Pirate Games Here Comes The Captain!

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Pirate Games

Here Comes The Captain!


  • A large play area.

  • Chalk or two long lengths of rope.

How to play:

  1. Use either chalk or rope to make two parallel lines on the ground at least 20 feet apart to define the boundaries of the pirate ship.

  2. Choose one person (an adult) to be the Captain.

  3. When the Captain gives a command to the Crew they must obey immediately.

  4. Here are some typical Captain's commands with the appropriate crew responses:

    • Here Comes The Captain!: Stand very still without moving in a salute.

    • Swab the Deck: Get down on your hands and knees and pretend to scrub the floor.

    • Starboard Side: Run to the right side of the deck.

    • Port Side: Run to the left side of the deck.

    • Man Overboard!: Find a partner and grab onto them.

  5. Before the game starts make sure that everyone understands the commands.

  6. The Captain starts the game by giving the first command and continues to give orders like all Captains do.

  7. If the Captain gives another before the crew members have completed the last order, they each must stop and immediately follow the new order.

  8. Any crew member who continues following the previous command is out of the game.

  9. The game continues like this until one crew member is left, to win the game and earn the title of first mate!

Swab The Decks


  • A space with lots of open floor space.

  • 10 ping pong balls or similar (a different colour for team)

  • 2 brooms

How to Play:

  1. Divide the Rainbows into two teams. Split the teams in half and send one half of the team to the opposite side of the room.

  2. Give the first Rainbow on each team a broom and five ping pong balls.

  3. On the word "Go!," the first Rainbows from each team must sweep their balls to the other side of the room.

  4. Once they get there, they give their broom to the next team member and they herd the balls back to the other side.

  5. The game continues like this until every pirate has had a turn. The team that finishes first wins the game.


  • To make the game easier - reduce the number of balls or use larger balls.

Pirate, Pirate Where's Your Gold


  • Gold coin or something small to hide behind a Rainbow’s back

How to Play:

One Rainbow (the pirate) stands in the middle of the circle of children with eyes closed.

The children chant:

Pirate, Pirate where's your gold?

Somebody stole it from your hold.
Guess who? Maybe you!
Maybe a parrot from Kalamazoo
Now then Pirate find your gold!

While they are chanting the leader hands a piece of "gold" (a large coin would work) to one of the Rainbows. All the Rainbows put their hands behind their backs and then the pirate opens his eyes. He guesses who has the gold (you can either give three guesses and then she has to be pirate again if she guesses wrong or you can let them guess until they succeed). The person who had the gold becomes the new pirate.



  • Large sheets of paper or newspaper, I per Rainbow

How to Play:

All Rainbows stand on a sheet of paper spread around the room, they run, dance or walk around the room not standing on the paper.

When a leader calls out “Sharks coming” Rainbows must stand on a piece of paper (the island), only one Rainbow per sheet.

After the first go start removing the paper, so there are less islands, Rainbows without an Island to stand on are eaten by sharks and therefore are out of the game.

Games involving sweets and chocolate
The Chocolate Game

You will need:

A wrapped bar of chocolate

A plate
A knife and fork
Some dressing-up items (at least a hat, scarf and gloves)
A dice

How to play:

Put the bar of chocolate on the plate with the knives and forks nearby and sit the children around it in a circle. Throw the pile of dressing up clothes into the circle. Give one child the dice.

Children take it in turns to roll the dice on the floor in front of them, passing them around the circle to their left. If a child rolls a six, they leap into the centre of the circle, put on the dressing up clothes, and start to unwrap, then eat, the bar of chocolate - but only using the knife and fork. That child keeps going until another child rolls a six, at which point they must co-operate in handing over the dressing up clothes so that the next child gets a turn.

Chocolate memory game

You will need:

28 plastic or paper cups (not transparent)

2 each of 14 different pairs of treats to hide such as sweets or treat-sized chocolate bars

How to play :

When nobody is looking put the treats in a rectangular grid pattern (7 x 4) on a table and cover with the cups to make a “concentration” game.


The children take it in turns to turn over a pair of cups. If the treats underneath match, they may take the cups away, claim the treats as their own and have another go. If they do not match, they must carefully replace the cups and play passes to the next player.

Sweetie Relays

You will need :

Wrapped sweets (with twisted ends)

Game 1 – throw different coloured sweets into a big pile and separate the children into teams. The children must then move the sweets to a designated team area using only their teeth.

