The Pirate Party: Top Ten {Tuesday}

pirate theme

Birthday party posts are my fave. And I also dread them. Because I like to give every detail of the party. (I know, you’re shocked by that statement). I want to tell you about each and every decoration, game and food. But I realize that can make for some dull blogging. So, instead, I’ll try (TRY) to put everything into one post. Or maybe I’ll do two. Hmmm….


1. The Food!

I couldn’t think of any good pirate-y food at first. Everything I found online was all creepy and Halloween-ish. Finally I settled on an around-the-world theme. Because pirates sail the seven seas and all that? Get it? So, we had:


Pirates of the Caribbean Black Bean Mango Salsa (hat tip to Tricia and Kraft Foods)


Captain Hook’s Hummus (Sabra brand with pita)


Oranges for scurvy (thanks to Kristen for the idea!)

In addition we had some eggrolls (which I didn’t get a picture of but they were from Target and every single one got eaten!) and goldfish crackers in all shapes and sizes!

2. The Desserts!


I made cannonballs. I got the idea from Becky’s friend who did meatballs=cannonballs at her son’s pirate party. But instead of meat, I did chocolate Rice Krispies treats COVERED in chocolate! Can I just say one word? HOLY YUM. That was 2, but seriously, they were good.

Even after a skype-tutorial by Staci and a video tutorial by Bakerella, I couldn’t really dip the cannonballs in chocolate and make them look good. So, my husband had the bright idea of painting the chocolate on. And that’s what we did. It worked wonders!

I also made these adorable Captain Jack Sparrow Tricorne Hats from Diamonds for Dessert. Wait, I take that back. I tried to make them. They turned out horrendous. It wasn’t recipe error, at all. It was all user error. *sigh* One day I’ll be able to follow a recipe.

Of course, I had to throw a few M&M’s in there, and some orange slices for more scurvy fun.

3. The Cake!

My bff, Staci comes to the rescue again! She has made all my kids’ cakes at all their parties and she never ever fails to disappoint! This year I asked her if she could do a pirate ship cake. And well, what do you think of this?!

pirate party

4. The Decor

I honestly didn’t want any skulls at the party. Well, this was totally impractical because every single solitary pirate-y thing has a skull on it. But I did the best I could and think I kept the frightening gore to a minimum. Let’s see…


I bought three pirate flags for 51 cents each at Amazon. For real. (Oh, look! It’s on sale for ONE PENNY right now!) I used one as a backdrop, one as a tablecloth and one in the reading nook…see below…) I found that cute banner at Hobby Lobby. The skull was kinda smiley so we hung it right over the snarling skull to cut down on the macabre.


My dad donated his pirate sword, his Pirates of the Caribbean snow globe and other miscellaneous pirate-y stuff. He collects swords and other scary stuff.


I also loved my food signs. I just grabbed those pictures off of The Grapics Fairy. And the font is called RAGE.

5. The Costumes

I love when people dress to go with my theme. Daddy had on a skull shirt, Mama wore her Tinkerbell shirt (Captain Hook?), one of my friends’ son wore an Aaarrrgghhhh! shirt and matching pirate pants. Becky’s daughter and friend came dressed in full pirate girl regalia. I made an awesome tattoo shirt with Asa’s name on it. Lydia wore her pink pirate costume (courtesy of Papa):


And my brother. Well, he wore this:


6. The Games.

I wanted to do a scavenger hunt. But I knew I’d have kids from ages 2-10. So, I had to make it a little less structured and more at-your-own-pace. So, I set up (rather, my mom and Lydia set up) 5 stations in the backyard. Each station had a sign with instructions and a spinner.


The kids spun the spinner (is that redundant?) and whichever pirate stamp it landed on is which station they had to go to. I stamped each sign with the same stamp as the spinner. I’m not sure if it worked exactly right, but it was the best I could come up with!

(I got the spinners at a school supply store for like $2 and the stamp set at Michael’s–it even came with paint!)

