Duration: 1.5 hours
Age: 3-5, 5-7
Guest Numbers: 10
Venue: Your home
I would have to say that a Pirate Party is almost a rite of passage when you are a kid! Each of my kids have been invited to numerous pirate parties and have loved each and every one of them. Its a great chance for them to dress up and be who they read about so often in books, be a little naughty (because that’s what pirate are) and really get into being a kid. There are so many options and ideas out there that it’s hard to go wrong when planning.
Your home is a great place to hold a pirate party for younger children. You can really get into the theme and prepare ahead of time to enthral and excite them and it allows your child to have extra pirate time.
As pirates is such a popular theme you can find invitations in most stores and a lot online. There are DIY ones or you can get a custom designed one. We even have an invite to match the game signs and decoration signs.
Make sure to include on the invite if you want them dressed up or if it’s going to involve any water activities so parents know their kids might get wet.
With this theme you really can go all out and make a wonderful creative play space for the kids, and it doesn’t take much.
If you are holding an outdoor party and have a clothesline in the yard turn it into a pirate ship with some cardboard boxes and a flag. Peg any fabric to the clothes line on one side to make the flag, you could buy an actual pirate flag from the $2 shop, use a pillowcase or a scrap of fabric. So long as it blows and is the only thing up there it is the flag. With the boxes get enough so that when they are cut open you can tape them together to create a wall the whole way around the clothesline. Leave an opening for the kids to run in and out of and make sure the height is short enough for them to see over. You don’t even need to paint it or do anything else but if you wanted to get more creative, cut holes for windows, paint the outside to look like wood, add some play things inside the ship like soft balls for cannon balls, boxes or barrels to roll around and fill, a long plank sticking out the opening and a treasure chest.
If it’s an indoor party decorate with blue plastic table cloths or sheets on the walls and floor to make ocean and sky, or use yellow for sand. You can still make a cardboard ship either with the same method above but on a smaller scale or get the biggest box you can find like a refrigerator box and it’s the ship. Cut out palm trees from boxes and have them against the walls with brown balloons for coconuts.
For both an outdoor and indoor party things like pirate themed birthday banners, skull and cross bones, treasure chests full of gold and red and white striped table cloths all add to the party decor.
To decorate the food table use a red and white table cloth or a black one. Fitted sheets actually work really well as table cloths outside as they grab on and don’t blow around in the wind. Use shiny gold plates and cups so the kids are eating off treasure. You can make simple palm trees with green paper and cardboard tubes, just roll the green paper and stick it inside the tube, cut some slots in the paper and bend down to form leaves. No glue or tape required! These can be decorations or if you made fat ones they can hold the forks and spoons, you could even use green napkins and stick them out of a brown tube or cup for people.
Food and Drink
Simple food is always the best at kids parties, especially younger kids so tis menu is low on prep but high on taste.
Maltesersor chocolate coconut balls can cannon balls or coconuts
Fairy bread with brown sprinkles is the dirt they were digging in and fairy bread with yellow sprinkles is the gold they dug up.
Make blue jelly in small cups ( I saved containers from my Hello Fresh deliveries to reuse) and add a small triangle of chocolate as a shark fin
With the fruit platter pick round fruit like grapes and blueberries for bullets and cannon balls and slice water melon in to long stick to make swords. Keep the rind on for the handle and the flesh is the blade.
Buttered popcorn look like gold and is quick and easy to make.
Chocolate coins are a must! And most places like Kmart have some pirate lollies like skulls and jewellery that are easy to put in a bowl.
For the drink just serve water, after all it’s what pirate ships sail on. You could have small bottles or jugs and cups and stick labels on that say ‘Sea Water’.
If you have created a big ship in your decorations the kids will enjoy just playing in that but to supplement or if you didn’t make the ship here are some activities that will keep them occupied and happy.
Dig for Gold – If you have a sandpit you’re halfway there! Before the party bury some toy coins and have the kids dig them up. If you don’t have a sandpit create a digging area with rice, ball pit balls or something similar. Once they are found they can cash them in for chocolate coins or keep them. To take the loot home provide small bags that you can get from most craft or $2 stores.
Pin the Patch on the Pirate – Just like pin the tail on the donkey except its a patch on a pirate. Any pirate poster will work, even a printed image from the internet will work. Cut patches from card and use blutac or use big circle stickers with each kids name on them. The patch doesn’t have to be black to work.
Treasure Hunt – Set up a scavenger hunt with treasure items around the yard or house. For younger children who aren’t yet reading use pictures for them to match. This could be a group activity with one large hunt together or individual with everyone getting one of each item. What you hide could form the party bag or just be fun things to play with during the party. Items like gold coins, play jewellery, lollies, small toys or any pirate themed toy are great for this activity.
Design a Flag – Each pirate ship had their own flag so why not have each pirate design their own flag? Use paper and textas for the designs, when the kids are finished drawing tape the flag to a chop stick or similar and away they go. You could use the flags during other games if you wanted to do races or to have them mark their sot at the table for the food.
You can purchase signs here to each of these activities to help you set up the party and help it run smoothly.
There are many ways you could go with a pirate cake. Some easy to do ideas include a blue cake with a pirate ship toy on top, a rectangular chocolate cake with yellow icing on top and chocolate icing on the edge, topped with chocolate coins becomes a treasure chest or next week I’ll show you how to create a treasure map cake
Party Bag/Thank you
You can make a simple treasure chest party bag with some brown lunch bags and washi tape. Use the washi tape to add lines like a treasure chest. Draw a lock on the top of the bag and then fill with goodies!
Great goodies to include are lolly jewellery, play jewellery, gold/chocolate coins, pirate patches, pirate colouring sheets, pirate stickers, anything sparkly and treasure like.
As with all parties it makes life easier to have an extra helper or 2, especially with the younger age groups.
As most pirates have sword and/guns there will quite possibly be some tears and injuries as these are swung about. Since bandaids fix most things having a cheap packet of kids bandaids on hand can settle tears quickly, weather they need the bandaid or not it just helps the party flow better.
This is best as an outdoor party because the kids get quite excited and want to be very active. It can still be successfully done as an indoor party but if that is your plan make sure to remove anything you don’t want broken or touched and place in a separate room that will remain closed or locked until the party is over.
For the 3-5 age group 1.5 hours can be long enough. Some kids still nap or being around so many children can be overwhelming so keeping it to 1.5 hours or 2 hours max means that everyone leaves happy. Also be aware of common tired times. Hold the party earlier int he day, before kids get tired and fussy.
With the younger age group most parents tend to stay for the party as well. There may also be younger siblings so you will need to decide if you will have extra party bags for them, just include them in the guest numbers or limit it to invitees only.
To help make your party planning easier I have created a printable party plan that you can write all your information on to keep in one handy location. You can download a free 2 page A4 version here or purchase the one page A3 planner in my Etsy store.