McKinney Mommas: How To Throw A Toddler Pirate Party #DisneySide Google+

Saturday, March 15, 2014

How To Throw A Toddler Pirate Party #DisneySide

Growing up as a child in Southern California, one of the Disney Parks was only a quick hour's drive away - Disneyland!

However, being the child of a stay-at-home mom and hard working dad, we didn't have extra cash to spend on regular trips to Disney, so I think I went only once before I was a grown adult.

I think it's better that I only experienced the magic of Disney a few times, as it makes the memories that much more precious to me. Boy, was it magical.

Three Generations of Pirates

When I was asked to throw a Disney Side @Home Celebration by MomSelect to show off my #DisneySide I already knew...PIRATES would be the theme. 

Pirates of the Caribbean was by far my favorite ride at Disneyland and my three year old daughter apparently shares the same swashbuckling love, as she recently asked for a pirate themed birthday party - so that's what we did!

Show Your Disney Side

I'm excited to share with you all the fun ideas we had (and borrowed) for our #DisneySide Pirate Party, and hope this gives you ideas for planning your next bucaneer bash

To create your own magical #DisneySide celebration, you can find all kinds of tons of fun ideas grouped by theme at  

You'll be sure to find lots of:  
  • Disney party themes to choose from - like Pirates, Disney Junior, Disney Princesses and Villains
  • Recipes
  • Activities
  • Themed Printouts and more

Now, let's get on with the party planning, shall we, mateys?

McKinney Mommas

Step 1. Get Inspired 

To start off, I went to to get some ideas for my pirate themed party.  I didn't want anything TOO scary, since it was a kid's party, so we took a lot of our cues from Disney's Jake & The Neverland Pirates - one of my daughter's favorite shows right now.

For example, on the #DisneySide website, there was a template for a Jake & The Neverland Pirates Playset.  Instead, of using them as intended, I printed the template characters, on my brand spankin' new HP Officejet printer, cut them out, and taped them to toothpicks to make these "Walk The Plank Sammies."

McKinney Mommas' Note: 
Make a bunch of your favorite sandwiches (tuna, ham & cheese, etc). cut them into rectangle shapes and stick a toothpicked character on top. Ahoy - you have "Walk The Plank Sammies." Find the link for the Jake & The Neverland Pirates Playset, here.

Step 2. Order Party Decorations

Luckily, pirate party decor is really popular right now and you can find lots of it in party stores or online. 

I ordered the bulk of my pirate party supplies at Oriental Trading - they had a few different pirate themes - like Jake & The Neverland Pirates, 1st Mate Pirate, & generic pirate party but my daughter chose the Pink Pirate Girl theme. 
Oriental Trading

I love that they offer many of the themes as kits, so you don't have to spend so much time picking and choosing item by item. So, you can get a Pink Pirate Girl Basic Party Pack which includes: cups, plates, napkins, balloons, invitations and tons of other stuff for 8 guests for only $18 bucks total! 

Now, that's a lot of BOOTY, me hearty! 

Some of my favorite items that Oriental Trading sent me were:
  • Large Jointed Pirate Girl - this thing covered my entire wall practically. Very cool for photo opps and to set the whole pirate mood! 
  • Sassy Pirate Eyepatches - very cute for your pirate fashionista, plus there were black ones as well so the boys also could dress up in style. 
  • Pirate Bandana - 10 bucks for a dozen cool silky bandanas in 4 different patterns were a hit with both the lads & lasses at the party!
Pirate Party Decor

Don't forget to check out the pirate decor at Etsy!

I found this amazing handmade Fabric Happy Birthday Banner from a lovely little shop called Rock Paper Stitch.  The quality of this fabric banner was amazing, plus, it's totally reusable! 

Rock Paper Stitch has many varieties of birthday banners, baby bibs and more, so be sure to check out their facebook page here:

Step 3.  Print Your Own Party Decor

There's so much fun stuff online these days, as long as you have a decent printer, you can print some of your pirate party decor, instead of purchasing it all!

