Pirate Party Ideas

Pirate Party Ideas

Ahoy there its time to set sail for the Spanish Main

Some great pirate party ideas will help make sure your pirate party is a swashbuckling success!

Pirate Party Ideas - Pirate Party Invitations

2 obvious pirate party ideas for pirate party invitations are:

  • Jolly Roger - The skull and cross bones motif so beloved of cut-throats and buccaneers.

  • Treasure maps - All self respecting pirates have a treasure map and yours can tell your friends where to find your party.

Don't forget your pirate lingo as you invite your shipmates to come aboard for pirate adventures.

The invitation will come from Captain_ _ _ _ (child's name). The most bloodthirsty pirate whoever sailed the seven seas!

All crew must muster at ------- hours (party time).

Aboard the Pirate Ship---------- (party address).

Pirate Party Ideas - Pirate Decorations

Pirate Party

Your party venue should look like the deck of a ship or perhaps a treasure island.

Timber, ropes and rigging are the order of the day. If space allows sails can be made from old sheets. Pirate flags and banners should be hung about the place.

If your pirate party is at home climbing frames can make great backdrops. Simply hang your bits and pieces from the frame for an authentic sea-faring look.

If you have decking in your back garden and can count on the weather you can easily turn it into a great pirate ship.

Amongst your pirate party ideas don't forget:

  • Treasure Chests - Old wooden box can be transformed into treasure chests.

  • Cannons - The tubes from rolls of carpet (visit a carpet store and you can usually find these out the back if you ask) can be cut to about 2m in length (take your saw to the store). Paint these black and add cardboard wheels.

  • Skulls - If you are feeling particularly crafty skulls can be made from balloons covered in papier machee painted white with black eye holes etc.

  • Telescopes - Paint kitchen roll tubes and add detail with felt tip pens.

Pirate Party Ideas - Make A Pirate Outfit

The great thing about pirate parties is that making your own pirate costumes is pretty straight forward.

You really don't need to spend money on pirate fancy dress as you will probably have all you need at home. Its worth checking out a few online retailers just to get some pirate party ideas, but with a bit of imagination you can easily put together a really great pirate outfit.

Its really easy to do with:

  • Striped t shirts
  • Trousers cut or rolled to the knee
  • Bandanas
  • Big belts
  • False beards,moustaches and battle scars (use eyeliner)
  • Hooks (made from coat hangers covered in card and tinfoil)
  • Eye patches are always cool (but peg legs are optional!)

Pirate Party Ideas - Pirate Party Games:

Roll The Cannonball

~Pirate party ideas do not have to be complicated. This is a simple game and a good icebreaker at the start of a pirate party~

What you need:

  • A small ball (something about 20cms diameter) painted black to make a cannonball

All the pirates sit on the ground in a circle and spread their legs out so that each foot meets the foot of the pirate next to them.

One player is given the cannonball which is rolled across the circle to end up between someone's legs.

That pirate then has to say

"My name is cut-throat------ (name)
And I'm pleased to meet you all,
I blow my victims up for breakfast
With a blast of my cannonball!

The pirate then rolls the cannonball back across the circle to another pirate who repeats the ditty simply changing the name for their own.

Tell the pirates to include the whole crew and make sure everyone gets a turn - there is nothing worse than an angry pirate!


~Pirate party ideas should test the crew's bravery and skill. Will our buccaneers get from one island to another without falling in the shark infested waters?~

What you need:

  • 2 islands - these can be garden blankets, rugs, carpets etc.
  • Any number of chairs, planks, cushions, buckets, bricks and any other bric a brac that might come in handy.

The pirates must cross between one island and another using anything they have to hand without falling in the shark infested briny.

This game can be done individually or as a crew.

Bucket Buccaneers

~This is one of those pirate party ideas that is bucket loads of fun.~

What you need:

  • 4 reasonably strong buckets. Black is best then you can decorate them with skull and cross bones.

The pirates are split into 2 crews and line up at one end of the room or garden.

The first pirate in each team puts a foot in each of their 2 buckets. Then holding the handles they waddle to the end of your course and back.

The next pirate then takes over until all the team has had a go.

First team to finish wins.

Tug of War

~Don't be mistaken into thinking that tug of war is a bit old fashioned. Kids actually love it and as far as pirate party ideas go it is always a real hit.~

What you need:

  • A length of strong rope

Split your pirates into 2 evenly matched crews.

Use a good stout rope. In the middle tie a small pirate flag, bandana or other mark.

Mark out a line on the ground each side of it where a win is counted ie the flag has to go across that line to win.

With rousing shouts of "Yo Heave Ho!" and other piratical encouragement take the strain - and off you go!

Warning- The winning team are likely to end up on their bottoms the losers on their fronts.

Allow a good distance between the teams and make sure your course is hazard free.

Yo Ho Heave Ho!

~This is a neat variation on the tug of war theme. Its always one of the most popular pirate party ideas with children!~

Pirate Party Game

What you need:

  • 2 strong sacks, blankets, mats, rugs or old bits of carpet or a couple of strong wooden or plastic boxes.
  • 2 reasonably long pieces of rope

Tie the rope to your sacks or boxes and pay it out so the rope is laid out in front right to the end of your course.

Divide your pirates into 2 crews. It is best to have an adult helper to help and marshal each team.

One pirate from each team sits on their team's sack or in the box.

The rest of their pirate crew go to the other end of your course. They have to heave on the rope and pull their pirate towards them.

