Ahoy mateys! Here's how to plan a swashbuckling pirate party for your little one.

How to plan a swashbuckling pirate party for your son’s birthday

Ahoy mateys! Set sail with us as we head to the land of ships, swashbuckling pirates and buried treasure. (Also known as your child’s birthday party.) As the captain of his own crew (his friends), your son will navigate his way toward a birthday he will always remember – you just have to provide the map in the form of some creative party planning.

Prepare with pirate invitations
Before you can hoist anchor on the festivities, you have to send kids birthday invitations to the crew. These Pirate’s Playful Mask invites are perfect for the occasion. Aside from alerting your son’s guests to the date and time of the bash, this themed invitation comes complete with a pirate mask they can wear as they plunder and pillage (metaphorically, of course) at the party. Make it clear on the invitation that you encourage all the little pirates to come dressed for the theme!

Turn your backyard into a pirate ship
To really bring the theme of the party to life, turn your backyard into a pirate ship. (Or, at the very least, an island worthy of being Capt. Jack Sparrow’s hideout.) If you have a swingset with a treehouse element in your backyard, simply affix a sheet to it to create a makeshift sail. Hang some netting and red, white and black-striped pennant banners on the walls to complete the look. You can also place buckets on either side of a kiddie pool and lay a board across so the kids can all walk the plank!

Plan a treasure hunt with pirate’s booty
Once the guests have arrived, supply them each with a map taking them around your backyard and house on a treasure hunt! You can burn the paper slightly to make it look more weathered and worn. Have the little pirates stop in the sandbox to hunt for chocolate coins, walk across the plank and challenge you in a mock swordfight. Use sticks to create an X that marks the spot, and have favor bags for each child in the treasure chest at the end of the hunt.

Arr! Party favors for the whole lot
What goes inside of each pirate’s bag of booty? Plastic, foam or cardboard swords are an absolute must, as are eye patches and hats so the party guests can all look like real pirates. You may also want to include a handful of chocolate coins, and maybe even a message in a bottle. Many of these items can be worn during the party, so you may want to hand them out at the beginning of the festivities rather than the end.

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