Pirate Games : Dead Mans Chest
by Sue Livingston
Dead Man's Chest: This is a guess the treasure game for a pirate birthday party. You can simplify it by skipping the play-acting, but that's the part the kids will love!
Start by having the kids sail the seven seas on their way to their hideout Pirate's Cove. Accomplish this by leading them through the house/backyard until they reach the area where you will be playing Dead Man's Chest.
During their "sea voyage" make announcements such as, "There's a storm brewing in the distance mateys," and "It's a'gettin closer." Then have the storm come. Say, "Watch the wind in the sails boys, this one's a drencher!"
At that moment start tottering from side to side like the wind is getting to you. "Just a little further and we'll be at the pirate camp. Hold on!" Then announce, "Shipwreck! Shipwreck! We're heading for the rocks!"
Have everyone collapse on the floor/ground like they've just survived a shipwreck. Then you spot the Dead Man's Chest. Announce it to the kids that you've been blown off course and you don't know where you are, but that you see a treasure chest so it can't be all that bad.
Have the treasure chest perched on top of a high table or chair so that the kids can't see inside of it. Open the treasure chest and pull out a scroll that says, "Welcome to Dead Man's Island. There's only one way off or you'll end up like me. Guess the items in the chest and you'll be magically transported back to Pirate's Cove."
Inside the chest have pirate and tropical items such as a coconut, a plastic shovel, a sea shell, a parrot stuffed animal, a sack of gold coins, a pirate sash, and a plastic pearl.
Leave the items in the chest but mentally choose one and give a clue about it. Example for the shovel you could say, "A pirate's life is filled with stealing treasure, hoarding treasure and hiding treasure. What kind of a tool is needed?"
If the kids don't guess, let them ask questions about the object until they say the item. Whoever guesses correctly gets to keep that item as part of their loot.
Go through each item until they have guessed each one correctly. Then pull out a second scroll from the bottom of the chest that shows a "map" for sailing the high seas and getting back to Pirate's Cove.
Have everyone role-play sailing in a pirate ship as they head back to the main party area. It is a nice idea to have Pirate's Cove be the area where the food is, that way everyone can eat and then watch as the presents are opened after the game.