Pirates of the Caribbean

Swashbuckling Pirate -5yr- Invite in a Bottle




Michelle in York, PA  USA


June 2001


Special Mention

My son had a swashbuckling pirate party for his fifth birthday. 

The invitations were written on parchment paper (burnt around the edges) in pirate jargon.  They were rolled up and tied with black string and placed in small plastic soda bottles.  The soda label was removed. A few tablespoons of sand and small seashells were put in the bottles and the top that came with the bottle was put back on.  I burnt around the edges of a smaller piece of parchment paper and put the guest's name and address on it and glued them to the bottles.  (My son and all guests were referred to as Captn'.)  I mailed these. Everyone LOVED them! 

The yard was decorated with many pirate flags.  I made them from black felt and glued white felt skull and cross bones on them. They were put on wooden dowels and placed along our fence.  An "Enter AT Yer Own Risk" sign was placed on the gate.  Black helium balloons were also on the fence. 

Fish nets were hung everywhere with paper fish stuck in them. Paper fish were hung from our ceiling.  Pirate plates, cups, and table cloths were used. The birthday cake was a pirate chest with "loot" overflowing from it.  Lunch was pizza. 

The children were told they were pirates in training.  As the guests arrived, they were given pirate garb. (red bandanas on their heads, eye patches, one clip-on hoop earring, a temporary tattoo of a snake or butterfly, a pirate hook, and a black felt vest with a skull and cross bones that I made) Each child received an empty black cloth loot bag with a skull and cross bones on the front. Their names were on the loot bags.  I also made them. The loot bags were filled by the time the children left.   

They were kept busy with many activities.  They looted a pirate piƱata. They dug for buried loot (seashells, rings, and colored rocks)in a decorated toy box full of sand. They walked the plank. A sturdy plastic kid pool was filled with water and battery operated squirting fish.  A wooden plank was put on the pool and was taped at both ends.  The kids loved this! Little Styrofoam colored fish were also put in the pool.  Little fish nets were used so they could catch the fish to take home.  They were given gold foil covered coins throughout the party for all their pirate accomplishments. They played pin the X on the pirate map.  

The party would not have been complete without a treasure hunt.  Clues were given and hidden throughout the house and outside.  When they found the treasure chest, they had to open the lock with a key.  (The treasure chest was a shoe box that I glued strips of brown grocery store bags to.)The treasure box was filled with lots of inexpensive candy, pearl and colored necklaces, plastic rings, gold coins, fish stickers, and seashells. All children received the same amount. 

When they left, they were given a rolled up pirate diploma, written in pirate jargon, that acknowledged they had successfully completed a harrowing day of pirate training and were officially pirates.  They had a picture taken with the birthday boy. (This was put on their thank you note later on) They took home their pirate garb and loot bags that were overflowing with loot.  It was an incredible party for all!

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