My first-born son Cole just turned 5 a few days ago, and today he went to school for his first day in kindergarten. It’s a special time for him, to reach half a decade and to make the transition from preschooler to school-aged kid. So to celebrate these milestones we decided to throw him his own party, instead of a joint party with his younger brother as we’ve done in the past (their birthdays are 9 days apart). We invited his friends and their families to our place for a pirate party. Luckily for me there is a plethora of pirate-themed birthday party ideas on the internet. I’m in awe of the creativity of some people. I generally don’t consider myself to be very crafty, but I did have a lot of fun making crafts and coming up with some of my own ideas for this party. I was also amazingly impressed with my husband Tony for his creativity in building this giant pirate ship in our backyard. That’s right, he actually built a ship.
I know, it’s a bit over the top, but he seemed to really enjoy building it and it didn’t take him long at all. He did it all one weekend, using scraps of wood he got from his work. He made it about a month ago so the boys and their friends have been enjoying it in the backyard over the summer and not just for this party. We’ll probably take it down after Bennett’s birthday, but it’s definitely been well-used.
The first thing we did at the party was to lead the kids on treasure hunt using this map I made of our backyard.
I rolled it up and stuck it in an old wine bottle and the kids pulled it out and followed it, with Tony’s help.
At each X there was something hidden, including pirate hooks made out of plastic cups and tin foil. You can get instructions for making these at Make and Takes.
At another X there were pirate hats, made out of black poster board that I cut into strips and decorated, then secured with staples on either side. Here’s Bennett wearing his hat:
At the next X was a key, hidden up in a tree, which opened the door where the final treasure was. Tony had decorated an old chest we found at a garage sale and we hid all the loot bags in it. I don’t have a photo of the chest, but here’s one of the loot bags:
You can print these fun loot bag labels at B. Nute Productions. I love how they say ‘Thanks for Being Me Matey.’
Next we had pirate ship cake and gold coin cupcakes. I found the idea for the cake at Piece of Cake Parties. She has a template and great instructions to help you along. Unfortunately I had to toss one of the front triangle pieces because it crumbled so badly when I tried to frost it, but it still looked okay without it. My frosting skills leave much to be desired, but the kids didn’t seem to mind. The blue gummies around the ship were particularly popular.
For snacks I had veggies and dip, crackers with cheese and garlic sausage, fruit, snack mix, and super cute orange boats in blue jello. The kids loved them and a few even asked if they could take one home with them.