Plan Ahead for Those Sneaky Leprechauns: 5 Ideas for Kids on St. Patrick's Day
On March 17th, many people will be slipping into a green garment and pinning on a “Kiss Me I’m Irish” button. But what is St. Patrick’s Day?
Traditionally, it’s a celebration in honor of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who died on March 17th. While originally religious in nature, the day has morphed a bit and become more about celebrating Irish culture, history, and heritage. This gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to celebrating the holiday and sharing parts of St. Patrick’s Day that are meaningful to you.
If you’re looking for a way to occupy your little leprechauns and add some fun to their St. Paddy’s Day, the following suggestions can put a little green into your pre-spring season.
There are a couple ways you can go with this idea, and both are wonderful ways to introduce your kiddos to new foods. First of all, there’s the traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage which might be a tasty treat for the whole family. Another traditionally Irish food that might be a bit more approachable for picky eaters is soda bread, which tastes similar to a biscuit and can be served with jelly, honey, or other toppings.
The second approach to St. Paddy’s Day foods is going all green. This might be a hard sell for your kids, especially if they don’t like veggies, but it could introduce them to new, healthy foods that they wouldn’t be willing to try otherwise.
Grow a Shamrock
Planting a shamrock seed and waiting for it to grow is a fun thing to do with kids and it can teach them about gardening, fill them with confidence and pride, and there’s a lot of evidence that gardening and digging in the soil is psychologically beneficial. But, let’s be honest, planting a few seeds takes roughly 15 minutes, about half as long as it takes to clean up the dirty mess.
We think you can extend the experience by focusing on your shamrock container. The pot you select can be just about anything as long as there are some drainage holes in the bottom. This means your little ones can decorate a standard terra cotta pot or they can try their hands at making a pinch pot. It’s a lot of fun and can take most of the day. The really creative kiddos will discover that their pinch pot doesn’t even need to be shaped like a pot – just make sure they add those drainage holes.
Luckily, leprechauns have a long association with rainbows and kids are crazy about these little tricks of light. This makes a rainbow t-shirt craft an easy hit with kids and most adults too. There are a number of different ways to decorate a t-shirt with rainbows, but we’ve become fascinated with the sandpaper and crayon method. You simply use your crayon to color onto the grit side of a rough sheet of sandpaper. Make sure a lot of crayon gets transferred to the paper. Then, put cardboard under the shirt surface, place your sandpaper in the right spot on the tee, cover with waxed paper and iron. It’s best to use a cotton setting and make sure you give it enough time to really melt the wax onto the shirt. Toss in the dryer for about 20 minutes to set and you’re good to go.
We recommend doing this as a group activity with a bunch of kiddos because it’s so much fun, especially if you’re having a St. Patrick’s Day party, it gives them a takeaway treat. Just be sure to attach a Name Bubbles clothing label to your kid’s garment so there isn’t any confusion in the end.
Leprechaun Treasure Hunt
Leading up to making a leprechaun trap (see below), there needs to be a little evidence of a leprechaun in your midst. If you love doing Elf on the Shelf, then this might be your new favorite idea. Your leprechaun can be naughty and it can be nice or more true to legend, it can be a combination of both. Little leprechaun treasure hunts send your kiddos out to find the mischief or the gold and, if they’re old enough for an elaborate hunt, it can keep them occupied for a large part of the day and an epic adventure.
We love the idea of using our write-on labels to leave messages and notes from the leprechaun because you can customize them and you can erase them and use them again. The labels can include clues on where to go next on their treasure hunt or they can be used to identify which treats belong to which child – this really helps prevent arguments.
While the treasure hunt doesn’t have to lead up to a leprechaun trap, it is certainly a good way to set up this fun activity. Catching a leprechaun is as exciting for kids as spying Santa Claus and his reindeer in the sky. Of course, success in the mission is just as likely as seeing Santa, but that doesn’t diminish the fun while it lasts.
Think of your leprechaun trap as your very own version of the game Mousetrap. Let your kids get creative and flex those imagination muscles to come up with their very own ways to trap the leprechaun. This is another activity that can go on for a long time as they get more elaborate in their nefarious scheming. In the morning when they check their trap, surprisingly the leprechaun will have found a way to escape, but he usually leaves a few trinkets behind to congratulate them on a job well done.
To make it easier on you, we have a free printable to create the perfect Leprechaun trap by decorating it with things they love. Download our free Leprechaun Trap printable to help lure those sneaky leprechauns into your kids' homemade trap.
If you are lucky enough to have a little Irish in your family tree, this can be an extra special time for you and your kids. Not only do you get to celebrate in the fun but there’s a sense of pride that goes along with all things Irish and your child will get a deeper sense of where their family’s roots lie. You can take this pride a little further and order them some Name Bubbles labels featuring shades of green or trendy rainbows. This helps them keep track of their stuff and reminds them of the fun you created on St. Patrick’s Day.