Ahoy there me hearties & welcome aboard the Jolly Roger for some swashbuckling pirate party fun!
Pirate Party Invitations
Message in a bottle
Small plastic bottles with corks are available online (try www.ebottles.co.uk) or use a plastic water bottle. Put a treasure map or scroll in the bottle with the party details on. Ebay sell some which include the invitation & assorted novelties. I think this is an exciting way for children to receive the party news!
cut out a ship shape from card & colour the front. Write the party details on the reverse using wording such as ‘come aboard the Jolly Roger at Ethan’s house on Friday 26th May for some swashbuckling party fun’.
Cut out a rectangle approx. 12 x 10cm & place with a short side towards you. Draw a line across 4cm up & another a further 4cm up. Fold along the second line to form the lid of the treasure chest. On the lower section draw a keyhole (black, with yellow surround), metal bands (yellow) & studs (brown) & colour the rest of that section brown. Repeat with the folded down section but omit the keyhole. Fill the middle section with jewels & gold so colour red, green, blue & purple circles & rectangles & the rest yellow. Add some glitter. Write the party details on the top section.
Pirate Party Decorations
Decorate the room with skull & crossbone (Jolly Roger) flags & black & white balloons & bunting. If you can get hold of a plastic skeleton, dress it up with a hat, eyepatch & neckerchief & prop it up in a corner with a treasure map. Make a treasure chest from cardboard or decorate a large cardboard box with a lid & use to hide prizes or as part of a game. Make palm trees from carpet tubes (like toilet rolls but bigger!). Your local carpet shop should have some. Cut out leaves from green card & attach to the top of the tubes. Dot toy parrots around the room & in the trees. Attach a large treasure map to the wall & perhaps a cardboard & foil cutlass or two.
Cardboard chests & pirate cutouts decorations available from Party Packs. If using a hall for the party which has a stage, cut out a ship shape from cardboard & attach to the front of the stage along with waves & maybe a fish ot two. Use hardboard to create the rest of the ship on the stage with boxes or benches for seats. Include a telescope, steering wheel & low gangplank & let the kids invent the rest.
Younger children will enjoy a sandpit. This could either be a paddling pool or plastic box part filled with sand & could form part of a game such as finding treasure in the sand. This works well at the end of the party but in this case, use a plastic box with lid that can be hidden away until you want to reveal it. Treasure could include chocolate coins, rings or parrot & pirate croc shoe charms. Not many children will fit round the box so you may need more than one if they stay until everything is found or just time their hunt so they move onto something once they have found say 3 items.
Pirate Party Fancy Dress
Ask guests to come dressed as pirates. Maybe have a few eyepatches, scarves & hats available for those that have not done so. Give everyone names such as Captain Ned, Gentleman Jack, Cut-throat Jake or One-eyed Sam.
Give a prize for the best dressed or most innovative.
Check out these costumes at Escapade
How To Make A Pirate Hook
Cut a hook shape out of cardboard using the pirate hook template & cover in foil. Cut a hole in the bottom of a black plastic cup & push the straight end of the hook through.
How To Make A Pirate Hat
Cut a long strip of card approx. 1.5 inches wide & measure around the child’s head. Staple or tape the ends. Fold a sheet of black card in half & draw & cut out the shape of the pirate hat using the pirate hat template. Use the skull & crossbone template below to cut out a Jolly Roger from white card. Attach to the middle of the hat. Decorate the hat further if required & then attach to the headband using staples, glue or tape.
How To Make A Pirate Telescope
Roll a rectangle of black card into a tube & glue in place or use a toilet roll instead & paint black. Cover one end with cellophane or clingfilm & secure with tape or an elastic band. Decorate the ends with yellow paper. For older children: cut along the length of one side of a toilet roll tube. Glue along one edge, overlap the 2 sides & hold together with pegs until dry. Repeat with a 2nd tube but make it smaller so that it fits inside the first tube. When dry, paint the tubes black or brown along with a third tube that hasn’t been cut. Cut a strip of cardboard approx. 2cm wide & glue around one end of the widest tube. Glue a thin strip of cardboard on top at the end. Repeat with the smallest tube.
Cut 4 pieces of thread or string a bit shorter than the length of one of the tubes. Tape 2 of them inside the smallest tube at the top (opposite end to the cardboard strips). Slide the smallest tube into the middle one & tape the other end of the thread inside the middle tube at the top. Repeat by taping the last 2 pieces of thread to the top of the middle tube, sliding inside the biggest tube & taping the ends to the top of the biggest tube by the cardboard strips. Cover the cardboard strips with gold or yellow paper.
How To Make A Pirate Money Bag
Cut out a rectangle of material approx. 30cm x 15cm. Fold the two short sides together & sew along the 2 long edges. Turn inside out. Cut out a skull & crossbone design in white paper or material using the template above & glue onto the bag. Use a holepunch to make 3 holes approx. 5cm down from the top of the bag. Thread ribbon through the holes, knot each end & pull tight. Alternatively, use a circle of material about the size of a dinner plate. This will avoid any sewing though won’t hold as much. These can be made by the children at the party & can be filled with chocolate coins & other goodies if desired.
Pirate Party Food
Pirates are not known for their finesse so I’m sure the children will feel right at home. Go for big chunky finger food – although still small enough for little mouths! To make clearing up easier, you could serve individually in treasure chest picnic boxes or how about making a cone out of coloured paper & serving fish fingers & chips?
sticky chicken drumsticks (Captain Jake’s Chicken Pieces)
crisps (pieces of eight)
mini scotch eggs
vegetable stick swords served in pirate themed cups
baby tomatoes (pickled eyeballs)
sea green jelly
pirate themed biscuits (use skull & crossbone flag, sword, palm tree or ship cutters)
McVitie’s Mini Pirate Crew biscuits
You could decorate the sandwiches with sword shaped cocktail sticks but they are quite sharp so I will leave that to your discretion. Decorate the table with pirate themed or black plates & cups & pirate shaped sprinkles. Put a bundle of small Jolly Roger flags in a cup at each end of the table or insert into half an orange.