Game 2 – have a line or circle of Rainbows and pass the sweet in a relay using only your feet

Polo Challenges

You will need :

Polos and cocktail sticks

Game 1 : Who can roll a polo the furthest ?

Game 2 : Make two lines of Rainbows, each girl has a cocktail stick. Pass the polo along the line using the cocktail stick and pop in a bowl at the end. Keep going until 5 or 10 polos are in the bowl.

Marshmallow Games

You will need :

Marshmallows and cocktail sticks

Game 1 – Who can blow a marshmallow the furthest ?

Game 2 – Who can throw a marshmallow the furthest ?

Game 3 – Who can make the highest marshmallow tower ?

Game 4 – Who can make the most creative marshmallow monster ?

Smartie Games

You will need :

Smarties, bowls,straws, spoons, whipped cream (optional!)

Game 1 – Place smarties in a bowl. Have 5 bowls in a line along the table. Rainbow 1 sucks the smarties onto the end of her straw and places it into bowl 2. Rainbow 2 then repeats and puts it in bowl 3. Keep going until the end of the line.

Game 2 – Two bowls – one at either end of a long table. The Rainbow has a spoon in her mouth, scoops up the smarties (without using her hands) and transports them to the bowl at the end of the table. She must drop them into the bowl. Any that do not go in do not count, (Maltesers or chocolate footballs are also good for this game). If the spoon in the mouth is too hard the just hold the spoon and make course longer – maybe with some obstacles to negotiate..

Game 3 – this is messy!! Place 5 smarties on a plate and cover with squirty cream. The Rainbow must find and eat all the smarties without using her hands i.e. mouth only!!

Game 4 – Poison pebble. In a small group. Place smarties of different colours on a plate. Send one Rainbow away until the girls have chosen which smartie is the “poison pebble”. The Rainbow returns and chooses a colour. If it is not the poison one she may eat it!. This continues until the Rainbow choses the “poison pebble”. Girls then shout Poison Pebble and the Rainbow may not eat any more smarties. The plate is replenished and the next Rainbow is sent away.
Working together

These games teach the girls to work together in twos or threes, then in teams and then altogether.

A Question of Balance
Start with even numbers of girls and get them into pairs.

Tell them what “part” has to be on the ground e.g. 4 feet, 2 bottoms, 4 arms or two legs (then they have to work it out)

The girls must stay touching each other, and have the right number of parts on the ground.

Once they are confident in pairs, try in groups of 3.

Team Balloon Juggle
Arrange the girls into teams of between 3 and 5. Allow one balloon per team, but have spares available.

The aim is for each team to keep hitting their balloon to keep it off the floor.

No girl is to hit the balloon twice in succession.

If the balloon hits the floor, they need to start again.

The winning team is the one that keeps the balloon off the floor for the longest time.

Rainbow Musical chairs

Start as for normal musical chairs, with enough chairs for all players, facing alternately forward and back. Play music, or clap, and when the music stops, the Rainbows have to sit in a chair with their feet off the floor.

After a couple of turns, take one chair away. The difference is that all the Rainbows have to fit on however many chairs are left. This is a good way to build team work amongst the Rainbows as they all try to ensure no-one is left behind.

You may need to stop before you get to one chair if there are a lot of Rainbows, for safety reasons.

Buzzy Bees
Equipment: Flower Shapes, Bee Shapes
Place flowers on the floor 1 per child. Hide 1-3 bees under different flowers depending on numbers.

Skip round the circle singing-

Walking through the flowers
Listen for the bees
Which of you can find it
1, 2, 3

on three the girls all choose a flower to stand on, when they've all chosen they look underneath to find who has a bee. They hide them for the next game.

Parachute Football

Equipment: Parachute, Football Size Ball

Divide the girls into 2 groups, one group each side of the parachute

Using a football sized ball the idea is to score goals by getting the ball over the heads of the other team (wafting the parachute up & down). 


Equipment: bandages (toilet rolls)

Split the players into teams and give each team a toilet roll.

One person is wrapped up to look like an Egyptian Mummy.

The winning team is the one who in a set time (say 2 minutes) have the neatest and most covered mummy.


Equipment: none

With a partner, stand in a circle. One is the horse (On all fours), the other is the jockey.

On the command, "mount" the jockey gets on the horse.

