35 answers

Need Pirate Party Ideas

I am having a PIRATE party for my son's 5th birthday party. There will probably be 5 or 6 add'l children, including at least 2 girls.
- Looking for some type of treasure hunt with a map, but these kids can't read yet.
- What girly items should I include if any?
- Looking for food ideas that seem pirate-y.
- Any other ideas
I've googled this a lot and it seems that most pirate parties are for older kids.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much! I absolutely love the ideas to use pictures to find a treasure box at the end. I'm not sure if I'll use a map with digital pictures on it or just pictures. I'm so excited. I just don't want to overplan, like overload the kids on pirate-y stuff!

Featured Answers

Hi, I am also getting ready a pirate party for my 2 sons. I am getting a lot great ideas from this site:


Good luck with the planning!

Have you tried familyfun.com? I subscribe to this magazine and have for several years. I love their website - I have gotten many great ideas there! You don't have to subscribe to the magazine to use their website. Have fun, matey!!

I like the "birthday in a box" website. kinda pricey, but gives a lot of ideas. http://www.birthdayinabox.com/party-themes/boxbuilder.asp...

they also do every character and a ton of themes. Good luck!

More Answers

Have you tried familyfun.com? I subscribe to this magazine and have for several years. I love their website - I have gotten many great ideas there! You don't have to subscribe to the magazine to use their website. Have fun, matey!!

Hi K.,
We did this when my oldest son turned five, and it was a lot of fun!
For our treasure hunt, we made a map out of manilla construction paper that we tattered and tore the edges off. I placed it in an empty bottle in the middle of the table. On the map, we used picture land marks of the backyard and a dotted line to follow with a start spot and an X at the end. They still needed an adult to lead them through, but had a blast doing it. At the end, we hid a cardboard treasure box (oriental trading) filled with candy and toys.
I also purchased small treasure boxes (in lieu of party favor bags) and gave them to them empty. We set up a kiddie pool full of sand with hidden "treasure" in it. They used small shovels to dig up the the things for their boxes. For this I used "gold" coins, pirate pencils, plastic beads, skull erasers,etc.
I also ordered skull beads from oriental trading along with an assortment of other plastic beads. We used black cord and made "pirate" bracelets. I included some girlie beads as well b/c we had a few girls too.
Have fun and good luck!

I am having a pirate party for my son who is turning 5 next weekend. I printed treasure maps on paper bags that I cut into 8X11 sheets of paper. I got the treasure maps from familyfun.com . I then put on them Ahoy mates! Please join us for some pirate and princess fun as we celebrate XXXX'a birthday. I used white paper to print the theme of the party, when it was, where it was, when the party started. For example on top of the ship on the map, I put the party enters dock at 4:00 pm. On the island on the map, I put our address etc. At the end I told them to RSVP by X date or their be walkin the plank! I wrapped them with burlap cord. All the kids loved them and can't wait for the party.
Decorate the pirate chests. I bought them from Michaels. They are wooden minature chests about 8 inches long. We stained them and I bought glitter glue, foam letters for their name, jewels, sequins etc... They are $5.99 each but you can use the 50% off coupons so they are $3.00

Next is an obstacle course. Jump on the trampoline, zig zag around cones, jump through hula hoops, up the rock climbing wall and down the slide and walk over the plank. We bought a 4X6 wood plank and are going to put over a kiddie pool. They will all get a foam pirate hat bought at Michaels $1.49 each.

Next is pass the crocodile. This is hot potatoe but we are passing a crocodile. They will all get a pirate eye patch and earring.

Next is throw the cannon balls at the pirate. My husband is going to dress up as Captain Hook and they are going to throw water balloons at him.

Next stand on the plank and try to throw pennies into a treasure chest that is in water. They will all get at least 10 pennies to try. They will get their sword here.

Lastly they are going to do a treasure map. I am using colors for the clues and have an adult read the clues to them then they have to find them. The last clue will lead them back to where they started and their treasure chests will be filled with candy. candy necklaces, ring pops, choc. gold coins, Oreo's, smarties, stickers etc...

All the boys are going to get foam swords. I bought them at the dollar store.

Girls are getting tierrras, necklace, ring and magic wand all bought at the dollar store.

Food we are doing, pizza, breadsticks, salad, fruit kabobs and goldfish crackers. The kids are not going to care about food... they will have so much fun with everything else. Family fun has a pirate hat cake that looks really simple to make so I am going to try that and make a bunch of cupcakes.

Good luck with your party.