I've had the same printer for years, and it finally conked out, right before I planned to throw my #DisneySide Pirate Party.  Luckily, HP was ready to come to the rescue of this drowning sea lass, and sent me an HP Officejet Pro 276dw, to run through the ringer for my party printing needs.

Pirate Party Printables

  • I did a search on Etsy for "pirate printables" and found lots of fun stuff, including food tents, banners, water bottle wrappers and more!
  • I narrowed it down to Serendipity Printables, since they had a super cute Pink Pirate Collection, that was available for INSTANT download! This was so much easier than trying to find clip art to cut and paste my own food tents. 
  • Printing on the HP Officejet Pro was a breeze, since it's wireless I was able to print from my computer straight to the printer on the other side of the house. Plus, the Officejet prints for up to 50% less per page than laser printers and it's ENERGY STAR qualified!

See how cute the printable food tents turned out below:


McKinney Mommas' Note:  

To hang all the pirate party decor that I printed (and purchased) I used a selection of Glue Dots that the company sent me to try.

 I was able to hang everything from a 5 foot tall jointed pirate girl, to heavy cardboard signs and banners on the walls. 

The icing on the cake? It was all completely removable on my painted walls, not one mark left after all the balloons were popped. 

Step 4. Plan Your Party Food

I found to be a huge source of inspiration in planning my pirate smorgasbord. I think I searched for "Pirate Food" and got all kinds of ideas from other mothers and bloggers. 

Here are a few of the tasty tidbits I chose to serve at my #DisneySide Pirate Party:
  • Peg Legs = pretzel rods
  • Sworded Fruit = various cut-up fruit speared w/ cocktail sword picks
  • Fish & Chips = potato Chips & Goldfish
  • Sinking Ships = celery boats, filled with a multi-cheese spread & sails made from triangle cut muenster cheese & small pretzel sticks

Peg leg, fish and chips, sinking ships, sworded fruit

Oh, did you think that was all? No, way!

The rest of the menu included:  
  • Coral Reef Pasta Salad - just your basic pasta salad
  • Sandy Treasure Salad - a fun green lettuce salad with Craisins® Dried Cranberries, farro, and nuts to represent the sand and treasure
  • Forbidden Waters - blue jello cups with swedish fish at the bottom and tangerine slices for floating boats with pirate flags on top
  • Double Cannonballs - turkey meatballs & mashed potato balls speared through with a sword cocktail pick

Jello Boats, Double Cannonballs, Sandy Treasure Salad
Step 5.  Plan Your Activities

Again, the internet is a wealth of information when planning the activities for your pirate party!  I found lots of fun ideas on as well as on Pinterest. 

McKinney Mommas' Note
Be sure to take into consideration the age of your party guests before deciding which activities to plan. For example, a 2 year old isn't going to be interested in an advanced pirate word scramble - and a 12 year old might not find a pirate paper bag puppet craft very interesting.
#DisneySide McKinney Mommas

The main activity I planned for the party was a Pirate Treasure/Scavenger Hunt out in the backyard with various stations for completing activities and winning prizes.

However, the Texas weather "turned south" and with almost freezing rain, we had to move all the activities indoors, which in my small house was not the easiest thing to do.

Here are the stops on the "Treasure Hunt"  I chose for our Pirate Party, as the attendees were all 4 years old and younger:
  • a. Pirate Dress-Up Station
  • b. Captain Hook Ring Toss
  • c. Walk the Plank
  • d. Crocodile Cove


a. Pirate Dress-Up Station

Every pirate needs a bandana, eye patch, pirate belt, and tattoo - before they begin their Treasure Hunt, right? 

I set up a station for the kids to choose their own pirate costumes, as they got excited for the upcoming treasure hunt. I found a pirate invitation template online, on which I used to print the "Ahoy Matey" sign.  

