Ahoy there mateys!
Here are two great ways to summon the pirates:
- Cut out lots of gold coins on cardboard paper and on each one write a different part of the invitation. Put all your gold coins into a small postage box, and decorate it up to look like a treasure chest. When your guest receives the chest, they'll have to sort through all the treasure to find out what's happening.
- Paint the paper with a cup of cold coffee to give it an aged look, and carefully burn around the edges using a candle. Write in the party details and work in phrases such as "Ahoy there, Matey".
- Fill a treasure chest and set it by the front door with a sign that says "Beware, Pirates Ahead." For the pirate booty, use plastic jewel beads, gold foil covered chocolate coins and plastic bowls spray painted gold.
- Tape strips of red and black streamers to the ceiling along a wall to form a curtain. Then tape paper pirate hats, skeletons and parrots to the curtain for a scene setting display.
- Recreate a ship wreck by scattering bits of boat all around the house. You will need life rings, rope, maps, lanterns and lifejackets as decoration. Planks of wood could have come loose from the boat, so any bits of timber will help set the scene.
- Pretend you are on a pirate's ship and drape your whole house with pirates flags and treasure maps. Make sticks of dynamite by rolling up red cardboard, and strap them together with black insulation tape. Dangle a piece of string out of the end for extra effect.
- A treasure hunt is a sure bet. Hand the captain (the birthday child) a map, covered with decades of dust (a pinch of flour). Inside, write a message about a stash of treasure hidden somewhere in your backyard or house. Each guest gets to guess the answer to a riddle, and as a pack, the guests can run to wherever the clue leads and find another one.
- Let the children paint their own pirate bandana using fabric paint. Buy or make plain bandanas and leave them to get creative.
- Musical islands, played like musical chairs. Set as many hula hoops on the floor as you have guests, and play music. Pirates must walk around the hoops until you turn off the music, at which point they must be standing inside one of the "islands" or they're out. Every time take away a hoop, until only one hoop and pirate remains.
- Make fishing poles with magnets on the end of the line, and set the children up to go fishing for prizes off the deck or stairs. Attach a giant paper clip to each of the prizes, so that when they dangle their rod, there is something for the magnet to grab hold of. (ensure the prize is light enough to be pulled up by the magnet once it is 'caught').
- Play 'Sink the Ship'. Make newspaper cannon balls by crumpling up balls of paper and securing them with tape. (You'll need heaps!). Divide the children into 2 teams and give each team a bucket of cannon balls. Using a rope mark out a boat in front of each team. When you say 'Go', all the children start throwing their cannon balls, with the aim of them landing in the opposing team's boat. When all the cannon balls are thrown, the team with the most balls in their boat is sunk.