AARRGGHH! Talk Like a Pirate Day in September is a parody holiday filled with fun and laughter for pirate lovers around the world. To inspire little pirates on Talk Like a Pirate Day, invite them to create Talk Like a Pirate Day Counting Sticks with Wikki Stix. Your kids will gain important number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, and patterning skills for early math while they create and play!

Materials needed:

• Black and Red Wikki Stix – one for each counting stick per child
• Black, Red, and White Pony Beads (if desired, add gold or silver pony beads for special patterning and “loot” on the Pirate Hat Counting Sticks).
• Free Printable Pirate Hat Toppers for the counting sticks – print here.
• Scissors

Prior to math games, print the Pirate Hat Toppers linked above and use a permanent marker to label each topper with any numbers your own kids are working on. Create an invitation to play by assembling the Pirate Hat Toppers, assorted pony beads, and Wikki Stix on a tray or a large table. Kids are curious about supplies and will be drawn to create and play when supplies are readily available.

5 Ways to Play with the Wikki Stix Talk Like a Pirate Day Counting Sticks:

1). One-to-One Correspondence – kids can attach one of the labeled Pirate Hats to the top of a Wikki Stix with firm fingertip pressure. Ask the children to place the corresponding number of pony beads on the counting stick. Example: the counting stick label with the numeral 1, gets 1 pony bead. Pony beads fit easily on Wikki Stix and encourage fine motor skills, too. As kids gain confidence, introduce number words by writing the number word on the Pirate Hat Toppers.

2). Number Order – invite kids to attach numbered Pirate Hat Toppers (labeled 1-10) to the top of 10 Wikki Stix. Kids can then work to sort the numbered Pirate Hats into correct number order.

Variation: have the kids sort the counting sticks into correct number order starting with a number OTHER than number 1.

3). Skip Counting – kids can practice skip counting skills with the counting sticks. Example – for skip counting by 2’s, label the Pirate Hat Toppers with numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc. Kids can then work to place the correct number of pony beads on each of the counting sticks.

4). Ten Bars – Wikki Stix counting sticks make great “10 bars.” Invite kids to place 10 pony beads onto 10 of the Wikki Stix Pirate Hat Counting Sticks. Place the created 10 bars side-by-side to visualize any set of 10.

5). Patterning – write any basic pattern on the Pirate Hat Toppers (for example: write AB on one of the Pirate Hat Toppers). Kids must then choose two color to alternate on their Wikki Stix Pirate Hat Counting Sticks. Note: the first color of pony bead is the “A” bead; the second color of pony bead is the “B” bead. Kids should keep alternating colors of beads to create the AB pattern on the Pirate Hat Counting Sticks. As kids gain confidence, encourage more complex patterns: ABC, ABCD, AABB, AABBCC, AABBCCDD, etc.

HINT: After printing the Pirate Hat Toppers, laminate for durability, and then use a dry erase marker for labeling the various game suggestions above.

Kids love Talk Like a Pirate Day! Take advantage of special interest by creating moments of FUN learning through play with the Wikki Stix Pirate Hat Counting Sticks for teaching early math skills.

For even more ways to create and play with Wikki Stix, please visit:

Parts of a Leaf Activity with Wikki Stix

Free Printable Interactive Number Notebook

Easy Apple and Pumpkin Crafts with Wikki Stix

Wikki Stix Apple Tree Handprint Craft

Talk Like a Pirate Day Counting Sticks Supplies

Talk Like a Pirate Day Counting Sticks