Every little boy wants to be a pirate, so a Pirate Birthday is your perfect party theme for preschool or boys age 6 to 7.
Give the kids a chance to dress up and watch them all actually become pirates- at least in their own eyes and imaginations.
The more invested they are in your party theme, the more likely they will stay engaged in your activities and behave as they should.
And that makes the hostess' job that much easier and more fun, instead of stressful and disciplinary.
Little Buccaneers ALWAYS have a great time!
And with the ideas you'll find here, gathered from all over the Web, you can easily put it all together.
We look for ideas for invitations, themed craft activities, decorations to get everyone in the mood, themed food and most importantly, games that work with your pirate theme.
[Click on the for more info from the related blog post.]
A message in a bottle is the perfect invitation. Recyle your water or soda bottles, labels removed.
Use 'pirate 'lingo' for your invitation to make it just that much more fun- find 10 different iterations for your invitation.
Rather than the standard quarter-fold invitation, use your 8 1/2 x 11' paper full size, rolled up to fit in the bottle. You can crinkle the paper up and then iron it to give it the right look, and tea staining the paper will make it look properly aged. Scorch the edges with a lighter for full effect.
If you’ve not got the time for all that, plus driving to each child’s home for hand delivery on the porch or walkway, I’ve created a simple downloadable and editable pirate invitation. Just edit in the underlined variables, remove the underlining, and print as many as you need. These are quarter-fold invitations that fit in a standard invitation sized envelope.
Be a Pirate Parent:
Be an integral part of your childs' party by joining in and being a pirate too. Dress up just like the kids do and trust me- it will be a cherished memory.
Find your gear in your closet, your husband's closet, the attic, friends attics and/or the thrift store. Tight black pants, big white shirt, scruffy boots, bandanas, pirate booty (necklaces and rings and earrings), eye patches, a 'Mom' tatoo, none of the required garb is very hard to find.
Craft Activities :
Keep them busy for 20 minutes to a 1/2 hour making their very own pirate hats. For each hat, have a 2” wide strip of thin cardboard, black 8 ½" x 11" card stock (or construction paper), and sequins or glitter or stickers for decorative trim (plus glue sticks). Help the kids fit the cardboard around their heads and staple or tape them to size for each.
For the youngest ones pre-cut the black paper in the hat shape. For older kids, make a couple of templates they can use to cut out their own. You'll find directions on the template page (the link above) for making and printing the decorations they can stick on their hats.
2- TP Pirates:
A quick craft project that will even work with fidgety preschool boys. You provide the cut outs from the templates provided, and the paper tp rolls, and the boys glue their fellows up. Grab different faces and swords etc from graphics available on the web (see 'graphics resources' below), and they can make a whole boatload of these guys to play with and take home. Thanks to dltk-kids.com for the idea and permission to use their photo of this tough guy.
3- Pirate Ship Picture Frames:
No need for an expensive kit, just cut your ship frame out of black posterbaord with your trusty matte knife ahead of time, and cut out the rectangle for the snapshot you'll be taking of each of your guests. The kids can then decorate their frames with stickers, chocolate dubloons, plundered jewels, etc. Another quick craft project that they'll be able to sit through and end up with a nice take home. Grab the ship template and the link to ehow.com for frame making directions from our blog.
1- Graphics Resource: Jolly Rogers for your entryway, scary pirate faces for your walls, you'll find all kinds of pirate stuff you can use in numerous ways for decorations.
2- Use your white Holiday lights : string them up your front steps or stick them up in your entryway with tacky tape with jolly roger flags (paper ones you've printed will do nicely) hanging between the lights.
3- Hats for Snacks:
If you've got (or can borrow) some pirate hats from past Halloweens or older children, line them with pastic wrap, turn them upside down and with a paper collar to keep them steady, use them for pretzels or popcorn or other snacks.
4- 'Beware of Pirates' Tape: You can purchase or make black 'Beware of Pirates' tape (a take off on yellow police caution tape) that you can use to cordon off any area of your party you wish- the entry, the food, out-of-bounds parts of the house.
1- Cupcake Toppers: Use any themed graphics you want to make your own cupcake toppers- it's easy and quick using straws, glue and your printer.
