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A Pirate Party has to be one of the most popular parties of all… just for the lingo alone… Arrr Matey!
Send Pirate Invitations with a Poem:
“Arhh Matey! Ye be brave and bold!
And come hear stories yet untold…
Of treasure chests all filled with gold
So walk the plank and come on down
To the best pirate birthday bash in town!”
- Invitations can be a message in a bottle, a tea-bag stained rolled up paper with burned edges or a wanted poster (use a gothic style font.)
- To make it a bit more challenging for the party-goers, give them the instructions according to landmarks or with latitude and longitude (there are websites that will give you your co-ordinates and Google maps will give an address based on the points). You can add extra instructions for “Land Lubbers”.
- Pepper it with great Pirate Speak. Invite the child by their pirate name… such as:
Long Tooth John, Left Eye John, John the Grim, Blind Eye John, John Blackbeard, John the Red, scurvy John, Peg Leg John, Scarface John, Dirty Dog John, Black John, Sea John… etc.
- Have some dressed (maybe a hat and an eye patch) skeletons around.
- You can make fantastic skeletons from milk jugs, (check out the family fun site).
- You might want to have a few warning signs up as well such as – “Dead Men tell no Tales!”
- Spray paint a couple of large styrofoam chests (good for drinks/snacks – or treasures/loot bags).
- Paint some shoeboxes and add jewels and glitter for pirate chests.
- Decorate the walls with flags (made easily from black paper or fabric and make the skull and crossbones with white paint/liquid paper/fabric paint.
- Make “Cannonballs” from crumpled up newspaper painted with black paint (or covered with black electrical tape), the cannonballs can be used in the games (below).
- Shine pennies (soak in salt and vinegar solution) and display as pirate “gold” or scatter chocolate gold coins around.
- Paint rocks and pebbles gold for “pirate gold”.
- If you are ambitious make a pirate ship from 1 (or more) appliance boxes.
- Make Anchors out of paper and attach to the walls.
- Have music playing for your little scallywag pirates. There are lots to choose from: Muppets – Treasure Island Music, Pirates of the Caribbean, Pirates of Penance… etc.
Pirate Party Costumes
- Lots of items can make up a pirate outfit: The hat, the eyepatch, the earring, a pirate bandana, a moustache, a hook.
- These costume items can also be made by hand… a pirate hat can be made by two pieces of black card stapled together (add some crimped red streamer around the top for a fancier hat.
- A hook can be made from a black plastic cup hidden up a sleeve (cut a hole in the bottom of the cup and stick an aluminum foil shaped “hook” through the hole.)
- Make a pirate patch from black card and punch holes on either side and thread a black elastic through.
- To add to the effect of scurvy pirates – ask the party-goers to wear a striped shirt and black (ripped at the bottom if possible) pants.
- If you have some red fabric you can make red sashes to add to their outfits.
- Make a Pirate Telescope from a Paper Towel Roll covered in Black paper and decorated with duct tape accents.
Pirate Party Activities
- The Classic Games are often good (put a pirate spin on them)… try “Pin the Patch on the Pirate”.
- Use the cannonballs you’ve made to play “Sink the Pirate Ship” (whichever team is able to pitch more of the cannonballs into the “Boat”- (upturned cardboard boxes which can be decorated if you have the energy/time).
- “Swab the Deck” is a fun relay – use mops to push the target items from one side of the party room to the other side (and back). Some people have had great luck with ping pong balls.
- Make the “Sea in a Bottle” by taking unbreakable bottles and filling with a combination of vinegar and oil tinted blue… add sparkles and little sea creatures/pirate pieces and glue the tops on (adult supervision), so that the sea bottles won’t leak when the children play with them.
- Make Crackers the Parrot to sit on your shoulder – attach a toilet paper roll decorated as a parrot to your shoulder by stapling a loop of sewing elastic to him. The loop of elastic then gets slid up your arm.
- Have a Tug of War (2 different groups of warring pirates).
- Walk the Plank (a simple way to do this is to have a long strip of thick cardboard decorated with a “wood grain” (use a sharpie) taped to the floor). Children are blindfolded and if they make a step out of place (off the “plank”) they lose.
- Hook the Treasure (use your pirate hook).
- Write things down with an “Old-time Quill” (tape/glue a large feather plume to a regular pen).
- Play “Pass the Pirate Hat” (if you are caught with the hat when the music ends you win a doubloon – this way you don’t have to play til “the bitter end” til you have all “losers” and just the one winner. You can quit at any time. )
- Play Shark and Minnows.
Pirate Party Food
- Serve Hardtack (biscuits) and Grog (soda)
- Your cake can be a Pirate Chest or a Ship (Set on top of blue blocks of Blue Jello for a “rough sea”).
write by Michelle Burns