Shiver me Timbers, Big Brother turned 4!

26 07 2011

This is the first time I have done a real kids’ party; in the past we have mostly just done small, simple, mostly family-only type parties.  But this time I wanted to do something a little more elaborate, since next year on his birthday we will probably driving cross-country to a new city… this was our last hurrah!  BB is big into pirates so I scoured the web and actually came up with very little.  In this case, good old fashioned books from the library (Hit of the Party, The Penny Whistle Party Planner, and Perfect Kids’ Parties) had some great ideas.  I thought I’d share some ideas here for anyone who might be looking to do something similar… not that the party was by any means perfect, as the book would have you think, but the ideas were cute and had potential. 

For starters, my “magnum opus”, as my husband and I called it:

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Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, a 9×13 cake arranged following the instructions here.  The only structural thing I did differently was take the bit I cut out from the middle and add it onto the back, which I thought improved the appearance.  I ignored their decorating ideas and instead browsed images online to find what looked best.  I liked the look of yellow icing for contrast and kept it pretty simple.  The cannons are wafer cookies and I put the candles in them to prevent the sails from catching fire.  BB and I made the sails together, painting them with tea to make them look aged.  I guess I could have added more decoration but decided to quit while I was ahead, haha!  I did spell out BB’s name on the back… it is the S.S. B.B.

For prizes and favors I made some sea creature chocolate lollipops:

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Michael’s had some pirate ones but honestly I thought they were pretty ugly for lollipops and decided on these instead.  I used white candy melts and colored them with Wilton gel colors.  There was much debate online whether these can be used, and I found that they worked fine without seizing the melts.  Mixing the colors and painting the molds was a lot of fun and I will definitely be doing this again!

For activities, I hid some gold and silver bead necklaces in the sandbox so the kids could dig for buried treasure. Then they could decorate treasure boxes and pirate hats, here is an overview of the mayhem:

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Ah, you can see my little castaway in the blue punch:

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And the fruits of their efforts, a cute little feathered pirate hat and lots of booty:

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The hats were three pieces of felt, stiffened, then decorated with stickers, feathers, and pirate confetti from Party City.  Once one piece was decorated and the glue dry, I stapled two more felt pieces to make the standard tri-point hat.  This was a book idea with a template. 

Lunch was pirate boats and goldfish:

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followed by cake and ice cream!  For games we did “pin the eyepatch on the pirate” and “tick-tock, find the croc”, where the kids took turns hiding a crocodile with a kitchen timer attached, then looking for it.  It was supposed to be like the crocodile from Peter Pan, with a ticking alarm clock in it.  Another cute idea, I think it went down really well but I was getting lunch set up while they played, so I have to give a big thanks to my husband and friends who helped keep things running while I disappeared to set up this, that, and the other.  Finally, I scattered chocolate “gold coins” in the yard for the kids to find in their treasure boxes. 

Whew!  It makes me tired to think about it!  I wish I could say BB loved it, but honestly, he did not seem that into it.  He’s not terribly social and I think having that many people over (just 4), and being told what to do and say (like “thank you”) are things that don’t sit well with him so he had the best time when I (the crazy bossy planning lady) was not around.  Ah well.  I won’t have to try it again for another 2 years!

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