September 19 is one of my favorite holidays. International Talk Like a Pirate Day is such a fun one to celebrate at libraries! Talk Like a Pirate day is nicely timed, too, right after Summer Reading and right before Halloween, when the stores are full of all sorts of good decorations and prizes for pirates. Kids love pirates, and so do adults and teens, so it can be an inter-generational celebration. While real pirates are nothing to celebrate, the fictional, fantasy pirate can be oh-so-fun.This year we had around 25 kids attending our celebration (and a most of their adults stuck around for the fun, too). We had wee pirates of 3 years and older pirates up to 12 years old attending. Programming for multi-age groups can be tricky, but the theme of pirates makes it easy. When the kids arrive, we give them a pirate name using an online name-generator. They are then sent to the Tattoo Booth to get their official ship’s-mate tattoo, and then they must walk the plank. It is an actual plank, a board brought in from home. At the end of the plank is a treasure chest loaded with goodies, including books, as treasure. We have a treasure hunt, read pirate jokes, teach them to talk like pirates (of course), and make a pirate parrot to put on their shoulder. This year’s new addition was a fun game called Ships and Cannons— we divided them into 2 teams. Each team got a ship (a large towel will do) and a stack of old newspaper. 3 team members were the ship holders; the rest crumpled the paper into cannons and fired them at the other ship. We had to play this several times, they loved it so much. After the costume contest, the program wraps up with some snacks – Wormy Sea Biscuits (cookies), Shark’s Blood (cranberry juice cocktail), and a Bowl o’ Worms (cheese crunchies). Nothing cuter than a 4-year old asking for more Shark’s Blood, please. So put it on your calendars for next year!
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