Pirate Party

Landon's Pirate Party 4yr - The Pirate Cake




Sheila in Saint Martinville, Louisiana


March 2006


March 2006 Winner

Pirate party 4 year old.  For my son, Landon's, 4th birthday he loved nothing more than pirates, so a pirate theme it was.  I first started off with the invitations.  I purchased boxes of "message in a bottle" invitations.  These came with a plastic bottle, cork, sand, and a few other things that I ended up not using.  I replaced the sticker of sand and water on the front of the bottle with a large  black sticker with crossbones and skull that I printed on my computer.  I added the words Aaarrr!  Come if ye dare to the sticker.  Inside the bottle I added small sea shells and small skull beads (oriental trading) to the sand.  Using a print software I have I made the invitation.  First I used a scroll background that looked like a weathered pirate map.  I added a picture of a sand mound with a pirate hat and pirate sword to the center top of the invitation.  I also added a sailing pirate ship the the bottom corner of the intvitation.  The rest of it read:Aaarrr! Come if ye dare to Pirate Landon's 4th Birthday Bash!  We need shipmates to swab the deck, walk the plank & hunt fer pirate treasure.  Aaarr!  Ship sets sail on (date & time).  Meet us at old man Landon's island (address).  I cut these out around the scroll and then burned the edges.  I rolled them up tied with red ribbon and put them in the bottles.  Once these were done and corked back up I hand deliverd them with the birthday boy.  He also invited two of the guests (cousins) to sleep over.  I made the same invitations, but worded these Your invited to sleep over for a pirate adventure.  We are going to sail the seven seas, hunt for some fun and watch some pirate movies.  Aaarrr! These were the cutest and funnest invitations we have ever made. 

For the decorations for the party area I started out with a long pirate banner (it was a long string with black triangels hanging from it with skulls and crossbones)I believe it was called pirate pennant flags.  I cut this in half and hung them going across the patio making a large X along the ceiling.  I then added red, black, and white balloons and curly ribbon.  I added bunches of the ballons to each corner of our covered patio, curled the ribbon that was hanging and added a parrot hanging from each bunch of balloons.  In the center of the patio I hung more ballons and a bigger parrot hanging from the center.  I had a few left over parrots that I hung throughout the party area.  We had a snack table.  I used a pirate themed table cloth on this table.  I had a red plate and napkin caddy that I used to hold pirate themed plates and napkins, along with red and black forks.  I used a black bowl to hold chips and dip, another black bowl to hold goldfish snacks, and a red bowl to hold Pirates of the Carribbean fruit snacks (individually wrapped).  I cut out the picture on the box of fruit snacks and used double tape to tape it to the back of the red bowl.  It made a cute display for the snacks.  I then made a center piece for the table.  I used a cardboard pirate treasure chest (matched the table cloth, plates, and napkins), a large skull (halloween decoration), a map(came with party supplies).  I set up these three pieces, added a pirate eye patch to the skull and then added gold, pearl, and colored beaded necklaces (left over from Mardi Gras) around the area.  I also added lots of gold coins, and all different color gems (bought at craft stores near the floral department).  I hung a pirate themed banner above the table and then anchored two bunches of helium balloons the each side of the table with smaller versions of the big cardboard treasure chest.  I put a balloon wieght in each treasure chest and then tied the ballons to the lid of the chest and closed it.  On the side of the snack table I had the drinks in an ice chest.  We had canned drinks and bottled water for the adults and ocean water (blue juice) and sharks blood (red juice) for the kids.  The kids loved the named of their drinks. 

I also had a table for all of the games and prizes.  This table had a long black table cloth.  I had 7 prizes (3 for girls, 3 for boys, 1 for the baby game).  I wrapped these in red gift bags with foam pirate stickers.  The girl prizes were little mermaid plush dolls, the boy prizes were small pirate play sets, and the baby prize was a pop up "I'm going to be a pirate when I grow up" book.  I also had a portable CD player on this table playing pirate song.  Most of the songs were either from the wiggles or pirates of the carribbean, but I was also able to find some really cute unique kids pirate songs.  Other items on this table were the pinata stick, pinata bags (brown paper bags with foam pirate stickers and the words "pirate loot"), and all game pieces.  I added a center piece to this table as well.  I used a brown cardboard treasure chest half way open and filled it with necklaces, gems, gold coins, and leftover maps, composses and telescopes from the goody bags.  Under the table, and covered by the table cloth, I had a large wooden trunk I use in my living room to keep blankets and pillows. The trunk held the pirate ship pinata and would later hold the treasure chests the kids would make filled with their pirate loot.  I made a red X out of red poster board and taped it to the trunk.  I also had two beach pails filled with small cannon balls made out of newspaper and black electrical tape.  This would be used druing the party for one of the games. 