Check out these great plates from Party Pieces
Pirate Party Cake
Pirate Party Games
Draw or print off enough pictures of islands for all the guests except one & place on the floor along with a piece of paper with a large black spot on. The children dance around to music & when it stops they must each stand on an island. Whoever stops on the black spot is out. Remove an island & continue until you have a winner. Buy a ready made version from Party Pieces
Make a treasure map for each team by soaking a sheet of paper in a dish of strong tea for about an hour & then leaving to dry. Tear around the edges to get the shape & size you require. Draw an island shape onto it & decorate with different features such as Long John Silver Sands, Captain Hook Hills, Whispering Woods, Jolly Roger Rocks etc. Mark a large cross where the treasure is hidden.
You then have a few options: 1) tear the map in four & hide around the venue. Give the children clues (different for each team) to find each piece & the first team to complete their map wins a prize. For younger children use pictures or photos for the clues.
2) rather than drawing an island, draw a map of the party venue. Mark where the treasure is hidden (don’t make it too easy but have people to help if need be) & see which team can find the treasure first.
3) mark 4 or so areas on the map but not where the treasure is hidden. Send each team to a different section (marked out in the room) where they must complete a task in order to receive a clue. Tasks might include making a pirate hat, making a cutlass, decorating a party bag, icing a biscuit or cupcake, throwing ‘cannon’ balls at a cardboard ship to try & sink it or through holes in the ship worth various points. When they have all the clues, they must piece them together to find the treasure. This might be the treasure hidden in the sand as described in the decor section or a treasure chest full of prizes where they each get one – part of their going home present.
As described in the decor section, this is a good one for younger children but older ones will enjoy it too. Put some sand in a couple of large plastic boxes & bury treasure in it for the children to find. Decorate a cardboard box to look like a treasure chest & put the box of sand inside. Treasure could include chocolate coins, rings or parrot & pirate croc shoe charms.
Attach a large treasure map to a wall with a red cross on. Blindfold each child in turn & get them to draw a red cross as close to the original as possible (write the child’s name above each cross). The one closest wins a prize. For younger children who may not like to be blindfolded, decided beforehand where the treasure is hidden but don’t mark with a cross. Get each child to draw a cross where they think it might be & the one closest wins.
Cut out a large cardboard or hardboard ship. Cut about 5 circular holes in different areas on it, large enough to fit a ball though. Decorate the ship & write above each hole the value of it ie 5 points, 10 points. Each child has a go at throwing 4 balls through the holes. The child with the highest total wins. This could be used as part of number 3 in the treasure hunt above but set a target figure for the team to reach before they receive the clue OR the team with the highest score wins an extra prize.
Hook a Hoop
Similar to Shipshape but this involves throwing hoops over hooks. Cut 5x 1 litre or 2 litre bottles in half across the middle & discard the bottom halves. Paint black or stuff with black tissue paper. Next, cut out 5 hooks from cardboard using the hook template. They need to be quite sturdy so cut out 2 per bottle & glue together if need be. Paint silver. When dry, insert into the neck of the bottles; trim ends if necessary. On a large box (we used a banana box), draw round the larger end of the bottles & cut out the circles but make sure you cut inside rather than outside the lines so that the bottles will fit snuggly. Paint the box black – feel free to paint a design on it when dry. Once dry, push the bottles from the back of the box through to the front, hooks going through first. Cut out some hoops from card by drawing round a side plate, then placing a saucer in the middle of the circle & drawing round that. Paint gold. Each child has a go at throwing 3 hoops at the hooks.
Walk the Gangplank
If you can safely balance a plank of 6 inch wide wood so that it is no more than a foot off the ground, let the children, two at a time, have a pillow fight.
Guess the parrot’s name
Hide letters around the party room(s). Use different coloured letters for each team. Once a team has found all their letters (let them know how many there are), they must arrange them to form a name.
Party Bag Decoration
Let the children decorate their own partybags using foam pirate stickers from Baker Ross, glitter & jewels. Make sure you write on whose is whose! Baker Ross also sell mini wooden treasure chests which the children can decorate & make great going home presents.
Children can’t resist tattoos so get hold of some pirate, Jolly Roger & ship ones & set up an area where you can apply them. You just need water, a sponge & a towel. Visit the Baker Ross website for tattoos like these
PIRATE PARTY BAGS
If you haven’t asked the guests to dress up, then one idea instead of a party bag is to give each child an eyepatch & pirate hat to take home with them. Other options are:
chocolate coins – Party Packs or Chocolate Trading Company
skull & crossbone balloon – Party Pieces
tattoos – Baker Ross
foam cutlass – Toyday Traditional & Classic Toys
pirate notebook – Party Pieces
pencil – Party Pieces
jet balls – Baker Ross
mini pirate figures – Party Packs
keyring- Baker Ross
bubbles – Party Pieces
stickers – Party Packs
pencil topper – Hobbycraft
pirate hand puppet kit – Baker Ross
sweet necklace – Party Pieces
pirate biff bat game – Party Packs
telescope – Party Pieces
pirate ship craft – Hobbycraft
pirate sticker activity book – Party Packs
mini wooden treasure chest, to decorate – Baker Ross
pirate alphabet letters – ebay
chocolate pirates – Chocolate Trading Company
Hand out in treasure chest picnic boxes, paperbags decorated by the children or plastic pirate bags.
Take a photo of each child & print it off after the party to give as a thank you.