Most boys (and lots of girls too!) love everything to do with pirates. Maybe it’s to do with the freedom of the open seas, and the skulduggery and excitement. Maybe it’s the thought of treasure! Whatever the reason they’re drawn to life on the Jolly Roger, why not consider throwing a pirate party for your little buccaneer? Pirate Parties care fun to plan, create and host. Just arm yourself with an eye patch, a cutlass and a parrot, and you’re halfway there!
Start by brushing up on your ‘Pirate Speak’. This is funny, and not a little irreverent (and sometimes a bit rude too!) But, on the whole, great family fun. Learn what a ‘lubber’ is – most of us who aren’t pirates and don’t have sea legs – and also a word that any self-respecting pirate ALWAYS used as an insult. Or you can learn how to dance the hornpipe, should you so wish…
So, what else is involved? Well, here are a few ideas to turn your home into the Jolly Roger, and some exciting games for self-respecting pirates, and even hints on how to make a pirate ship cake…
- Make a sign for the front door – ‘Pirate Ship – Enter At Your Own Risk’ with a terrifying skull and crossbones – that way visiting pirates are warned about the ‘peril’ that awaits them on board ship
- Treasure Hunt – great for fine weather days. Hide coins or other treasure around the garden (or if you are brave maybe go to a local park with the help of adult Brigands), and give the scurvy buccaneers a map and handwritten clues on cream paper with torn/singed edges – this takes a little time and needs to be prepared in advance. If your kids are helping you’ll need plenty of adult supervision, but it’s great fun. Your invitations can be created in the same way. For your treasure hunt hand out clues and let them loose….
- Ask your guests to come in fancy dress; and provide them with an eye patch – maybe pop into their party bags if they’ve already come armed with one!
- Walk the plank makes a great game – not literally, over shark-infested water, obviously, but find a bit of board or plank of wood, an old shelf or door will do, place over blue fabric or paper. Get your kids to draw or paint fantastical sea creatures and mermaids onto paper and scatter over the ‘sea’. Then encourage the wrongdoers to take the walk of doom – maybe blindfolded to make it trickier. Gold covered chocolate coins or plastic gold coins make great prizes for this and other games
- Pin the treasure on the ‘X’. Another blindfold game, a little like Pin the tail on the donkey. Draw (or buy!) a large map, and give the children an appropriate sticker, maybe a treasure box, or skull and crossbones, with their name or initial written on it, and the closest to the ‘X’, once blindfolded, wins the prize.
- Scatter chocolate coins for a quick ‘Treasure Dash’ around the garden (or house, if you are feeling brave and the weather is stormy!). The kids can use treasure chest cardboard boxes (also useful for party food) in which to stash their hoard
- Play pirate music and sea shanties for that authentic background sound – who can resist a couple of verses of ‘What shall we do with a Drunken Sailor?’
- Musical Islands – ditch the chairs and cut out island shapes from sand coloured card, taking one away each time the music starts
- Skull and cross bone bunting makes great decoration for your Jolly Roger
- Make (or order!) a Pirate Ship cake. Decorate the ‘seas’ with blue icing, use toy pirate figures to man the decks, and chocolate fingers to create the timbers
And, don’t forget, girls can be pirates too. It’s not all about Bluebeard and Johnny Depp. Mary Read and Anne Bonny were infamous female pirates who terrorised the seas during the 18th Century.
And, above all, make sure you have a swashbucklin’ good time!