Have you looked at www.orientaltrading.com? If you do a search for 'pirate' it will bring you to a page where you can look for costumes, party supplies, and novelty gifts. Under party supplies they did have some treasure map place mats. I didn't look too much more, but they usually have some fun stuff and it's usually reasonably priced. If you sign up for their emails, they send out emails on a regular basis that usually have free shipping (orders usually have to be $60 or more).

Have fun!

good morning K.........i just wrote in
pirate 5th birthday ideas go to janines pirate birthday party.........thats the only one i looked at.......but there are many others...... good luck have fun

i go to fisherprice.com and they have the little kids party stuff. you can look up on the search engine when u get to the site. hope this helps. I have used this for the last 5 yrs now.

Try this link: http://familyfun.go.com/parties/birthday/feature/famf58bi...
On this site, it says to write down clues for a treasure hunt, so that the children can read them. Instead, maybe you can read them to the children. Maybe you could even add in some eye patches for them. You can easily make these out of black construction paper, or whatever color they want(for the girls at the party), and ribbon or yarn!
Good luck, and have fun!!


Check out Party America if you are from the Holland area. It seems to me that they have stuff like that. You could do something like, "Pirate Pizza's ( English Muffins with pizza toppings.) For the Birthday cake, you could do a pound cake shaped like a treasure chest. I used to work at a bakery in Holland that does alot of theme cakes for customers. One of them was a Treasure chest with alot of wrapped candies in it. Really cute!! The bakery is Creations by Marcia Bakery. For the little girls, you could get some play beads for pretty cheap. HTH!! A.

Make a treasure map with actually digital picutes on the map of different land marks outside ( in the yard or a park) and hide a treasure. Even kids at that age that can not read can read a picture clue map. If you really have time make 3 different maps (that will stop the fighting over who leads) with treasure hiddden at the end of each. Put them in teams of two to solve it. Put the 2 girls together and have the hiddle treasure be jewels (plastic beads and such). I would start the party by having each kid make their own hat (you can buy cheap kits at Micheals). Hit the dollar store - they always have "pirtate" stuff to help decoarate the house and the kids.

Have fun - it is a great party theme.

pirate food could be chicken drumsticks, gold fish crackers, shell maccaroni, candy necklaces, gold foil "coins" of chocolate cake with sails for a pirate ship or skull and cross bones. pirate patches and fake mustches were a hit at our pirate party.

Hello K. - I don't know how much time you have but www.orientaltrading.com has tons of pirate stuff (place mats that are treasure maps....) Hope that helps. M.

Sorry K. I hadn't read all the other responses before I posted...all great ideas.

For the treasure hunt you could do a picture map so that the children do not have to read the clues. Also, my husband and I did a pirate party for our son and we found pirate fun packs from a dollar store and made goody bags for the kids. Another activity you could do would be to put the patch on the pirate.

Hi Birthday Express has cool pirate party stuff for boys and girls.

Just go to birthdayexpress.com and click on party themes then sea adventure.

They look pretty ok for younger kids.

God Bless and have fun!

We used pictures in our treasure hunt. You can have one clue lead to another or make up a sheet with several pictures of things they need to find. They'll have fun either way.

Try looking on familyfun.com . They always have fabulous ideas for theme parties. Girly items could include those "fancy" (cheap!) beaded necklaces and rings. Maybe think of some princess stufflike that for the girls. Also, those gold coin chocolates are great for either boys or girls. For the treasure map, how about using pictures (either cut from a magazine, computer clip art or something)?As far as food goes, they sell this stuff called "Pirate Booty" at Kroger. It's in a bag, like chips. I think it's popcorn or something. Anyhow, I hope this may have helped a bit. Good luck and have fun!


I looked into Pirate parties last month and the best ideas I saw were on parents.com. they just added a bunch of different birthday themes to their website (complete with goody bag ideas, food suggestions, games...it was pretty complete

You could have coconut bowling: get a real coconut and have paper bowling pins by making a fat telescope out of it and tape the two ends together then decorate the paper pins. A beach ball might work for the ball also.

Make felt pirate flags: get wooden sticks, liquid glue or hot glue gun( with supervision of course) and have the children draw with makers on their flag or find stencils with pirate things on them and help them trace a picture and they can either cut out the picture and glue it to their flag or just use the tracing.

Maps: Have crayons, paper grocery bags ripped into big peices for the map, and prirate stickers. Have them design their own map.

Piece of paper and crayons and have to chilen make a sea picture with a ship and water and all that stuff.

Do a scavenger hunt with pictures and have items scattered around the party and as they find them they put and "X" over the item so that they remember the find and when they are done reward with a prize of some sort.

Treasure Hunt: Have a tub of sand really shallow about three four inches, white play sand if possible, and get from the dollars store a big bag of jewels, beads, rings, necklaces, ear rings. and have the kids find some things in a bag to have and take home.

