What Should I Consider When Planning a Pirate Party?

K T Solis

With the popularity of movies like The Pirates of the Caribbean and its sequels, children love anything that deals with pirates. In order to plan a pirate party for children, it's important to prepare well in advance. Determine which decorations, games, activities, and favors will be used for the pirate party. Decide on the party's budget so that boundaries are set in regards to money spent for materials and supplies.

Black construction paper can be used when creating pirate hats for a party.
Black construction paper can be used when creating pirate hats for a party.

After deciding on the party's date, create a fun invitation that will be sent to the guests. A creative idea is to design a treasure map invitation. Create a pirate treasure map on one side of the invitation and list important party details on the other side.

At a kid's pirate party, fake gold coins can be used as treasure.
At a kid's pirate party, fake gold coins can be used as treasure.

The treasure map can be drawn by hand, printed from the Internet, or created using graphic design software. After the invitations are created, roll each one up and tie them with a brown string. Then place them in mailing tubes and send them off. Party invitations should be sent at least two to three weeks in advance.

After the invitations are created, begin to brainstorm game and activity ideas for the pirate party. For example, most children would love to make pirate hats from black construction paper. Going to a website like The Best Kids Book Site will allow parents to print templates for a pirate hat craft as well. Pirate hats are simple to make and are an ideal party activity for kids of all ages.

Another useful craft to make during a pirate party is a treasure chest. Gather enough empty shoe boxes so that each guest will have their own. Next, cover them in brown construction paper. Purchase fake jewels from a store like The Oriental Trading Company or other stores or websites that sell craft supplies.

Parents can also buy construction paper and colored craft foam so that party guests can use the items to decorate a shoe box so that it looks like a pirate's treasure chest. Provide the kids with fake gold coins so they can fill the chest with booty. They'll have fun gluing fake jewels and other items to the shoe box in order to make a real pirate's treasure chest.

No party is complete without party games. A pirate-themed party is no exception, so plan a variety of games and activities to keep the guests busy. One idea is to play a variation on the musical chairs game. In the pirate version, instead of sitting on chairs, players pass a pirate hat.

Buy a pirate hat from a costume shop or make a construction paper version. Find a CD that offers a variety of pirate songs. Ask the children to sit in a circle on the floor and hand one of them the pirate hat.

As the CD plays, the guests pass the pirate hat around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding the pirate hat is "out" of the game. The last person holding the pirate hat wins and receives a small prize.

Another excellent game to play is a Treasure Hunt game. Provide guests with a treasure map made from pieces of a crumpled brown bag. Children must follow the treasure map to locate a small "treasure" that was hidden beforehand. Playing a plank-walking game is another good alternative. Set a long piece of lumber on the floor and allow kids to walk across it. After the guests cross the plank, they can receive a small prize.

Party favors for the pirate party can include chocolate coins covered in gold foil, fake gold coins, toy spy glasses, and other little pirate-themed toys. Party food can be simple fare like hot dogs, fish sticks, a cake shaped like a pirate ship, and red ruby punch.

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Discussion Comments


@Soulfox -- Oh, lighten up some. The pirates celebrated at such parties are fictional in the same way that real cowboys are not portrayed accurately at cowboy parties for kids.

The stereotypical pirate character does have his roots in those old, seafaring types who terrorized the world's oceans for decades. However, that character is a work of fiction and -- as such -- is pretty darned harmless.


One thing to keep in mind is that pirates were (and are) terrible, terrible people. Why throw a party celebrating a bunch of blackhearted rascals who did nothing but rob and terrorize people? Think pirates are cool? How about those modern day ones that are up to no good? They're not that different from the historical pirates that people reference in pirate parties.

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