What's a good party theme for preschoolers? A pirate theme is always a hit! You will love hosting a pirate party for kids! The adults will have fun too.
Inside this post I'll share all of my best tips for planning and executing an awesome (and simple) pirate party for kids! I've also include free printable party signs and a free printable scavenger hunt set.
How do you get started planning a pirate party for kids?
- Pick a location (backyard, park, your house, etc) and the date.
- Decide on the guest list .
- Send out invitations (email or hard copy). Invite kids to come in costume!
- Select a few pirate themed activities that are age appropriate.
- Make a list of everything you'll need for the activities and start collecting (we love using local Buy Nothing Groups to find stuff before we go and buy anything)
- Prep all of the activities a few days ahead of time so you're ready for the big day!
- Set up and host the pirate party! Don't forget to take photos.
What activities do you do at a pirate themed party?
Each child is different, so look at your guest list and kids to help you decide what activities will be age appropriate. For our Pirate Party we had toddlers, preschoolers, and some big siblings attending, so we needed activities that would work for a range of ages.
Here are the pirate themed activities we like to do:
➡️ Decorate Paper towel roll spyglasses
➡️ Build pool noodles boats
➡️ Float the boats in the “ocean”
➡️ Walk the plank
➡️ Hunt for gold coins in sand
➡️ Go on a Pirate Scavenger Hunt
➡️ Play Ring the Hooks
PRO PARTY TIP #1: Themed parties are more fun when guests dress up! Not everyone loves to dress up, but it's always awesome to invite kids and adults to come in costume for a pirate party if they want. You can wear a whole pirate outfit or just put on a hat and an eye patch.
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Pirate Costume Ideas for Kids
Here are some easy pirate costume options to share with guests:
Pirate Patches (we love to have these on hand to pass out at pirate parties)
PRO PARTY TIP #2: Take a photo of guests when they arrive! Once kids get engaged with the activities, they won't want to stop and take a photo. This also gives families something to do when they arrive.
We like to set up an easy photo booth where people can stop and take a family photo. This was a very basic boat we made out of wood blocks. You can also use a big cardboard box to make a super cool Pirate Ship Photo booth like this.
Awesome Pirate Themed Activities
- Build a Pirate Ship
We kept this super simple!
All you need are
- pool noodles
- popsicle sticks
- foam pieces
- pirate stickers
We tried out these cool Pool Noodle boats by The Pinning Mama. Kids discovered that they float better when you turn the pool noodles the opposite way shown in this post.
Once they added their sails, the kids stuck stickers onto their sails and then they were ready to float them in the "ocean" (aka two big blue kiddie pools).
2. Decorate a spyglass
This classic pirate craft only requires paper towel rolls, markers, and stickers! Kids decorated their paper towel rolls and then went off on a scavenger hunt using their spyglasses to help them find the pictures posted around the backyard!
3. Go on a Pirate Scavenger Hunt
For this scavenger hunt, all you need are:
- printable pirate scavenger hunt cards
- pirate scavenger hunt signs
- packing tape
Scroll down to download the free printable pirate scavenger hunt cards and signs.
Just tape the signs around the yard and then have kids try and find them. Each time they find a picture they can cross it off on their pirate scavenger hunt card.
Optional: Laminate your signs for future pirate parties.
4. Hunt for Gold
Make this a fun sensory play activity with whatever sensory materials you have! We used a big sand pit, but you could also use water, beans, rice, etc. in a smaller sensory bin (or in a large kiddie pool). Kids can hunt for the gold and then toss it back in and play again... or they can keep their gold and take it home.
I like to have a set number of coins for the kids to hunt for or else some kids might pick up all of them! I usually say they can collect 5-10 coins to take home and if they pick up more than that they can dump them out when they're done.
All you need for this activity is:
- brown paper bags (with a big red X on them)
- plastic gold coins
5. Ring the Hooks
I saw this awesome Ring the Hooks game on Catch My Party so we had to try it!
What you need to make a Ring the Hooks game:
- plastic pirate hooks
- white foam board
- hot glue gun
- black and red electrical tape
Here's how you make this game:
- Hot glue the rings onto the foam board.
- Cut pieces of black electrical tape to make a dotted pathway from hook to hook
- Cut pieces of red electrical tape to make a big X at the bottom of the foam board
Now you're ready to play! Kids can toss the rings or just drop them on and take them off.
6. Walk the Plank
Setting up a Walk the Plank balancing activity is super easy and you can use pretty much anything you have OR you can go and buy a few things at Home Depot or another local hardware store. We were inspired by this walk the plank from Krown Kreations and Celebrations.
Here's what you need to make a Walk the Plank:
- Empty Whiskey barrels (most hardware and gardening stores have these, especially in the spring)
- Wooden plank (make sure this is thick enough so it won't break)
- Black acrylic paint
- Foam paint brush
- Blue shower curtain (we used our Gone Fishing Halloween Carnival one)
- Shark cut outs (we got ours from Hobby Lobby in the party section- they are centerpieces)
PRO PARTY TIP #3 You know what makes a party extra awesome? Cute signs so that everyone knows what to do and where to go!
You can download the free printable party signs that I made using the link below! I laminated them for future party use and then stuck them on dollar store picture frames so they would stand up on tables and around the party.