Friday, July 15, 2011

Simply Party::{Balin's 4th part 2}

A well planned party will A {Celebrate celebration} B {Organize Celebration}and C {Inspire Celebration}. All of this to bring Joy. Joy and thakfulness for what is being celebrated and Who gave us celebration in th first place. Our precious Balin, who is a gift from a good and knowing God, requested crabs and pirates for his 4th birthday celebration. I obliged. I went a little crazy at the dollar store, but they had a huge selection of tiki and pirate themed items. I wanted every child to feel fully outfitted as a pirate so I got hats, compasses, maps, hooks and of course eye masks. I then planned activities based around the idea of being pirates. Lets try this in a list...

Pirate Party Activities are in red

Commissioning : have a treasure chest set up with all the pirate fare- hats, eye patches, maps, hooks ect. as your guests arrive. This takes the place of loot bags at the end of the party, as your pirates gather their loot along the way. For an additional activity your pirates can make their own hooks by poking holes in the bottom of a black plastic or paper party cup and then inserting a gold or silver pipe cleaner through with the inside end balled up so it stays put.

Ayden's pirate party 2006-wasn't he so cute?
The dollar store had hooks this time so we went with that. I made some brown burlap loot bags to carry their stuff in and finished off their look- for those willing- with hypoallergenic brown eyeliner "mustaches."

Kate- the pirate Princess

Balin and his friend Jacob

Pin the Treasure on the Map: Found at the dollar store, a stick on the wall version of pin the tail on the donkey. All of the kids had fun with this one,even the big ones! We used a scarf to blindfold the big kids rather than the paper mask it came with.
Treasure in the sand: Again, a repeat from Ayden's party, we buried treasure in the sandbox and the kids had to use shovels and sifters to find it. tip: keep a list of what you buried :-).

Rescue the Ducks: I consider this game a FAIL. We filled a splash pool with water and originally planned to float rubber duckies.  The set up was that a crab shaped beach ball was keeping the duckies prisoner and the kids had to use scoops to get the duckies to float to them and be rescued. Some duckies would have gold coins attached under them. Hot glue doesnt stick to rubber duckies and oriental trading company duckies dont float upright. We also had the uncomfortable moment when the birthday pirate stripped down to his skivvy's and jumped into the pool. oops.

Pinata. Easy time taker because it can go as long as you let it.. just make sure little guests and birthday boys get to go before big kids. you know.. to avoid tantrums. And chocolate on a hot day is a bad idea. but I knew that and didnt send toddlers to gather melted chocolate bits out of my grass. right.

We tied our games together with a bigger story. The crew of pirates would earn a clue with each game that would ultimately direct them to the treasure (the birthday presents in a treasure chest). I printed pictures from the Graphics Fairy and wrote the clues out.. they were something like this:

The treasure you seek grows warm in the sun...
Beyond Grassy plains your treasure remains...
What you seek lies under the great Oak...
To find the treasre of our tale, look behind the wishing well!

The clues were intended to be easy for my 4 year old and younger pirates. We have one giant oak tree in the backyard and an ugly wishing well thing (joys of renting). After the fourth game they came in and were fed provisions. While they ate my husband snuck the treasure chest out back and put it where they could find it. After they had their snack they found it and then came in for cake. While they ate cake he opened gifts.
There was a little time for playing after that, but most guests were ready to leave by then. All in all it was a fun party! It lasted right at 2 hours which I feel is perfectly appropriate for a four year old's backyard party.

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