Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of Caribbean 7yr - Costumes & Games




Diana in Murrieta, CA USA


April 2007


Runner Up

For my son's 7th birthday he wanted to have a Pirates of the Caribbean Party.  I love pirates so I was happy to comply.   .   

Invitations: On beige resume paper I typed in an Old English font,   A vast me hearties!  Stop yer pillaging lend me yer ear I have a message for ye to hear!  The Treasure's been stolen it must be found so tighten yer sashes ye be pirate party bound!  Shiver me timbers thar's fun to be had drinkin shark's blood an flailin yer sword.  Ye be walkin the plank on this day ye can bet!  So chart yer course for the best pirate party yet!  Aaarrr!  Come if ye dare to Captain Sean Gillam's  7th birthday bash.  We be gatherin at his home port at 4:30 pm on Friday September 22nd.  Thar be grub and kiddie spirits fer all. 

Wave yer flag or have yer mom send word by yer phone to (our phone #).  Ye must RSVP to receive yer pirate gear afor the party"  I centered this on the invitation and topped it with a skull image from clipart.  Then I burned the edges with real fire.  Do this outside in a safe place!  By burning and blowing and burning and blowing I was able to burn all the way around.  We rolled these tied them with gold ribbon and put them in a bottle with a cork (purchased online) with craft sand jewels and shells.  On the outside of each I stuck a black jolly roger flag from the scrapbook store. These took awhile because my son invited every boy in his class and his entire football team.  We passed these out two weeks before the party. 

I spent the next week sewing twenty-two pair pirate pants from black cotton.  I used a pattern for sew-easy pajama pants (no pockets) flipped the top for elastic casing and cut a ragged edge on the bottom of each pant leg.  I also cut each boy a triangle head bandana and waist sash from either red or blue fabric.  On the head bandana I stamped a skull and crossbones in white paint right in the middle front.  I made the stamp myself from craft foam.  I simply drew and cut the skull and bones and glued it to a rectangular piece of foam to make the stamp.  As each boy responded to the invitation he was given a set of pants bandana and sash a list of easy pirate terms a map to the house and a set of instructions to learn the terms and wear the costume with a white t-shirt all written in the same Old English on beige resume paper and all tied together with twine.  

Decorations: I purchased tiki torches from the local discount store and placed them in the front walk area and in the planters in the backyard.  By the front door I arranged a halloween skeleton also dressed in black pants a pirate vest bandana and eye patch.  He was sitting next to a beautiful treasure chest that I filled with black material and then gold "Pirates of the Caribbean" coins purchased from an online party store and gold marti gras necklaces.  To complete the effect I set off a fog machine and put disney's pirate ride music on continuous loop on my CD player.  The party started toward evening so the effect was frightfully good.  In the backyard I hung pirate flag banners around the outside of the patio cover and along the fence along with a few parrots.  We rented three long tables and chairs witch I covered in black plastic table clothes. 

For center pieces we used the Pirates of the Caribbean ship center pieces that the party stores sell.  At each childs seat I placed a blank treasure map and a sheet of pirate/treasure map stickers to decorate with sold through oriental trading co.  I also placed a skull cup also purchased through oriental filled with tissue paper and then with gummy worms so they looked like they were coming out of the top of the skull.  On the table I spread around sea shells and more pirate gold coins.  With the tiki torches going the effect was tremendously piratey. 

Activities:  In preparation for the games I had my husband help me make two pirate ships and two cannons.  I planned for all the games to be played in teams red team vs. blue team.  To make the ships my husband cut two sheets of wood board into simple ship shapes complete with portholes.  He even sanded the edges for safety.  I painted the top edge of each black and around each porthole black.  Then brown stripes to look like plank wood.  Then we sunk two railroad tie posts (masts) into the grass a good foot and screwed the "ships" to each.  I took some old sheet material and staple gunned a rectangle of it to the top of each mast along with a piece of rope.  Then I used the rope to wrap around and around the mast and material so it looked like the sail was down. 

For the cannons we used two black pcv pipes around five inches diameter cut to three feet.  I capped each end with the black pcv connectors.  We cut half oval wooden circles and drilled a hole through two of them and the pipe.  We assembled the "cannons" with large ten inch bolts.  The cannons had to then be propped up with a block of wood.  Every thing was spray painted black and whala! cannons!  I also spray painted twelve plastic "ballpit" balls black for our cannons. 

Finally we arranged some plank board which I will explain with the games.  The day of the party: The boys arrived wearing their costumes.  They were escorted to their place at the party table volunteers gave them a pirate name on a nametag that included their real name for example "Pegleg Peter and painted their face with a mustache and Jack Sparrow style beard.  The boys decorated their treasure maps while waiting for the rest of the boys. All the while there was music playing from the Pirates of the Caribbean sound track.  Remember every game is red team vs. blue team. 

Game #1: Walk the plank.  We had two fifteen foot planks that were left over from building our patio cover.  We laid them flat on the grass and had each team line up at the end of their plank.  Then volunteers covered each boys eyes one at a time with a sash spun them three times and made them walk the walk the plank.  The winning team was the one that had the most boys get to the end. And what did the winning team get?  A piece to a treasure map.  Before the party I had made a treasure map that had the house in the center and clearly showed backyard and front yard land marks.  Each piece led through a different part of the yard and eventually through the house to the front yard and around by the gate.  I cut the treasure map strategically so that each clue would get the boys closer but not to the treasure until the last piece. 

Game #2: Swab the Deck.  For this game I had purchased plastic eyeballs at Halloween time two safe plastic mops that my husband shortened to boy height and two small pails.  The eyeball idea was from the character in the movie who kept losing his eye. My husband arranged a rectangular course from planks of wood on our side yard cement.  There were two openings where each team lined up with each boy holding his "eyeball".  Then relay style each team had one boy at a time drop the ball onto the course and swab it using only the mop to the bucket.  We told them when they got across a certain line in the cement they could pick it back up drop it in the bucket and run back with the mop to the next kid.  Winning team recieved piece number two of the map.    After each game I awarded the piece and led them all to the main map area where we taped it up.  Of course after each piece was added it was pandamonium as the boys thought they knew where the treasure was.  Really fun! 

Game #3:  Load the Cannons.  Teams lined up in front of their cannons.  At the other end of the line I placed six cannon balls each.  Teams were told they must pass the cannon balls over under style.  Also volunteers made sure they didn't start the next cannon until the first was "loaded".  We practiced one time to make sure everyone understood and then it was relay time again.  Winning team receives third piece of the treasure map.  Pandamonium again!  This time into the house! 

Game #4:  Cannon ball fight.  Before the party my darling husband had filled 100 black cannon water balloons that they sell at the party store 50 each team.  The boys gathered behind their ships for the final battle and pictures!  Set the scene.  Boys in costume theme music blaring sun going down tiki torches blazing each boy knows he has only five cannons to fire off and then I shout "attack".  I don't know who fired off more shots the boys or the parents with the cameras.  Since the blue team had won every other event we declared the red team the winner awarded the last piece of the treasure map and then they were off.   

The boys quickly found the treasure in the front yard behind a bush and inside the big decorator "treasure" chest I had from my son's room was goodie bags filled with swords eye-patches and other pirate treats from oriental trading co.  I wanted the swords to come out last because I knew there would be one final battle after this and there was.  At last we settled them all down and sang happy birthday to my son around a giant Pirates of the Caribbean themed cake.  A few more pictures and everyone packed up their booty.  We decided not to open presents during the party just too much going on.  All of the kids had a great time and my son is already asking when his next birthday is.      "

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