Young pirates wonít be able to turn down an invitation featuring any of these designs: a big old ship shooting its cannons, treasure chest, pirateís hat, eye patch, parrots, skull-and-crossbones flag, old treasure map marked with an X, curved swords, lanterns, whales, islands, and skeletons.
Turn your party room into Treasure Island by hanging old treasure maps from the walls, turning a toy chest into a treasure chest filled with toys that partygoers can play with, and creating table centerpieces out of toy pirate hats by turning them over and filling them with lots of faux jewelry. Place a small, empty plastic swimming pool in the center of the room to use as a piratesí ship that guests can play in and around.
Pirates are always searching for treasure, so set your young pirates out on a treasure hunt. Prior to the start of the party, hide various treasure items around the room -- toy parrots, pirate swords, fake diamond rings, etc. Then split partygoers into teams of three or four, and provide them with a list of items to find (use pictures instead of words for smaller ones who canít read yet). Donít forget to give each team a pillowcase in which to put the items. The first team to find all of the treasure items wins!
Feed hungry pirates a variety of snacks from the sea: tunafish salad, clam chowder, goldfish crackers, and Ben and Jerryís Phish Food ice cream (it has little chocolate fish in it).
Turn a plain white round cake into a scary pirateís face by drawing eyes, nose, mouth, and mustache with an icing tube. Next, place a plastic eyepatch over one eye, and add two gold-colored bangle bracelets on each side of the cake to resemble earrings. Serve the cake on a platter covered with a red bandanna.
Fill goody bags with lots of pirate booty: gold-coin chocolate candies, plastic faux-gem rings, strands of faux pearls, a plastic eyepatch, and perhaps a miniature plastic treasure chest with a piece of candy inside.
Match your thank-you notes to your invitation, or choose a complementary design. Teach your child good manners by having him or her sign each note. In keeping with the pirate theme, draw a tiny skull-and-crossbones next to your childís name. Please remember to mention what the gift was that youíre thanking the person for -- and how much your child enjoyed it!