Five pirate party games

1. Pin The Pirate

Preparation: Simply draw or print a large picture of a pirate, and cut out some accessories to stick on for a swashbuckling take on the classic children’s party game Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

How to play: Each child takes a turn to be blindfolded and try to pin the pirate pieces onto the picture. No peeking!

TOP PIRATE TIP: Sticky tack or double sided tape works well for pinning the pieces, and it's easier if you draw the picture on some firm card or a hard surface.

TOP PIRATE TIP: Add more objects for extra fun – try a beard, telescope, hook hand, or earring to make the game more challenging for older ones.


2. Stinky Seaweed

Preparation: This is a pirate-themed version of a lucky dip. Make your seaweed out of ripped up bin bags just like we do on Swashbuckle and hide small prizes among the weeds for your party guests to find.

How to play: Play some music for the children to dance to – when it stops, the Swashbuckler who is closest gets the chance to dive in and find some hidden treasure.

TOP PIRATE TIP: Why not add some water for extra stickiness, and throw in some other stinky objects like smelly socks and cardboard fish bones?

TOP PIRATE TIP: Decide beforehand whether pirates who've found a prize should leave the game to give others a chance.


3. Shark Island

Preparation: A running around game that’s great for burning off excess energy. Mark out some ‘islands’ around the room using homemade flags or pieces of paper of the floor. Nominate one child to start off as a shark.

How to play: Children should walk around the room in one direction. Every so often, you call out the name of one of the islands and all the Swashbucklers have to make a dash for it - being careful not to get gobbled up by the shark. Anyone who’s caught joins the sharks, and whoever is left standing by the end is Master of the High Seas!

TOP PIRATE TIP: Stuck for space? Just use fewer islands. Be careful though – with all those sharky teeth running around, try to avoid a pirate-shark pile up!


4. Treasure Rummage

Preparation: The race is on in this homemade version of Swashbuckle's Shipwreck Rummage. Hide 'jewels' or other treasure around the house and garden, then take close-up pictures of their hidden location. 

How to play: The Swashbucklers must try to spot clues in the pictures to work out where the treasure is hidden. Once they’ve worked it out, send them off to collect the jewel. Find all the treasure for a bonus pirate prize.

TOP PIRATE TIP: Don’t make the clues too easy – it’s amazing what those Swashbucklers will spot! Besides, you can always give them helpful hints; if they're getting close, give them a "Yarrr!" and if they're going the wrong way, shout "Farrr!"


5. Sneaky Pirates

Preparation: You’ll need a ‘treasure chest’ for this game, which is pirate version of the classic party game What’s the Time Mr Wolf? You could get creative with cardboard and paint, or simply use a laundry basket or an old suitcase. 

How to play: Choose someone to be the pirate – they should stand with their back to the treasure chest. The rest of the children must try to sneak up and steal the pirate’s treasure. From time to time, the pirate asks "Who’s trying to steal my treasure?" and the children must call out "We are!"

When the pirate thinks the children are getting close, they should shout "Hands off my treasure!" and start chasing the children. Anyone who’s caught is out, and the game carries on until someone is sneaky enough to grab the treasure.

TOP PIRATE TIP: This game is perfect for playing outdoors on a sunny day – you could even give the pirate a water soaker for added watery fun!


Help ensure your pirate party is in shipshape condition with this collection of Swashbuckle Art and Crafts and a special playlist of Swashbuckle Party Songs - featuring all your favourite Swashbuckle tunes and some special birthday messages!

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