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How Can I Throw a St. Patrick's Day Party for Kids?

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Question: How Can I Throw a St. Patrick's Day Party for Kids?

A reader named Maisey wondered how she can throw a birthday party for her husband that involves her kids. And since his birthday falls close to March 17, she wanted to use a St. Patrick's Day party theme.

Answer:

Whether you want to throw a Saint Pat's birthday party for a parent or child or just to want to celebrate the holiday itself, here are some ideas.

  • Go on a four-leaf clover and leprechaun hunt. Give each child a magnifying glass (compare prices), a butterfly net (compare prices) and a map of the park (or backyard) where you're headed. Explain to the kids that if they catch a leprechaun, he'll be forced to take them to his pot of gold in exchange for his freedom. Eventually lead the kids to that pot of gold: a kettle full of yellow jello jigglers or gold-foil covered chocolate coins sitting next to a rainbow birthday cake.
  • Kaboose has some cute ideas for games you can play at a St. Patrick's Day party for kids, including tossing yellow bean bags (i.e., gold) into a black kettle and playing hot potato with real potatoes and with Celtic music playing in the background.
  • This idea was suggested by Maisey herself: Set a leprechaun trap and hide the presents inside. Sherri Osborn, About.com's Guide to Family Crafts, explains the lore behind leprechauns and offers instructions for building your own leprechaun trap. Sherri's readers have submitted photos of traps they've made at home.
  • If you sew, make the kids elf hats they can wear during the party and take home as favors. I made elf hats for my youngest daughter's woodland-themed party, but for a St. Patrick's Day party, I'd make them green and applique a four-leaf clover on the side. You can find easy instructions in the book Bend The Rules Sewing (compare prices) by Amy Karol.
  • Serve green food--this might be the one day of the year your kids are eager to eat it! Top a pizza with spinach, make sandwich wraps in spinach tortillas, and set out some green fruits, such as kiwi and green apples. Visit About.com's Guide to Kids Cooking's St. Patrick's Day food page for more ideas and recipes.
  • You could also serve traditional Irish food such as corned beef hash and shepherd's pie.
  • Decorate the house with bouquets of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple balloons or form the balloons into a rainbow arch.
  • Cut out shamrock shapes from green paper, punch two holes on the sides of each one, thread yarn through the holes, then hang the garland you've created above doorways or from the ceiling over the food table.
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