Lady Di was in charge of the food. I tackled the games and decorations. We had pizza and cupcakes. Typical kid party food. Since this wasn't actually N1S's birthday, we just wanted the kids to eat and play games. A few guests brought gifts anyway, much to N1S's delight.
We started the Pirate Party off with a good, old fashioned vest decorating. What? You haven't heard of that before? Well, Lady Di had this great idea. She got some black material on clearance and sewed it into twelve or so simple vests. Then we got some glue guns and a tub of Gramma Ollie's multi-colored beads and let the kids decorate their vests with 'pirate jewels'. Some kids were really into placing their beads in certain patterns and certain colors. Others tried to see how long of a glue strand they could get all over themselves. Once the vests were properly adorned, and glue gun burns properly bandaged (my own), we brought out the paper bags for the treasure hunt. The kids used markers to write their names on the bags. Most of the boys also drew skeletons and various pirate themed pictures on their bags, many with realistic bloody battles. With an emphasis on the blood.
Once the bags were done, it was pizza time. I prepared the treasure hunt while the kids were chowing down. We had around nine stations set up in the backyard with a clue and a pirate prize at each one. As the boys found each clue, they got to put a prize in their bag. We divided the boys into teams of three. While one team worked on the hunt, we tried to entertain the rest of the group with a game of Simon Says. We were immediately informed that Simon Says is no longer the 'in' game. The boys taught us a game called, "I Love You Honey, But I Just Can't Smile". You basically stand in a circle and say to the person next to you, "I love you Honey, but I just can't smile". If the person who is listening smiles, they have to sit down. A couple of the boys couldn't even keep a straight face before they heard the first word. When it was N1S's turn he said, "I love you Honey......, what was I supposed to say again?" The best player at the party was his sister Sweet Pea. She stared stone faced at the third grader next to her, daring him to make her smile. She is going to be trouble for the boys in Junior High, I'm afraid.
Once all the teams had located the treasure, we had to do something else with the unruly mob. It's amazing how fast those games go when third grade boys play them. The games seemed to last a lot longer on paper.
Anyway, the next game was 'tie an apple on a string and see who can bite it first without using their hands'. Can you tell I don't know the real name for this game. About three of the boys had mouths big enough to bite half of the apple. The good thing was that almost every boy wanted to finish his apple regardless if they won or not. At least they got something healthy that day.
Our last game of the evening was 'Walk the Plank'. You can't have a pirate party without that. We blindfolded each boy and led each one around the yard to a long board plank. One end of the plank was elevated about six inches. It is supposed to seem a lot higher when you are blindfolded. When the boy would reach the end of the plank I would yell 'jump' and would usually have to nudge them off a little. I would say about half of the boys were fooled.
After the plank it was group picture time and then cupcakes. Luckily, we had just enough activities planned to reach the time that parents started showing up. The parents got to see their fine young boys racing around with cupcake highs, trying to skewer each other with their new plastic pirate daggers. I'm sure we impressed.
We didn't want to throw another birthday party. We just wanted a party for N1S and some of his old and new friends. He got to get some peer interaction practice and hopefully, his friends got to know him a little better. The party seemed to be a success, as all of the boys pretty much got along. They all participated in all of the games. We paired up boys differently for each game and they all seemed to enjoy themselves.
This would be fun to do again next year. I will have to think up something a little more scary than 'walk the plank' though. And the treasure hunt will definitely involve some sort of monster jumping out of something. And probably more blood too.