Wondering why so many people are wearing eye patches today? Or have parrots on their shoulders? Or have taken to growling Arrrgh! at unusual moments?
It’s because today is National Talk Like a Pirate Day!
Drag out your old copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and read it aloud to your children. Point out the author’s phrases that stand the test of time–“Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!”—is one that comes to mind.
My older daughter Jessica loved playing with Legos when she was young and her favorite was the Lego pirate ship. Too pricey for our budget, we discovered her friend Alex owned it. Their play dates became pirate ship dates that were never long enough for them to finish a story.
Pirate toys and stories spark a child’s imagination. When you see children play with a pirate ship toy, you’ll hear them spin unbelievable stories, some which have recurring themes, particular characters, and amazing plots. This is the sound of brain development!
Forget the “put away the toys” and let them leave the Lego or shoebox pirate ship out. Children return to continue their imaginative play when their creations are out and ready to go.
I read both of my daughters and all of my students plenty of gory, bloody, scary stories. They thrill children and sharpen listening skills, critical thinking, the creative imagination, and the development of self-regulation skills. (Watching scary, bloody, gory TV or playing video games loaded with violence do not do any of that.)
When you pick your children up at day care today or meet them after sports practice, give them an “Arrrgh!” to have fun and to celebrate the day.