Pirate party games

Keep those little pirates entertained with these awesome party games.
Keep those little pirates entertained with these awesome party games. 

If you are throwing a pirate themed birthday party for your little adventurer we have the party games covered! From craft ideas to energy zapping games these will keep all their young guests entertained.

Pirate costume time

To start the party off stock up on some pirate beards, eye patches and tattoos to get the kids into character.

What you will need:

  • Temporary tattoos – think skulls, parrots, ships and sharks
  • Pirate beards
  • Pirate eye patches
  • Pirate flags

How to play:

Gather the party guests around in a circle and empty the temporary tattoos, eye patches, and beards into the middle of the circle. Then let them lose on the loot. Encourage them to help each other get into costume and apply their tattoos (you might need to help with this part for the younger ones).

Sea Monster Attack:

This game is easy to organise and a lot of fun for the kids – especially those with an active imagination.


What you will need:

  • Newspaper
  • Some exciting, tension building music
  • A willing adult to umpire

How to play:

Place eight pieces of newspaper scattered around the yard or floor to represent the land. The little pirates have to avoid being attacked by the sea monster and the only way to escape his attack is to make it safely to dry land before he catches you in the open waters. Once the music begins the pirates are allowed to start sailing the sea by walking around the newspapers but when the umpire yells “Sea monster attack!” all the players must find their way to dry land – the newspaper – the last pirate on dry land is out.

At the end of each round a piece of newspaper is removed and it will become harder for the pirates to find dry land in time. Pirates can hold onto each other as long as no part of the body is touching the ground. The last pirate standing at the end is the winner.

Walk the Plank:

Every pirate knows the price for treachery on the seven seas is to walk the plank and face the murky depths of the ocean. This game is sure to get the kids excited.

What you will need:

  • A long, thin plank of wood
  • 4-6 x bricks
  • A blue tarp or blanket to symbolise the ocean

How to play:

Lay the tarp on the ground and then support the plank off the ground with the bricks. Make sure it is level and secure. Divide the children into two teams and each child has top walk the length of the plank without falling off into the ocean.

Then each round has a new challenge to increase the level of difficulty. Including walking backyards, hopping, walking sideways, stepping over obstacles and finally conquering the plank blindfolded!

Each child who successfully walks the plank gets awarded two points and one point gets deducted every time someone touches the ground. At the end of the game add up all the points and the team with the most points wins!


If it is a hot day you can also fill up a kiddie pool at the end of the plank for the kids to “fall” into. You can also set a time limit to make it more challenging for older kids.

Mutiny on the high seas:

The ultimate pirates twist on the old favourite of hide and seek.

What you will need:

  • A large backyard area with plenty of hiding places
  • A flag or sign to mark the captains post

How to play:

Choose one child to be the captain and one to be the first mate, everyone else is the Captain’s crew.

Set up the Captain’s post with the sign or flag so everyone can see and the aim of the game is for the captain to make his way back to his post without being discovered by his crew.

The crew must count to twenty while the captain hides and once they have finished counting they can begin their search for the captain.

If the captain can get back to his post without being tagged he wins the game but if the crew catch him then they win and the first mate is promoted to the role of captain while the loser becomes a crew member.

Here comes the Captain!

 Who in your crew of party guests can keep up with the captain’s commands? Are any of these pirates good enough to be promoted to the role of first mate? This game will reveal the real pirates among them.

What you will need:

  • A large backyard play area
  • Rope or witches hats to mark out the area of the ship

How to play:

Use the rope or witches hats to mark out the boundary of the ship then chose an adult to be the captain. The rest of the children are the crew and must follow the captain’s orders if they want to remain on the ship.

Here are the Captain’s commands and what the crew must do immediately if they want to win.

  • Here comes the Captain: The crew must stop what they are doing and stand very still with their hand in a salute position on their forehead.
  • Man overboard: Find a partner and grab onto them.
  • Starboard side: The crew must run to the right side of the ship.
  • Port side: Run to the left side of the ship.
  • Scrub the deck: Drop to the floor and pretend to start scrubbing the deck.

The captain can yell out these commands in any order he chooses and if the captain gives an order before you can finish the first order you must stop what you are doing immediately and follow what he tells you.

If any crew member fails to follow the new command they are out of the game and thrown overboard until the next round. The game continues until there is one crew member left following orders – they win the game and are promoted to first mate.

Pass the cannonball

Every pirate is scared of cannonballs and you don’t want to be the last one holding it when it explodes! This is a variation on the classic game of Hot Potato that will keep little pirates on their toes.

What you will need:

  • Paint a soccer ball black or something equivalent and write the word EXPLOSIVE on it!
  • Some music

How to play:

All the kids gather in a circle and must pass the cannonball around as fast as they can without dropping it when the music starts. But when the music stops the last person holding the cannonball is out and the game continues like this until there is one winner left.

Musical Islands:

If you like musical chairs you will love musical islands. We all know pirates bury their treasure on secret islands but can they remember which island they hid it on or will they be banished before they get a chance to find it?

 What you will need:

  • Music and a player
  • Cardboard boxes flattened and cut into island shapes with a number written on them
  • Write the numbers corresponding with the islands onto individual pieces of paper and fold them up into pirate loot bag
  • A treasure chest of chocolate coins

How to play:

To begin the game you must first scatter the numbered islands around the floor. Then when the music starts the kids are free to roam the seas in search of the treasure by walking in a circle from one island to the next.

But when the music stops the kids must quickly run to an island. Then a number is drawn out of the loot bag and whoever is standing on that numbered island is banished from the game. With each elimination an island sinks into the ocean and disappears from the game until there is only one island remaining.

Whoever is the last pirate standing on the island wins the game and the treasure!