This game is high energy, but you need a big group of kids to play it. Here’s how you do it.
Quickly group all of the students into “teams” of at least 4 kids each. Then using a pirate ship captain’s dialect, explain to them that they are all on YOUR pirate ship. You will call out a certain command, and each team will work quickly to “act it out.” The team who does the best acting job, or is the quickest to comply with the “captain’s orders,” gets a point.
As quickly as you can, go over the commands. Here they are. When the Captain says:
“Starboard” – everyone on the team must touch the wall on the right.
“Port” – everyone on the team must touch the wall on the left.
“Stern” – everyone on the team must touch the back wall.
“Bow” – everyone on the team must touch the front wall.
“Swab the Deck” – everyone pretends to mop the floor.
“Cap’n’s Comin’” – everyone lines up and salutes.
“Land Ahoy!” – one person steers the ship, while another on the team stands behind him and looks through a periscope.
“Man overboard!” – two people get down on one knee, join hands and make a “rail” while another person pretends to fall over it with the fourth person yelling “man overboard.”
“Shark infested waters” – one person in the middle, making a scared face while the other three act like sharks and swim around the person in the middle.
“Row Ye Scurvy Scum!” – all 4 people sit in a straight line, one in front of the other and “row” their boat.
“Ready the Cannon!” – 2 people join hands and make a circle with their arms to form the mouth of the cannon. Another person stands next to them and pretends to light the cannon. The last person has to pretend to be the cannonball shot from the cannon.
“Sea Monster!” – all 4 people join hands in the center and wave their hands outside of the circle like a giant octopus.
Here are a few things to keep in mind that will make this game a smash hit for your group. Remember, the faster you call it out, the crazier things will get. Also, have referees walking around to judge who is the fastest or best. And just for kicks, at the Capn’s discretion, any team is subject to have to walk the plank.
If a person/team has to walk the plank, simply have a few chairs set up and then have students one-by-one walk to one end and say, “AARRR…me name is [Bob] and I’s be a pirate! Keep yer hands off me booty!!” and then jump off.
Award the winning pirate team with chocolate coins.
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.