On the Sea…

Carrying on with our Pirate theme, I thought it would be fun to explore what it would be like to live on a boat at sea. Pirates would spend many months at sea sometimes with calm, still waters without wind in their sails and therefore travelling very slowly. Whereas sometimes they had to endure strong windy storms causing their ships to rock endlessly from side to side and up and down crashing into huge waves.

So let us pretend for a moment we are on a Pirate ship:

First of all, you could practice your Pirate warm up to get you into the mood! (see previous blog)

Now lets see if you can find something that could be a pretend boat, a cardboard box that could fit you and your grown up in will do or you may even have a small inflatable dingy. You could even use some cushions or a duvet for a more comfortable boat! Oh and don’t forget to take a telescope with you (a kitchen roll tube would work well for this unless you already have some binoculars or a toy telescope)

• Once you have your boat or Pirate Ship ready shout “All aboard!” and sit in your ship with your grown up.
• Now you will need to pretend to row out from shore to the deeper sea. Strongly Push and Pull your oars in a circular movement with your arms pretending that you are rowing against the breaking waves.
• Once you are out into the deeper sea it will be time to “Raise the sails” so that your ship can travel using the power of the wind!
• Now pretend you are at sea and the weather is fine…. You can make gentle rocking movements up and down and from side to side as your ship travels along.
• As the weather picks up and the sea gets rougher your rocking movements get bigger and bigger until sometimes your ship comes crashing down on the huge waves! Don’t forget to tighten your sails too!
• If the storm gets too bad you may need to tuck down as low as you can get in your ship and wait until the storm passes before you immerge again!
• Once the storm has passed look through your telescope for land so that you can take your ship nearer to shore, with land in sight shout “Land Ahoy” Now you will need to lower your sail and row into the shallower waters.
• After being at sea for along time Pirates would get “sea legs” this is when their legs and balance got so used to being on a rocking ship that when they walked again on firm ground it was difficult to balance properly and therefore just walking and standing would make them very wobbly! Pretend you have “sea legs” and try practicing a wobbly walk, where you keep losing your balance!

I have found a couple of clips on youtube related to the sea, you may like to listen to the sounds and the story and even have a go at making a paper boat with your grown up.

I hope you have fun “Me Hearties!”

The Great Game of Pirate Ships

A fun Pirate game for all the family! I found this pirate game (tried and tested) which I thought I’d share with you. It has many levels so I thought it would especially suit some Floor Explorer families with older siblings that can join in too. It can bring a lot of laughs and rude noises!

The Great Game of Pirate Ships is an exciting and energetic way to burn off energy and have a lot of fun, and works well in a hall, garden, or other open space. For safety reasons, eye patches, weapons and parrots are removed!

First mark out the ship’s deck, and clear away anything that children could fall over.  An adult takes the role of leader and explains the layout of the main deck:

Front end is the Bow, Rear is the Stern. Left side is Port, and the right side is Starboard. You’ll need a plank to walk too!

The leader then calls out locations, and the children run to the appropriate place, then leader calls out another, and they run to that one. They’ll soon get the idea, so now add some more commands:

  • Boom coming Over. Lie flat on the floor.
  • Sharks. Swim like crazy.
  • Captain’s Coming. Stand to attention and salute.
  • Man the Lifeboats. Sit down one behind the other and mime rowing a small boat.
  • Freeze.  Freeze!

Now explain that whenever the leader says ‘Freeze’ they ignore all future commands until the leader says ‘Unfreeze’. The exception is ‘Captain’s coming’ in which case they instantly jump to attention and salute. Any Pirate who either acts when frozen, or fails to jump to attention for the captain has to Walk the Plank!                                                  

 Once they’ve got the idea, add more variations:

  • Repel Boarders Port Side. Run to the port side and shout Arrrhh whilst waving imaginary swords.
  • Repel Boarders Starboard Side. You can probably work this one out.
  • Climb the Rigging. Mime climbing up rigging.
  • Catch the Rat. All pirates group together and go off in pursuit of an imaginary rat.
  • Dance the Hornpipe. Pirates organise themselves into a line and all dance a hornpipe.

The last two may need a bit of coaching at first, as groups of children are usually poor at self organisation. An older child can be promoted to First Mate to assist them. And so the game continues with more variations being added according to the age of the children. If some are a little rough for younger children, just choose appropriately, or make up your own.

