Our son Jack recently turned 5 and he really wanted to have a pirate party. I don’t mind pirates but I realllly don’t like that everything pirate-y has skulls and crossbones on it. I don’t like what the skulls and cross bones stand for and frankly think its ridiculous that they are branded all over children’s clothing. So I was determined to throw him a pirate treasure hunt party without using any skulls or crossbones which ended up being quite challenging. Here is what I came up with….
(the banner behind the couch I made using poster board, scrapbook paper, cut out letters, and twine.)
Jack wanted a treasure hunt, so I started by making a huge pirate map on easel paper with 5 “stops” on it – and I even burned the edges a little bit to make it look really pirate-y. This took me way too long, but it turned out really awesome and of course I didn’t snap a picture! I sketched about 3 maps before I had it perfect and then cut the map into 5 pieces, one for each stop. Then I rolled them up into mini pirate maps, and tied them shut. Each stop had a clue that went with it, so the kids were able to find the stop and the map for the next clue would be hiding at the next stop.
For example: the first stop was “The Pirate Outfitters” and the clue was “find the place where the captain sleeps, to get your gear and look like a real pirate”. On the map and at the stops there were corresponding shapes and numbers to make it easier for the kids to match them. When they found the each stop, the next clue would be there for directions on how to find the next stop. *this took way too much thinking for me to figure out how to orchestrate this treasure hunt, so I hope the way I am explaining it makes sense?
I made the invites on Zazzle and just covered up the skull on the flag of the ship with a picture of Jack. I think they turned out really grand.
The first stop was the Pirate Outfitters. Here the kids each got a sword, eye patch, mustache, and tattoos. I could not find eye patches without skull and crossbones on them so I improvised. I bought ones with the crossbones on, peeled them off, hot glued scrapbook paper over them, and then hot glued a wooden letter of each kids initial on top of that. They turned out really cute.
The 2nd stop was “Jack’s Tavern”, and the clue was “find the place where the captain eats”. Here we had gold nuggets(cheese), crispy buccaneer veggies (veggies and dip), fruit swords (fruit on little drink swords), cannon balls (chocolate yogurt covered rasins), sea pearls (vanilla yogurt covered rasins), ahoy crisps (veggie chips), banana spilt bars, and my humungous 5 layer poke cake. We sang happy birthday and were onto our next clue!
The 3rd stop on the map was walk the plank. It was originally supposed to be outside, but the weather that day was rather uncooperative so we moved it to the garage on a table. The clue to get here was “find the spot where the captain parks his bike”. With our help, each kid had to walk the plank with his sword.
The 4th stop was to decorate the loot bags. I bought red and white bags, stickers, markers and crayons and let the kids decorate away! This was our last stop before the treasure so after each kid was done I had them put their name on their bag and Ralph took them and filled them with the prize bags I had pre-filled. I didn’t get too many pictures after this point because I was leading the treasure voyage and it got a little crazy at the end!
Our last clue was “find the place where the captain plays, when you get there find the captains favorite hiding spot. Hint: it is the color of an apple”. They found the red tent in the playroom downstairs, only to find out that it was LOCKED! WOAH. Tucked in the lock was one last clue to find the key. After the key was found, they opened the tent to find a giant treasure box (found at Hobby Lobby) and inside was their loot bags they decorated, with tons of gold money and prizes in them. Every kid got a kite, a package of crayon rings, goldfish, sword glow sticks for the boys, princess wand glow sticks for the girls, fake gold money, fake paper money, bubbles, and some other snacks. Plus they got to keep their eye patches, swords and take home some tattoos.
Overall the party was a huge success! The kids seemed to have a lot of fun!