Here's a super fun pirate party that was actually quite simple. The one thing I have learned about boy parties in contrast to girl parties is that you need to keep on moving. Keep the activities shorter and have more of them. Which was very fun with all the pirate ideas I found!
The whole idea of the party was to give them an idea of what it was like to be a pirate. So we did various activities of a pirate...
1. Guests arrived and we dressed them up like pirates. Each got a pirate patch and a red sash that I cut out of fleece in no time.
Except the birthday boy who got a special pirate outfit that he wore for Halloween a couple of months later.
2. Pirate Storytime - so they all knew how to become a pirate!
3. Pin the treasure box on the treasure map
4. Gold Coin Toss
The little pirates stood back (further than in this picture) and tried to toss 10 coins into the treasure box.
5. Musical Maps
Pirates marched around musical maps while "Yo Ho, Yo Ho a Pirates Life for Me" and other pirate songs played. (I made these maps by printing off a black and white map from the internet and pasting them to brown grocery bags. Then I ripped the edges of the paper bags to make them look weathered.) When the music stopped, they had to stand on a map. Whoever was left without a map was out. Each round I took away one more map, leaving one ultimate winner at the end. I am actually not a huge fan of musical chairs at birthday parties. Kids this age just feel bad. But I compensate by having those who get out move onto another fun activity. So they were able to return to the gold coin toss while the musical maps finished up.
6. Hot and Cold Treasure Hunt
We had a mini treasure box (from a toy pirate ship). The guests sat in a circle. One person (the finder) left the room. Another person hid the treasure box. Then we called the finder back in and all sang "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirates Life For me", but we progressively got louder if the finder was near the pirate ship or softer (almost a whisper) if the finder was further away from the treasure box. Eventually they would find it. Then we would select a new hider and finder and begin again. Every time I do this at a birthday party, it is one of the highlights of the party. It makes me laugh because it costs nothing and is so simple. Goes to show you that kids don't need a lot!
7. Cannon Ball Attack
Another huge highlight. I blew up oodles of black balloons to serve as cannon balls. We threw them all over our living room and let the kids throw them at each other, pop them and play with them. It was perfect for little boys!
8. Walk the Plank
Another simple and very successful part of the party. I took our old coffee table and let the boys line up behind it. It led into a blue plastic tablecloth on the floor with our stuffed fish on it. Then the boys got to "walk the plank" and jump into the ocean just like some pirates were asked to do. This was so cute and fun. If you have particularly rowdy boys, you may want to put a mattress underneath the other things. But honestly, who gets to do this at home? It was fun!
9. Pirate Treasure Hunt
The guests got to go on a treasure hunt with clues leading to various parts of the house. At the end, the party bags (filled with some treats and pirate knick-knacks I found at the local party store) were hidden in our playhouse in the backyard that a creative mind could think was a pirate ship. The kids ended up staying out there and playing pirates and other things for quite some time.
10. Pirate Birthday Cake Time!
One of my favorite cakes. I baked a regular 9x13 cake and then froze it to make it solid. Once it was frozen, I took it out of the freezer and cut it in half. Then from each half, I cut the shape of the boat, giving me two stacked on top of each other I took two semi-circles out of the remaining cake and used them for the top decks of the boat. I frosted the whole cake in chocolate frosting. Then I took a fork around the base of the boat to make it look like it had ridges. I used twix bars to make the rails of the boat. And I used blue frosting in a frosting tip to make the ocean waves beneath the boat.
For decorations, we used my son's toy pirate and a toy treasure box filled with rolos for the gold. Then we used whoppers to look like canon balls. Around the edge of the cake, I put unwrapped rolos to look like the holes that canon balls come out of. Before I placed them there, I put his candles firmly in the rolo so they stuck out. Finally, I had some pirate coasters (but you could use any pirate decoration from the party store) and I cut them out to look like flags. I attached the flags to skewers and added them to the cake. The kids loved it, especially my son!
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