pirate ship silhouette against blue background

Set Sail for a Pirate Themed Teacher Appreciation Week

Ahoy, me hearties! It’s that time of year again when we celebrate our hardworking teachers and school staff during Teacher Appreciation Week in May. This year, let’s add some excitement to the celebrations with a Pirate theme. Here are some ideas for a Pirate-themed celebrations perfect for the occasion!

Decorate the Ship to Set the Stage for a Spectacular Staff Appreciation Event

Help everyone get into the theme by setting the stage for fun all week long with some fabulous pirate-themed decorations!

Natural Fish Net Party Decorations for Pirate Party, Hawaiian Party, Nautical Themed Cotton Fishnet Party Accessory by Big Mo’s Toys

Hang a fishing net in a corner and then layer on some additional decorations, or add to a table over a tablecloth.

10M/32Ft Red Black White Banner Halloween Party Decorations Triangle Flag Fabric Pennant Garland Bunting for Wedding Graduation Birthday Pirate Casino Mickey Mouse Ladybug Theme Hanging Festival Decor

Next, string up some pennant banners throughout the space. Good places to add banners is over doorways, across walls and along tables and counters. This red and black banner is theme perfect.

32Ft Red and White Striped Pennant Banner Fabric Triangle Flag Bunting Garland Streamer for Carnival Circus Kids Birthday Wedding Christmas New Years Party Outdoor Garden Hanging Festivals Decoration

Add on a striped bunting for a fun pattern layer.

Whaline 31.5ft Halloween Jolly Roger Banner, Skull Pirate Flags 30Pcs Triangle Flags Bunting for Halloween Party Pirate Party and Outdoor Decoration, Vivid Color and UV Fade Resistant

Top off the banner trio with a Jolly Roger version!

Levfla 30CT Pirate Party Hanging Foil Swirls Halloween Decoration Kids Birthday Photo Props Adventure Ideas Ceiling Captain Hat Skull Treatures Parrot Cutouts Door Whirls Streamers Favor Supplies

If you can, add some ceiling swirls to make the decorating plan feel more complete, from ceiling and down.

Pirate Treasure Map Backdrop Background Island Treasure Map Banner Nautical Wall Tapestry Hanging Decoration for Treasure Hunt Theme Party Birthday Party Photo Shooting Booth Props

This next vintage map wall decoration idea also can serve as an activity for staff to do throughout the week. Add a basket of pushpins and a note asking staff to mark the map with all the places they’ve “sailed” to.

QQSD Pirate Jack Rackham Small Flag Jolly Roger Stick Mini Hand Held Flags - Solid Wooden Pole with Spear Top (12 Pack)

Add a few Jolly Roger flags throughout the space too.

120pcs Pirate Balloon Garland Kit, Red Black White Skull Metallic Gold Balloons Arch for Pirate Ship Theme Sea Sailing Graduation Halloween Baby Shower Boys Birthday Party Decoration Supplies

Add a balloon garland to the decorating mix. Balloons are a cost effective way to make a big statement in the room, especially when grouped together into a garland or an arch. Balloon arches are pretty easy to make, I’ve put together a post about how to create balloon arches in this post. The key is the balloon air pump and garland tape!

Decorate the Table

Creative Converting Treasure Island Pirate Plastic Tablecloth, 1 ct Multi Color, 22"

Put a tablecloth down on any table space where you’ll be serving food or guests will be eating. This protective layer makes clean up a snap since you can remove any reusable decorations or other items and then roll up the table cloth and toss. One less thing to worry about for end of the week clean up!

JOYIN Toy 288 Pieces Pirate Gold Coins and Pirate Gems Jewelry Playset Pack Party Favor. (144 Coins+144 Gems)

Sprinkle a bunch of doubloons and gems across the table for a fun decorative accent.

Blue Orchards Treasure Chest Paperboard Boxes (Set of 3), Decoration for Video Gamers, Birthday Parties, Medieval, Pirate Themes, Weddings, Storage or Display

How about stacking up a set of treasurer chests on one side of a long counter?

Daily Ideas for the Perfect Staff Appreciation Week Celebration

Why confine showing the love and appreciation to teachers and staff to one day when you can spread it out throughout the work week? Here’s a plan you can follow to celebrate all week long!


Set sail on a lunchtime adventure with a Pirate-themed spread. Encourage staff to dress up in pirate-themed attire. Serve up some hearty grub such as fish and chips, crab cakes, or clam chowder. And for dessert, have a pirate cake decorated with skull and crossbones.

Oojami 100 Count Square Black Paper Plates 50~9" Dinner Paper Plates | 50~7" Dessert Paper Plates Black Party Theme

Opt for plain black plates for meals throughout the week since patterned ones can stray into feeling a little too juvenile. The square shape adds something a little out of the ordinary without having a kiddie pattern.

Dulousia Disposable Paper Party Napkins Red Striped 60 Count

Red striped napkins fit the theme and don’t skew too young and won’t make staff feel like they’re attending a kid’s birthday party!

Blow Up Inflatable Pirate Treasure Chest Drink Cooler

Keep drinks cold and serve them stylishly in this inflatable treasure chest cooler.

JOYIN 60" Inflatable Palm Tree Cooler, Beach Theme Party Decor, Pool Party Decorations, Luau Hawaiian Birthday Party Supplies Ocean Jungle Tropical Themed Party Decoration Summer Outdoor Drink Cooler

Another fun cooler idea is this palm tree beverage cooler.

