Idea No.

15399

Pirate Party 4yr - Pirate Costumes & Games

Award

Date

March 2007

From

Janice in surrey british columbia canada

Special Mention

The Pirate Party

I just had a great birthday party for my 4 year old and while it took a lot of effort, it was surprisingly inexpensive and turned out wonderfully.  The invitations were a picture of a pirate, a ship and the saying There is going to be a treasure hunt" on the front and all of the particulars inside the card.  I cut out each bit of information like the date and time and were it was individually and used both sides of the inside of the card for the information.  I glued down each "clue" and connected them with slashed lines to make it look like it was a treasure map.  There were supposed to be 20 kids under the age of 7 at the party (only 15 showed up) and most were 4 and under so I wanted it to be pretty straight forward and fun. 

I ended up makign pirate hats and eye patches out of black foam.  My original idea was bandanas out of broadcloth but that actually was more expensive and I thought the kids would end up taking them off more than on anyways.  The foam was pretty cheap at walmart and I could get two hats out of one sheet of foam.  I also stamped a white jolly roger on each side of the hat and on the eyepatches in white which was a great effect.  I bought jewlery elastic from michaels for the eye patches and measured them to my son's head (and with the extra I made a few for the adults which really amused the Dad's at the party).  I also made broadcloth sashes for each costume and they all really looked like pirates.  I also ended up going to a website (there are many of them) and finding "pirate" names for each of the children and I enjoyed it so much I made them for the adults as well so everyone had a pirate name!  With the pirate names I used a business card template and wrote "ahoy matey or Aaargh Lassie send the name (their real name) to Davey Jones's locker! You will command your ship as: (pirate name). 

On the back I put a clip art of a pirate map and cut them out with scissors which made them look ripped.  I then laminated them some I simply covered in packing tape to make them more durable.  I then decided that since most of the children were so young I wanted a treasure hunt but not too difficult.  So at a dollar store I found a package of foam with all different colors and from the colors I cut out skeleton keys (about 3 inches by 1 inch) and locks (about 3 inches big).  Because there were not quite enough colors I made two of each color and put stripes on one and dots on the other.  I then fastened the keys to the pirate names and used brown luchbags and drew lines on them to look like pirate chests as the goodie bags and attatched the locks to the front of the bags with double sided tape. (in all I think it cost me $5 for the whole idea and since I was in the mood I made keys without patterns for the adult pirates so everyone had a special key).  When each child arrived they got a "costume bag" filled with their hat eye patch sash and pirate name and key.  They were all told to be very careful with the key because they would need it later. 

I also bought a whole bunch of balloon animal balloons and made about 40 balloon swords which I put in a large tub and told the children 2 things 1. once the balloons were gone there were no more and 2. if they popped they had to pick up all of the pieces and put them in the garbage as there were a few smaller children at the party.  Many of the children used their sashes to hold their swords which was really cute. 

For decorations I found some lifelike pirate cut outs at a party store and made some homemade signs out of poster board saying watch for pirates and don't feed the alligators.  And with green posterboard I made some alligator heads (very cheesy and not at all lifelike) and taped them to my hardwood floor.  The best item though was the 7 foot long pirate ship with two skeleton pirates blow up halloween decoration I found at Kmart for $15 which I put in front of my fireplace and also 2 x 6 piece of wood in front of it with alligators all around it.  I did not worry too much about the food it was just hot dogs and chips and cookies because most of the kids were so young I went with the stuff I knew they would eat.  For the cake I made two basic cakes and iced them with blue icing.  I have the wilton 3 tier cake platter so I placed them on the botton two tiers of the cake and decorated it like the ocean with gummy candies on the sides and I used graham cracker crumbs to resemble islands and placed some chocolate rocks and plastic trees to make them look better.  I had some plastic pirates that I put on the islands and a pirate ship floating around and used chocolates to resemble the dashes on the "pirate map" invitations and went from island to island.  On the top tier I made a treasure chest out of chocolate rice krispies which was surprisingly easy.  I cut it in half and used candy necklaces rings and "gushers" for jewels and of course gold chocolate coins.  I did the trunk decorations with red fruit by the foot and it stuck right away. So the cake looked like a treasure map which lead to a treasure chest full of candy! 

Now for the party.  I decided to only do a few games.  I thought I was going to do "musical islands" and once the children got out of the game they would walk the plank right away. It did not work out like that though it was two separate games but in both once someone was eliminated they went over and received a prize.  It was either a candy or a plastic telescope or eraser from the oriental trading company.  The islands for the game were actually treasure maps made out of poster board and taped again to my floors which was less crowded than musical chairs.  Once the games were over we had lunch and then cake.  The final event of the day was having all of the children stand together and tell them that the inflatable pirates in my livingroom had been very quiet throughout the party because they wanted everyone to leave before they took the pirate treasure they had stolen.  I had hidden all of the goodie bags in the fireplace and the pirate ship was big enough to hide them throughout the party.  They all were excited to see the treat bags and they rushed to find their pirate keys so they could get their bag that matched their keys.  It was great the oldest to the youngest seemed to enjoy it very much. 

The party lasted almost 3 hours and given that my house is rather small and it rained the whole day no one was bored.  I would say in total the party cost me about $125 including food and treat bags which had bendable pirates and pirate tattoos from the oriental trading company gold chocolate coins from costco some pirate stickers I found at a dollar store an old maid card game and a foam airplane in them.  Again it was quite a bit of work but I enjoyed every minute of it I seem to have more time than money in my life but my son had the best pirate party ever!"

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