  • Cannon Ball Everyone rolls up into a ball. Cannon Balls (Pronounced Ballza) Children pair off and bend over with their bottoms almost touching. When everyone is ready shout ‘fire’, upon which, everyone sticks their bottom out and attempts to knock the other child over. Very silly!
  • Poop Deck Everyone holds their nose and mimes pulling a toilet chain (The poop deck is the highest deck on a ship but don’t let realism spoil the fun).
  • Rum Ration Everyone runs to the centre of the room to receive their tot of rum. Note, you do not run for your rum straight after Captain’s coming’.
  • Beans for Breakfast In case you haven’t guessed, participants adopt a suitable pose and make a rude noise. And of course you do not make rude noises in front of the Captain, so if it comes after Captain’s Coming, anyone who makes a rude noise is made to Walk the Plank.
  • Kissing Pirates All the pirates run up and kiss each other (I’m joking!)
  • Monkeys Pirates all run around doing impressions of apes, complete with sound effects
  • Ship of Fools Everyone runs around behaving in a crazy manner or imitating, animals, parrots, or loonies – anything goes!
  • Seasick Sailors Rush to the side of the ship and pretend to be sick.
  • Time for Bed Play the game until everyone is too tired to continue then on ‘Time for bed’ everyone lies down for a short rest, unless of course the children are older in which case the command is:
  • Massacre And everyone lies down dead.

This game teaches children to follow different instructions quickly, and because of the catch out rules, also teaches them to think before they act.

Treasure Hunting!

There is so much fun to be had Treasure hunting and so many ways to do it, but first of all you will need a map and some treasure.

Find or make a box that would be suitable to hide some treasure in. Some ideas for treasure:
• Beaded necklace, rings, bracelets, tiara
• Chocolate coins
• Wrapped snacks like raisins etc
• Finger puppets
• Dress up costume/accessories
• Small toys
• Glow sticks
• Stickers
• Shells
• Precious stones
• Old photograph

If you fancy making a Treasure Chest, then here is a link to help:
or you may already have a special box in the house that could be used instead!

Treasure Chest

Now you will need your map: with some help from your grown up, create a map of the area that you will be exploring whether it is around your home, garden or just your bedroom. On your map you will need to pretend you have some:

• Mountains (something you can climb like a settee, bed, chair, climbing frame etc)
• Sinking mud (a fluffy rug, a duvet, sand pit that you can sink into)
• Crocodile infested beach (a space for running and jumping over crocs!)
• A cave (a dark covered area to crawl through, under the dining table, or use a blanket for a den)
• Stepping stones across the river (find some mats or something to create balance pads to cross the river without falling in!)
• Tall reeds or jungle foliage (hang some ribbons or bits of fabric, to duck away from on your pathway)
• A whirl pool (find a hola hoop and spin round and round)

Treasure Map

Find somewhere to hide your treasure box and mark an “X” on your map! But before you reach the treasure chest you will have needed to have adventured all around your Island…… and don’t forget you will need to be able to go all the way back again without letting the Crocodiles get you or Sinking too deep into the mud!!!

There are lots of other ways to have fun with Treasure hunting, these are some of my favourites:
• Use pieces of a jigsaw puzzle as clues, once you have all the pieces you can find the treasure!
• Use a piece of string that you must follow all the way to the hidden treasure box!
• Take photographs to show where the next photograph clue is!
• Go outdoors and use chalks or natural markings like twigs or rocks to lead the way!
• Put a message in a bottle and hide it somewhere for someone else to find!

Don’t forget you also have your “Pirate Ship” warm up from last week you can do too….

Have fun Floor Explorers!


Fun activities for Early Years children and their grownups!

Here are some Pirate Ship themed actions that can be added together for a weekly warm up! 

