Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to host a pirate party

This year for the boy’s birthday we gently guided them a pirate party theme.  Mainly because I found some super cute pirate invitations clearanced.  And, I had some fun party game ideas.
Party favors I made:
I only made scarves for them.  Very simple, I took some nice shiny knit fabric (that I’m guessing was swimwear, I mainly noticed it was $2 a yard), and cut it into squares and rectangles.  I figured out that 24” square was a little big for preschoolers, but the 18” square was a little too small.
Party favors purchased.
Pirate eye patches    Pirate rings      I also purchased a piece of eight necklace, which is apparently discontinued.
Other potential party favors: swords (we did this last year), bag of treasures, treasure map
I do realize I could very easily have made the eye patches by cutting a piece of felt in a circle and sewing a piece of 1/4” elastic to it, but this was quick and easy, and they patches were a good price.

All of the accessories were tied up in the scarf and when each kid got there they were outfitted as a pirate, so they’d be ready for the treasure hunt.
014 015 016 017 019 018
Sadly, the picture of the last two kids, I just noticed has the camera cord in front.
Next, the games, or rather game.  I’ve figured out for this age, one game is about the limits of their focus.  We had a treasure hunt!

Clues were written on pieces of canvas.  We were quite thankful to “our neighbor” for reading the clues, and helping figure it all out.  Here’s a sampling of clues we used:
Walk forward 20 steps.
Look up for the key.
Cross the red stones.
Find the pile of red stones.

Can you tell they’re crossing the path of red stones to find the gate?
We hid the key to the padlock up in the tree, and they had to search to find the key, and then use it to get in the backyard.


Eventually the hunt led them to the treasure chest up in the tree.  We had filled it with bags of chocolate coins and some little pirate toys I’d found at a party store.

Other games you could play: guess the number of coins in the treasure chest (for older kids); dress like a pirate relay race (using adult sized clothing), these can be really fun; Pin the parrot on the pirate.

In case you can’t tell I like party themes that aren’t as tied to a cartoon character, because there is more opportunity for interesting party favors and games.  While my kids may love the parties where they get lots of little favors, I personally don’t like them as much, because I know those will be played with for a little while, and then I’ll find them in little pieces later on.  I’d rather spend a little more and do one big nicer party favor.  So far our party favors have been: swords and shields, capes, and tutus.  Sadly, the closest there is to a tutorial for the shields is the boy’s birthday post linked above.

I linked this up to Mom Tried It's Try and Tell Tuesday.
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