Idea No.

2741

Gabriel's Pirate Party 7yr - Pirate Crafts!

Award

Date

February 2001

From

Eve in Vancouver, B.C. Canada

February 2001 Winner

The Pirate Party

A Pirate Party  I just had a fabulous Pirate Party for my son Gabirel's 7th birthday.  It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun and the kids had a blast.  One child (a girl) said, This is the best party I’ve ever been to!  My son wanted to invite his whole grade one class of 19 children so I decided I first better think of crowd control.  I planned on having 7 stations for the kids to rotate through, and divided the kids into three separate color groups, each one supervised by a helper.  I put up a color-coded chart for the helpers (red, green and purple), outlining how each group would rotate through the stations e.g. each group began at the dress-up center (to set the mood): a red sash and a black head band (bought at a fabric store for a total of about $8.00); a sword made out of cardboard and spray painted silver and black; a gold earring cut out of tag board and painted metallic gold; an eye patch (bought at a toy store) and a gold name tag with the color code on it (names like Pirate Gladiator Gabriel; Pirate Talented Tori; Pirate Daring Danny and Pirate Helpful Hannah). 

After the dress up center the kids moved with their helper through various stations:   Pirate Hat/Spy Glass Decorating Station- With hats the kids made out of thick paper and decorated them with jewels, feathers, stickers (that I made by photocopying pirate flags onto colored paper, shrinking them and having the kids glue them on to their hats).  I also provided felts, crepe paper, scissors, glitter, and pipe cleaners. Note: this station took the longest for kids to rotate through so there were times when more than one group was at this particular station.  Spy glasses were made simply by using paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls, covered with cellophane and again decorated with the above materials. 

Cupcake Decorating Station- Plenty of frosting (store bought), chocolate money (kids removed wrappers),  gummy snakes etc.  Each candy item was put into a container with the amount each child could take clearly labeled on the outside.  When finished, the kids put their cupcake along with a gold name tag, on a cookie sheet for easy transport later. 

Face-painting and Tattoo Station- Self explanatory. I limited the number of tattoos each child could have to two.  Pin the Flag on the Pirate Ship Station- each group rotated through this in the traditional way that pin the tail on the donkey is played.  The exception was that the flag was to be placed in the right position above the mast.  The next two stations were done with all the kids \*I had the party in my Rec center so had several rooms to move the kids through, but you could modify this by having only one or two rooms easily. 

Musical Islands- A take off from musical chairs using pillows as islands instead of chairs.  Each time a person was out, they had to walk the plank. 

Treasure Hunt- This station took a lot of thought.  I wanted to have six clues (one for each child within a group to find).  I began with three separate starting points.  Each helper had a paper with two clues, the first one was to let the kids know the location e.g. the room where food is prepared (kitchen); the room where people do their private business (the bathroom) and the room that is warm and cozy (it had a fire place).  This ensured that each group would start in a different place and hopefully not run into each other (crowd control again)  After that, there was a second clue to be used only if the kids got stuck- this was rather telling e.g. for the one in the kitchen the second clue read, ‘look in the place where food is kept hot by cooking it a long time’ (oven), for the bathroom, ‘look in the place where extra toilet paper might be kept) and so on.  When they found the correct spot, the oven for example, there would be a puzzle piece, part of the treasure map that each group would take from a large envelop.  Each envelop contained three map pieces that were color coded (red, green  and purple for each of the three groups.  On the front of the envelop was the next clue and so non until all six clues were found.  By the time the hunt for each group was completed, they had six map puzzle pieces that they put together to reveal a map of the Rec center and a red arrow marking the place where the treasure chest could be found (outside in the bushes).  This is where I hid their goody bags. 

Goody bags were made simply by using a small, brown paper; with a pirate motive glued on and the child’s pirate name.  The goody bags were filed with pirate loot etc. 

Food- this was last, after the kids found their goody bags, they brought them to the table where the food and pirate punch was served.  Food was kept at a minimal:  veggies and fruit cut up with chips, cheese and crackers. No cake- their cupcakes served as the cake! 

Things to keep in mind:
1. have things set up for any down time a child may be experiencing, such as pirate books and pirate pages to color, these were kept separate from the other stations;

2. let things flow naturally, if a child finished one station, s/he could just go on to the next station;

3. I took a photo of each child so it can be used as their thank you card;

4. get about three-five helpers depending on the total size of the party. I paid two high school students that are also my son's babysitters, to help me the day of the party, along with a colleague of mine.  They all came an hour before the party to go through what was necessary at each station, and stayed to assist with the big job of clean-up; and

5. delegate!  I was not good at this and came to learn that my friends were only too happy to help, as were the parents of the party go-ers. 

One last comment-  I really set the stage when Gabriel handed out the invitations that I made up using KidPix, pirate stamps and a pirate sounding note about the party (Attention matey… etc.)  I also asked that each child come wearing blue pants and a white shirt (this is easy as my son goes to a private school where those items are part of the uniform!) 

Hope this has given you some great ideas, and that you enjoy creating your own pirate party.  I had so much fun creating this party and I am not the least bit creative, or so I thought!

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