Pirate Party

Pirate Nathan's Party 7yr - Musical Islands




Brenda in Lithia, Florida, USA


March 2007


Special Mention

My son has been crazy for pirates for over 3 years now and we decided this was the year for the big Pirate Bash! 

INVITATIONS: The invitations were printed. The wording was: Ahoy thar Matey! Ye be invited fer some swashbuckling fun at Pirate Nathan's 7th Birthday Bash!  We be in search of scallywags to swab the decks, fire the cannons and hunt fer pirate treasure. Chart yer course for (our address).  Ship sets sail on Saturday, February 24th from 1:30 to 3:30pm.  Aaargh! Ye'll receive your sea dog clothes at the door!  Avast! Be there or walk the plank! The edges were torn & inked to look aged. The invitations were rolled and tied with twine. Labels were removed from empty plastic water bottles and the bottles were filled with some sand, gold glitter, palm tree confetti (I punched out using a scrapbook punch and green cardstock) and shells (purchased at craft store). The rolled invitations were placed in the bottles with some of the twine sticking out of the bottle so that the invitations could be easily removed. The lids twisted securely even with the twine tail. I purchased pirate nametags from Oriental Trading Company and used those as name labels on the bottles. We then hand delivered the invitations.

DECORATIONS:  For the front yard I made a skeleton from empty gallon milk jugs (http://jas.familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=106 22). I jazzed him up with a sash, earring, eye patch and pirate hat from Long John Silvers restaurant (black electrical tape works great to cover the name of the restaurant on the hat). We hung the skeleton in a tree with signs around him that read Beware Pirates! Keep Away! Pirate Property and Pirate's Cove. I made the signs out of cardboard that I painted black and red and used a white paint pen to write the words. I attached the signs to wood paint stirrers and stuck them in the ground. I made a garden flag sign from black and white felt that had a picture of a Jolly Roger and read Yo Ho Yo Ho and placed it on my garden flag stake. On the front door I placed a Halloween skeleton decoration wearing an earring, eye patch and Long John Silver hat. He was holding a sign that read Enter at yer own risk!  In the front foyer I had a fishnet hanging over a small hall table. The fishnet had crabs and sea life stuck in it. On the table I placed a pirate ship that rocks back and forth, lights up, and plays pirate songs.  Off the front hallway is a small bathroom and I made a sign that read Poop Deck and pointed to the bathroom.  Throughout the house I placed my son's pirate toys and ships as decorations. On the back patio I hung a large pirate flag. 

PARTY: When the kids arrived, they were each given a red and white striped bandana (I cut and sewed from inexpensive cotton fabric from Wal Mart), a black sash (I cut from inexpensive fabric from Wal Mart), a loot bag (I sewed 2 felt squares together, used twine to close and decorated by drawing a Jolly Roger with white fabric paint), a colored bead necklace and a pirate tattoo (from US Toy Co). I used a black eyeliner pencil to draw scars, a beard and moustache on each child. I used the same nametags from the invitations to give each child a cool pirate name for the day.  Once the kids were in their pirate outfits, they moved on to the kitchen where I had a craft set up for them. Before the party I purchased a small wooden treasure box for each child at the Dollar Store and spray painted them gold. I let each child decorate their box with plastic jewels (from craft store), glitter paint pens and seashells (leftover from invitations). The boxes were left to dry while the kids moved outside to the Ring Toss Game.  My husband made a ring toss game out of leftover plywood and black spray paint. We used plastic pirate hook hands from the Dollar Store as the hooks and labeled each hook with Captain, First Mate, Cook and Shark Bait. I found rope rings at the Dollar Store (dog chew toys) that we used for the toss. Each child received an eye patch (US Toy Co) for playing and a plastic gold pirate coin for each ring they hooked.  Then we played Musical Islands.  For this game I staked a blue plastic tablecloth into the ground (to look like water). I then taped an island cut out from brown grocery bags (one for each child) onto to the tablecloth. Each island had a number and a large red X painted on it. This game was played like musical chairs. I created a pirate cd (borrowed several different pirate themed music cds from our local library and compiled our favorites) and when the music stopped playing, each child had to stand on an island. We called out number and the child on that numbered island was out of the game (they took there island with them). Each child was given a gold clip-on earring (US Toy Co) for playing the game and the winner was given a skeleton flashlight (from Halloween). 

