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Download or create a pirate map with clip art of pirates, ships, skulls and crossbones, skeletons, etc. Use an Old English font and add these words "Ahoy there matey! Pirate Captain (child’s name) is turning (age)! So join us for a Pirate Birthday Party! He needs shipmates to swab the deck, walk the plank and hunt fer the long, lost pirate treasure. Come if yer dare to The (your last name) Ship that will be departing from (your address). RSVP or walk the plank. When finished typing up the information, burn the edges of the invitation.
Sign on your door that says, "Ahoy there matey / Welcome to (child’s name) Pirate Birthday Adventure / Beware / Enter at your own risk!” Cut swords out of cardboard and paint silver and place around party area. They can also be used for games. Purchase black, red and gold balloons and crepe paper. Make signs that have sayings like Deadman's Swamp, Pirate's Cove, etc.) Purchase or make skull and crossbones flags and hang on your walls. To make these, take black construction paper and use white paint to make the skull and crossbones. Hang fish netting from the ceilings.
Use black, red and gold for the tables (tablecloths, plates, cups, napkins and plasticware). Scatter Mardi Gras beads and plastic gold coins around the tables. For table centerpieces, wrap vases or small flower pots in black tissue paper and place styrofoam in the flower pots. Make small skull and crossbones flags from clip art or stickers and attach to small dowels. Place the dowels in the flowerpots.
Crafts and Activities
Sharks and Minnows
You’ll need a large area for this game. Mark 2 areas on opposite sides of the room with boundary lines of tape on the floor.
To play, one player will be the shark and the other players will be the minnows. The shark stands in the middle of the play area and says “Fishy fishy, come out and play.”
The minnows slowly walk toward the shark. At any time, the shark can yell “Shark Attack”. At this point, the shark tries to tag one of the minnows and the minnows must run to the opposite boundary line without being tagged.
If a minnow is tagged, that player also becomes a shark.
When there is only one minnow left, that player becomes the first shark in the next round.
Walk the Plank Relay
To set this game up, you’ll need two 2x4’s, balled up foil to make two balls (you can also use small balls), and a two treasure chests and two boxes. Place the balls in the treasure chest and place chests at one end of the room, spaced apart. Depending on the ages of the kids, you can make this more challenging by elevating the board with concrete blocks. Or, you can make it easier by placing tape on the floor to make a plank. Create two pirate caves with two tables. You can cover them with tablecloths to make them look more like caves. Place the treasure chests at the end of each table. Place the boxes on the opposite side of the room where the players will be standing.
To play, divide the kids into teams. The object is to get all your balls from your treasure chest to your team’s box. At “go” the team members walk the planks, run to the caves, crawl through the caves, get a ball from the treasure chest, crawls back through the cave, runs back, walks the plank, put the balls into their team’s box and tag the next player. The team that finishes first, wins.
Swab the Decks Relay Race
Set up the game by making two goal lines with tape. Divide the players into two teams and have them stand on the opposite side of the room of where the goal lines are. Give each team a broom and up to 5 ping pong balls that they have to herd across the room with brooms past the goal lines. Spray paint one set of balls to distinguish them from the other team’s balls. At go, the first two players herd the balls across the floor past the goal lines. After the first players shepherds the balls across the room, they turn the broom over to the next players, who shepherds them back. The first team who finishes first wins. To make the game easier, use only one ball, or use larger balls. To make the game harder, mark one ball from each team as the “mascot” and challenge the teams to steal each other’s mascots while simultaneously racing.
Sink the Enemy Ship
Create two ships out of large appliance boxes. Cut the fronts of them so that it looks like the bow of the ship. Place a mast and flag in each one and paint them. For cannonballs, ball up newspaper and secure the balls with tape. Make several for each child and put them in a box or two depending on the size of the group. Number the balls 1 and 2 and place all the number 1’s in one ship and the number 2’s in the other ship. A whistle will also be helpful.The object is they have to throw as many cannonballs as they can into the other ship. When you blow the whistle, they start throwing the balls. When you blow the whistle again, they have to stop. Count the cannonballs and whichever ship is sunk first (the ship with the most cannonballs), that team has to walk the plank.
Place clues around the party area leading to a Treasure Box filled with small toys, chocolate coins and Mardi Gras beads
Pin the Eye Patch on the Pirate
Hang a large picture of a pirate on the wall. Cut enough eye patches out of black construction paper for each guest and place double-sided tape to the backs of them. Add guests names to the back of the eye patches. See who places their eye patch closest to the correct location.
Played like Musical Chairs. Each time a person is out, they have to walk the plank (you can use a 2x4).
Pirate Flag Craft
Give out 14” x 11” pieces of construction paper, pirate themed stickers or clip art (pirates, ships, skull and crossbones, skeletons, etc), scissors, markers and glue.
Give out a paper towel roll to each child. Put out markers and stickers to decorate the rolls. Give out plastic wrap and tape to add to both ends.
Hot dogs can be called Pirate Ships, with little skull and cross and bone flags in them (small pieces of construction paper with stickers attached to toothpicks.
Make Jello® cups with blue Jello® and Swedish Fish®.
Grapes or cheese balls can be called Cannon Balls
Serve berry punch and call it Sharks Blood
Necklaces, rings, toy watches, chocolate gold coins, plastic crocodiles or sharks, pirate-themed stickers, ring pops
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