I also had a cake table.  This table was covered with a pirate themed table cloth.  I couldn't find an original looking pirate cakes anywhere so decided to make it myself.  I started out with a dark blue poster foam board as my water.  I made 4 cakes (1 rectagle and 3 circle cakes).  I cut all the cakes to look like islands with the largest being the rectangle placed in the center.  After just trimming off a little bit on each cake they really looked like islands.  I iced them with cream cheese icing for an off white look then added crumbled graham crackers to give the look of sand.  I hadn't tried it out prior to making the cake so I was very releived when it did indeed look like sand.  I placed the larger cake in the middle and two of the smaller cakes on the sides.  I placed them off center to look like random islands in the water.  I added the last round cake (most of that cake was cut off) to the top corner.  The center cake had a small plastic boat (Landon's toy) in the water looking like it was docked right up against the island.  I had three pirates (toys) around a treasure chest (candle) and some gems around the chest (rock stick candy chopped into little pieces)  The gems looked really good and real.  I also had a captain and a pirate flag (toys) on this island.  To complete the island look I added about 4 palm trees(plastic cake decorations) and some coconuts (mini whoopers).  The next island had 2 pirates and a small fire.  Above the fire was a pot hanging on a triangle stand (these were all toys from Landon's pirate play sets).  I also added a few palm trees and coconuts to this island.  The next island had two palm trees and some coconuts, a large treasure chest candle, lots of candy gems, a pirate hat (candle that I took the wick out of) and a parrot (another candle that I took the wick out of).  The last island was the smallest cake all the way at the top corner. 

I made another cake using a small loaf pan.  I placed this cake on the last island and iced it with chocolate icing.  I used red fruit by the foot to make two "leather straps" and a yellow mini M&M for the "lock".  It looked just like a little treasure chest.  I added lots of gem candy, chocolate gold coins, candy necklaces all around it.  I also added a skull and crossbone candle (without the wick) and a sword candle (without the wick).  In back of the treasure chest I used some cake scraps, iced them brown and made it tall enough to place an number 4 candle right behind the treasure chest, but tall enough to see from the front of the cake.  In the front corner (opposite corner than the treasure chest cake) I added some icing and graham cracker crumbs to look like one more island.  I used Happy Birthday cake decorating candies and then I wrote Landon in the "sand" with a toothpick.  This cake was so cute noone wanted me to cut it and mess it up. The cake took up so much room on the table the only thing I added were a bunch of helium balloons (red, black, white, and large mylar pirate balloon) to each side of the table.  I also made a large banner to hang above this table.  I used a large tan colored poster board.  I printed out pictures from my software cut them out and used mounting tape to make it appear 3D.  I tried to make the banner look like the plates which looked like a pirate map.  At the very top I stenciled Happy Birthday and painted it red.  I used blue paint to make a lagoon added a few shark fins and a boat cut at an angle to appear as if it were sinking into the lagoon.  I then wrote the words sunken lagoon right beside it.  I printed out an anchor mounted it to the board and labeled this area Anchor point.  I printed out a sand mound with pirate hat and sword, mounted it and labeled this area Bounty Island. 

I printed out a parrots head mounted it and labeled this are Parrot's Cove.  I then printed a large treasure chest and a large red X mounted these.  I added scrap booking cutouts of palm trees throughout the poster.  At the bottom of the banner I added Landon's name in a bone font and mounted the letters to have a 3D effect.  I then took a large black marker and made a dotted line similar to those you would find on a map indicating where our ship has sailed.  It stared out at the top and ended at the X and treasure chest.  This banner came out really good.  I hung it directly behind the cake table on the wall.  Next up is the presest table.  I used a red table cloth and decorated this table with only presents.  Landon had several presents from us, his brother, and grandparents that I had bought and wrapped.  I wrapped them all in pirate gift bags and made gift tags that looked just like the invitations, but said Happy Birthday Landon!  From:  Name.  Some of his gifts from us included a pirate game, pirate sword that lights up and makes a sound, Dora the Explorer pirate adventure DVD.  Once all his gifts were on the table there wasn't much room left to decorate so I left it at that.  On the side of the present table I placed a lawn chair with a skeleton (halloween decoration) sitting in it.  I added beaded necklaces around his neck and a pirate eye patch.  I also made a sign that said "Dead men tell no tales".  For this sign I used black foam board and printed out all my words with a bone font.  I then taped the words using mounting tape to give it a 3D effect.  I placed it to look like the skeleton was holding it. 

