Trying to think of a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your little ones that doesn’t involve dying everything green? Then look no further than this easy prep activity: A St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt.
Elf on the Shelf vs. Patrick the Leprechaun
Gibbs, our Elf on the Shelf, is extremely popular in our house, so around St. Patrick’s Day, we introduce Patrick the Leprechaun to our boys. Since keeping track of where the elf was every night was way too time consuming and we prefer to simplify the holidays, we instead show the boys pictures of Leprechauns in books so they start to understand what he looks like.
Instead of tattling on them to Santa when they do something wrong, we tell the story that Patrick keeps an eye peeled for when the boys do something extremely nice: sharing a favorite toy, helping with chores, following directions, etc.
When something great happens, Patrick leaves little gold chocolate coins or shamrocks around the house for the boys to find. But the fun doesn’t stop with devouring a delicious chocolate treat or collecting cute shamrocks. We use these tokens to have positive discussions about behavior.
Our discussions with the boys about the Patrick tokens usually focus around:
- Why do you think this special token showed up?
- What have you done lately that is awesome?
- How did doing something nice make you feel?
- What are some other really nice things you can do today?
Scavenger Hunt Options
There are many other variations you can use to teach things other than positive behavior.
- Alphabet awareness: Write different letters on the shamrocks that are hidden. After the child identifies the letter correctly, it can be added to the “pot of gold” bag. Older children can build words based on the different shamrock letters they find.
- Number awareness: Write different numbers on the shamrocks that are hidden. Each correctly identified number can be added to the bag of shamrocks. More advanced children can use the shamrock numbers to write number sentences.
- Color awareness: Make shamrocks of different colors for your child to find. Once he/she identifies the correct color, arrange the shamrocks to form a colorful rainbow.
- Comprehension practice: Write a simple task on each shamrock. Once the child finds the shamrock, he/she must do the corresponding activity in order to add the shamrock to the “pot of gold” bag.
If you are looking for other ways to celebrate the beginning of Spring, be sure to check out my frittata recipe, as well as my fresh orzo casserole. They are perfect ways to take advantage of Spring’s first produce!