Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pirate Party Follow-Up

Well, it doesn't take much to bring out the pirate in some people. Our teen event last night was a definite success, even if there was a bit of cheating going on. Then again, is it really cheating if you didn't think to make a rule against something? Or is it simply getting into the piratical spirit?

We ended up with three rather than four ships, which turned out to be helpful later. The kids split themselves by gender, which always seems to happen when there is any sort of competition involved, then three girls jumped ship together. We had to give extra time for the flags because they were having so much fun, but ended up with a very colorful flag from the "Chicks Ahoy", a heart with daggers from the larger group of girls, who may or may not have been having some issues, and from the boys...ah, the boys.

Our boys are so far from thinking inside the box, they have no clue there is a box (did we mention they are mostly home schooled?) We had put some basic art supplies on the tables and told them to use "whatever is on your table" to make a flag. Of course, we had also put a plastic tub with a skull on the table, to serve as their treasure chest for later activities. Which, in the boys' mind, made it fair game. When we meandered over to see how they were doing, one pirate was gluing graham cracker sticks (they were on A table...the snack table...) to the outer rim. Another was cutting slits in some drink cups and gluing others together in towers, while other pirates were rolling construction paper into tubes. Not content with making a mere flag (which, Adam, was incredible in itself), they built an entire ship! Here is where we wish we could provide pictures, but we decided in the end not to set the precedent of posting kids' photos on the site. Next time, we'll get some of just the finished projects!

We finally moved on to the treasure hunt, which as we hoped inspired some lively discussion of why this book or that might have been challenged. This brought us to the jewel hunt, meant to celebrate the pirate's willingness to do anything for treasure, and his smelliness. The teens did not disappoint in either respect (note to self for next year: air fresheners). They were quite willing to take their shoes off and start collecting gems, and we made clear that only feet could be used.

What we failed to specify was HOW their feet should be used. It took about three seconds for the boys to figure out they could kick a lot more jewels than they could pick up, and the girls quickly followed suit. You can imagine the pandemonium - too bad there is no video, it started looking like a little pirate jig, with everyone hitching up their pant legs and kicking out with both feet! Then the girls started trying to steal from the boys' treasure chest, while the boys tried to block, and we had a combination soccer-dance-Twister thing going on for a few minutes.

We must say, they were very good about picking up the extraneous jewels from around the room while we counted those that actually ended up in the treasure chests. The boys won that one, despite the girls' attempts at thievery, and everyone went home with more than enough candy to make them happy (their parents may be a different story).

One idea we already have for next year: we will have each team build their own ship outside, out of newspaper, then supply each team with cannonballs (black water balloons). We haven't decided if we will also rig up some sort of catapult or just have them lob them at each others' boats, but the winners will be those whose boat is the least wrecked at the end. We'd love to have more ideas to, borrow, so let us know what is going on in your corner of the ocean!

***Aha! We were able to crop the kiddos out and at least get you a visual of Adam's great artwork:


  1. Your plans for next year sound as fun as this year! I love the idea of the kids building some sort of lobbing device like a trebuchet. That would be a lot of fun for them to research and design ahead of time if that's possible.

  2. who was involved in the gluing of graham crackers onto the tub? Several names come to mind of those boys... lol