Arrgh, so I here ye want to throw ay pirate party. Well, then listen here matey and we’ll tell you what yar should do.
First things first, we have a lot of great advice to share but it would be hard to do it all in a pirate voice. So please accept my apologies for going back to my regular tone.
Let’s focus on the main things that will make your swash-buckling adventure stand out from the rest: invitations, decorations, and activities.
Here are some of the best ideas I’ve seen for invitations.
- Message in a Bottle invite- Many party vendors sell plastic bottles that can hold a message inside. Fill the bottle with a little bit of sand and miniature shells. Print your invitations out on a small piece of paper and place it inside the bottle. Cap it off.
- Treasure Map invite- Create a map that represents the way to your home. Include the party details on it. Use light brown paper or dye white paper brown with a moistened tea bag. Roll the treasure map up and tie with a piece of twine.
- Pirate Hat invite- Print out images of pirate hats with the party details on the inside. If you fold the hat’s edges inward you can fit the invite into an envelope for mailing.
- To get your guests extra excited for their pirate adventure, include a pirate’s eye patch or treasure chest key with the invite. Have them bring the item to the party.
Halloween décor makes great pirate décor. Consider the age of your guests when purchasing skulls and other props. You don’t want anything to scary. But you can easily stock up on spider rings, tombstones, skeletons, fake bugs and more at a reasonable price. Dollar stores are like a treasure trove for these things. Then, spread these about in your party area.
- Turn small boxes and shoeboxes into treasure boxes and place throughout your party area.
- Purchase fish nets and hang them in the corners of the room or use as tablecloths.
- Decorate with black and white balloons, streamers, etc.
- Turn an old pillowcase into a pirate flag and hang it outside to welcome your guests.
- Pull up some pirate clip art from the internet, shrink it or stretch it to accommodate the space you are trying to decorate.
- Have brown sheets? Spread them about the party floor to represent sand. (Much cleaner than the real thing.)
- Paper-Mache balloons and have fun transforming them into funny faced skulls.
- Pass the Cannonball – Do you remember when you would pass the orange down a line of kids but you couldn’t use your hands? You had to tuck it under your chin, arm, etc. Same idea, just use something to resemble a cannonball. If dropped your pirate guests start back over. You could do it as two teams competing against each other or as one large team.
- Treasure Toss – It’s a bean bag toss only pirates toss gold coins into a treasure chest.
- Swab the decks – A relay race but pirates use brooms/mops to get balls around a course and across the finish line.
- Cannonball Blast – Tie a black balloon to each pirate’s ankle. Pirates try and pop each other’s balloon without having their balloon popped. The winner is declared a captain.
- Pass the Parrot or Cannonball – It’s hot potato but with a parrot, cannonball, parrot, or whatever pirate prop you have.
- Walk the plank – Use a piece of wood as your beam. Kids walk across the plank in various ways: backward, forward, sideways, over props, hopping, blindfolded.
- Sea Battle – Mark out two ships on the ground a few feet away from each other. Then divide the pirates into 2 teams. Pirates toss cannonballs back and forth into each other’s ships for a period of time determined by you. As long as there is still time left pirates can toss back any cannonballs that land in their ship. When the time is up the team with the least amount of cannonballs in their area wins.
- Grab the Grub – In order to prevent scurvy pirates will collect as much fruit possible and place on their ship before the time is up. They are not allowed to use any containers to carry fruit. Balloons or balls can be used as the fruit. If using balloons I would suggest filling them with water or sand to give them some weight. Green would represent limes, yellow > lemons, blue> blueberries, red> strawberries: you get the idea.
- Use Eyeliner or Black Facepaint and create pirate patches and facial hair to transform your guests into little pirates.
- Make Pirate Hats
- Lead them on a treasure hunt –this can be as simple or elaborate as you want. You can draw up a treasure map or leave a trail of clues. Since every backyard is different at Fairytale Entertainment we leave clues along the way. This doesn’t have to be an expensive activity. Think about what’s around your home. Large appliance cardboard boxes or those collapsible tunnels can be transformed into caves or tunnels. A playpool or sandbox becomes a snake pit. A swingset becomes something to climb over or through. A small kids table becomes a pirates’ café.
We hope you enjoy these ideas for your next pirate party. We’ve had a lot of fun implementing them. Stay tuned for part 2, when we’ll discuss ideas for food and more to complete your Swashbuckling Adventure.
About our Professor
Jennifer Auer is blessed to be the mother of three wonderful, young boys. She juggles motherhood with being a wife; running Fairytale Entertainment, LLC, a children’s special event business; blogging, tutoring, teaching, babysitting, baking, and being a PTO mom in Southern New Jersey.
Before motherhood, Jennifer Auer was an active Girl Scout Leader. She has been planning family events, both large and small, as a volunteer and paid professional since the early 1990’s. She is also an experienced professional in marketing and public relations and a NJ-licensed teacher.