Kids love pirates, and a pirate theme party is always a big hit. Whether your child loves Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Pirates of the Caribbean, Goonies, or all kids of pirates, there are so many fun things you can do with a pirate theme that your child may want a pirate birthday party every year!
Pirate Party Invitations
Treasure Map Invitations
For text, try pirate lingo... "Ahoy Matey! Ye be invited to Captain [Child's Name here] Pirate Party. Chart your course fer [address], we'll be settin sail the [6th of June] at [time]. Wave yer flag if ye be attendin, or call by phone [phone number].
Change the text to fit your party as you like.
For a Pirates of the Caribbean Party, you can say "Join us as we sail across the Caribbean in search of Aztec Gold"!
Instead of cutting your invitations neatly, try tearing them apart to give them rougher edges, or used fancy edged scissors. You can also slightly burn the edges.
To age your paper and give it that authentic treasure map look, follow these steps:
- Crinkle them a little (not too much, they need to be legible)
- Make some strong tea - it should be nice and dark
- Put the tea in a spray bottle
- Lightly spray the invitations with the tea
- Dry in the sun, with a hairdryer, or with an iron
If you don't want to bother with the tea, just use parchment paper (available at office supply stores) which already has an aged look to it. Finish them off with parchment paper envelopes, sealed with glue gun sealing wax. (This stuff is great - looks like a wax seal, but it comes in sticks which fit in your mini glue gun - It is more pliable than regular wax, so it mails better!)
>A treasure chest makes a great decoration for a pirate party. You can decorate a cardboard box, or buy a plastic treasure chest. You can use it as a toy box after the party.
Skeletons and Scary Things
For a Pirates of the Caribbean Party, raid your Halloween decorations. Skeletons look great hanging around the house. Add an eye patch, bandana, pirate hat and coat to a large plastic skeleton for an authentic-looking skeleton pirate.
Take the Wheel
Cut a ship's wheel out of cardboard and hang it on the wall for an easy (and free!) pirate party decoration.
Place some coconuts around for a tropical island look. For extra fun, you can open them up and let the kids try some of the coconut milk inside.
For a pirate party, black tableware looks great, or black with red accents. You can also go with gold tableware to go with all your pirate treasure.
Party Food and Snacks
To a kid, anything on a spear is cool. I like to cut the tips off the skewers just to be safe. Add pineapple, grapes, whatever you think your group will eat. Call them fruit spears and top them off with a maraschino cherry cannonball.
Fresh tropical fruits are popular with hungry pirates. Try some of these:
Chicken Peg Legs
Chicken wings make great 'peg legs' that kids will eat up!
Walk the Plank
Have granola bars or graham crackers as snacks and call them planks.
Ants on a Plank
Turn the traditional "ants on a log" (peanut butter on celery sticks, topped with raisins) into a fun pirate treat by calling it ants on a plank.
Treasure Island Cake
This cake is super easy to make, and will serve a large group of kids.
Make an 9 x 13" cake and frost it light blue (water). Make a round cake and frost it light brown (sand). To get light brown frosting, you can buy the paste food coloring in brown and mix it with white frosting. You can also sprinkle graham cracker crumbs in the frosting to give it an authentic 'sandy' look.
Put the round cake (island) on top of the 'water' cake. Add some plastic palm trees, and a couple of toy pirates. Root beer barrels make great edible props on this cake. Use mini candy bars stacked on top of each other for a treasure chest, then add a few Skittles around it as jewels.
Party Games and Activities
This is not really a game or activity, but is a lot of fun anyway. You can assign each child a pirate name, and put it on a nametag. For pirate names, there is a really fun pirate book called Everything I Know About Pirates by Tom Lichtenheld. It has a chart you can use to make up great pirate names.
You may want to work in the child's real name like 'Long Tooth Tim' or something along those lines. Another alternative is to let kids come up with their own pirate names (better for older kids).
Pin the Parrot on the Pirate
Play a pirate variation of this classic party game. You can make your own pirate and parrot, or purchase a paper one.
Walk the Plank
There are a lot of ways to do this. A long board on the ground can serve as a plank, and you can have the kids try to balance on it. You can blindfold older kids, to make it a little more difficult (and fun) for them.
Another variation is to place the plank (tightly secured) over a kiddie pool. Add some toy sharks for fun. You can also do this with an ironing board, which is wider and therefore easier for younger kids. Note: If you do this activity, supervise at all times, and never leave a pool of water where little kids may fall into it!
Pirate Treasure Chests
Use plastic pirate chests as an alternative to loot bags. They hold lots of stuff, kids love to get them, and they find so many creative uses for them after the party. It's a great toy for a kid's imagination.
Get plastic pirate jewels and use them to decorate your cake, scatter them across as table as added decoration, give them as prizes for party games, or send them home in pirate loot bags or treasure chests.
Put toy coins in the goodie bags or treasure chests, or use them as prizes for party games.
Pirate eye patches are an easy and affordable way to turn your party guests into pirates. Kids can wear them at the party and take them home for more make-believe pirate fun.