It is better (and more nautical) if this is done by heaving them in hand over hand rather than just grabbing the rope and running with it.

You may like to mark some lines to show where they should stand etc.

When the pirates on the sack / box reach the other end they hop out and the sack / box is returned to the start line with a fresh pirate ready to jump in and have a turn.

The game continues with a different pirate sitting on the sack / box each time until the entire crew has been hauled across.

The winners are the first team sitting in a line behind their sack / box after the last pirate has crossed.

Pirate Party Games

Pass The Cannonball

~The best pirate party ideas require good teamwork from the pirate crew. Who will blast their cannonball first?~

What you need:

  • 2 black balloons. Alternatively paint or cover two footballs (soccer). These are your cannonballs.

Line your pirates up in two lines as if they were about to walk single file.

The first pirate is given the cannonball he passes this back over his head to the pirate behind, who passes it back between his legs to the next, who passes back over his head.

This pattern of over or under repeats until the last pirate in the line gets the cannonball. They then run with the cannonball to the front of the line, stand at the front and pass the cannonball back over their head thus starting the whole process of under and over again.

The game continues until the original pirate reaches the last position in the line. On receiving the cannonball for the last time they run to the front of the line (their original position) and the whole team sits down. Except for the first pirate who runs to a certain point and fires (pops) the cannonball.

Tip- you may like to have a little run through with the pirates before starting the race just so they all know what to do.

Cannonball Run
~Some pirate party ideas should be a bit more bloodthirsty. Time to blast the harbour walls!~

What you need:

  • 2 small balls about 20cms diameter painted black to make cannonballs
  • 10 cheap toilet rolls
  • 1 small pirate flag on a stick

Divide your pirates up into pairs.

The first pair go to one end of your venue. They have to build a tower of toilet rolls. 10 rolls high with a pirate flag stuck in the top.

Meanwhile the other pirates who are at the other end of the course have to try to knock it down with their cannonballs.

Line them up and have them take turns. The cannonballs must be bowled not thrown.

The builders must work from the back of the tower so as not to get in the way of the cannonballs.

The builders frantically build their tower while the raiders desperately try to knock it down.

If the builder get their flag in the top they win a prize. All the pirates take turns to be the builders.

You will need to position an adult at the tower end to supervise building and quickly return cannonballs. And at the raiders end to supervise the attackers.

This is a great game and really popular but you must use your judgement depending on how things go to make it work best. You may like to:

  • Make the tower smaller
  • Have the toilet rolls set at a distance away so the builders have to fetch them one at a time
  • Increase or decrease the distance for the raiders to fire their cannons.
  • Have larger cannonballs for younger kids, smaller for older

Creative tip - if you want to really go for it visit a carpet supply store. They usually have the large tubes from inside rolls of carpet in the rubbish at the back. Take a saw with you and cut to length about 2 m. Painted black these make great cannons. Tilt them floorwards, aim, load and roll the cannonballs through them toward your target. Pop some painted cardboard wheels on and they make a great prop for the party too.

Twirl The Trencher

~Good pirate party ideas don't have to be complicated. This is a pirate twist on an old favourite.~

What you need;

  • A plastic or enamel plate about 20-30cms diameter. You may like to decorate this with skull and crossbones or other pirate motifs.

The pirates all sit round in a circle.

You put the plate on its edge in the middle and give it a spin. (If you are outside put a piece of board in the middle to spin on.)

As you do so you call out the name of a pirate who has to scramble to their feet and catch the plate before it stops spinning.

If they are old enough they can then spin for the next pirate if not you spin but they call the name.

Drag the Cannonball

~This is one of those neat pirate party ideas that is not always as easy as you might think~

What you need:

  • Oranges
  • Pieces of cardboard
  • String or thin rope

In advance use black marker pen to turn your oranges into small cannonballs.

You can paint and use tennis balls but this makes the game much harder.

Attach your strings to the pieces of card. You may like to draw or decorate these cards to look like flat boats or pirate flags.

The strings should be long enough to reach from one end of the course to the other.

Place the cannonballs on the cardboard.

The pirate crew then have to haul their cannonball towards them. if they try to go too fast there is the danger the cannonball may roll off the card in which case it is back to the beginning.

You may like to do this as a simple relay race or have lots of cannonballs set up for a mass cannonball drag altogether in a line.

Ship's Rat

~The pirate version of Splat The Rat!~

Well we had to include those pesky ships rats in our pirate party ideas.

Make a large ships rat by stuffing a men's black sock with material. Tie the loose end fast and attach a string tail. Cut out and attach some felt or paper sticker eyes. Attach a long stout string or cord at the front end of your rat.

You now need either a toy foam baseball bat, a small mop, or a long cardboard tube.

Divide your pirates into two teams at one end of the room. Place the rat on the floor in front of one team and run out the cord to the other end of the room.

On "Go" an adult helper or older child pulls the rat towards themselves as quickly as they can pull in the string. Meanwhile a member of Team A chases after the rat and tries to splat it. Any splats win a point for their team or a prize.

Continue until all members of both teams have had a go at splatting.

Be prepared to adjust the distances according to the age and ability of your pirates. ie for older kids you may like to give them some extra distance to run before they are able to start splatting!

Want to know what to feed a crew of hungry pirates?
Pirate Party Food Ideas

Pirate Parties

So there you have it me hearties.

A whole treasure chest
Full of pirate party ideas.

A great day of swashbuckling fun
That should give your favourite little pirate

A "Buccaneers Birthday" to be proud of!

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