On the command "dismount" the jockey runs around the outside of the circle and gets back on his horse.

The last people to do so are eliminated.


Equipment: Sheets of paper

Lay out a few sheets of paper, these are the islands. The area around the paper is shark infested sea.

The players must walk around the paper; no standing still, hanging around one paper etc.

A leader shouts 'Sharks' and all the Players should take refuge on a sheet of paper, as many as possible on each sheet.

Any Players caught by the shark (the leader) are out. Leader shouts 'all clear' and the Players walk around again.

Repeat, but remove some paper so that the Players really have to crowd on to the paper.

No part of the Player should touch the floor.

The idea of the game is that they help each other to stay on the paper.

Swap places if you…

Equipment: A Chair per person in a circle

All sit in a circle, with one chair too few. Call out things such as “swap places if you have a brother/ate toast for breakfast/are wearing trainers”. Anybody who it applies to must get up and find a new chair. Whoever ends up without a chair must try and find one on the next go.

You can get the Rainbow in middle to choose what to say, when everybody knows what they are doing.

Fairytale Characters (like Beans/ Captains Coming)

Equipment: None

Played like Captain’s coming/The Bean game.

Witch – cackle and stir cauldron

Sleeping Beauty – lay on floor with arms across chest

Troll – stomp feet and look scary

Prince Charming – Gallop on horse

Fairy Godmother – wave wand and hover on tiptoes

Dwarves – march and sing Hi Ho

Cinderella – scrub the floor.

Newsprint Race

Equipment: Newspaper
Each girl is provided with two sheets of newspaper which she uses to run the race. She can only step on the newspapers; this is done by: stepping on one, lay the other in front of him, steps on it, retrieves the paper behind her, which she places in front of her moving forward in this fashion.
Animal Relay

Equipment: None

Each member of a team is allocated a different animal. She must then move across the hall in the style of that animal.

  • Donkey - Travelling on all fours, “eeyoore”.

  • Duck - Waddling on two feet in squat position “quacking”.

  • Lame Dog - 2 hands and 1 foot “barking”

  • Bear - All hands & feet, RHand/L foot together etc. “growl”

  • Crab – Belly up, hands and feet, feet forward.

  • Elephant - All hands and feet, legs and arms rigid.

  • Frog – Leap frog jumps, “rabbit”.

Who Am I?
Equipment: Post it Notes, Pen

On post it notes before you play the game, write character names or animals for the rainbows to guess. One at a time, 1 girl has a post it note stuck to her forehead and then asks questions to try and guess who she is. When she has guessed correctly, swap players.

Dice Corners

Equipment: Dice, Cards numbers 1 – 6

Game played as corners. Girls run around until you shout corners. The girls run to the individual areas where the cards are and then the dice is rolled. The number on the dice, states the numbered area which is out. Repeat until everyone is out.


Ancient Native American Indian Games
Cherokee 3 – stick game
Make a circle of 5 to 10 players. The circle should be about 15 feet in diameter. All players toss their sticks from outside the circle at all times and must stay in their original spot. Each participant has 3 paint sticks. The paint sticks should be designed or painted on one side. The other side will be blank or colourless. The leader will place one stick in the centre to begin the challenge. Taking turns, each player will toss one of their sticks into the circle. They are trying to cover or cross the sticks in the centre playing area. Painted side must cover painted side and blank side must cover blank side in order to take a stick from the centre. Play continues around the circle until only one player has sticks. She is the winner.

Turn Around Game

You will need 20 to 40 six-inch sticks for this neat Indian challenge. Begin the game with one player holding all the sticks in the palm of one hand. She tosses the sticks into the air. As they fall, the player tries to catch as many of the sticks as possible on the back of both hands. Put the sticks not caught off to one side. Then the player tosses the caught sticks from the back of the hands into the palm. If a player catches an even number of sticks, the other player has a turn, using all the remaining sticks. The player who catches the last free stick wins all the other players sticks and the game begins again. If playing with younger girls then toss them from one hand and catch with both hands (palms up).

In the River
Play this game in a circle but it can be played on a straight line as well. This game really challenges everyone to listen closely to the commands and never fails to bring about tons of laughter.

