Pirate Party

Pirate Party 3yr - Pirate Party Games




Nicky in Southport, Merseyside, Britain


May 2007


Special Mention

My son is mad keen on pirates so it seemed the obvious theme for this third birthday party. However, his birthday is in february and so the weather always has to be considered. Hence all party games had to be transferable indoors incase the British weather prevailed. Invitations The party invite was a pirate ship with diamonds hidden round about. On the reverse I printed the details of the party and said to wear your wellies as we would be going outside if it wasn't raining. Decorations I decorated the house with pirate balloons which were filled with helium and had long strings attached. In the front garden we put up a Beware!Pirates" sign with a skeleton.There were jolly roger flags in all the downstairs rooms and I made a pirate ship made from a large box. The table had a pirate table cloth and matching plates and napkins. 

Food We decided to go with beakers with lids as the children were aged between 12 months and 4 years so there was a high probability of spillage. I wrote the children's names on sticky labels and let them decorate them when they arrived and stick it on a beaker. This way we could tell whose drink it was.The food mainly consisted of finger food chicken nuggets sausages sandwiches fruit biscuits etc. Activities I spent a great deal of time on planning the activities as my son and his friends can be very active. I adapted some party favourites but kept very much to the pirate theme. There were colouring sheets and dressing up activities for the children as they arrived. I'd made bandanas from triangular pieces of black cloth on which I had painted a skull and cross bone. I cut up some ethnic material into strips which could be used as sashes. I purchased eye patches from the local party shop. My son wore some cut off stripey shorts and a t-shirt which had "a pirates life for me" printed on the front. He also wore a pair of pirate boxer shorts! His baby sister had a stripey t-shirt and black pants and his father and I wore sashes eye patches and bandanas. Most of the children came in their own fancy dress so there was lots of variety of pirates. Two guests even had wellies decorated with skull and crossbones. 

Once all of the children had arrived we went out into the garden for a TREASURE HUNT. I had hidden seashells and had the children to go and find them and put them in a treasure box which I had made from an old shoe box. When the children found three shells they could come and get a reward from my pirates purse which was a velveteen drawstring bag filled with chocolate gold goins and jewel sweets. Once the treasure hunt was finsihed we had a PIRATE ASSAULT COURSE which involved them pledging alliance to the pirate crew by climbing up the slide and hitting a skull and crossbone balloon which I had tied to the washing line as they slid down. Then bouncing on the rough seas (jumping on the trampoline)followed by walking the plank which was an old shelf that we had stored in the shed. Afterwards all the children stood on the shelf and we sang "10 scurvy pirates standing on a plank. One fell off (arghhh) and down he sank so there's 9 scurvy pirates standing on a plank" etc. We then moved indoors and did a version of PASS THE PARCEL. This involved the children passing a telescope (which was really a kaleidoscope) round the circle until the music stopped. The person holding the telescope then had to dig for treasure in the sand box. I had hidden more gold coins and small packets of sweets which were in wrappers the sort you give at halloween. The sand box was just a plastic under the bed storage box with a lid which was replaced when the game had finished. Next we played SINK THE PIRATE SHIP. I had made cannon balls from old newspaper and the children had to throw these into the large box which had a pirate ship painted on it. To make this a little more exciting as the children threw the cannon balls in I threw them out! Great fun was had by all including a few dads who took pop shots at me! Finally we moved on to using the jolly roger flag as a PARACHUTE GAMES with the children shaking the flag and moving one of the cannonballs. We also had each of the children running under the flag to try and get a shell from the treasure box. After all of this activity the children were allowed to go upstairs into my son and daughter's bedrooms and play with the toys whilst their parents made up their party plate.

Cake When the children were eating their food on a huge piece of material which was printed with pirates and treasure islands we played pirate shanties and songs which my husband had downloaded. Then it was time for the cake. I had found the idea on the internet and adapted it. It was a simple round orange and chocolate marbled cake which I covered in chocolate icing and sprinkled with crushed golden grahams to give the effect of sand. I found some pirate candles on the internet and used two small trees from my son's dinosaurs set and a tresasure chest from his pirate ship to make a little scene. I put a few jewelled sweets and jelly beans around the treasure shest to add colour and decorated the sides of the cake with more jewelled sweets. It was very simple and easy to make but had a definite "WOW" factor from both the children and the parents. 

The Finale After we sang happy birthday I read the children story about Winnie the Pooh and his friends pretending to be pirates looking for treasure. As I did this my sister-in-law went and stuck small pieces of coloured paper up the stairs and in the children's bedroom. At the end of the story the children were told to go and collect the coloured paper and bring them back to me. When they had done this we put the papers together to make a rainbow and the children were told to go and find another rainbow. This had been stuck on our coffee table in the lounge which was really an old travelling chest. When the children found the rainbow they gathered round as my son lifted the lid and 15 helium filled balloon escaped into the room. The children's faces were a picture. Then inside the chest were the party bags which contained a small toy and some more golden coins. The children then chose a balloon to tie to their party bag before going home.  All in all the children were here for three and a half hours and as they were leaving one of my son's friends said "can't we play some more?" As most of the children came in their own fancy dress the items I had prepared went in the dressing up box and are used by the children when they come to play. My son still has the pirate flags up in his bedroom and frequently asks for the lid of the chest to be lifted to see if there is treasure inside. My brother-in-law recorded the afternoon and my son likes to watch his party dvd. The cd of pirate songs now lives in the car and is played frequently. The pirate cloth is used when we go for picnics. My son uses his pirate candles when he's playing with his play dough and now buries treasure in the sand box himself.  "

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