The stations were as pirate-y as I could make them:

Walk the Plank: they had to uhm…walk the plank


Buried Treasure: a baby pool full of sand, gold coins and necklaces


Pegleg Hop: an obstacle course of hula hoops, buckets and paintsticks—all to be completed on one foot


Swab the Deck: use a mop to push a ball into a bucket


Get Yer Own Pirate Name:

{Do you understand how much I wanted you to see this station? I am subjecting myself to letting you see this picture of me!!}

This was my favorite! I stole the idea from a Western Day I went to at the Center for Puppetry Arts. I got 3 boxes, painted them and cut a hole in top. (Again, when I say *I*, I really mean my mom and Lydia did this. I was just the puppet master.) Then I came up with 3 groups of names–a new first, middle and last pirate name. The kids picked a name out of each box and I wrote their new name on their pirate ship name tag. (Which were meticulously put together by Lydia—all by herself!)

Here are some of the great names we discovered:

pirate names

(Email me if you’d like my full list of pirate names. I found a good 30-40! I apparently deleted the list, but see the comments below and I explain how I found my names!)

7. The Prizes.

pirate kids

At each station, the kids got a piece to a pirate costume: an eye patch ($1 for 50 at Oriental Trading), a red and white striped sash (hand cut by moi), black bandanna (also cut by me, much cheaper than buying bandannas!), pirate tattoo and of course, the pirate name tag.

The best part of this was by the end of the day, all the kids were wearing costumes and looked so cute!

8. The Reading Nook

We own two really great pirate books that we read regularly. One is How I Became a Pirate and the other is Mrs. Rosey Posey and the Hidden Treasure. At first I was trying to figure out how I could get a copy of one of these at a cheap price and give them as goody-bags. Then I thought about doing a pirate story time at the party. But then I imagined doing pirate voices in front of everyone and chickened out on that one.


Finally, I decided to do a Reading Nook. Because as everyone knows, pirates LOVE to read. Ahem. Anywhoo, I checked out about 20 pirate books from the library and collected a few other pirate books I had laying around. Threw them on the floor with my favorite Pottery Barn tablecloth ($17 on sale!) and we were set!

The kids totally loved this! And it was a great place for opening presents and eating cake. I might do this again. I liked it!


9. The Feel-Good-Ness

It was a fun laid back yet exciting party. The kids loved the adventure of the game. I think the costumes added to the fun. It was a beautiful day—almost fall but not too far away from summer. Once the station game was done, we all sat on the back porch and watched our little pirates play the games again and make up their own new games.


This is my brother pretending it hurts when Asa puts the tattoo on him. Asa laughed so hard!

10. The Pirate


Oh, my little pirate. He was such a big boy at the party. At first he just stood in the middle of the yard staring at everyone. He couldn’t believe all the fun and commotion going on around him. Then he giggled and played and dressed up with the rest of them. He said thank you for every present and was sufficiently impressed with each one.


I love the way he just sits back and watches everything. He’s the sweetest pirate I know.

:: :: ::

Only 1500 words! I did it! One post on the pirate party…well, actually, I remembered 5 other things I forgot to tell you (the guest book, the entry way, the sand art, the goody bags and the music)…we’ll get back to them another day, ok?

Now, it’s YOUR turn! Got something fun to share with us? Let’s see your best Top Ten list! Just WRITE a fun post on your blog—any topic is fine as long as it’s ohAmanda friendly and a list of 10! Then, LINK back to me in the post–so others can join the listaliciousness. PASTE the url to your post in the linky below. Now it’s time to start LOVIN’ on the rest of the participants–just click them to give them some traffic, leave them a comment if you’re inspired, stumble if you’ve got the time, give it a facebook like if you’re feeling friendly or send out a tweet if you’re really happy (we use the #toptentues hashtag).

For official rules and a cute post button, visit my Top Ten {Tuesday} page!

{linking to My Insanity’s 3rd Anniversary Blog Party–link up YOUR Birthday Party and win big!}


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