Watch out for the wee folk—little leprechauns, that is! It's time for "the
wearing o' the green" as we celebrate everything Irish. Host a St.
Patty's Day party with festive four-leafed invitations, Emerald Isle food
and Lucky Leprechaun games. It's easy being green on St. Patrick's
Invite the guests with lucky four-leaf clover cards. Cut large clovers
from green construction paper and write "This is your Lucky Day—
You're invited to a St. Patrick's Day Party!" Insert invitations in green
envelopes and add a few chocolate gold coins for extra good luck
before you mail them to guests.
Have the guests take "wearin' o' the green" literally and ask them to
dress in as many green articles of clothing as possible. Award a green
prize to the one who wears the most green. For added fun, greet the
guests dressed as a leprechaun, in a green top hat, green shorts and
green striped socks!
Go green! Use a Balloon Time Helium Balloon Kit to inflate a bunch of
green balloons with helium, tie them off with green ribbon and gather
them in bunches of three to form floating "shamrocks." Include one
"lucky" four-balloon cluster and award a prize to any guest who "finds"
Cut out a bunch of giant shamrocks from green construction paper and
tape them to the walls or use them as place mats. Create a giant
rainbow using sheets of colored construction paper taped to a wall in
the shape of an arch. Set a "pot of gold" - a gold foil-covered bowl
filled with chocolate gold coins - at both ends of the rainbow. Sprinkle
clovers and gold coins on the table. Play Irish music in the
Games & Activities
This fast-moving game is hot - but won't really burn
anybody's fingers. Have players stand in a circle about an arm's length
from each other. Give the "hot" potato to one player and have him or
her toss it to any other player as quickly as possible. Keep the potato
moving until a player drops the potato or holds it longer than three
seconds - then that player is out. Continue until there's only one
player left. For added fun, have players take a step back each time the
potato hits the ground.
Pot o' Gold
Set out a large, green leprechaun hat upside down, (or
use a bowl). Give the players equal handfuls of chocolate gold coins
and have them take turns tossing them into the pot from a short
distance. Let the players keep the coins that land in the pot.
Separate the bunches of green balloons you
inflated for decoration and let them float on the ceiling. At the word
"Green!" have the kids try to gather four balloons together to form a
lucky shamrock. The first to complete the task wins the game.
Gold Coin Hunt
Hide chocolate gold coins around the party room.
Tie a green helium balloon near the hidden coins, and then have the
players search for the hidden coins using the helium balloons as clues.
Watch the world turn green when you put on
these magic glasses! Have the kids cut round or shamrock-shaped
eyeglass frames from green posterboard. Cut out the center of the
frames for eyeholes. Cut green cellophane into circles and glue them
over the back of the eyeholes. (If you can't find green cellophane,
color clear cellophane or plastic wrap with green permanent markers.)
Poke holes on each side of the glasses frames, insert pipe cleaners to
each side and secure them. Decorate the glasses with stickers, and
then put them on and start seeing green!
Have the kids make their own leprechaun
footprints by rolling out refrigerator cookie dough. Cut out cookies
using a footprint cookie cutter and bake according to directions. Let
the kids frost the footprints with green icing and decorate them with
Pot o' Gold Potatoes
Along with traditional food like corned beef
and cabbage, offer a potato bar. Set out a selection of baked potato
toppings, such as grated cheese, bacon bits, ground beef, cubed ham,
cooked peas, chili, beef stroganoff, pizza toppings, Mexican seasoning,
sour cream and butter - and let the kids choose what they want to put
on their potatoes.
Serve this refreshing mint-flavored shake with
the hot baked potato. For each guest, put 2 cups milk, 1 banana, 1/2
cup mint ice cream in blender and blend until smooth and creamy,
about 30-45 seconds. Pour into clear glasses.
Make sandwiches from green-tinted bread (the
bakery can do this), and cut them out in clover shapes. Serve with a
glass of green-tinted milk.
Bake three heart-shaped cakes and join them
together at their tips to form a shamrock (or bake four cakes to make
a lucky four-leaf clover). Frost with green-tinted icing and top with
green sprinkles and chocolate gold coins.
Send the wee ones home with a green leprechaun hat, a little
leprechaun figure, some chocolate gold coins, a green three-balloon
bouquet, a rainbow of color crayons or a box of Lucky Charms.
Penny Warner has more than 25 years of experience as an author
and party planner. She has published more than 50 books, including 16
specific to parties. Additionally, Warner writes a weekly newspaper
column on family life, penned a column for Sesame Street Parents
magazine and has appeared on several regional and national TV morning
programs. Her latest book, HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY, debuted in
February 2010 from NAL/Penguin.
Balloon Time is the leading brand of consumer helium balloon kits
in North America. Balloon Time kits feature a helium-filled tank, latex
or foil balloons and ribbon, and are available at national retail
chains, party goods and grocery stores nationwide.