  1. “DROP ANCHOR” An anchor is a very heavy and strong piece of iron that Pirates used to use to anchor their ship to one spot and stop their ship from drifting at sea. With strong metal arms can you drop to the floor like a heavy anchor and land in a similar shape to the one in this picture?  Look at the shape of the anchor in this picture, can you land in a similar shape?
  1. “WALK THE PLANK” Pirate ships had a plank of wood that used to hang out over the ship sometimes above Crocodile or Shark infested water! Can you walk along the plank without falling into the water? The plank is very narrow, so you need to carefully put one foot in front of the other, so you don’t topple in! 
See the source image
  1. “LAND AHOY” Pretend you are looking for land from your ship with a telescope, holding the telescope in 2 hands, sway from left to right with your feet still, reaching around as far as you can each side searching for land… 
See the source image
  1. “RAISE THE SAILS” Using one arm reach up and pull down your pretend rope attached to your heavy ship’s sail, then using the other arm as well alternatively reach and pull your pretend rope until you’ve raised your ship’s sail! 
See the source image
  1. “SCRUB THE DECK” Pretend your Captain of the ship has ordered you to scrub the ship floor! On your knees pretend you are holding a scrubbing brush and push and pull it in front of you and to both sides.
See the source image

So here is a warmup you can practice with your grown up at home and I will be adding more Piratey ideas next week for you! 

This is a link to some typical Piratey music you could use for your warmup too: 

And here are some Pirate sayings you could use to get into the mood! 

See the source image

If you fancy having a go at making a Pirate ship at home, here is a link on how to make a simple Pirate ship that you could decorate and add some netting and sails to too. Please post some pictures to our Pirate Facebook post if you do, I’d love to see them! 

So, Me Hearty’s have fun and tune in again next week for more! 

The Vestibular System

Sometimes I stop and think about all the little movements that our bodies are doing without us even realising, the rest of the time I am just taking my movements for granted. But if you actually stop and think about it, it’s incredible how our movements coordinate, how our muscles switch on, how our nerves transmit messages and most of the time we aren’t even aware of it. This led me to thinking how it would be if certain activities felt uncomfortable, hard work, or required concentration to action or if movements made you feel unsteady, nauseas, or wobbly. We all have different experiences of this as we all have unique bodies. This got me thinking of how beneficial vestibular activities are for all young children, so today I have a link for you that explains their benefits and how you can action them at home.

Click on this link to The Inspired Treehouse site for more information and lots of activities for The Vestibular System from their website. There are a few quick ideas below.

Most activities require some equipment, but most things can be found or substituted from household items.

Have Fun Floor Explorers!



Activities for Early Years and their family.

Maybe you have already made and played with play dough, (see our earlier blog: Get Creative with your Hands) if so, here are some movement ideas to add to your play dough fun!

Can you experiment and see how many different shapes you can make with your dough? What about having a go at some of these shapes below and then trying to copy the shapes you make with your body?

  • Can you make a ball shape, called a sphere? Roll the dough in a circular movement in your palms. How will you make this shape using your whole body?
  • Can you pat your ball flat until it is as flat as a pancake? Can someone pat your body ball shape flat until you are as flat as a pancake?
  • Now can you roll up your pancake backwards and forwards under your palms until you have a long skinny worm?
  • Can you coil your worm shape dough round and round until it looks like a Snail’s shell? How will you make this shape with your body? Can you move along the ground in a coil, like the snail does?

• Now make your own weird and wonderful shape and then create it as best as you can with your body?
• Have you got a sibling or parent that could pretend to be the play dough? Maybe you could pat and mould them into different shapes! Then swop over and let them mould and pat you into a shape!
• If there are a few of you, you could create a big shape all joined together!

Have fun… I would love to see any photographs of weird and wonderful shapes!

Get creative with your hands!

Play dough has immense potential for learning. Not only does it strengthen fingers in preparation for a lifetime of writing, it teaches fine motor skills, creativity, and hand-eye coordination. Add some beads to the dough for a fine-motor exercise, or get the kids threading beads on to lengths of dried spaghetti held in the dough, for extra play-value.

Below are some more recipies for with similar potential. We would love to share any ideas you might come up with if you ahve a go at making them and playing with your kids.

Creepy Crawlies

Activity for Early years and their families. (3rd April)

Grasshopper: look at the legs on this grasshopper! They can jump a very long way and very high. Can you bend your knees and crouch low and then spring up into a big grasshopper jump? Bend your legs on landing and try again. Grasshoppers make a vibrating noise by rubbing their legs together, when you need a rest from hopping why not try rubbing your knees or your elbows together and make a chirping sound.