McKinney Mommas' Note
Most of the dress-up accessories I received from Oriental Trading (eye patches, bandana, tattoos). I also purchased a yard of both "girl" and "boy" pirate fabric at the local fabric store and ripped them into strips which made for some pretty cute pirate belt/sashes (or bandannas) that the kids had fun wearing!

b. Captain Hook Ring Toss

I found the inspiration for this activity on Pinterest. Just search for "pirate ring toss" and you'll see a bunch of great ideas.  

Please don't judge, I'm not an artist or super creative-type and being 8 months pregnant, I kind of did a hurried version. I've seen some stellar examples of the Captain Hook Ring Toss, and this is not one of them, but at least I tried, right?

McKinney Mommas #disneyside
To Make The Game:
  • I took an large cardboard box that was in the garage and painted red and black stripes on it. 

  • Purchased 5 "pirate playsets" from the Dollar Tree (set included a hook, compass, eyepatch and necklace)
  • Punched a hole in the cardboard where the hook was fed through 1/2 way. Then used a little hot glue gun glue to secure each hook to the board. 

  • Used the pirate party invitation template (link above in Pirate Dress Up section) to print the sign which I glued in the middle of the board after the paint was dry.  
McKinney Mommas' Note
#1. Pirate Hooks: I didn't like the way the black fabric around the pirate hooks just hung there, so stuffed them with strips of paper bag till they fluffed up a bit.
#2. Captain Hook Pirate Toss Sign: I searched high and low for some "piratey" font and found "Viner Hand ITC" was my best option (pictured below).

c. Crocodile Cove


Since the weather didn't cooperate, we moved the kids "Water Table" indoors, omitted the water and had poured a bunch of plastic crocodiles and plastic / acrylic jewels into the basin.

#DisneySide McKinneyMommas
The kids task was to hunt through the crocodiles to find their treasure (which they would keep) and put into their Treasure Chest Treat Boxes (their take home party favor container from Oriental Trading).
  •  I gathered up a bunch of salad tongs from the kitchen, which they used to catch their jewels - to add a small level of difficulty to this task.
  • After the kids successfully picked out 3-4 jewels from the table, I let them also take a plastic crocodile toy home as a party favor. 
McKinney Mommas' Note: 
I found the cheapest "pirate jewels" on ebay, and then found some even cheaper at my local TJMaxx in the home goods section (used at the bottom of flower arrangements). Some keywords to use when searching: acrylic jewels, acrylic gems, large crystal jewels.

 d. Walk The Plank

It's surprising how fun little 2, 3 and 4 year olds think it is to simply walk on top of a piece of wood! Heh, heh.

I didn't want to make this a dangerous event, as the guests were toddlers, so figured a plank of wood on the floor would be safe and entertaining enough.  
McKinney Mommas' Note:
I put down a underwater themed plastic sheet on the ground and scattered a few plastic shark toys (also found at the Dollar Tree) to up the DANGER factor of our toddler sized "Walk The Plank" game.  

Pirate Party #DisneySide

The Grand Finale

Of course you can't forget the dessert, now can you?  We opted for cupcakes and cookies. 

Gamma splurged a little bit by ordering these amazingly gorgeous pirate girl cookies from a store on called Flourish Cakes. They originally came in a red tone, but a simple request turned them into hot pink to match our other decorations.

Since we spent a pretty chunk of change on the cookies, we opted for homemade cupcakes, which my 3 year old decorated herself! She loved having a hands-on part of making treats for her own party.

#DisneySide Party Food

Pirate Cupcakes #DisneySide

................and THAT is how you throw a Pirate Party #DisneySide style!

I hope you enjoyed the photos and fun, we had a great time celebrating our daughter's birthday and being inspired by the way that Disney Parks makes us all feel young at heart and ready to take on all the Captain Hook's in our lives. 
A Big Thank You goes out to all the companies that came to my rescue and donated products for the big Swasbuckling Soiree: 

  • MomSelect and Disney Parks  (
  • Glue Dots (
  • HP (Hewlett-Packard) (
  • Oriental Trading (
  • Serendipity Printable (
  • Rock Paper Stitch (

1 comment :

  1. Wow, lots of great ideas! What a creative party. Love all the cute foods!


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