Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pirate Party

I'm sitting down now after everyone has fallen asleep and necessities completed for a moment of quiet.  Meanwhile, our neighbors twin boys seem to be having a graduation party into all hours of the night.  It makes me remember to appreciate this stage right now and all the beauty of it, while still being excited for their futures and the joy yet to come. 

Having your firstborn age half a decade will get you to thinking about these things I suppose!  My eldest is the most amazing, smart, gregarious, loving little boy I know and I just love how he's never met a stranger, only new friends.   He has a real heart for people and a matter-of-fact way of thinking that is so fun to see mature with him!  My miracle boy. 

Okay, enough mush, let's get to the party!  It's often been done before, but he picked such a fun theme this year: pirates!  I wanted to post this to share our joy of the day as well as our take on the pirate theme for any looking for inspiration. 

Yes, there was only one, but it was kind of several mixed together.  Also, it was nearly a hundred degrees that day and no one wanted to do much more!  We went on a pirate challenge/treasure hunt.  Basically,  we had a bottle on the table with a call for pirates on it and instructions to follow the clues to several different destinations and complete the pirate tasks at each one so that they could prove their pirate-ness.  I tried to write them in rhyme (though it didn't always work) on coffee-aged paper with burned edges.  Their tasks included walking up a gang plank, tying figure eight knots (great guide for many knots from Survival Life), (foam) swordsmanship, (cardboard) anchor tossing, and sail hoisting!  Then the final station's clue came with a map of the property and an X marking the spot where they had to dig up the treasure chest (full of dollar store compasses, ocean stickers, necklaces, rings, doubloons, etc. in an old tool box). 
setting out to find the first clue

Reading the Rhyme

Tossing the Anchor (they had to work together each time and make sure one member of the crew had the other end of the rope "tied off to the ship")

Hoisting the sails
Divvying up the loot 

Shark Bait (Goldfish) and Cannon Balls (Malted Milk Balls)

Port Holes (the last one!)

Octopus Lagoon Veggie Tray (Now sinking and missing a few legs!  Just go for this example by Denna's Ideas)

Ropes and Gummy Sharks

Treasure map cake

We flipped over our fishing boat for seating and set out a basket of pirate dress-up items.  Behind the house I used pavers to mark out the outline of a ship deck and in the middle placed a weighted fence post.  To that I lashed a few branches to hold the sail to the mast.  And that was pretty much it.  Because of the heat we made sure to have the kiddie pool full and sprinkler going.  I love outdoor birthday parties!  I did print out some coloring sheets for the very little ones (but our crayons started to melt in the heat!), "What's Your Pirate Name" and a Mad-Lib type game for the adults.  Bonus: These cute invites! 

To all who came I want to say a huge thank you!  You made this party such a joy for him and he was nearly overwhelmed by the love shown him.  Seriously, the entire next day he was basically in a daze! 
One tuckered pirate

*Note: most of these photos were taken by my dear mother-in-law, Dena Kelm.