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Monday, December 5, 2011

31 Days: Day 29 - Pirate Birthday Party

Ahoy Mateys! Party day finally arrived for Cap'n Tyler! He was so excited and we had such fun! (and plenty of guests showed up yay - I have to admit I was still worried despite a few more RSVPs than last time)

Let me walk you through Tyler's Jake and the Neverland Pirates Birthday Party.

I blogged about the invitations earlier (link) so I'll skip right to the

First and foremost for every birthday party is the themed cake! I was happy to find a fairly easy recipe for making a pirate ship cake (link)
Tyler informed me that the ship's name is Bucky. And that Bucky MUST have 2 blue and white striped sails. And that Jake MUST be on the ship. Lucky for me I found a nice little printable playset (link) and just printed the characters onto cardstock and stuck them in the frosting. The party was scheduled from 10 - 11:30 so that I wouldn't need to serve a full lunch. But to round it out a little we had Cannon Balls (grapes), Treasure Maps (fruit roll ups), and Pirate (root) Beer.
And this little guy is the cupcake(s) I took in to Tyler's class today
I loved the idea of making a sail to add some height to the food table. It was pretty easy to tie a couple dowels together, stick them in a bucket of sand, and add a fabric remnant for the sail.
I liked the look of the pennant banner on top of the sail. I used the red/white striped part of the printables found here (link) (and also used that same site for the sailes on the cupcakes)for some of the pennants and cut a strip off one of the black plastic tablecloths for the other pennants and just added the letters (that I printed onto cardstock and cut out in circles - the same set of letters I used for the banner for the Fish Party) I went themey with the with the plates and napkins and just grabbed the pirate ones they had at Target. They worked well with the black, red and white color scheme I was going for.

The table was covered with the a black plastic tablecloth and an old looking net I picked up at the dollar store around Halloween. Add in some gold coins and a few other pirate accessories and I think it turned out to be a pretty cute table. Also note that little treasure chest. It too was a printable from and we used it as our "Team Treasure Chest" throughout the party. (You'll see what I mean when I get to the activity part of the party).
A quick look at the outside. I didn't want to do too much out there but I do think it's important to put out some balloons to mark the party house, especially when some of the guests have never been to the house before.
And a sign on the door to set the mood.
As I may have mentioned before, it was really hard to guage how many people were actually going to show up at the party. And in order to hopefully increase our chances of a good turn out we invited pretty much everyone in the neighborhood under the age of 12, and Tyler's entire preschool class. If everyone had come, we would have had 30 or so kids running around the place. Eek. We ended up with closer to 10, which was a great number. But I didn't know that during the prep work so I tried to plan accordingly. Instead of putting together favor bags, I just gathered a bunch of pirate theme prizes (stickers, candy, chocolate coins, real coins, plastic jewelry, etc) and used them in the games and the pinata. And for everyone to collect their "loot" I threw together my version of the bag "Izzy" on Jake and the Neverland Pirates wears around her neck to carry her Pixie Dust.

I printed out a bunch of blank tags, with a place for me to write the child's name on later. Then cut them into strips and stapled them to the strap of the bags.

The bags themselves were made out of felt, cut into a circle with a piece of embroidery floss (I tried the jute I had used everywhere else in the party but it was too thick and the bags didn't close well) around the outer edge to cinch it closed.

The Activities!

According to my usual MO, we started the party coloring pictures so that the kids would have something easy to do while waiting for everyone to arrive.

Then it was time for our Treasure Hunt! I had taken a piece of brown craft paper and drawn a map/blueprint onto it. Then I tore the map into pieces that I hid at each station, along with a few gold coins.
The first piece of the map led the kids upstairs to the playroom where they found the Walk the Plank game.

Basically it was a balance beam made from a 2x4 and a couple scrap pieces of wood. The kids walked across it to the far end, picked up a gold coin, then walked back across the plank and deposited the coin in the Team Treasure Chest.

Once everyone had a turn I helped them find the next piece of the map.

Which led us back downstairs to the living room and the Pirate version of the Open the Present game (does anyone know if it has a real name? I've never heard it called anything which makes it very hard to define). You've played that game right? Usually it's done at Christmas parties with large groups of people. You all sit in a circle and take turns rolling a set of dice. When a person gets doubles it is his turn to start opening the gift (which has been wrapped in many many layers of paper).

The catch is that first he has to get dressed up before he can start in on the gift. At the Christmas parties you usually have to put on a hat and scarf and a set of gloves (making it hard to get the gift open). For our Pirate version we used an eye patch, a pirate hat, and a hook in one hand.
The person that rolled doubles hurries to unwrap the gift before someone else rolls doubles and takes over the unwrapping (after first having to take the dress up clothes from the other person and put them on themselves). The kids really had fun with it.
The prize at the end of the gift was of course another piece of the map and a few more chocolate coins.

The next piece of the map took us to another section of the living room for the Coin Toss. Self-explanatory right?
Another piece of the map, another journey - this time to the sun room where the food was set up. Yay! Time for Cake!But we hadn't found the treasure yet! The next piece of the map led us to the garage for a scavenger hunt through the sand. Each person needed collect 2 silver coins, 1 copper coin, one precious gem and a pirate flag. At the bottom of the bucket, the final piece of the map was hiding.I had hidden the pinata inside a plastic tote and put a red X on the lid of the tote and the kids had to find the X. This wasn't as easy as it sounds, as our garage has its share of plastic totes, but it wasn't hard either.I made the pinata. You can find my tutorial here. (link)
Luckily the pinata held up long enough to give everyone a turn (thanks to forcing the big boys to wait until last). After that we went back inside to open gifts.

I think the kids had a great time. I certainly did while planning it!
Oh and in case you were wondering - the budget came in under $50, including food. yay!

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Danielle-Marie said...

What an incredible job you did for his party!

Judy Whatilivefor said...

Thanks so much for sharing pictures of your pirate ship cake! I used it as inspiration to make one for my 6 year old recently and blogged about it with a link to your post. Have a great day :)

Nuclear Dwight said...

A birthday to remember! Love he 2x4 walking the plank idea. Can adults come to your next party? Too much fun!