After that game we divided the kids into two teams. They each drew a plastic gold pirate coin from a bag. Half the coins were marked with a black dot. The black dots pirates became Flying Dutchman crewmembers and the others were on the Black Pearl crew. The next game was a Walk the Plank Relay. We staked another blue tablecloth into the ground and placed 2 2x4 planks side-by-side on brick pavers. I placed a blow-up alligator pool toy between the planks. Each team had to carry a cannonball (ping pong ball spray painted black) in a shovel across the plank, drop the ball into a bucket on the other side, walk back across the plank and hand off the shovel to the next player. The first team finished won. The winning team won 2 colored bead necklaces each and the losing team each received one necklace. The next game was Sink the Ship. My husband & I got 2 large appliance boxes from a local store. We set them up across from each other & painted them to look like ships (plastic zip ties work great to keep the boxes together in the shape of a ship!). One ship was labeled the Flying Dutchman and the other the Black Pearl. The teams each got into their respective ships and had cannonballs waiting for them (I cut up brown grocery bags into strips, balled each strip & wrapped electric tape in two different colors). Each team had 100 cannons to fire at the other team. The team with the most hits won. Again, we gave out beads to the teams. FOOD: After games, the kids moved to the back porch for snacks. I had hand sanitizer to squirt on each child's hands as they came in. For snacks I put gold fish crackers, whoppers candy (looks like cannons), gummy sharks, a chocolate gold coin and a plastic snake (purchased at Dollar Store and washed before putting with food) into a cardboard treasure box from the local party store. For drinks I made Shark Blood punch from sprite & red punch ice cubes. I used black plastic tablecloths and Pirates of the Caribbean plates & tablecloths. We had black napkins, black straws and gold plastic spoons.

After the kids snacked for a few minutes, we sang Happy Birthday & cut the cake. I made the cake (several cakes) into a pirate ship and an island. I had lots of pirate figures on the ship, island and even in the water! Great cake ideas from CakeCentral.com (www.cakecentral.com). Each child got an individual cup of ice cream with a pirate flag pick stuck in the middle (Us Toy Co).  On the food table was an empty glass bottle that I decorated with a Jolly Roger. Inside was the first clue to the treasure hunt. The treasure hunt had 7 rhyming clues and took the kids all over the front & back yard. One clue spot had a bag of blown-up balloons. Each balloon had a piece of paper that read Sorry, Matey and one balloon that had the clue. The kids had a blast popping the balloons to get to the clue! Another clue spot had a bag filled with pirate swords (I cut out from cardboard, spray painted silver & wrapped black electrical tape around handle). The final clue led the kids to the treasure chest filled with goodie bags. I painted a Styrofoam cooler brown to look like a treasure box and used gold duct tape to look like the hinges & hardware. For the goody bags I decorated brown lunch bags with black electrical tape to look like mini treasure chests. The goody bags contained plastic telescopes, compasses, skulls filled with starbursts, root beer barrels and tootsie rolls, candy sticks, Pirates of the Caribbean M&Ms, gold plastic pirate coins, pirate stickers, skull bead bracelets (made from beads purchased at Oriental Trading) and colored bead necklaces.  After the treasure hunt, the kids played in the ships until their parents came to pick them up. Each child went home with a bandanna, sash, loot bag, eye patch earring, bead necklaces, their decorated treasure box, plastic coins and goody bags. The kids had a great time at the party and I had so much fun planning it.  It took about a month to plan the party, but it was definitely worth it!

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