Idea No.


Twins Pirate Party 6yr - Decorate Pirate Hat



May 2011


Lisa in San Jose, CA  USA

Runner Up

Pirate Girl Party

This year's birthday party for our twin girls took on a theme pirates. 

INVITATION:  The invitations were printed in a small pirate-like font on light purple cardstock and then affixed with dots to a map purchased from Oriental Trading. The verbage for the invitation read:  Aye Matey! Ye be invited fer some 6th birthday spirits at Captain K & Buccaneer L's Piratey Birthday Bash. Chart yer course to come to (address here). We'll set sail on (date) and be a meetin from 2  4 pm fer some swashbuckling fun, grub and kiddie spirits. We need all the mates to help raise the sails, wash the deck, batten down the hatches, and search for the long lost treasure! Wave yer flag if ye be attendin or have yer mum send a message by yer phone to (number) or via the blimey computer at (email). Sees ye there Aaaaargh!! (if not, then you'll have to walk the plank If you dare! Be there, or BEWARE!)  Pirate costumes are welcome but NO gifts please.

DECORATIONS:  Since we selected the theme about 10 months before the party, I had plenty of time to stock up on inexpensive decorations from The Dollar Tree. I had a half dozen pirate centerpieces on tables throughout our house, dozens of twirly hanging pieces that I put in trees in the backyard, two black Beware of Pirate tablerunners, and a dozen banners. My mom also added large pirate face posters and red, black and white helium balloons. I also made signs printed on white, red or light brown cardstock. Some examples included: Don't let ye cat out; The Head Be Here; Shiver Me Timbers; Ahoy Matey; Blow the Kindergartener Down; Don't Walk the Plank. After printing them, I cut around the words in sharp angles and used dots to stick them to random cut outs of black paper, again with sharp angles. I finished them off with random stickers of pirate flags and treasure chests. I put the signs on fences and our huge palm tree using a staple gun.

The finishing touch for decorations was fresh cut red gerber daisies with bouquets of ribbons in red, black and white, our color scheme, in every room in the house. When children arrived (approx 20 of them), they received a sticky nametag with their name morphed into a pirate name and a sticker on it that I used to group them. The nametags were in black or red font (thus the black team and the red team) and the 4 different stickers enabled me to group accordingly for other activities. I researched all names on the internet, such as Squid Lips Mia, Captain Cate White Beard, Dregg Diego, and Lassie Laura. 

ACTIVITIES/GAMES: Twenty minutes after the party began we had just about everyone here and the activities could begin. I went with the they are all about 4-6 years old approach, so everyone was a winner in every activity.

Activity #1 was decorating pirate hats, ordered from Oriental Trading Company. Since they also have rhinestones and other gems with stickers on the back, having a few trays out for kids to use and make their names or patterns with the colors and shapes worked really well. When they were done, they all received silver pirate beads (aka mardi gras beads).

Activity #2 was a cannonball carrying game. We put the kids into 2 groups and they did a relay race holding a spoon. On the spoon was a water balloon cannonball. It was really funny to see most of the water balloons fall but not break. Ironically, the two teams tied, so everyone received purple pirate beads.

Activity #3 was a game called sink the pirate ship. I used a large sheet of lexicon (about 3 x 8) and had my mom turn it into a pirate ship. She used white butcher paper, and drew and painted a ship onto each side of the ship, then taped the paper to the lexicon. We added a pole and sails and it was very 3-D. One team was on each side of the ship. I handed each team a box full of cannonballs. This time they were small Styrofoam balls that I picked up at Michael's. I spray painted the balls black and they were all about 2 in diameter. On the count of three, each team had to start launching the cannonballs in an attempt to get all the cannonballs on one side or the other, which of course meant lots of flying balls and no way to end the game. The enjoyment increased with the level of screaming, and vice versa. I cut the game off after about 2 minutes and the kids were still raving about it days later. All participants received pirate beads.  

Activity #4 was musical islands and pirate ships. Using pictures on google images, I used photos of pirate ships and different islands. I copied them onto colored sheets of 8.5x11 paper and laminated each so the kids didn't get hurt or tear the pages during the game. Just like musical chairs, we played pirate music and when the music went off, each child had to be standing on a ship or island. As they were eliminated, they received purple beads. The winner received the gold beads with the compass attached to it.  

Activity #5 was pin the flag on the island. Because we had so many children, they were split into groups for our rendition of pin the tail on the donkey. I had large maps and each child was given a flag with a sticky dot on the back, and we used pirate scarves as the bandana to cover their eyes. At the end of the game, all participants again received pirate beads and the winner of each group received the beads with the compass.  

Activity #6 was a limbo game. This was tossed in last minute when one of the twins was reading a book that morning and wanted to know what limbo was. We used a pole and taught the kids how to limbo. All participants received pirate beads and the winner received the one with the compass. Little people are really good at this game!  About the time we finished the games, a friend of ours showed up. He wandered into the front yard, dressed like a pirate from head to toe and he does it well! On his shoulder he had a chest that he opened and started sharing items with the kids. His stash included pirate pencils, stickers, tattoos, erasers, pearl beads, bracelets, rings, chocolate coins, and more. The kids were amassing more goodies than I ever imagined! He was one of the hits of the party. He led the kids in pirate songs and chants and made them repeat pirate slogans like a pirate as he doled out the treasures.  

COSTUMES: We did open up the option for costumes in our invitation and had about half of the kids in costume. My husband wore black shirt with a pirate bandana. I borrowed a pirate dress and black tights from a friend. Our girls were head-to-toe in pirate costumes and many of their friends were in creatively designed dresses and wraps, bandanas and more.  

PARTY SNACKS: Aiming for healthy, we had pirate box juices with pirate stickers on them and adult beverages for the older crowd. The kids snack table included pirate booty (from Trader Joe's), mixed dried fruit and nuts, dried apricots, cookies, veggies with fat-free ranch dressing, fruit salad, and assorted cheeses and crackers. I had little signs by all the food items with pirate-like titles. Pirate booty was a given, but others included pirate nuggets for caramel corn, blood the prisoners for juice boxes (that were all covered with pirate labels), and eye of the land for veggies.  

CAKE: I wanted to get a cake that went with the theme but also tasted good. Many local bakers were willing to make fondant cakes for us, but we didn't want to compromise the flavor. We opted for a cupcake cake from Safeway (went with a Hawaiian theme with water and an island). I asked them not to do anything else on it. I also ordered two small cakes so each of the twins could have her own cake. Since cake toppers are harder to find for a pirate theme, I purchased three pirate Lego sets. There were enough items in them to top each little cake and the cupcake cake. The little cakes had skeleton-people, mini palm trees and treasure boxes. The larger one had a plank with pirates and skeletons duking it out, trees, a shark in the water and a very large pirate skull. Lots of oohs and aaahs for the cakes, and the toppers can be reused with our lego sets. We also had a separate cupcake holder with chocolate and vanilla cupcakes from Safeway. These are their standard cupcakes but I added special topper for each that had a pirate, ship or skull on toothpicks.  

FAVORS: I am not a big fan of goodie bags but my twins are. I handmade bags using my Cricut and pirate printed paper. Each had a label with the same names as on their nametags. The bags were pirate stickers, pirate bubbles, gold bullion with a pirate flag sticker and inside were plain M&M's, mini pirate beach balls, eye patches, and pirate hooks.  This year's party was a big, big hit! Planning for the 7th birthday begins now.

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