The week of all things green and gold is finally here! I promise if we catch a leprechaun over here I will share some of the pot of gold with everyone.
But until then...here are some ways you can make the day fun for your kids and maybe you can catch one, too! For those of you with kids in our preschool classes, this is mostly what we will be doing - but you can still do similar things at home, too!
YES - Green toilet water! This is by far one of the most exciting parts of the day for kids. They just think it is so ridiculous that the water in the toilet is green!! It's a very simple way to make the day super fun. All you need is some green food coloring. You just open up the top tank of the toilet and put in a few drops so when a kid flushes it will come out green! You can leave it at that ~ or, if you think they might not stick around to see that, you can also be pro-active and put a few drops in the toilet bowl, too. I would still put some in the tank because you can be certain they will flush to see if it goes away.
Be sure to bring your food coloring container with you when you go to the bathroom, and keep refreshing the color all day. They will think the leprechaun is so sneaky for constantly turning the water green!
Another attention-getting, simple idea is to sprinkle some sparkly green glitter here there and everywhere to let little ones know that a leprechaun has been there. I will warn you that glitter loves to travel, but it's pretty easy to clean up with a vacuum and the kids always enjoy sparkles. You can even use it as a "trail" to lead to where leprechauns have caused "mischief" in the house/classroom.
We love to put the toys in silly places, make a mess, turn chairs upside down, etc, and blame it all on the tricky leprechauns. Afterward, kids will be saying for weeks (sometimes months) that anything out of place or silly looking must be from leprechauns. Any kind of general mischief is a great idea.
In addition to green glitter, you can also sprinkle around sequins, gems, paper or tissue shamrocks, sparkly pom-poms, anything green and/or sparkly will work! It's also fun to put little green footprints all around. Footprints make with washable paint are super fun and look like the leprechaun ran through the art supplies and then made a mess. Although, be careful where you put it! I do have a spot on our play kitchen where we will forever have leftover green faded footprints. Well, at least until I re-paint it or something. Trust me, I tried just about every cleaner on the planet.
In fact, while you're at it... just start turning everything you can green. We like to make the water green and homemade bread rolls green. However, you can use your imagination here and turn the cereal milk or pancakes green, sprinkle green sprinkles on their lunch or pasta ~ just about anything can get a touch of green added to it. It's really kind of fun once you get started.
Now, we all want to find some of the leprechaun's gold, right?? Why not pretend that he dropped some? I like to hide gold-painted rocks around for the kids to find and collect. You can easily get some gold spray paint and spray some rocks, buy some already done from a craft store (Michael's has some by me), or even just use some plastic gold coins. Kids love a treasure hunt in general, and it's even better when they think they are finding real treasure! It's definitely another highlight of the day.
Of course, the fun wouldn't be complete without leprechaun trap building fun. You definitely want to try to do this at least the day before so you can set them out at night. However, if you don't get a chance, you can always do it that day and try to catch one when you are out of sight. I mean, they are still running around on St. Patty's causing mischief all day.
To make a trap, all you need is a shoebox sized box and a whole bunch of green and shiny things, along with some other clean recyclables. We like to use things like pipe cleaners, empty toilet paper rolls, green ribbon, clean jar lids, shamrocks cut from paper, and green painters tape. You just need to use a little imagination!
The goal is to try to make the trap look fun so a leprechaun might want to go inside and get stuck. Legend has it that if you catch one, you get his pot of gold. So, you want to make a good one (or two, or three).
For fun, you can sprinkle some green glitter on them after the kids set them out to show that a leprechaun was there. You can even leave something fun inside like one gold nugget or coin.
If you are looking for an art idea for that day, we like to have the kids work on their sensory development while having fun with green sparkly glitter finger paint. We cut out large shamrock shapes from paper, put some newspaper down, have the little ones wear a smock, and put a large dollop or two of finger paint on the shamrock.
I am going to write a post on it very soon, but sensory development for kids is super important and is tied to so many other academic and developmental areas. Finger painting may seem simplistic or silly, but it is actually so very good for kids. Throwing in a little glitter to the paint is always great, too. I highly recommend using finger paint or adding some shaving cream or gel to regular paint to really make a great sensory activity.
When you go to make leprechaun traps, I highly recommend this little story. It talks all about the adventures of two children who try so very hard to catch a leprechaun...read it to find out the ending!
Below is a link of me reading it, in case you prefer to just listen to it instead of buying it:
For music fun, we like to have the kids march around the room with rhythm sticks to the song "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover." It's a fun way to get their energy out. Also, my favorite finger play song, "Do Your Ears Point Up?" is below:
Okay, I think that's enough to make for a fun day! Of course, we infuse everything with green and shamrocks during circle, handwriting, etc - but I am sure I've given you enough to work with.
I hope you have so much fun causing mischief - and good luck catching those sneaky leprechauns!! xoxo, Jennifer
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