We also had a "pirate dressing & craft table".  I used a black table cloth on this table.  This table held pirate hats (oriental trading).  It was really a craft kit, but I made one ahead of time to see how long it would take and it took me quiet a while to finish it so I decided to make all the hats ahead of time.  I also had pirate eye patches, hooks (red or black plastic cups with a pirate sticker and a hole cut in the bottom of the cup, aluminum foil shaped into a hook coming through the hole.  Once the kids little hands went in the cup to hold on to the extra aluminum foil it looked just like a pirate hook hand. I also had long balloons that are used to make balloon animals.  As the kids arrived they got to pick their color balloon and my husband blew them up and made swords with them instead of animals.  I also had parrots.  I used toilet paper rolls, painted them green, added googly eyes, feathers, beak (made with orange pipe cleaners).  I glued the eyes and beak on and then added feathers all around and a small feather sticking up from within the roll.  I punched two holes at the bottom and tied elastic string.  When put on the arm the parrot looks like it is standing on your arm.  The kids also got to do a craft at this table.  They made treasure chests.  I used old cleaned out wipes boxes.  I painted them with brown plastic spray paint and added gold glitter paint to the corners and drew a little lock onto the front.  I let the kids decorate these with gems, gold coins and glitter pens. 

For entertainment we had a pirate ship playground.  We recently tore down a wooden deck in our backyard so my husband used the scrap wood to make two pirate ships.  We purchased two large sheets of plywood traced our design and cut it to size.  The plywood was the bottom of the boats.  We then used the scrap wood to make the sides of the boat.  It was really simple.  The boat came to a point in the front, and was squared off in the back with the sides being straight.  One one side we had an opening big enough for kids to walk into the boat and on the other side we made a plank coming out of the opening.  There was no top the the boat, just the bottom and the sides.  To the back of the boat we added PVC pipe to make a mast.  We had one pipe going straight up them added connecters to make a "t".  We added a small plastic flower pot to the mast by cutting a hole in the bottem and sliding it on.  I pained the whole thing brown and added names to the ships with black paint and stencils.  One was the Black Pearl and the other was the Jolly Roger.  For some added detail we placed a blow up parrot in each of the planters to serve as the "look out", added a plastic pirate flag to the top of each mast, and added off white fabric to make the sails.  We made the sails look old and worn and kind of spooky looking.  We placed both ships on a large blue tarp (water) facing each other.  I then added a blow up alligater pool toy.  For extra decorations around the party area I added left over plastic pirate flags throughout the area.  Since we were going to have some younger guests over I decided to make a play area that was a little safer for them.  I put out our train table without the train.  Instead of a train I put out one of Landon's pirate playsets.  It included a ship, a pirate fort, cannons, pirates, treasure chests and all were big enough pieces not to pose a chocking hazzard.  For the party Landon wore his pirate costume and pirate hat.  My other son wore tan beach pants rolled up, a red and white striped shirt, sandels and a piarate hat.  I wore denim capri that were kind of big at the bottoms, a red tank top with a black button down shirt over it (unbuttoned), and a red and white sash tied around my waste.  I also wore big hoop earings, a skull and bone bracelet, and a skull ring.  My husband isn't into the whole dressing up thing so he didn't dress up. 

As the kids arrived they made their treasure chests then put them out to dry, got a pirate hat, eye patch, then either got a hook or a sword, or both, and a parrot.  They listened to pirate music and played in the pirate ships until all guests had arrived.  Once everyone was there we opened presents, thanked everyone, sang happy birthday, cut the cake and ate.  As everyone was finishing up with their cake we stared the games.  The first game was pin the eye patch on the pirate.  I bought the game from Oriental trading, but glued it to a red poster board and stenciled the words "pin the patch on the priate".  We had a girl winner and a boy winner for this game.  The next game was musical islands.  I had cut out island shaped from a large tan poster board and added double sided tape to hold them in place on the cemment slab.  As each kid was out they had to go walk the plank, which kept them from crying as they usually do with musical chairs.  This game also had a girl and a boy winner.  The next game was the baby game.  I used a galvanized tub filled with water and added pirate rubber duckies.  The baby who picked the ducky that Landon chose as his favorite was the winner.  The last game was sink the ship.  I divided the kids into two teams and gave them the buckets of cannon balls.  When we said go they threw the balls trying to get them into the other ship.  Once all cannons were thrown we got the kids all out and counted the cannons.  The ship with the most cannons was sunk and that team had to walk the plank into the ocean with the alligator.  We then divided the winning team in half and played again.  We did this until it was down to two kids and the last kid standing was the winner.  We also had a boy and girl winner for this game.  I awarded the last girl to be in the game since it ended up being two boys at the end.  With all the games done and all prizes given out it was time to fill the treasure chests.  We went to the place where we layed them out to dry and they were missing.  All that was left was a scroll and a puzzle piece. 

