Idea No.

5234

Pirate Soup Theme 4yr - Pirate Soup Book

Award

Date

Nov 2002

From

Rick  in New Rochelle, New York; USA

Runner-Up

The Pirate Party

Last week was my son's birthday, he just turned four. I am his father, and since I am not around very much, I really wanted something extra special to show him how much I love him.    My boy has been talking about Pirates ever since I bought him the book, Pirate soup.  His love for the book gave me the idea to plan a Pirate theme party.  I was not sure how to go about it however. I gained many ideas from this website and was able to personalize and improve upon them.  This website is an absolute treasure trove (no pun intended) of ideas for parties. If you are having a party for your child, I suggest you look through all of the submits and gather ideas.    I started by typing out the invitations on my computer. I found a skull and crossbones jpg picture on some website and transferred it to the invitation. Then I wrote this, "Ahoy maties! Cap't Nate is turn' four. A birthday bash is in store for this ol' seadog. 

He needs all 'is mates to help raise the sails, wash the deck, and batten down the hatches. There will be plenty of pirate treasures for the taking. Please say you'll come for this swash buckling Pirate, fun filled, Birthday Adventure!" "The Captain's Ship is docked at the secret location:"..Since I live in a small home, we held the party in a big room that I rented.  That way all the kids could run around and go crazy. Along with invite, I enclosed an authentic looking treasure map (that I drew) on one side, with the directions to the party on the other side. Then I rolled up both papers and stuck them into plastic coke bottles and handed them out to the parents.  The kids loved this! They had a blast floating the treasure map bottles in their bathtubs.  I had all the kids dress in pirate clothes by adding this at the bottom of the invitation. "All maties are asked to please dress in yer pirate uniforms (stripped pirate shirts and black pirate pants) so ye be ready for plundering."  It worked. Mostly everyone came dressed up. 

I called Home Depo and asked the manager to save me a refrigerator box. After getting questioned about it, I told him that it was going to be a craft for my son's birthday party. He admired my creativity and determination.  And, for $20 he not only put aside two big boxes, he even delivered them right to my door. Every nite for 3 weeks I worked on transforming these two boxes into one massive pirate ship (for 10 kids). I cut the tops off both, and stuck one end into the other box. I used silver duct tape to connect both boxes together. This gave the boxes strength and kept them from falling apart. One box became the bow and the other became the aft. The bow was difficult because I had to cut the box into a point to make it look like a real boat.  Once the boxes were together, I noticed a big sag right in the middle. So, I added bulk heads (the cardboard tops of the boxes taped together, inserted inside the two boxes where the sag was).  I cut an opening into the bulk head so the kids could get through.  This was a great idea! This not only added strength to the boat and got rid of the sag, but the kids loved crawling from one end of the box into the other.  Then I added a plastic PVC pole in the middle to act as the main mast. I fabricated some white packaging material, that came with the box, into a sail.  I painted the box brown, with blue waves at the bottom, added a silver cardboard anchor, and named the boat the "S.S. NATHAN".  I put wheels on the bottom to help to move it around. The kids loved when I pushed them in it!  

When the kids arrived, they headed straight for the cardboard boat. I painted mustashes and beards on the kid's faces.  We handed out eye patches, pirate hats, and also put tattoos on the kid's hands and arms (all from oriental trading.com).  After 20 minutes of playtime in the boat, I started the kids on a treasure hunt. Earlier that day I hid some prizes around the room for the kids to find. This was a big flop however. One of the kids went around picking up ALL the prizes before anyone else could find them.  But I successfully hid the pirate chest piñata (PINATA.COM - $16). When they found the piñata I told them that I had lost the key and they had to break open the lock with a bat that I was holding.  The kids loved using the plastic bat to break open the Piñata! I made sure that all the other kids stayed behind a taped line so no one would get hurt.  I filled the Piñata myself with plastic beads, rings, gold coins, gold painted rocks, whistles, and candy that I bought from Oriental Merchandise.  I spend a lot of money here ($125+) because I wanted specific items for the treasure hunt and the piñata.  In the middle of our fun we had pizza and apple juice with Jell-O Jiggles for dessert. We also had a birthday cake that I bought from the bakery - which even the adults loved. 

After lunch the kids had an organized chaos session playing in the cardboard pirate ship.  Everyone ran around and went wild.    The party continued with a craft session of "create your own treasure box". I used empty cigar boxes that I pre-painted before hand, (I got these at the Tabasco store).  I set up a craft table with glue, paint brushes, clear rhinestone beads for jewels, buttons, shells, feathers, and sparkle paint.  This kept the kids busy for almost 1 hour. Some of the creations were out of this world amazing!  As a finale, we played pin the key on the treasure chest (a similar game as pin the tail on the donkey).  I handed out goody bags which included equal amounts of the piñata treasure,  a telescope, lobster harmonica, fish bubbles, a pirate sword, and eye patches.     The party lasted for over 3 hours. There was no lull in the fun. No one was bored, not even the parents.  The party was a big hit, the kids and parents are still talking about it at the school.  Thanks for the wonderful ideas. For without this website I would have been clueless!

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