Ahoy, mateys! There is an unusual holiday approaching in September. September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. This unusual holiday was created by John Baur and Mark Summers (Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy, in pirate parlance) after one of them exclaimed “Aaarrr!” after being injured during a racquetball game in 1995. It began as an inside joke between the two friends, but gained exposure and popularity after being promoted by popular humor columnist Dave Barry. The idea is pretty simple: on September 19th, everyone should talk like a pirate. This is a celebration of the romanticized take on the Golden Age of Piracy. For kids, a day set aside to talk like a pirate is a great chance for them to have some silly fun. Here are a few ideas to help you celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day with your kids.
- Dress up like a pirate. Why stop with talking? Hunt up hats, frilly shirts, eye patches, bandannas, and other pirate gear and have fun dressing up like pirates. Add flashy jewelry, a plastic or cardboard sword, or a fake hook for a hand. Don’t forget to add a parrot. A stuffed parrot will work, but if you don’t have one on hand, you can make one out of paper mache, and paint it with bright colors.
- Eat like a pirate. Well, maybe not exactly like a pirate… after weeks at sea, much of their food wasn’t anything that you’d want to feed your children. But we can make some reasonable imitations. Pirates tended to eat salted and dried food to keep it from going bad, so try substituting with some beef jerky, dried fruit, crackers, and nuts. Pirates would eat limes to prevent scurvy. Your kids probably aren’t going to want to eat plain limes, but they might enjoy drinking some cherry limeade or eating key lime pie.
- Have a pirate party. Now that you have the language, the clothes, and the food, you may as well assemble a crew and make a day of it. Invite your children’s friends to dress up, snack, and talk like pirates. Have a showing of Peter Pan or Hook. Sing like pirates (off-key and at the top of your lungs). Draw a treasure map and arrange for your crew to go on a hunt through the backyard for buried treasure. The possibilities are endless.
It’s so important for kids to play and have fun, and a day like this encourages all manner of the kind of silly fun that children really need to have sometimes. So go all in and really make it a memorable day, full of laughter and creativity and imagination. You’ll find yourself having as much fun as they will.