Idea No.


Pirate Pool -3yr- Message In A Bottle Invite



June 2011


Maria in Staten Island, NY

Special Mention

Pool Party

My son LOVES to swim and pirates,so for his 3rd birthday we decided to have a Pirate Pool Party!!! His bday is in the winter, so we rented the indoor pool w/ a small party room at a local hotel. We really went ALL OUT and everyone had a great time!

INVITATION I did a pirate Message in a Bottle" invite. I ordered clear plastic bottles online w/ corks. Using MS Publisher I created my own invite. Page 1- I used a pic of my son's head and photoshopped it on a pirate's body- I added a pirate hat eye patch parrot and curly mustache to match. I included a little text bubble next to him which said "Yo Ho Yo Ho a Pirate's Life fer Me!" The invite read as follows: "Ahoy Mateys! Lend me yer ear Thar's a Message fer ye t' Hear! Shiver Me Timers A Winter Wind be Blowin' our Way Me thinks 'tis Time fer some Summer Swashbucklin' Play! A Pool Party that be jus' what we Need.. 'Tis Cap'n Nick's 3rd Birthday! T'will be a Grand Celebration Indeed! We be Meetin'(Date/Time) Chart Yer Course Fer(Location) X marks the Spot at the Indoor Pool! Arrrrgh ye going t' come? Yo Ho Ho Let First Mate Mom know by (RSVP Date) Avast Me Hearties- bring yer swimsuit flip-flops & change o’clothin' or ye be banished t’ Davy Jones’ Locker!" Page 2- I made a pirate map complete with directions. I found a map on-line of my town. I put a big X where the hotel is added in lots of pirate clip art complete with fun stuff like our 'pirate hide-out' and ship. I added a squiggly line to show the path from the ship to the party. I printed both pages on parchment paper and burned the edges- I rolled them up and inserted into the bottles. I put some sand mini-shells and a platic sword in the bottles as well. I assigned each child we invited a special pirate name- I printed pirate themed labels (which I tea-stained)complete with all the pirate names and put a small wax seal on each using candle wax & sent out.

DECORATIONS- At the hotel I set-up a treasure hunt to find our party room/pool. I used the same image I created of my son as a pirate plus more clip art on burned parchment paper. At the hotel door I had a sign which said- "Ahoy Mateys Ye Quest t’ Cap’n Nick’s Pirate Pool Party Starts Here! Follow the Marked Path!" Next sign- "Avast  Me  Hearties! If Ye be Seekin’ a Swashbucklin’ Good Time Then Make a Left at This Sign!" Next Sign- "Ye Almost Be  Thar Jus’a Few Paces More! Look fer the ‘X’ on the Pool Room Door!" On the door I made a special sign which included a big X  and again the pic of my son as a pirate- I even put a real feather coming out of his hat! The sign said- "Welcome to  Cap’n Nick’s 3rd Birthday Pool Party! Enter if ye Dare" In the pool- I ordered small pirate beach balls & water guns for all the kids from OT.

I downloaded a whole bunch of pirate songs on my ipod and had them playing the whole time. In the party room I had pirate balloon bouquets on all the tables complete with skulls sculpted out a white balloons w/ real pirate hats on top. I made signs for each table with funny pirate sayings- Example- Sign for the gift table- "Cap’n Nick’s Birthday Loot ~Fair Warnin' From Cap’n Nick~ Arrrgh!...Ye best be keepin’ ye hands’ off me birthday treasures if ye knows wat’s good fer ye!" I made a treasure chest out of a cardboard box that I filled with candy (I only picked candy that came in gold wrappers) ring pops candy necklaces etc. I also filled the box with lots of crinkle cut brown paper (to simulate sand) so the kids would have to dig to "find the buried treasure". Sprinkled pirate confetti everywhere as well and kept all linens red and black.

ACTIVITIES/GAMES- Swimming while in the pool. After we ate in the party room I set-up a craft table- kids made their own pirate hats- I bought the kits from OT and they were a hit. I also set-up 'Cap'n Nick's Tattoo Parlor' and did face painting and pirate tattoos.

COSTUMES- I made personalized T-shirts for my family which I ordered on-line- Using a pirate pic- My son's was the "Captain" I was the 'First Mate' and my husband was the "Master Sailor". I also got a pirate bathing suit for my son.

PARTY SNACKS- The hotel provided a hot buffet but I made a 'menu' sign for the food area giving all the food pirate names like Chick'n Fingrrrrrrrs Golden Mac & Cheese Grog etc etc. I also provided snacks- goldfish pirate booty gummy swedish fish- ect.

CAKE-Hotel provided a cake complete with black and red decorations and I also made a treasure chest cake filled with pirate 'booty'(candy)

FAVORS- I ordered a small treasure chest for each child from OT and filled with more pirate candy eye patch pirate necklace gold coins bottle o' rum (wax bottles filled with the candy liquid) ect. I wrapped each in clear cello wrap. I then got a pic of each child and photoshopped each kid's head onto a pirate body- so they became real pirates too. I printed those on cardstock so each kid got a small paper-doll of themselves as a pirate. I attached each onto the treasure chests.

Next I created a "Pirate Crew Membership Scroll" (again on the parchment I burned) for each and also attached to the favor- The membership certificate said "This Certificate hereby names (Child's Pirate Name)a full member of Cap’n Nick’s Pirate Crew! Ye has passed initiation & is deemed fit t’Sail the Seven Seas wit’ Cap’n Nick. As a member ye must swear the followin’ Pirate Oath- I swear me allegiance t’ Cap’n Nick I promise t’ share all me treasures wit’ me fellow crew When me wears me eye-patch I’ll make sure t’ switch eyes from time t’ time I’ll not pick me nose- But if I do pick me nose I’ll try not t’ wipe me booger on any of me mates I’ll make sure t’ say "Please" and "Thank You" because nobody likes a rude pirate I’ll wash me hands before eatin’- especially after pickin’ me nose! On my Oath as a Pirate I promise to do all these things t’ the best of me ability So Help Me Poseidon" I made pirate shaped sugar cookies as well for the adults to take home.

A week later I sent a thank you card again with my son's pirate image thanking guests for joinin' Nick's pirate crew and saying we had a swashbucklin' good time. Everyone just loved the party!!  It was a lot of work and took a lot of time but it was so memorable- so worth all of the effort!! :)  "

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