What’s a good party theme for preschoolers? A pirate theme is always a hit! They will love throwing a pirate party for kids! The adults will have fun too.

In this post, I’m going to share all of my best tips for planning and running a fantastic (and easy) pirate party for kids! I’ve also included free printable party signs and a free printable scavenger hunt kit.

How do you start planning a pirate party for kids?

  1. Pick a location (backyard, park, your house, etc.) and the date.
  2. Opt for the guest list.
  3. Send out invitations (e-mail or printed copy). Invite kids to come in costumes!
  4. Pick some age-appropriate pirate-themed activities.
  5. Make a list of everything you need to do the activities and start collecting (we like to use local Buy Nothing Groups to find things before we buy anything).
  6. Prepare all activities a few days in advance so you’re ready for the big day!
  7. Set up and host the pirate party! Don’t forget to take photos.

What activities do you do at a pirate theme party?

Every child is different, so take a look at your guest list and your kids to decide which activities are age-appropriate. Our pirate party had toddlers, preschoolers, and some big siblings in it, so we needed activities that were suitable for different age groups.

Here are the pirate-themed activities we love to do:

➡️ Decorate paper towel roll binoculars
➡️ Build pool noodle boats
➡️ Let the boats float in the “ocean”
➡️ Walk the plank
➡️ Hunt for gold coins in the sand
➡️ Go on a pirate scavenger hunt
➡️ Play Ring the Hooks

PRO PARTY TIP # 1: Themed parties are more fun when the guests dress up! Not everyone loves to dress up, but it’s always great to invite kids and adults to a pirate party if they want. You can wear an entire pirate outfit or just put on a hat and eye patch.

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Pirate costume ideas for kids

Here are some simple pirate costume options to share with guests:

Pirate patches (we love to have these on hand at pirate parties)

Pirate hats (paper hats or great ones, or you can buy more real felt hats)

Pirate costume

PRO-PARTY TIP # 2: Take a picture of the guests when they arrive! Once the kids are done with the activities, they won’t want to stop and take a picture. This also gives families something to do when they arrive.

We’re happy to set up a simple photo box for people to stop and take a family photo. This was a very simple boat that we made out of blocks of wood. You can also use a large cardboard box to build a super cool pirate ship photo booth like this one.

Fantastic pirate themed activities

  1. Build a pirate ship

We kept it super simple!

All you need are

We tried these cool pool noodle boats from The Pinning Mama. Kids have found that they swim better if you twist the pool noodle in the opposite direction shown in this post.

After putting their sails in place, the kids put stickers on their sails and then they were ready to swim them in the “ocean” (also known as two large blue kiddie pools).

2. Decorate binoculars

This classic pirate craft only requires paper towel rolls, markers, and stickers! Children decorated their paper towel rolls and then went on a scavenger hunt with their telescope to find the pictures that were scattered around the garden!

3. Go on a pirate scavenger hunt

All you need for this scavenger hunt is:

  • printable pirate scavenger hunt maps
  • Sign for pirate scavenger hunt
  • duct tape
  • Colored pencils / markers

Scroll down to download the free printable maps and signs for the pirate scavenger hunt.

Just tape the signs around the yard and let the kids try to find them. Every time they find a picture they can tick it 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 all the sensory materials you have! We used a large sandpit, but you can also use water, beans, rice, etc. in a smaller sensory container (or in a large children’s pool). Kids can look for the gold and then throw it back in and play again … or they can keep their gold and take it home with them.

I want to have certain number of coins for the kids to hunt for or some kids might pick them all up! I usually say they can collect 5-10 coins to take home and if they keep more they can throw them away when they’re done.

All you need for this activity is:

5. Ring the hook

Saw this awesome Ring the Hooks game on Catch My Party so we had to try it out!

What You Need to Make a Ring the Hooks Game:

  • Plastic pirate hook
  • white foam board
  • Hot glue gun
  • black and red electrical tape
  • Rings
  • scissors

How to do this game:

  1. Hot glue the rings onto the foam board.
  2. Cut pieces of black electrical tape to make a dotted path from hook to hook
  3. Cut off pieces of red electrical tape to make a large X at the bottom of the foam board

Now you are ready to play! Children can throw the rings or just put them on and take them off.

6. Go over the plank

Setting up a Walk the Plank balance activity is super easy, and you can use pretty much anything you have OR you can buy a few things from 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 Do a Walk the Plank:

  • Empty whiskey barrels (most DIY superstores and gardeners have these, especially in spring)
  • Wooden board (make sure this is thick enough so it doesn’t break)
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Foam brush
  • Blue shower curtain (we used our Gone Fishing Halloween Carnival)
  • Shark cutouts (we got ours from Hobby Lobby in the party section – they are centerpieces)

PRO PARTY TIP # 3 Do you know what makes a party great? Cute signs so everyone knows what to do and where to go!

You can download the free printable party signs I created from the link below! I laminated them for future parties and then glued them to dollar store picture frames to stand on tables and around the party.

Do you have any other favorite pirate party activities that you have done with kids? We’d love to hear from you! Tell us in the comments.

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