Guest Author - Kimberly Misra
Looking for an idea to make this St. Patrick's Day more festive? Stage a hunt for the leprechaun's gold! The gold can be hidden somewhere in your house or yard. Reward every child that joins the hunt with a prize.
Begin by hiding a small stash of "gold" in your home or yard. Gold-wrapped chocolate coins or miniature yellow or gold-wrapped candy bars work well. If you don't want to use chocolate, wrap small objects such as coins, acorns, or flat rocks in gold foil or paint them with gold paint.
Once you've hidden the gold, leave a trail of clues to extend the fun and make the kids think. Write the clues in reverse order to make the process easier. For example, if you stashed the gold in the hollow of a tree, your last clue might read, "Look for a place where an owl could be, and your gold you will see". You might stash that clue under the porch. Your next clue might read, "After you roam, what do you climb to get back home?" Hide that one and continue until you've made as many clues as you desire, tailoring the difficulty and total number of clues to suit your kids ages.
If you have a wide age range participating, you could make two separate hunts with different levels of difficulty. Give the kids the first clue and send them off on the hunt!
Once they have found the gold, give everyone a small prize. Small shamrock plants, widely available in spring, are a festive option. For a fun afternoon activity, you could purchase small terracotta pots for each child to paint and decorate. Acrylic paint works best for painting the pots, but washable paint can be substituted for younger kids. When the pots are dry, the shamrocks can be planted inside them.
To finish up the celebration, try an easy, edible St. Patrick's Day craft: pudding in a bag! Give each child a resealable sandwich bag with a tablespoon of pistachio instant pudding mix. If you don't like pistachio, vanilla pudding mix with a little green food coloring added achieves the same result. Pour a half cup of milk into each bag, seal the bag well, and let the kids toss and squeeze their bags. When the pudding is done, cut one end of a plastic straw at an angle and poke it through the bag for a no-mess snack.