Food: Pine apples, oranges, coconuts, bananas, cubed chicken chunks and have sword tooth picks to eat them with

Pina colata style drinks(virgin of course) or just pine apple juice, coconut milk mixed with orange juice or pine apple juice, maybe lemonade. and if your kids like seafood, thats always a great idea, baby shrimp with sauce is good. Or a seafood dip and crakers or pieces of bread.

Hi K.,
Sorry this is late, but you should check out FamilyFun.com. They have lots of ideas including theam ideas. It's a great site and I have used it to help plan my kids partys too. Good luck!

You could make a scavenger hunt, use picutres of the items that they need to find, or have them go in a row, for example, put a picture of the fridge, and the next clue is hidden under the fridge, then they can work as a team to figure out the clues. At the end would be prizes for all. Also, we all know pirates like to drink so you could get a keg of root beer and let the kids make root beer floats... Play pin the eye patch on the pirate... cant think of anything else right now, but good luck sounds like it will be a fun party.

There are alot of great ideas for pirate parties for girls and boys on birthdayexpress.com. They even give you game ideas under each birthday theme they have (pirate is one of them). Just scroll all the way to the bottom of their website and click on party planning ideas. They have food ideas under this too.

Vegi-Tales! "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" is an awesome theme opportunity. Check with the Family Christian Book Stores for ideas. Have fun!



The kids may also enjoy decorating their own "skull cap", you know, the bandannas that the pirates always wear on their heads.

You could pick us some inexpensive fabric pens and different colored kerchiefs.

You have gotten a lot of craft suggestions that are great! I'm hoping my 6 year-old will still be in the pirate stage in December for his birthday. Your party sounds like a lot of fun.

Good luck!

We just had my daughter's 5 birthday party. We had a princess/ pirate party. I set up a craft table with crowns, hats, and bandanas. All the kids had fun coloring and putting stickers on them. Then we played hot potato and other games. We gave out play coins for all the prizes, you can get a bag of 400 coins at Party America. We were going to do a treasure hunt but changed our minds, I was glad we didn't do it because the kids were all to wild and wouldn't have been able to do it. I had a lot of things planed because I had heard to keep the kids busy or the party could get out of controll. But really the kids were all very good and had a great time just playing pirates with eachother. I had extra dress up items for the kids that didn't dress up and they all got a kick out of the eye patches.
Well I hope this has given you an idea or two! I hope you have a nice party.

For the treasure maps you can use pictures. You can google pics of anything!! For girly things try rings, necklaces and you might be surprised how many of the kids (boy or girl) will love what ever they find. (chocolate) coins are also fun. Have a great party!!

My 6 1/2 year old boy/girl twins have been having pirate parties for the last 3 years so.....do a picture clue treasure hunt - take photos so the first photo leads them to the second photo and so on till the treasure - works every time! Do a pass the bottle - same as hot potato but more piratey. We have also done dodge cannon (dodge ball) and made little paper boats to sail at the park when we had our party there. We also got an old map and let the kids mark on with an x where they thought the treasure was then revealed who was closest with a pirate clue we "found" Party USA do an awesome pirate pinata. You could try sharks and pirates - same as spiders and flies which should wear them out a bit.
As to food do goldfish crackers, black grape cannon balls, chocolate coins, pirates of the caribbean fruit snacks. You can print off skull and bones cake toppers of the internet, cut them out and attach to cocktail sticks for cupcakes, breadstick swords. Make up a big jug of juice for grog, perhaps put a gummy worm at the bottom of the cup for added weevil authenticity if your kids like to be grossed out!
You could also try reading a pirate book to calm them down - there are load for younger kids.
We also do coloring getting clip art pirates off the internet for the kids to color in. You could also get the kids to wipe old wet tea bags over paper then put it in the oven for a couple of minutes to curl then they have their own old treasure map paper to draw on.
There is a ton of pirate stuff to buy from Oriental traders too to make the theme work...
Re the girls, make sure you have lots of rings and beads in the treasure for them to collect if they are pink princess types!
Hope it helps - have a great party!

Hi, I am also getting ready a pirate party for my 2 sons. I am getting a lot great ideas from this site:


Good luck with the planning!

You could always have them dig for treasure - if you have a sandbox. Hide pennies or gold chocolate coins or necklaces (from the dollar store) for the girls and let them dig them out.
Have fun!

I like the "birthday in a box" website. kinda pricey, but gives a lot of ideas. http://www.birthdayinabox.com/party-themes/boxbuilder.asp...

they also do every character and a ton of themes. Good luck!

