Pirate parties by age
Ages 3-4: As you might imagine the younger the children, the greater the chance they’ll be terrified of pirates. Even if your son is a huge pirate fan, some of his little friends may not be. If you invite a costumed pirate to show up and entertain a group of 3 or 4-year-olds, expect plenty of tears and knee-clinging. Most pre-school children will not be ready for this kind of pretend play. It’s also best to tone down the decorations (no spooky pirate skulls, for example) and rely on games and a treasure hunt for the entertainment at a party for this age group. Keep any costumes simple (eye patch, bandana/hat) and limit the party to no longer than 90 minutes.
Ages 5 – 7: This is probably the perfect age for a boy or girl to have a pirate party. Pirates offer the ideal balance of scares and smiles. You can go to town with decorations and costumes, the more elaborate the better. Darker lighting, skulls and skeletons, sound effects and a costumed pirate will go down a storm. Invite guests to create their own pirate costumes to wear to the party (but tell them weapons are not allowed-trust me, it’ll save on tears). Provide eye patches on arrival, if needed, and inflatable swords as and when games require their use.
Offer temporary tattoos rather than face-painting if numbers are high and try not to combine either with soft play. Pirate bouncy castles are often the highlight of a themed party (indoor or outdoor) so bear this in mind for this age group. Keep the action fast-moving with no single activity lasting longer than 15 minutes. Colouring-in sheets, jigsaw and pirate themed puzzles are a great option for changing the pace of the party.
Ages 8-10: You will want to up the ante for this age group. Put more emphasis in the invitation on the importance of the costume by offering prizes. Make sure all the games and activities are a little more testing, with a more elaborate treasure hunt requiring more skill. You’ll have to be clever and make use of a few more tricks to capture and engage the crew. Almost all the active games described here (link to relevant page) can be adapted to be more physically challenging.. A larger pirate bouncy castle with a slide will go down well, although this will probably require an outdoor rather than an indoor location.
Older Kids: Options include a geocaching treasure hunt, a PG-rated pirate movie and premium online pirate games.