Image result for grasshopper images

Ants: ants are very busy workers going about collecting food to take back to their ant nest. Did you know that they usually follow the same pathways to and from their nests by using their senses? Can you pretend to be a tiny crawling ant finding a pathway around your house to follow and taking the same pathway back again? Maybe you could pretend you are collecting food to take back to your nest.

See the source image

Woodlice: are little creatures that crawl about minding their own business until they feel under threat, when they do, they curl up into tight little balls to protect themselves. You could take it in turns with your grown up or sibling to be the woodlouse and as soon as you feel your partner touch you, you immediately curl up into a tiny ball. You can uncurl again once your partner has moved away, is it safe to continue crawling?

See the source image

Centipede: A centipede has so many legs that there are too many to count! How many legs can you pretend to have? If you can find more family members maybe you could all link up to add legs to your centipede? Are you able to coordinate all your legs together so that the right legs and then the left legs move at the same time?

Image result for millipede

Dragonfly: Dragonflies love to fly around and hover above ponds with their beautiful dainty wings, can you find some fabric to make into some wings and attach to your arms? Do you have a rug or something on the floor that you can pretend is a pond? With your beautiful wings are you able to flutter them out to the sides beating them quickly like a dragonfly? Travel around your space fluttering your wings and then stop and hover above the pond. Maybe you and your grown up or sibling/s can be dragonflies together fluttering around and taking it in turn to hover above your ponds.

Image result for dragonfly

Creepy Crawlies Game: Have someone play some music and when they press pause, they have to call out the bug, you then continue being the bug until the music stops again and the next bug is called out.

Garden activity: What bugs can you find in your garden or out on a walk, watch how they move their bodies, can you imitate the way they move?

Art activity: Why not have ago at inventing your own made up bug? How many legs does it have, does it have wings, pincers, etc. First draw it and then move around the space like your newly created bug would.

Bridges and Tunnels

Early Years Activities for all the family

See the source image

Hey there “Floor Explorers” I hope you’re all managing to enjoy this lovely weather. This week’s Floor Explorers theme was going to be “Bridges and Tunnels” so I thought that I would bring you some ideas to do at home or in the garden.

FIRSTLY… Can you make a standing up Bridge with your legs and do you have a friend that can travel through your bridge?

Now swop and see if you can travel through theirs.

Can you make other kinds of bridges using your whole body? Perhaps in a crawl or a back bend. How many different types of bridges can you make?

What other bridges can you make using other body parts and what can fit through the bridge space?

How many bridges can you make from small finger bridges to bigger body parts all at the same time?

NEXT…. Can you find some fabric or a blanket to make a tunnel and crawl all the way to the end and back, try crawl backwards through it too?

If you can find others to join in then you could put all your various body bridges together to make a tunnel and take it in turns to travel through.

ALSO….. have you got any bridges and tunnels in your home? go and find objects or furniture that could be tunnels for yourself or your toys to travel through.

ART:  I thought the photograph was a good inspiration for an art activity (providing you have toilet rolls!)

Don’t forget you can also dance The Chocolate Tree Dance and I’m going to list the order of moves for others to join in too…..

  • Curl up tight as a ball like a cocoa bean in the ground
  • Start to grow into a tree getting taller with arms twisting out like branches
  • Shake branches in the wind
  • Fall to the ground and roll like the newly grown cocoa beans would do in the wind
  • Swoop up the beans and crush into cocoa powder with fists banging together using alternate hands on top
  • Make a circle holding hands with your dancing pals to form a mixing bowl
  • Using your shoulders pretend to shake in some sugar (at least 3 times)
  • Stretching arms up high and bending over to your toes pretend you are pouring in milk (at least 3 times)
  • Now you have your gooey chocolate mixture stir it altogether by side galloping around in a circle and then back to your spot. 
  • Smooth out your mixture using your body with a long, smooth, stretch using your legs or arms (we did it with bare feet on a smooth floor in class)
  • Finish the dance by making the shape of your favourite Chocolate treat……

OR try these ones out for fun!

Chocolate Buttons

Freddie Frogs

Easter Bunnies

Easter Egg

Chocolate Stars

Curly Wurly !!

See the source image

The music that works well for this dance is the Putomayo track on our resources page on www.createmovedance.net Hope you have fun! Georgie 😊