Creative Kids Moment: Arrr, ye matey! Pirate Port Holes

2013 August 3 023Avast, me hearties, here’s a fun activity to try with yer scurvy scallywags that can be adapted for many ages!

I first did this project about 10 years ago with a grade three class and had them give themselves pirate names.  Of course I was Captain and there were many One Eyed (Name here) or Peg-legged (Name here).  They had a blast.  I don’t remember if I came up with the idea for these port holes or if I found inspiration somewhere else so I can’t properly credit it unfortunately.  But it’s a good one!

For C (2 ½ years old) I decided to draw background pictures that he then coloured over but you could just use the port holes to frame anything your kids create and it would still be very cute.


  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Dried kidney beans
  • White glue
  • White and gold paint
  • Paintbrushes and water containers
  • Blank white paper
  • Pencil and Sharpe (if you are going to draw background pictures)
  • Crayons (or whatever medium your child prefers)
  • Glue stick


Glue on beans1)    Cut pieces of cardboard into large donuts.

2)    Glue beans onto cardboard.  For C’s age, I put the dobs of glue on and then he put a kidney bean on each dob.

2013 August 3 0153)    Once glue is dried, paint the circles white.  My gold paint is very translucent so I had to do the white first and then gold but if you have gold poster paint (or spray paint would work very well too) you can probably skip this step.  Once the white paint is dry, you paint again but this time with gold.  I must confess I let C go to town painting and, once he was done, I then filled in any blank spots:)

4)    Once paint is dried, trace the middle circle onto the paper so you have a circle within which to work.  C helped me use the Sharpe to trace over the pencil line.

2013 August 3 0205)    Draw your pictures.  For one port hole, I googled a simple clip art parrot and drew that in one of the circles and then traced over it with Sharpe.  For the other port hole, I (sort of) drew C.  C then coloured over the pages with abandon with crayon.  If your kids are older they could draw themselves as my students did and it is very fun.  To embellish your pictures think about options such as moustaches, beards, head scarves, skull and crossbones, etc.  I cut out an eye patch for C to glue on and then drew a line across the picture.

6)    Cut out pictures leaving a border to be able to glue them to the frame.  We did the cutting hand over hand which was really awkward.  At school I know we have some scissors with two sets of finger holes that I should really look into getting…

2013 August 3 0227)    Glue pictures to the frame.  I gave C a glue stick to put glue around the circles (and in the middle but whatever, it’ll dry).  We pressed the port holes over the pictures and viola!  Our pirate port holes were done.

Arrr, me mateys, try it for yerselves or I’ll make ye walk the plank!  2013 August 3 024

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2 Responses to Creative Kids Moment: Arrr, ye matey! Pirate Port Holes

  1. Great ideas with clear instructions. This is a great project for my grandson who loves pirates, will add it to our list of activities.

  2. So great that you do crafts like this with your grandson. I’m so glad that it sounds like you’ll have fun with this activity!

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