ARGGG…Pirates, Treasures, and Creatively Sculpted Islands!

Last week was “Pirate Week” at CMP. The children arrived at my studio dressed as pirates. All that I could think was, “we need to go on a treasure hunt in The Glenn!” The children searched for all kinds of natural found objects. They found seed pods, small rocks, sticks, and leaves that had fallen from the trees; some even found some small grape tomatoes that dropped from the garden. When they arrived back to The Studio, we made magic happen…. continue reading to learn how to create a very easy and fun “Pirate Island.”


  • Leaves, sticks, rocks, flowers, basically anything the kids found in nature that is small in scale
  • Salt Dough: 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup water (knead the dough to proper consistency)
  • Ziploc bags

art project materials in jar

Step 1:

Take the kids out in nature — have them collect objects and fill their Ziploc bag about half way. Encourage them to find a variety of different objects.

Kids Standing in Naturelittle girl standing outside

Step 2:

Hand out a small ball of dough to each child. Have them play with it, roll it, pull it apart, and adhere the pieces back together. Have the kids assess: “What does the dough feel like? Is it soft or hard? Is it rough or smooth?”

kids playing with dough

Step 3:

Press the dough into a circular shape. Talk about shapes of islands and ask questions such as the following: “What shape will your island be? Is it circular or square? Are all islands the same shape?”

girl doing art project girl sitting at art table girl working on dough art project

Step 4:

Apply found objects to the island to create an environment full of trees, leaves, and flowers. Have the kids share what they think: “What can you use to create trees? Shade? Animals?”

boy with art project creation finished art project girl with art project creation

This is a fun and easy project that you can create at home!

Enjoy, Have Fun and Create with your Children!

If you enjoyed this post we invite you to read our blog, “Reuse, Reduce and Recycle…Into Fine Art!

Carmel Mountain Preschool provides a safe and caring environment with hands-on, developmentally-appropriate programs for children. We also offer excellent care for elementary school-age students with our before and after school programs. CMP is located at 9510 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, CA 92129, situated between 4S Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, Carmel Valley, and Santaluz. For more information, please visit our website or contact us at 858.484.4877.

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