With my two fall birthday babes, I tend to have birthday parties on the brain from August through Halloween.
I like creating birthday parties that invite playing and pretending. It feeds the six year old girl in me and makes my kids and their friends pretty happy. As you’ll see, I’m a hybrid DIY - I balance what I can handle creatively with what makes sense to farm out. That means I may go a little overboard on set-up, paper branding and stickers but I let Stop & Shop make the cake.
While I’m putting the finishing touches on this weekend’s grocery store birthday party for Noah, I thought I’d share our pirate party with you…
Starting with what’s probably the coolest thing we ever pulled off in our backyard: our swing set turned “The Brothership,” in honor of Ryan’s 4th/Noah’s 1st birthday.
My husband printed some wood grain clipart on corrugated plastic boards. We cut out portholes, strung the boards together and decorated with some netting, burlap and our nicely weathered wooden bridge (from a previous year’s birthday party).
When our pirate guests arrived, they outfitted themselves at our Pirate Supply Store, chock full of eye patches, bandanas, hats, earrings and striped sashes that I actually hand frayed until my fingertips were calloused.
Scott and I read the adorable How I Became a Pirate aloud to get our crew thinking like scabbies.
The kids crossed our plank (a wooden board bolted to two big red buckets) and tried to fish out little bags of jewels from the croc-infested waters below.
At another station, I attached raffia loops to our favorite jewel toned CDs with our favorite pirate tune. The kids used Captain Hook’s hook to grab a CD from a “swamp” filled with smelly socks.
At Cannonball Pop, the kids sat on black balloons which held Hershey’s Silver Nugget bars.
Next up, a treasure hunt in the backyard to find wooden nickels covered with pirate stickers, using these cute Nautical collection bags, from Oriental Trading.
Each treasure seeker found (or borrowed) 2 dozen nickels. Then, each pirate got an adorable customized sticker sheet from Chickabug on Etsy. When the kids stuck the stickers on their wooden nickels, it made a perfect take-home pirate matching game.
Cake by Stop & Shop, with a few of our own pirate accessories.
Gotta run and set up a grocery store…