2- Easy Pirate Cupcakes:
Cupcakes from a box mix with simple geometric shaped icing decoration is within anyones abilities, doesn't take very long, and you'll end up with fantastic looking cupcakes that the kids will love.
No special equipment needed, just food coloring to tint the icing, and a plastic bag with the corner cut out to squeeze your frosting on in the shapes you want. More complete directions can be found.
3- Watermelon Shark: This is my personal favorite- reminds me of the crocodile that stalked Captain Hook. Photo courtesy of and with permission from the Mom in High Heels blog.
There are full instructions for making this scary yet healthy guy- should take about an hour and it will be well worth your time when you bring him out and hear the kids reactions. It's not often you can find something this interesting and this perfect for your party theme that (1) they'll actually eat, and (2) that's even good for them.
4- Betty Crocker's Pirate Cake: Step-by-step to make a professional looking cake using boxed cake mix and store bought frosting and candy. You can't go wrong with this one.
5- Healthy Snacks: Stick a paper sail on a straw or bamboo skewer, topped with a paper jolly roger flag, put it in a small cup of grapes or nuts, and watch them eat something that's actually good for them and helps reduce that sugar high.
6- Themed Cookies or Sandwiches: Think the kids would enjoy a pirate ship shaped PBJ or skull and crossbones jello? Shaped cookie cutter are a simple way to fancy up your birthday food food.
Games - the MOST important part of your party plan:
Pirate birthdays tend to be preschool parties, and you don't need me to tell you about the old standby's like pin the Eye Patch on the Pirate (see the pirate graphics referenced above). Here's some more creative games with a pirate theme:
1- Walk the Plank Ye Blackguards:
Using your front steps and a couple of boards, get your arriving pirates into the swing of things by having them walk the plank to get in to your party. Everyone plays around outside until all have arrived, then they walk the plank one by one.
2- The Pirate Name Game: A good game to use while you wait for everyone to arrive, perhaps before you have them all walk the plank as above. With your laptop, pre-made labels and one of the on-line pirate name generators, give each guest a buccaneer's name. See .
2- Chalk Picture Splash: If your weather works for outdoors, have the kids draw pirates and pirate 'stuff' on your driveway (or for younger kids, you do it ahead of time) and then let them work off a little steam by obliterating their drawings with water balloons. Again, refer to the 'graphics resources' above for ideas- maybe even print some out to give the kids ideas for their own drawings.
3- Dice and Draw: If you can't do your 'art' game outdoors with chalk, do it inside with newsprint taped to the wall and markers. Turn it into a real game by adding dice. It's easier to play than it is to explain, so .
4- Pirates a la Fresco: Alternatively, start the kids off with waves on big butcher paper taped to the wall and let them make a giant pirate mural.
5- Pirate Treasure Hunt: A scavenger hunt disguised as a pirate's hunt for treasure is just about the perfect game for this party. Depending how difficult you make it, it's good for preschool age kids as well as kids in elementary school, age 6 to 8.
THIS ONE IS NOT FREE: The Treasure Hunt Party Game EBook is a complete game system that will enable you to put together an awesome treasure hunt for your pirates in as little as 1/2 hour (but better to spend a bit more time and end up with a better game).
Best played outdoors where you've got plenty of room, the local park is ideal but backyards work too.
6- Build a Pirate Ship: Challenge small groups of your elementary school aged pirates (not preschoolers) to build pirate ships using toothpicks and mini marshmallows (edible Tinker Toys). Have white paper and scissors for them to make sails.
Be sure to check out our Birthday Party Games page for a multitude of game ideas, many of which can be tweaked for a pirate themed party.
1- Capt'n Hook:
Make either one to be shared or a hook for each child's hand using plastic cups, candy canes or coat hangers and duct tape-.
Let them wear their hooks and use them to snag their take home party favors from a big pile or bin (like a laundry basket), all the favors having been equipped with wire loops for snagging.
2- Photo Party Favor Bags: Take photos of all your little pirates, and another of each with the birthday pirate, and have a helper print them out and paste them on each side of plain white lunch bags that you'll then use as your party goody bags. Simple and special.
We'll be adding new ideas as we find them.
And we'd LOVE to include your good ideas here for other parents.