Well, my 18th birthday party for my kids is in the books and I am working hard on the 19th! 3 boys with a 10 year age difference + a mom who loves to plan parties = a lot of birthday parties! I am a lot slower getting them up on the blog than I thought, but I promise you that I have ideas and photos from every. single. one. But I will warn you that the photos never come out well because I am so busy running the party that the photos I do take are “on the go”, so I don’t get to move activities and food into perfect lighting just for a blog photo. Some other bloggers are better at such things, but I am just not there yet! ;)
Anyway, here is what we did for my son’s 6th birthday party:
Theme: Pirate Pool Party
Location: Our Neighborhood Pool
Number of Kids: 10 (we purposely kept it smaller due to the issue of pool safety even though we had 2 lifeguards on site)
Menu: Sea Water, Pirate Punch, Cannonballs (cheeseballs), Pirate’s Booty and Fruit Swords (Using sword picks to eat cut up melon) and a Pirate Ship Cake (see below for the Pinterest Fail that was our pirate cake!)
Activities:If you have ever heard me talk about birthday parties (and yes, I have a post coming about this someday), I firmly believe the best way to have a successful (and fun!) birthday party is to plan engaging activities for the children. With this party being a pool party, I knew that I didn’t have to plan as much because the kids would be swimming, but I still planned a few things. Also, because it was at our neighborhood pool, I had a 15 minute rest period every hour that I needed to keep those kids from running wild on the pool deck!
Here are the activities I planned for in the water:
–Walk the plank: Now our original plan for this was to use the cardboard ship and put it on either side of the diving board so the kids could literally walk the plank into the pool. Unfortunately, we had some last minute changes, so we had to put the pirate ship on the grass away from the pool. It worked out just fine, however, as the kids got to play in the ship during rest period and use it for sword fighting and cannonball launching. (Another option we considered was simply using the cardboard pirate ship and pushing it to the edge of the pool without the diving board. We made the ship in two sections so that the kids could walk between them and pretend to “walk the plank” between the 2 boxes and jump into the pool that way.)
–Diving for treasure: I found this pool toy that was perfect for our party! This treasure chest (affiliate link) sinks to the bottom of the pool and contains 40 coins that the kids dove for on the bottom of the shallow end of the pool. This kept them entertained for quite awhile!
–Wrestle a crocodile: The Kids took turns jumping on and “wrestling” a crocodile with this inflatable crocodile raft (affiliate link).
–Take a ride on a pirate raft: My oldest son and his friend took kids for rides around the pool on this log raft. This was the one activity my 6 year old was the most excited about for his birthday party. The guests really seemed to love the ride too! I found it here (affiliate link).
–Launch a cannonball: We bought these water bombs (affiliate link) and called them cannonballs. We used them in the pool and on land. In the pool, we played catch with them and launched them across the pool into a goal. See below for what we did on land during rest period!
Here are the activities we did on dry land:
–Cardboard Pirate Ship Play: While we originally had other plans for the pirate ship (see above), it ended up being a great play place for the kids during rest period. The kids used the swords and telescopes we made out of pool noodles to pretend to be pirates looking for treasure!
–Sword fights: We used foam swords and had sword fights from either side of the pirate ship.
–Water cannonballs: During rest period, we took 2 buckets of water and filled them with water and soaked some cannonballs (water bombs). Then I had the kids hide behind the ship and my older son ran by trying to steal the boys’ treasure, so the party guests had to defend themselves with cannonballs! My oldest ended up getting pelted with water bombs and fought off many a boy chasing him all over the grass. Thankfully, he was a good sport and even let one boy take him down! =)
–Gift Opening: Not a lot of people let their children do this at their parties, but I think it is important. Kids get to learn and practice manners, it is kills time AND it is the birthday boy’s most favorite activity of the day. I am all for it!
–Cake: I saved the best for last! If you follow me on instagram (and if you don’t, you should! =) you already saw my Pinterest Fail. My husband and I created this amazing 3D Pirate cake and at first, it was so impressive. But as the night went on, things started to fall apart. Literally. We tried to salvage it at first with more frosting and toothpicks. But then the cracks grew and we thought we could pretend the ship was hit by a cannonball. But by morning, all we had was the wreckage of our SS Pinterest Fail. Thankfully, our son is flexible and was appeased by eating cake for breakfast on his birthday! My mom was kind enough to make us a last minute sheet cake, which we used instead. It wasn’t fancy, as it was a last minute cake, but it tasted good and it was in one piece!!
Favors: As usual, I try to give the kids activities from the party. I found foam swords on clearance at Rite Aid from an end of the summer sale and let the kids each take home one of the water cannonballs. For a little something extra, I put a few chocolate gold coins in favor bag and tied it up with twine. I think the kids liked that favor the best!
Want to see other products I used for my Pirate Pool Party? Check out my previous round-up post on pirate party supplies here
Like this post? Want to see more kid friendly ideas and real life stories that will make you cringe, laugh and nod all at the same time?