Matt turns 5 in less than a week. To celebrate we let him invite all the boys in his class and a few extra pals for a pirate party. We tried to have the party at a location outside of our home this year. The superhero party last year for his whole class was awesome but a lot of work. He would have none of it. This year he was determined to have his party at home again… And he discovered pinterest – so he took a significant interest in the activities and design of the day…
Here’s what we did:
1. The kids came in and they got an eye patch, a pirate hat or bandana, and an adventure guide. We tried to entice parents to stay with coffee (and baileys) and some adult treats. Some amazing moms and dads stayed – and were a huge help corralling kids, setting up lunch and cleaning up after.
2. the first activity for the pirate guests was making their own spy glasses. We asked our two wonderful nannies help us for the party and they helped the kids take treasures I found from urban source (old yarn spools and plastic caps from something?) and some black and gold paper, stickers, gems, cool tape – and make their own pirate spy glass. It was an awesome first activity because it meant that all the kids were in one place, engaged in a calm and creative fun while we waited for everyone to get here.
3. Next we played ‘stick the eye patch on the pirate’. I drew out a rough pirate and grabbed some cheap eye patches from amazon – Cam used a pirate bandana and did the traditional spin and blind fold with each willing participant- it was a pretty fun and fast first activity – the kids thought it was hilarious when the eye patches were stuck to the windows and walls instead of the pirate
4. We divided the kids (about 15 at this point) in two groups. Group one headed upstairs to “Cannon Ball Cove” and group two stayed downstairs in “Shark Bait Lagoon”.
Group one discovered the pirate ships we’d made (big enough to each hold 3-4 kids) and they played a game “lobbing” soft ‘cannon’ balls into each other’s ships. It was chaos but sheer joy for the pirates involved. After that they played Captain Hook’s ring toss (thanks to pinterest for this one!). The object being to toss rings onto one of the three hooks.
Group two had to balance carefully as they walked the plank through a sea of blue balloons (pictured below before we had all the balloons blown up) with a hungry blow up alligator waiting below in case they slipped. Then they each had a chance to toss fishes into the shark’s mouth.
All of that went waaaaaaay too fast – and what I had assumed would take 45 minutes (you’d think? right?) was done in 35 minutes. So there was about 10 minutes of chaotic crazy kid playtime. I got a little nervous a couple of times – but brilliant and resourceful Cam just took our huge bin of lego and tossed it over in the middle of the play room then challenged the kids to make lego pirate boats! Then hurrah! Pizza arrived.
After pizza and some delicious cupcakes and cookies came the final activity of the day… an outdoor treasure hunt. It was pretty cool because it was the first snow of the season – so there was a very excited extra chill to the air. The kids each got a pirate bag, and a treasure map (if you like you can download all the signs here MATTY’S 5TH) and they put on their boots and coats and ventured out. Along their hunt they found tattoos, a pirate ship pinata filled with booty, and finally a treasure chest filled with pirate swords. I didn’t let them back in the house after that … they already had coats and boots on so they ventured home from there… this was my way of avoiding sword fighting and tears at our house, if I’m honest. Kinda felt like a meanie, but it all went so smoothly that we didn’t want to push it too far.
All of that and the party was done! 15 minutes early. I have decided that 2 hours is caraaaazy long for a five-year old party with that many kids. 1.5 hours would have been perfect.
I’ll post later about how we made the pirate ships – that was our big project for this party. It was awesome. And thanks once again to Cam, his mom, and some late nights in the garage painting and cutting. We made a lot of things with the kids for this party as well. Matty made his own crayons in the shapes of skulls and cross bones (I’ll post about that later too). We baked cookies, muffins, squares and other treats, we made fishes, anchors, and some welcome drawings. We also had lots of fruit and fishy crackers, shark teeth (cheese) and pirate booty (popcorn twists) for snacks throughout.
Super fun. Totally tiring to plan and execute. But completely worth it to see this little face so thrilled.
Love you, Matty.