’s great to get them involved in something really hands-on like craft. This weekend I was looking after Pingle and Lady-Baby so thought it would be fun to make some suitable pirate attire for a treasure hunt. It’s a brilliant way to entertain the kids on a budget, it’s not overly messy and the kids love it.

I raided the cardboard recycling bag for a cereal box and gathered a few bits of black and white paper we had lying around. After I’d cut the hat shape out, Pingle helped decorate with stickers, skull and crossbones and a few feathers. Lady-Baby then helped us colour in the parrot and we drew a treasure map, crumpled it up and stained it with a tea-bag to make it look really authentic…ish.

As we waited for the map to dry, Pingle educated me on pirate cuisine. Apparently they eat chicken and ‘dip-dip’ (tomato ketchup) and chocolate for desert, oh and they don’t live at the seaside. His little imagination always makes me laugh and we often have some rather surreal conversations involving his imaginary dinosaur friends:

Me: Have your dinosaur friends ever met the pirates?

Pingle: Yes, ‘Sea-don’ lives in the sea and they done pirate hide and seek.

Me: With only two of them?

Pingle: Noooo Aunty Jess, Bolt the dog was there too! He’s a pirate dog because he has a patch on his eye.

Me: Of course, silly me…

Oh to have a child’s imagination!

While the kids were busy sticking and colouring, and occasionally screaming, I hid a few clues around the house. Captain Hook and Princess Pirate were then ready for action and so the hunt began. Their little faces when they discovered the chocolate coins at the end were priceless, especially when accident-prone Pingle nearly tripped over with an armful of them in his excitement.