Yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me! Real pirates may be ruthless criminals who had their hey-day over 300 years ago, but luckily for us the pirates in countless children’s books are a slightly less threatening bunch!


 Book Cover - Sheep on a Ship” title=“View this item in the library catalogue  Sheep on a Ship / by Nancy Shaw and Margot Apple

Those Sheep in a Jeep are now on a Ship, and plenty of trouble ensues! The sheep are excited for a sailing trip, but it’s not much fun when a giant storm comes along. The sentences are short and beautifully rhyming, with plenty of alliteration. Careful of the tongue-twisters as you’re reading out loud! This is a great book to share, and can even be attempted by beginner readers.

  The Night Pirates / by Peter Harris, Deborah Allwright and Corina Fletcher

Unfortunately this book is unavailable to be borrowed from the library collection, as it has beautiful, elaborate, very delicate pop-ups! A small boy is about to go on a big adventure, thanks to some very mischievous girl pirates. What could they be up to? This simple story comes alive with the interactive pop-ups, and the ending should leave you with a smile.

 Book Cover - Ten Little Pirates” title=“View this item in the library catalogue  Ten Little Pirates / by Michael Brownlow and Simon Rickerty

Ten Little Pirates are sailing the seas, and not having much luck! We get to count down the pirates as they meet rather grizzly ends, but they do have a happy ending eventually!   The bold, brightly coloured illustrations makes it easy to count the pirates remaining on each page, and the rhyming text is a delight to read aloud. This book has been short-listed for several awards, and it’s easy to see why.

Book Cover - Pirate Pete” title=“View this item in the library catalogue  Pirate Pete / by Nick Sharratt

This is another just-for-storytime title unavailable to borrow, but it’s worth investing in this fun little book for your own collection. Pirate Pete, by the wonderful Nick Sharratt, is a ‘Pop-In-The-Slot’ book, which means the story is different every time! What does Pirate Pete see in the sky? A seagull or a spaceship? Maybe even a donut! Each double page has six different cut-outs to choose from, and unfortunately my maths isn’t good enough to tell you how many variations that can make! Rest assured it is plenty, and kids will get a kick out of telling a different silly story each time.


Songs & Rhymes

Ten Little Pirates.

This is a fun finger rhyme.

Ten Little Pirates stood in a row (hold up fingers)

They bowed to their captain just like so (lower hands to ‘bow’)

They marched to the left (move hands left)

They marched to the right (move hands right)

They shouted yo-ho-ho

And gave their captain a fright! (raise hands to face in surprise!)

A Sailor went to Sea

You can keep this song going for as long as you can think of silly things. See how long it takes to get annoying!

A sailor went to sea, sea, sea,
To see what he could see, see, see.
But all that he could see, see, see
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea.

A sailor went to chop, chop, chop,
To see what he could chop, chop, chop.
But all that he could chop, chop, chop
Was the bottom of the deep blue chop, chop, chop.
A sailor went to knee, knee, knee,
To see what he could knee, knee, knee,
But all that he could knee, knee, knee,
Was the bottom of the deep blue knee, knee, knee.

Five Pirates On a Treasure Chest

We did this as a white board rhyme with pictures, but it could also be a great fingerplay.

Five pirates on a treasure chest, one jumped off and four are left.
Four pirates on a treasure chest, one jumped off and three are left.

Three pirates on a treasure chest, one jumped off and two are left.

Two pirates on a treasure chest, one jumped off and one is left.

No pirates on a treasure chest. Arr! Now the treasure’s all ours!

If using as a fingerplay, you could use your fist as the ‘chest’ and have a real treasure inside!


Treasure Picture


  • Picture of a treasure chest
  • Crayons
  • Glue
  • Sparkly sequins


Print a picture of a treasure chest, or draw your own.

Colour in the treasure chest- you can add a piratey beach in the background if you would like.

Glue the sequins onto the chest as sparkly pirate treasure. We did get the sequins to stick with glue sticks, but keep wipes close by for sticky fingers!

Arr! You know have a glorious bounty that would make any pirate proud!