Each player has a line in front of her (use a long rope and make a circle). All players start on the outside of the rope. When the leader says “in the river” all jump into the circle (river). If the leaders says “ On the bank”, all must jump back out of the circle. If a player makes a mistake or is the last one to do the correct action she has to either come to the center of the circle and watch for others to make mistakes or can run a lap around the group and get back into the game. The leader should mix-up the commands to confuse the players from time to time. She might say “on the river” or “in the bank” just to see which Rainbow will execute the incorrect call.

Bola (name for ball in Peru)
This game can be played with any bowling ball-size rubber ball. Set up three pins in a triangle with the head pin towards the players,25 feet away from the bowling line. The players roll the ball towards the pins, trying to knock them down. One roll per round is permitted. The head pin is worth 12 points and the others are worth 6 points. Have the rainbows decide a number of points to play before the game begins (100 works well).
Eskimo Tug-of-war (Alaska – USA)

Divide the Rainbows into groups of 4. If there is an uneven number, one player can signal when to start and judge which team wins. If playing indoors, place a two-foot piece of tape or use a line on the floor to mark the crossover line. If you are playing outdoors, use a tree or other object to mark the crossover line. Team members line up behind each other, with one team on each side of the crossover line. Players at the fronts of the line hold each others forearms. Team members wrap their arms around the waists of the members in front of them. At the signal to start, each team tries to pull the other team over the line. The first team to pull the leader of the other team over the line wins.

Arctic Hunt – eskimo game
Draw a grid just like regular noughts and crosses. Each player is given 3 stones or coins to use. Can play with light coloured stones for one player and dark stones for the other. The play, to begin with is just like regular noughts and crosses. After all six stones are played and if no-one has won, the next player to play can put her stones in any open box on the grid. There are nine areas to play and only six stones. That means there will always be three open spaces to move a stone. Play until a player gets 3 in a row for the win.

Olivia’s overnight adventure

This can be played with a large or small group of girls. The girls sit in a circle close enough to be able to pass things quickly to each other. Each Rainbow is given a picture or item of something they may take on a sleepover. The leader then explains to the Rainbows the difference between left and right and how to tell which is their left hand. The leader explains that each time the left or the right is mentioned in the story the Rainbow must pass the item to the person on that side of her. Then the leader reads the story at a slow pace so the girls can keep up. You may wish to repeat at a faster pace to make it more fun. Beware some Rainbows get frustrated and may need assistance second time around.

Olivia was very excited as she had never been on a Rainbow overnight before. As she LEFT Rainbows she made sure she gave herkit list to her mum so that everything would be just RIGHT for the adventure.

The following week mum said “RIGHT then, where have we LEFT the kit list?” “You will have to help me pack your bag, Olivia”.

“RIGHT,” said Olivia. “Let’s start. Sleeping bag from the cupboard on the LEFT, clothes in the RIGHT hand side of the drawer and shoes from RIGHT at the back of the wardrobe.” Olivia struggled in to mum with a pile of clothes to be packed.

“ Now, what have you LEFT out?” said mum “Underwear I think. It’s in the drawer on the RIGHT. Also, pick up a towel and wash kit from the LEFT hand-side of the bathroom please.” “Don’t forget your toothbrush. You LEFT it by the sink!”

Olivia said, “I’ve LEFT my reading book on the LEFT side of my bed and I’ve LEFT someone very special behind.”

Mum looked puzzled, “All RIGHT then” she said as she LEFT the room to get Olivia’s airbed. “Why don’t you go and pick up your book and come RIGHT back, as we don’t have much time LEFT to finish the packing.”

Olivia went RIGHT back to her book and looked around the room to see where she had LEFT Oscar, her teddy. Sun, her Rainbow leader, had said not to forget your favourite toy as she was bringing hers! Olivia thought it wouldn’t be RIGHT if she LEFT Oscar out of the adventure.

She went back to where mum was checking the list again. Mum packed Oscar RIGHT on top of the bag and LEFT his head out so that he wouldn’t be scared. On the day of the overnight, Olivia LEFT home RIGHT on time and Sun was waiting in the hall for her.

“The room you’re sleeping in is on the LEFT,” she said ,as Olivia kissed her mum goodbye. As mum LEFT, Olivia went RIGHT to the bedroom and put her bed RIGHT next to Neeta’s. Neeta had already LEFT the room to go and play a game with Moon. Olivia got Oscar out of her bag and LEFT him tucked up in bed. As she LEFT the room she knew everything would be alRIGHT.

20 Lefts and 14 Rights

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