Young buccaneers will love this kids pirate party adventure to celebrate a birthday.
Avast there, matey! Pirate parties are among the most popular themes for kids’ birthday parties. We’ve put together one with appropriate decorations, food and game ideas to help your favorite little swashbuckler celebrate. So invite your crew to come aboard as you set sail for adventure.
DIY Party Decorations
Kids love to help prepare for their special party, and our Pirate Flag Banner — with a cheery Jolly Roger motif — is easy enough that they can help put it together. You can customize it by choosing the flags you like.
Meanwhile, stitch up a few Fabric Treat Bags—the crew will need these to haul their bounty homeward after the party! These go together fast, and you can either use your stash or find fun pirate-themed fabric.
Make Folded Paper Boats, one for each guest. (They’re easy with our photo tutorial, like making old-fashioned newspaper hats. Have your kids help.) Top them, if you like with these Jolly Roger Sails. Just before the guests arrive, fill with wrapped snacks of your choosing. Gold-foil-wrapped coins are a natural, but also think about Hershey’s Nuggets (think bullion), root beer barrels and golden butterscotch discs. Or try individual packets of Goldfish crackers or Swedish fish.
Pirates love entertainment! There’s plenty of chances to earn plunder here.
1. Treasure Hunt (see photo)
An X marks the spot for treasure! Using Kraft paper or brown paper grocery bags, make a big backyard treasure map, or several smaller ones, to distribute, cutting to desired size. Then “age” it by crumpling and smoothing it back out and then rubbing a brown inkpad over the wrinkles.
Draw the map by hand, using scrapbook stickers or small photos of backyard landmarks as guides. Place clues or small prizes at each stop on the treasure map.
The youngest buccaneers will have an easier time following the map if an adult or older child helps direct them. The map can take them to the next game:
2. Buried Treasure (see photo)
Before the party, line a large, sturdy container with a garbage bag or heavy plastic. We used an inexpensive wooden chest from a local craft store, but an aluminum or heavy-duty plastic bin will work, too.
Fill with inexpensive play sand (found at most local hardware stores). Bury age-appropriate favors a few inches under the sand; let some show above the surface.
Provide plastic shovels or let the kids use their hands to dig. If you like, you can refill with more favors throughout the party so the kids can enjoy the fun several times.
3. Pin the Eye Patch on the Pirate (see photo)
Help our pirate find his eye patch in this variation on pin the tail on the donkey.
Download our Pin the Patch on the Pirate images; print on letter-size white card stock. Cut out pieces. If you like, make the eyepatches sturdier by gluing them onto cardboard.
Use double-sided tape on the back of each eye patch, or roll loops of tape, sticky side out.
Blindfold each player, in turn, with a bandanna and point toward the pirate. The winner is the child who gets his or her patch closest to the pirate’s eye.
Tips for Fun And Safety
Whether your party includes multiple ages or kids of the same age, you’ll want to keep safety in mind and tailor activities and decorations as needed.
- Serving trays & dishware. Paper or plastic are safer than glass for small children. For toddlers, consider spill-proof juice boxes or lidded cups.
- Foods. Keep common allergens and choking hazards in mind when planning a menu. Keep little ones seated at a table or other designated area while eating.
- Games, prizes & favors. Make them age-appropriate. If your party has a mix of ages, pair younger children with older ones in teams. Or recruit small guests’ parents to help.
- Guests. Name tags help keep track of little children. Plan for extra supervision by providing adult or responsible teen helpers, or put guests’ parents to work.