It was time for a treasure hunt.  I bought a puzzle game that looked like a treasure map and had several pieces that came out.  For each piece I made a clue on a scroll that looked just like the invitations.  The frist scroll read : Attention all pirates, we've stolen your loot, its time for a treasure hunt, we're sure you'll have a hoot.  Here is your first clue:  If you were real pirates you'd sail the seven seas for your transportaion you'd need one of these.  We looked around and the kids finally spotted a blue boat we had out in the back yard.  We all ran over to the boat and there was our next puzzle piece and another clue that read: A pirates fort not need be grand, just as long as it is built on land.  They quickly figured out it was the club house.  So we all ran over to the club house to find our next puzzle piece and another clue that read: A message in a bottle was a great way to send a letter you pirates today you've got it much better.  This was the mailbox, the next clue was: We pirates need to stay warm when the weather gets cold, we like to light a fire in a copper bowl.  This lead us to our copper fire pit where we found our next clue: When pirates get tired this is where they lay, they rock back and forth in the sun all day.  We figured out this would be a hammock.  It took a while since we didn't have a hammock, but the kids finally figured out it was the swing.  Here we found our last clue:  Now that you've searched high and low and had lots of fun, go back to the place were you begun.  The treasure was with you all along, right under your noses, under the song.  The older kids figured out it was under the table with the CD player.

While we were playing games I had my husband and mother fill the treasure chests up with pirate loot: pirates of the carribbean fruit snacks, candy necklaces, candy gem rings, small telescopes, small pirate treasure map, lots of gold coins and lots of different colored gems.  The boys got each a small pirate figure and a composs, the girls got a big gem ring and a pearl necklace, and the babies got a pirate rubber ducky and a bottle of pirate bubbles ( the babies didn't get gems and coins as they posed a chocking hazzard).  These were placed in the wooden trunk along with the pirate ship pinata and a few helium balloons.  When we lifted the table cloth there was the trunk with a big red X and the last puzzle piece.  We pulled it out, opened it up and out came the helium ballons.  We hung the pinata, took turns hitting it, finally busted it and they were able to pick up as much "pirate loot" as they could with their pinata goody bags.  The pinata was filled with assorted candy, gold coins, candy necklaces, pirate tattoos, and pirate gummy candies.  After the pinata was done I handed out the treasure chests and the kids played with they goodies or played in the pirate ships until the party ended.  Most of the kids didn't want to leave, but thankfully the parents insisted.  The guests left with a pirate hat, eye patch, balloon sword, pirate hook, parrot, treasure chest filled with goodies, a bag of pirate loot from them pinata, and hopefully lots of great memories. 

Landon wanted to invited two of his favorite cousins to sleep over.  One of them didn't want to stay sleep (they are still a little young for sleepovers), but his other cousin who is also his best friend stayed over.  We let them play in the boats while we picked up.  We moved the ships to the back yard.  We aslo had a small kids tent set up in the back yard that I filled with some of Landons pirate toys and lots of gems and necklaces.  This was their pirate fort.  They played pirates with the ships and fort for hours.  As a special treat I had purchased them each a real pirate hat and a nice plastic sword.  We lit the fire pit and played pirates with them until dinner time.  I had my husband go to McDonald's to pick up happy meals.  I had purchased off ebay some cute food holders that were little pirate ships (or gally's).  I served them their happy meals in these.  We ate outside.  The boys each ate in a pirate ship.  When it was time to come in I convinced them by offering a bubble bath.  They played with the left over pirate rubber duckies in the bubble bath and then they watched pirate movies and played with their swords and loot until they went to bed.  I had lots of pirate movies for them to pick from including: peter pan, dora's pirate adventure, pirates of the carribbean, goonies, sinbad, treasure island, and muppets treasure island.  They ended up watching dora and peter pan then fell asleep watchig muppets treasure island.  The next morning I served them biscuits in the pirate ships ( I had about a dozen of them) and orange juice in plastic reusable pirate cups with lids and straws.  Our overnight guest left with a new pirate hat, sword, pirate cup and some extra pirate food containers for at home, along with all his goodies from the party.  This was definitely one my best parties.  It was very fun to plan and everyone, including the adults had a great time.  My little birthday pirate had the time of his life!

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