Pirate's Booty Aged White Cheddar Cheese Puffs, Gluten Free, Healthy Kids Snacks, 0.5 Ounce (Pack of 24)

Serve up some Pirate’s Booty in individual bags for a end of the meal treat or snack for later.


Get your staff’s day off to a swashbuckling start with a Pirate-themed breakfast. Transform the cafeteria into a pirate cove with pirate banners, balloons, and pirate treasure chests.

If you can swing a hot breakfast, serve breakfast dishes with a pirate twist like “eggs on a raft” (eggs on toast), “captain’s oatmeal” (oatmeal with toppings), and “peg leg pancakes” (pancakes with sausage links for legs).

Disposable Chafing Dish Buffet Set, Food Warmers for Parties, Catering Supplies Buffet Display, Complete 39pc, Half Size Single Pan, Warming Trays (6 Pack)

Keep items warm with these chafing dishes.

12 Pack 4"x3"Mini Chalkboard Signs for Chalk Sign for Food - Party - Buffet - Table Sign Chalkboard - Wedding - Bakery - Small Chalkboard Sign - Mini Chalkboard Signs

Label all dishes, especially for allergens that might not be so obvious with food labels. This plain black label set would be good for several themes, making for a pretty decent low cost investment. Staff with dietary restrictions will love the thoughtfulness of the labels!


Who doesn’t love a good dessert bar, especially to give a sugar rush to power through the rest of the work week?

Blulu 100 Pieces Pirate Cocktail Toothpicks Flags Cake Toppers for Food, Appetizer, Cocktail, Cupcake Decoration for Kids Halloween Birthday Party Decorations (100)

Set up a Pirate-themed dessert bar in the staff lounge, with pirate-themed cookies, cupcakes, and candies. Pop some mini Jolly Roger flags into a few of the treats to add a piratey touch.

Regency Wraps Standard Baking Cups Greaseproof Professional Grade For Cupcakes and Muffins, Red/White Stripe, Pack of 40

Bake cupcakes in these striped liners or use them to serve chocolate covered strawberries.

Red White and Black Sprinkles for Cake Decorating and Baking Cupcakes - Fancy Edible Red Sprinkles for Cookies with White Black Sprinkle Decorations in Jimmies, Nonpareils, Sugar Pearl with Star Quins

Add some black, red and white sprinkles to cupcakes for a nice finishing touch.

800 Pack 6 Inch Bamboo Skewers for Appetizers Food Toothpicks Wood Picks for Cocktail, Grilling, BBQ, Barbecue, Fruit, Kebab, Sandwiches, Cheese, Sausage, Veggies, Desserts, Salad, Party Favor

Include some healthier options too, such as fruit kabobs on skewers to resemble pirate swords.

CrazyOutlet Orange Slices Jelly Candy - Bulk Pack 2 Pounds

And help everyone avoid developing scurvy by providing some orange “fruit” slices.


End the day on a high note with a Pirate-themed dinner to go. Serve a buffet-style dinner with dishes such as “pirate stew,” “scurvy salad,” and “pirate’s booty” (chicken nuggets or fish sticks). For dessert, have a chocolate fondue fountain with a variety of fruits and snacks for dipping.

100% Compostable Clamshell Take Out Food Containers [8X8" 3-Compartment 50-Pack] Heavy-Duty Quality to go Containers, Natural Disposable Bagasse, Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Made of Sugar Cane Fibers

Have a big stack to go containers at the ready for staff to load up their containers and take home to enjoy.

ZHUZHIYUAN 6" Clamshell Take Out Food Containers, 50 PACK Bamboo Fiber Burger Take Out Containers, Heavy-Duty, Eco-Friendly, Biodegradable, To-Go Boxes Disposable for Burgers, Sandwich

Don’t forget about a separate containers for dessert!

Pantry Value [100 Sets - 5.5 oz.] Cups with Lids, Small Plastic Condiment Containers for Sauce, Salad Dressings, Ramekins, & Portion Control

You can also pre-package the fondue in individual small lidded containers to make it easy for teachers and staff to grab and go!


Besides the Pirate-themed celebrations, it’s nice to show your appreciation with some thoughtful gifts for the staff on this last day of the work week. Here are some gift ideas to get you started:

  1. Personalized pirate-themed mugs or tumblers with the school logo or staff member’s name.
  2. A gift card to a local restaurant or coffee shop for a much-deserved break.
  3. A gift card to a spa or massage service to help staff unwind and relax after a long school year.

Adorox 12 Pack Pirate Treasure Chest Decoration Party Favor Goodie Candy Box Grab Bag

Package smaller gifts in this gift box.

Sunkist® Individually-Wrapped Fruit Gems 32OZ (2 LB) Pouch

Candy is always a fund gift idea since the teachers can enjoy at their leisure. These fruit gems are another good way for your staff of pirates to avoid scurvy and enjoy some fruits of their pillaging.

Milk Chocolate Coins, Gold Half Dollar Chocolate Coins, Made with Premium Belgian Chocolate, Nut-Free, Non-GMO, Kosher Dairy (100-Pack)

Gold coins / chocolate doubloons are a yummy option that fit the theme as well.

Over to you!

Teacher Appreciation Week is an excellent opportunity to show our hardworking teachers and school staff how much you value them. With a Pirate theme, you can add some excitement and adventure to the celebrations.

Whether it’s a Pirate-themed lunch, breakfast, dessert bar, dinner, or a thoughtful gift, be sure to show your PTO’s appreciation to your educators and staff.

Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

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