Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pirate Birthday Party Ideas - 7 Top Dos and Don'ts For a Great Kid's Theme Party

If your little buccaneer is dreaming of having a pirate party for his birthday, he's not alone. This theme remains extremely popular for young mateys of all ages. Here are the top seven dos and don'ts for making this the best celebration ever.

1. DO build excitement for the theme by sending out pirate birthday invitations. You can make your own by decorating old looking paper to appear like a treasure map. Write your party information on the map and add skull and crossbones stickers.

If you'd rather not construct hand crafted invites, then you can buy them. Party supply stores offer packets of ready made cards to announce the activities. Just fill them out and you're ready to go. Or you could order personalized pirate invitations online, some of which can even include a photo of your child.

2. DON'T spend a lot of money on decorating for the party. You can achieve great effects without going through too many gold doubloons. Hang black balloons and fishing nets around the house. Attach seashell and plastic fish, crabs and lobsters to the nets. Spray paint an old styrofoam cooler brown and embellish it so it looks like a treasure chest. Use items you may already have on hand, such as a Halloween skeleton, toy canon or a stuffed animal parrot. Scatter plastic or chocolate gold coins on the table. And don't forget to fly the pirate flag.

3. DO help the kids dress up like pirates. When they arrive, provide them with eye patches, bandanas and three corner hats. A station for temporary tattoos is also a good way to get them in the mood for the party.

4. DON'T leave the kids unsupervised with plastic swords. If you've included fake weapons as part of the costumes for your guests, be careful. The impulse to start dueling is nearly irresistible, so keep a close watch.

5. DO get creative with the menu. You can take a kid's favorite, like hot dogs and adapt them to your theme. For example, attach a sail with toothpicks to the frankfurter to make a ship or split it on the bottom to form an octopus. Offer bowls of blue jello with gummy fish imbedded in the middle. Rename food to fit the atmosphere. Chicken nuggets become golden coins and peanut butter and jelly is transformed into peanut butter and jellyfish.

A treasure chest cake is easy to make. Use two cakes baked in 13x9 inch pans and when cool, stack them on top of each other. Use popsicle or wood dowel sticks to keep the chest "open". Frost the cake, in that position, with chocolate icing. You can use fruit roll-ups to simulate the bolts. Then put your treasure in the opening. Use gold chocolate coins, candy necklaces and wrapped hard candy jewels to give the effect of an overflowing bounty of riches.

6. DO plan a lot of fun pirate games. Play "swab the deck" races with brooms and beach balls. Another good one is pin the "x" on the treasure map. The kids could all "walk the plank" on a flat or slightly elevated board. If they make it across without going overboard, they win. And of course, you'll have to engage them in a treasure hunt. The older the group of kids, the more challenging you can make the clues. But this is always a sure-fire hit.

7. DON'T let the kids leave without their loot. The goodie bag can contain any combination of treasures like a candy necklace, gold coins, eye patch, pirate stickers, temporary tattoos, plastic or plush parrot or anything with a skull and crossbones. You could even add a custom item like a personalized pirate notebook, chocolate bar or magnet as another cool party favor.

So, ahoy all mateys! Follow these tips and you're sure to put together a pirate birthday party filled with fun. Just set sail and create those lasting memories for your child.

Linda Kling, as the owner of www.photo-party-favors.com, has offered ideas to people planning birthday parties and other celebrations since 1992. She recommends these cute pirate photo birthday invitations. Visit her website for free printables, party recipes, birthday quotes, more.

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