A Mommy Guide to a Pirate Party
Pirate Party Cake
Pirate Fans Strike the Colors Me Heartys!
Think throwing a theme party sounds hard and expensive? Think again!
- Plan Ahead - By deciding a month in advance to throw one smashing Pirate Party, we were able to keep a savvy eye out for supplies and hit up recently marked down Halloween goods.Know how many and of what you are looking for so when you find it, you don't buy too little (or worse, too much)
- Plan Smart - We determined how long each activity would take and if the amount of time spent playing games was as important as opening gifts at the party. We gave our son all of his gifts from the family that evening instead of at the party so more time could be spent playing instead of opening gifts.
- Get Help - Your buccaneer will have plenty of ideas of what Pirates do, have your Pint Sized Pirate help determine what is needed
- Budget - Set a budget so you know when you have spent enough and when you can splurge for that extra treasure chest that will make the party just perfect.
The entire party took 2.5 hours long which when you consider herding 10 or so kids into the games and food was pretty good. The kids went home happy and worn out from one grubby, dirty pirate adventure. My son still talks about how he was once a pirate and thinks we should do it all over again.
The Cake: Our grocery baker was able to make a sheet cake with a pirate ship and even let us bring in the decoration that went on top. We also explored the option of making cupcakes and setting an eye patch on top. Luckily, kids like cake so no matter which direction you are leaning, you can't go wrong with simple. If using a bakery or grocery to get the cake, put your order in 2 weeks in advance and make sure you know how you are going to get the cake from there to the party (think coolers to keep it safe from harm!) Cost $36
The Invites: We found a downloadable background of a pirate skull and we filled it in with the details of the party on one side of the invite and on the other we downloaded a map of the park and wrote clues on how to find us at the park (ie. take 16 giant steps while scratching your ear with your pirate hook then stop and search for the yellow pirate peace banner). We put the invites in the envelope and then slipped an elastic eye patch over the envelope and wrote the persons name under the eye patch. Cost $Free
Swag Bags: We had our pirates decorate their swag bags- a trip to Michael's crafts store yielded felt bags and foamie stickers and the first thing the pirates did was decorate them while waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive. Each bag was marked with their name with a felt tip pen and set aside when the real games began. While they ran off to play, an adult came along and filled their swag bags with chocolate gold coins, plastic beads, candy rings, and a rolled coloring page of Jake and the Neverland Pirates (www.disneyjunior.com) . When choosing the size of the bag, we ensured that all of the dress up gear could fit inside also just in case someone could convince a little pirate to take them off before going home. Cost $10
Fill your treasure chests with booty
- Party supplies, crafts, party decorations, toys: Oriental Trading
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- Pirate Dress Up: Again, being so close to Halloween was a good thing. We were able to find pirate kits at the dollar store that included swords, pistols, eye patches, clip on earrings, telescopes and hooks. The one thing missing from the kits was the signature head bandana. My mother in law made square (18 x18) fabric clothes out of an old sheet. Now each kid looked like a barbarian and we sealed the deal with rub on tattoos Cost $20
- Treasure Hunt: I used envelopes and index cards and got to the park early to figure out where to place the clues. An adult ran from clue to clue with the kids to help them find the clues and read them off. I recommend that you have two adults help with this as the faster runners would sprint ahead and leave the smaller kids trying to catch up. The clues led our pirates back to pavilion where they discovered their next game. Cost $Free
- Silly String Fight: Everyone joined in for this one! A massive no holds bar silly string fight ensured that no one used the swords for poking each other. Parents and kids were encouraged to use all 20 cans of silly string. Cost $20
Some additional ideas are
- Hire a pirate - many large towns have a community of actors or enthusiasts that would be willing to stop in and answer questions about pirates or history
- Hold the event at a museum with time period pieces
- Teach the kids how to talk like a pirate with some age appropriate phrases
- Hold a water fight with buckets of water (bailing out the sinking ship)
- Hire a face painter to add character to your mini pirates disguises
Most of all, have fun! They are only this age once!
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