Pirate Party

Collin's Buccaneer Bash 6yr - Yer Own Risk




Teresa in Indianapolis, IN, USA


April 2004



My son's 6th birthday party was a "Pirate" Theme.  There were a total of 31 kids and lots of grown ups to help.  (Thank goodness it was a sunny day!) I compiled some of the ideas from a variety of pirate sites here as well as some of my own ideas.  We held it in our back yard--so on my front door I made a sign that said "Poopdeck closed, Enter 'round back".  As the kids went around our house, they saw a sign I made that said "Enter at Yer Own Risk".  The Invitation--I used resume paper and printed the invitation using pirate language.  After printing, I used a lighter and burned the edges.  I "made" my husband drink IBC Rootbeer and rolled the invitations and placed in the bottles for delivery.  I also used my son's digital photo and placed it in the Paint program and drew a pirate shirt, clip art parrot and pirate hat on the front of the invitation.  "Yer invited to Collin's Buccaneer Bash.(etc.)..swashbuckling fun.(etc) Wave yer flag if ye be attendin' or have yer mum call, etc. (etc). 

The Party Decorations--I got vinyl fabric at Walmart for $1 a yard and used a letter cutting machine at school (I'm a teacher) on contact paper.  The contact paper letters peeled off and I placed on the black, vinyl sign.  (I. E.  Collin's Buccaneer Bash, Loot Goes 'Ere, Enter at Yer Own Risk, etc.)  I superglued 2 dowel rods at each end of the signs and placed all over the yard (just hammered the dowel rods into the ground).  I also got on the internet and printed pirate pictures and made them into overhead transparencies and traced onto the signs and used fabric paint to color them in. 

Activity One--Upon arrival each child reached into 3 different ziploc bags and selected a "pirate" name. (I. E.  Peg Leg Bonny or Evil Skull Ned, etc) Idea is from the book, "Everything I know about pirates : a collection of made-up facts, educated guesses, and silly pictures about bad guys of the high seas" by Lichtenheld, Tom--it has the exact list in 3 columns of pirate names and the loot bags coordinated from a local party store.  (I reserved this book at my local library) I created name badges (printed on disk label stickers).  I then wrote the pirate name on the name tag and the loot bag.  I tied the loot bag around the child's waist using red fabric (a "pirate" sash) that I cut into strips ($1 a yard @ Walmart).  The child then went to make a pirate flag.  I cut the black fabric into rectangles and glued to a small dowel rod.  The kids used fabric paint and painted their pirate name on the flags and other decorations.  I had pre-cut skulls and crossbones, so each child just had to peel off the backing and place on the flag.  After this, the child went to "Pin the Parrot on the Pirate" station.  For this,  I had traced a parrot sitting on a pirates shoulder coloring book page off of the internet by making an overhead transparency and tracing onto bulk paper.  I colored this in with marker.  Then I made numerous parrots--one for each child--with their name on it.  Using the black fabric I had leftover, I made a blindfold and each child tried to pin the parrot on the pirate.  The reward:  A toilet paper roll "telescope" my husband had spraypainted black. 

Activity Two:  Pirate Vocabulary with my Husband (He dressed up like a pirate--bandanna, cut pants, scar on face, etc.  He went over terms from a hilarous book on pirates, "Everything I know about pirates : a collection of made-up facts, educated guesses, and silly pictures about bad guys of the high seas" by Lichtenheld, Tom.  This is a GREAT book and a Must to read at least part of it at the party.  Reward:  For being good listeners:  a scroll of the pirate terms for loot bag and an eye patch (store bought).   Examples from book by Tom Lichtenheld: Ahoy1.  Hello   2.  Howdy   3.  Good Day   4.  Yo! S’up? Avast1.Hey you, cut that out!  2.  A lot of space. 

Activity Three:  CannonBall Pop.  The night before the party I placed slips of paper inside black balloons as I was blowing them up.  5 Slips said "You are a winner", the rest said "Sorry".  Kids had to pop balloons and read paper inside.  The winners collected Parrot Hats (Dollar Store) as the reward.  Other participants, got a party "blow out" pirate favor. 

Activity Four:  Swab the Deck.  (Items needed:  brooms and practice golf balls or ping pong balls--some painted black, some white)  Kids divided into teams (Red beards or black beards)  I placed 3 black practice golf balls for one team and 3 white for the other.  This is a relay--I had 10 kids on each team (2 lines of 5 kids for each team.)  One team member, using the broom had to swat the balls(all three) to the next teammate.  They would then have to "swab the deck" back with all of the golf practice balls and sit down when they were finished.  The first team with all players sitting down was the winner.  Winners received a pirate hat (Oriental Trading Company) and the others received a pirate bandanna. 

Activity Five:  Musical Islands (Carpet squares, Pirates of the Carribean musical CD, CD player.  This is a version of musical chairs.  We had left over carpeting from when we finished our basement, so my husband cut out 24 small sqaures and placed in a large circle in our yard.  I played the music and when the music stopped the players had to get to an island--if no island was left they had to "Walk to Plank" out of the game.  We did this until there was one winner by continueing to move out 3 squares each time.  My husband made an actual plank that looked very authentic from wood from his workshop.  It was a lot of fun.  Reward:  Winner plastic telescope and Ugly Teeth (Target party favor isle).  All others received "Ugly Teeth" for participating. 

Activity 6:  Treasure Hunt.  Each child was given a plastic compass--Dollar General $1 for 4 to help them "find" the clues.  I made two treasure hunt boxes filled with Mardi Gras beads from Oriental Trading Company and fake money.  I placed 5 clues around the house that each team had to find and read the clues:   Time is Passing.tick, tock The next clue is by the rock  A Famous Pirate saying is Swab the deck This is where you’ll find The next clue!  Hope these clues aren’t a bore, Because the next clue is Hidden by the door  The AC holds the final clue So go get it, Your team needs you!  Look in the vacant lot for a BLACK X Look in the vacant lot for a RED X  The last clue place had 2 plastic shovels, one for each team--the teams had to physically dig up the treasure and my husband buried it kind of deep, so it took about 10 minutes to dig up. 

Pinata--After the treasure hunt I had filled a pirate pinata with chocolate treasure coins and each child took turns until the pinata hit the ground!  I had hot dog "pirate ships"--using a hot dog holder (Sam's Club)  hot dog on bun was placed in the holder.  I used craft sticks and placed skull/cross bone labels on top part of stick.  Each child stuck the "pirate flag" into the ship.  I also printed disk labels with "Shark Blood Punch" and a picture of a shark--stuck the labels on a Hi-C juice box.   

Cake--A took a digital photo of my son in his pirate garb a few days before the party in front of the "Collin's Buccaneer Bash" sign and got a full sheet digital cake (edible photo sticker).  It was neat!  I just purchased ice cream cups so I would not have to deal with scooping ice cream!!  Collin opened his loot after the cake.  The party was 2 hours in length and timed out perfectly.  It could have been 2 1/2 hours really.  I received a lot of compliments on this party.  It was a lot of fun.  I took lots of digital pictures and mailed!  The kids were dressed like pirates by the end of the party with hats, ugly teeth, a compass, telescope, eye patches, pirate sashes and even their own personal pirate flag.  After the party I made postcards and mailed to each individual child:  Thanks so much fer attendin’, My 6th Birthday Bash, I hope ya had lots of fun, You made it such a smash!  The memories from the party, Were such a great pleasure! Thanks for makin’ me birthday, One I will always treasure!  My son signed each one to add a personal element. Collin had a great birthday!

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