How to's & Reviews

How to Throw Your Nephew an Awesome Pirate Birthday Party

pirate birthdayHit movies and shows like Pirates of the Caribbean and Jake and the Neverland Pirates have made pirate birthday parties a hit for all ages! This was Tanner’s 5th birthday but the kids attending ranged in ages from 3-9 and they all loved it! His birthday is in March and everything we did was done inside. We worked with what we could since it was raining, and it still turned out amazing!

What you’ll need:

  • Treasure Chest Piñata, Plastic Bat
  • Eye Patches, Toy Swords, Pirate Vests, Bandanas
  • Small Wooden Treasure Chests
  • Markers, Glitter, Stickers, Jewels
  • Plastic Gold Coins
  • Ladder and Rope

  • Small Bell
  • Soccer Net
  • Toy Pirate Ship
  • Small Plastic Sea Animals
  • Nerf Gun
  • Dive Rings for Swimming
  • Hula Hoops
  • Hook Hands
  • Pretzels
  • Cardboard Box and Foil
  • 8-foot 2×4

Everyone should play the part. First, have the bandanas, eye patches, and pirate vests ready for the kids to put on as they arrive. Of course, the captain’s hat is reserved for the birthday boy! Adult party helpers can wear pirate gear like bandanas, eye patches, and hoop earrings!

Keep the kids occupied while everyone is still arriving. While you’re waiting for everyone to arrive have the kids decorate wooden treasure chests. We had a table set up in the garage with the chests, markers, glitter, stickers, and jewels. If you’re anything like my DIY mom you already had all the stuff for decorating😊. Have the adult pirates (me and Josh) clean up the garage while the kids are moving to the next activity and join you when they are done.

Set up a Pirate School in your living room. Below are the obstacles we came up with for the Boot Camp, feel free to come up with some of your own and comment them! Tanner loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates so we called the gold coins, gold doubloons, and gave them out to the kids for completing each obstacle. The treasure chest piñata should be set out, and the kids can drop their gold doubloons in it for safe keeping as they earn them. To flow between the games smoothly have a couple adult helpers to clean up each game if you have a small space to work with.


pirate hook pickup

Hook Hands – Take the cardboard box, line it with foil and dump in the pretzels. Have the kids put on the hook hands and try to pick up pretzels.

Ladder Climb – For this game, you will need the 6-foot ladder and the bell. We set up this obstacle right in the middle of the living room under the ceiling fan (if you don’t have a ceiling fan, improvise!). Tie the bell to the chain on the fan and set the ladder under it. The object is to climb the ladder to ring the bell and make it back to the ground. Of course, make sure you are standing with the kids the whole time and holding the ladder! Be sure to remove the ladder from the living room and put it in an area close to the door or garage for later.

Pirate Ship Shoot Down – We got creative with this one. We took one of Tanner’s toy pirate ships and his small soccer net and wrapped parts of the ship into the net so that it stuck and hung in the middle of the net. The kids got a Nerf gun and five tries to hit the ship. There are so many ways you can set this obstacle up so if you don’t have a soccer net, again, improvise!

Fishing – For this game, you will use the plastic sea animals (fish, whales, alligator, shark, etc.), lay them out on the living room floor and have the kids throw the dive rings out to catch them. You could also tie a string to the rings and have them try to pull the animals back in.

Island Hopping – This one may be the easiest setup! Literally just lay out the hula hoops and have the kids hop between them from one side of the living room to the other. If they hop out of the hoop they are in deep water!

pirate plankWalk the Plank – Ok, I was wrong before…this one is the easiest! Put the 2×4 on the floor and have the kids walk across it! You can lay a sheet down if you want😊.

Task a couple of pirates with stealing the loot. Once the kids are on the last obstacle have the adult pirates quietly sneak off with the loot (treasure chest piñata) when the kids aren’t looking. They will prepare the piñata in the desired location. For us, this was the garage. Bring the ladder!!

Declare a treasure hunt to find the missing loot! When the kids run over to put their doubloons from the last obstacle in the treasure chest, they will realize it’s missing! All that is left is a note from the thieving pirates! (Have one of the older kids who can read be the reader) The note reads:

We have stolen your gold! If you dare, try to find it by following the notes we have left behind for clues.

(We used bright sticky notes, you can get much more creative with this if you choose.) Declare a treasure hunt to find the loot! The next clue was in very plain sight on the wall. Each clue led them to a different room until the final clue led them to the garage where the thieving pirates have set up the piñata. Now, this is the part where your thieving pirates will really have to step up their pirate game! Josh climbed to the very top of the ladder with the treasure while I stood below, guarding it with my blow-up sword. When the kids entered the garage, in our best pirate voices we shouted, “Arggggg!! We have your gold! Come take it from us…if you dare!!”

pirate pinataIf you don’t have a tree to hang the piñata, improvise! (This works with smaller children, for the older kids I would make sure you have a tree or something to hold the piñata) Grab a ladder, put it in the middle of the garage or on a flat surface. Now, I know you will want to figure out some way to maneuver the rope through the ladder to hold the piñata, but we tried it every way and it didn’t work. At least with our ladder. So, we used the next best option! Josh tied the rope to the piñata, climbed up the ladder and held the piñata while each kid took a swing at it!

Pirate School Graduation! After cake and ice cream, your pirates-in-training are ready for graduation! Here they will receive their pirate goody bags with blow-up swords!

Did you try anything you found here or have other ideas? We would love to hear your feedback and comments!

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