Tips & Guides, Role Play

How To Use Your Wooden Pirate Ship For Playground Games

wooden interactive pirate ship for play

We at Red Monkey Play love unstructured play for children. All of our playground equipment encourage explorative and unstructured play. We believe that when children go out, explore and play with natural outdoor play equipment they can really benefit both physically and mentally. This can range from reducing anxiety, boosting creativity and sensory development. We could go on about the reasons to invest in playground equipment for days!

One of our best examples is our wooden pirate ship for playgrounds. Every child loves to play at being a swashbuckling adventurer and what better way to do it than with their very own pirate ship? This equipment is great for unstructured role play, we encourage them to act and explore with a variety of features, but is also great for some structured games. We’ll look at some great ways to incorporate the wooden pirate ship for playgrounds into some primary school games.

TPR and Your Wooden Pirate Ship for Playgrounds

Teaching language through games is one of the most effective ways to expand children’s vocabulary. Therefore, these games will look at games which use commands alongside actions. This is based on the TPR (total physical response) method of learning. This is a method of teaching language thought up by James Asher, a professor emeritus of psychology at San José State University. It sought to engage both sides of the brain when learning the target language.

This method looks at combining and coordinating language with physical movements. This includes giving commands or instructions in the target language, with students responding with the desired action. It’s a way of teaching comprehension of language rather than outright teaching the target vocabulary for speech. Students aren’t required to speak the target language immediately. That will come later as a subconscious aspect of learning the words audibly and physically.

The same goes for grammar, it is not explicitly taught. The vocabulary can be organised around grammar structures and things such as phrasal verbs, but the grammar is never the focus of the activity. Again, the grammar is subconsciously picked up thanks to exposure. They decode the phrases to find meaning.

How Can You Use Your Wooden Pirate Ship for Playgrounds

Understanding why physical games are a great way for target language to be learnt, we can look at some great examples to implement this technique. Children love pirates and play acting so they should all be very enthusiastic to try out this playground equipment.

Children start by forming a line (one behind the other) directly in front of the teacher. The teacher then shouts a command and the children have to perform the activity associated with that command. This follows the TPR method of learning perfectly and allows them to get plenty of physical exercise in. The fact that is in a big group also helps the more shy students, they feel less self-conscious if everyone is doing the actions and language in unison.

This game will be able to grow over time, as each phrase and corresponding action will need to be taught. As time goes on, their skill at language differentiation will increase at a really fast rate. The phrases and actions will be taught through TPR, with the teacher leading them. Once they understand a few basic phrases, you can make it into a game! If they don’t do the action quickly enough, do the incorrect action or the last one to do it is out. Those children that get out have to march around the outside of the rest of the group singing ‘Oh we oh, A pirate’s life for me.’

Some ideas for commands and actions related to pirate life are things like “scrub the decks!” The students hear this and then have to drop to the floor and pretend to clean the floor of the ship. This can be followed by the command “man the lifeboats!” Here the students will have to run to one of the sides of the wooden pirate ship. Some of these ideas are great fun for the student and also encourage them to learn some new vocabulary.

Check Out The Games for Your Wooden Pirate Ship for Playgrounds

Here are a few more examples you can use to build up your game arsenal:

  • Climb the Rigging – Children pretend to climb a rope ladder.
  • Captain’s Coming – Children salute and shout out “Aye Aye Captain”
  • Admiral’s Coming – Children stop and salute (like captain’s coming) but must continue to stand to attention until the instruction ‘Admiral’s gone’ – giving opportunities for catching children out!
  • Man overboard – Three children pair up, 2 joining hands to make a ship and the 3rd in the middle with his hand above his eyes looking overboard for the fallen sailor. Anyone alone is out.
  • Walk the Plank – Children have to walk in a perfectly straight line one foot exactly in front of the other with arms outstretched to the sides (children could also walk along benches).
  • Captain’s Wife – Everyonecurtseys (boys think this is hilarious!).

Why Choose our Wooden Pirate Ship for Playgrounds

Why choose our wooden pirate ship then? We at Red Monkey Play pride ourselves on creating truly bespoke playground equipment, aiming to help further children’s development. Our wooden pirate ship was initially designed for Ashmount School. They required disability accessible equipment in their playground. We created a bespoke piece of playground equipment which was wheelchair accessible and suitable for children with special education needs.

Full of engaging activities including tactile sensory panels, climbing nets and a moving steering wheel – a perfect addition to any navy. let your little sailors explore the high seas with this action-packed ship. With our bespoke service, we would love to customise this ship to suit your playgrounds exact requirements.

Many businesses believe that supporting local communities is incredibly important and we share this. All of our school play equipment is designed locally. Being made lovingly by hand in our Leicestershire workshop, using pre-treated and high-quality, low-maintenance play-grade timber from sustainable sources.

Get in Touch

We here at Red Monkey Play pride ourselves in crafting unique and engaging sensory playground equipment and environments for children which are vital in developing crucial skills, encouraging learning and reaching goals. With imagination at the heart of everything, we have been capturing the attention of school children for over 20 years – whilst always maintaining the use of safe and environmentally friendly playground equipment in the process.

We work with schools and nurseries across the UK to create stunning bespoke playgrounds – and we’d love to work with you too. Discover more and explore our wide range of sensory playground equipment: get in touch today to find out how we can restore the fun into your playground.

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