Hi K.,

We had a beach party for my daughter when she turned 5, but we did a cool treasure hunt for the party. The grown-ups did help them find the treasure (reading the clues to them). We too had boys and girls at the party. So we did have boy and girl treasures. There are lots out there that can for both girls and boys; bubbles, tattos, bouncy balls those are just to name a few. But the treasure at the end was very neat and the kids LOVED it. We took a foam cooler wrapped it in tin foil, cooked the long green noodles( seaweed) and put all the prizes in it. They had to dig in the noodles to find their treasures. If they happened to get something for the opposite sex we had them put it back and dig again. It really was a huge hit at the party. Good Luck and have fun!!!!!!

Well, my son had a pirate party and my daughter had an Ariel party. So the two are coming back in mind together. So...a treasure hunt we had...I took photos of the items to find and hid the next photo of the next item--worked great and made a big treasure box out of tinfoil and jewels. And had pearl necklaces for the girls, along with gold coins and jewel rings. I made a pirate ship cake (i think from family fun). and had hot dogs with sails (toothpicks and triangles made out of paper). I think goldfish crackers to go with it. Gosh, I will have to look at my photos. It all really came together. Oh, I remember blue jello with fish gummies inside clear glass cups. My husband also made a pirate ship out of a big big box with a sheet clipped to our basement ceiling. The kids had a blast with this! Also, a piece of wood balanced over a kiddie pool (no water though--since, we were inside) and had a little game to take turns walking the plank. Hope this helps, A.

Make treasure maps that are simple with maybe three places (kind of like Dora would do), girly items could be jewels like rings the boys would probably like those to at that age- or neclaces which could all be part of the treasure hunt. You could do food like a picnic since they are either at see or on a beach somewhere. Maybe some kind of treat in the form of an X for x marks the spot. In the Backyardigan's pirate adventure they use other letters too, just to remind that pre-school age that there are more letters then X. If you do pirate headbands then remember the girls with pink or purple ones, but if you are just doing the pirate hats no worries. Girl guests that age will love the theme, my daughter has been into pirates since she was 2 and she is 4 now-she had to be a pirate for halloween when she was 3.

Check out Oriental Trading Company or line for lots of pirate goodies.

Buried treasure is fun - maybe in the sand at a park, beach, or your yard.

Boys love those cheap plastic swords you can get a lot of places, sometimes in dollar stores.

Go to a park where there's a ship in the playground area.

Girls love jewelry of any kind.

Have fun!

There are fabulous pirate invitations from www.centurynovelty.com or www.orientaltrading.com. They are invites that come in a plastic bottle that can be sent in the mail that way...plus a little sand comes in it and the invite itself looks like a treasure map. A pirate eye patch is also included. Way cool! For the treasure hunt, you can take photos from your digital camera of items in your house and get the kids to go from clue to clue regardless of the age, they should be able to do this. Let the kids take turns being the one to open up the clue. Good luck!

For the treasure hunts, use photos of you want them to go example a pictute of the swingset, then there they frind another photo and at the end have all their goody bags in a treasure box, a friend of mine did that last year for his 5th birthday it was neat!

OK, two options for the treasure map, both work well with young children.
#1 Draw a simple map of your yard with some main landmarks that the kids will recognize easily. Find a place to put the treasure and mark an X. You can even cut the map into 6 pieces so every kid has a piece of the puzzle to figure out. If you want them to walk a certain # of steps, just draw that many footprints on the map, they'll get it.
#2 Use clues. We even do this in the house in the winter to keep busy. You will give the first clue to the children or somehow make sure that they "find it". Clue #1 leads them to clue #2 and clue #2 leads them to clue #3 and so on until they reach the treasure with however many clues you feel like writing. The clues can be simple, like look by the swings. I've also done riddles or you can make them do little challenges like: everyone has to do ring-around-the-rosie by the porch to get your next clue. It's okay if a grown up reads the clues.
In the treasure of course can be their goody "loot" bags.
You can tie bandannas on all of their heads (red for girls, blue for boys)
Draw scars on their face.
Use a board on the ground (2x4, 2x6) to make them walk the plank.
Food: maybe hamburgers-tell them they are Krabby Patties and if they watch SpongeBob they'll know what they are.
Goldfish crackers, Spinach (seaweed) dip,
Ask your son what he thinks pirates eat? Kids give great answers. Find a good pirate story and read them a book while they eat. I saw a fishing game by the pool stuff last year with plastic floating fish that you put in a kiddie pool and fish them out - that would be fun. Good Luck!!!!

**I just remembered, we bought small wooden "treasure boxes" from Michael's craft store for $1 ea and let the kids paint them!!!

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