Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pirate Party - stations

I suppose I should start from the beginning. For Ben's fifth birthday we had a pirate party. Ben wanted to have the party at home so we had to really limit the number of kids he invited and I had to come up with a way to entertain those twelve kids between the ages of 2 and 5. I spent many days searching the Internet for ideas in January and came up with ten possible stations and a way to do a treasure hunt for the kids. Anyone wanting to have a pirate party, or just about any other party with stations, do some research. There are a lot of resources out there.

I decided that I wanted each child to have a pirate costume when they left. So I bought a yard of red material and cut it six inches wide and made sashes for all the kids. Then I got some piratey material and made drawstring bags for them to hold all their "loot". We took tubes and spray painted them black to make telescopes. Each child received these as soon as they got to the party.

Then I ended up with seven stations and they got something at each of the stations:
  1. Make a Flag - their very own flag for the ship
  2. Pirate Tattoo Parlor - tattoos, because all pirates need tattoos
  3. Pin the Eye-Patch on the Pirate - Eye Patch
  4. Pirate Face Painting - Moustache and Goatee
  5. Walk the Plank - plastic parrots
  6. Canon Ball Bowling - pirate bubbles
  7. Pirate Target Practice - a chance to shoot a Nerf gun (I was going to give them swords here, but with mostly boys I decided that it would probably be better to wait until the end of the party for the swords.

I also served them lunch and found some great make your own treasure maps with stickers at Oriental Trading Company for them to do while they waited for us to serve. The menu was Pirate Food - fish sticks, french fries, goldfish, and fruit snacks (fish shaped).

While the kids ate their lunch my mother in law put out the treasure hunt clues that she had written. She did such a good job. We read the first clue and we were off. The kids loved running around finding all the clues and it led to the cake. We also opened presents in there and ate the cake. I have to say that this was my favorite birthday party so far. It was a lot of work, but I think the kids had fun. Even though I did not do everything I wanted, the kids never knew and no one got bored! The house wasn't even trashed, so that is always a plus.

I need to say a few words of thanks, because without these people it never would have happened. First of all, I want to say thank you to my mother-in-law, Teresa. She really got into the whole idea from the very beginning and pitched in to help with everything. Without her I would have much more to do and I probably would have just decided to let the kids play with toys for an hour and a half. She came over early and helped set-up and manned a station, took pictures handed out food, and put out all the clues that she cleverly wrote that morning.

The second person that I need to thank is my dear friend Tracy. She came over early even though she pulled a muscle in her stomach coughing and helped with everything. She and my mother-in-law made the best pirate ship ever out of Ben's bunk bed. She painted moustache's and Jack Sparrow inspired goatee's. She also single-handedly cooked fish sticks and fries for twelve hungry children and made plates for them. I could not have done it without her!

Next I want to thank the parents that manned stations. Cher, John, and Ken you guys did a great job, and I couldn't have done it without you all as well!

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my husband. Even though you have had the flu all week you set-up the target practice station and manned it throughout the party. You also put up with me before the party, I get a little stressed and snippy. During the party, running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and after the party when I had to take a nap.

There are so many pictures that I have to split them up. It turned out to be a fairly nice day outside, not cold but a little cloudy. So we were able to set-up some stations outside. Here are the first batch of the stations.

Pirate Target Practice
Pirate Face Painting

Pirate Tattoo Parlor

Pin the Eye-Patch on the Pirate

Make a Flag

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