Leaping leprechauns and other fun ideas for St. Paddy's Day

St. Patrick's Day can be great fun. Here are some ideas to help your luck.

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  • Ah, the luck of the Irish! May it ever be with ya! It will soon be St. Patrick's Day. Why not turn this silly day into some serious fun.

  • We will start with a little history. Traditionally, you should wear green on St. Patrick's Day to avoid getting pinched. Legend says that if you wear green the leprechauns can't see you, and won't pinch you. As for the real reason we don the emerald attire, no one really knows. In fact, they don't traditionally wear green in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day.

  • The Legend

  • St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.

  • The Shamrock

  • The shamrock is the national flower of Ireland. It became the national flower because St. Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity.

  • Leprechauns

  • These are known as faerie folk, or wee folk. They are believed to be one of the earliest inhabitants of Ireland. They love to play tricks on unsuspecting farmers, but are generally harmless. However, if you ever catch one, he has to grant you three wishes, or give up his pot of gold. Here is a fun guide to catching leprechauns. And this dad deserves an award for his help with his son's leprechaun trap.

  • So, knowing this is an Irish holiday, why not start with a little traditional food?

  • Corned Beef and cabbage? Mash? Stew? Whatever you need, here are some traditional Irish recipes for your grand day.

  • Now that our stomachs are filled. Let's move on to the games and fun.

  • Little Leprechauns

  • Why not have the kids wake up to tiny green footprints all over the house leading to a rainbow of goodies. You can use rainbow colored Twizzlers in a bag on top of some chocolate gold coins. Or a paper rainbow on top of a bowl of Rolos candy. Find some fun way to surprise your kids with the leprechaun's gold.

  • I love to play small harmless tricks on my family and blame the wee folk. Like tying the chair legs to the table, or putting the backpacks in a tree. Some small crazy thing to excite their imaginations.

  • Get crafty

  • There are so many ideas on Pinterest for St. Patrick's Day crafts.

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  • Shamrocks are the traditional flower to use this holiday. Have your kids help you cut out some simple shamrocks to put all over the house, or decorate a neighbor's door with them.

  • Use a simple paper plate and let your kids decorate it with construction paper to look like one of the wee folk. The bottom lip of the plate can be his beard, he will need eyes, nose and a black hat with a gold buckle, finally add a shamrock in his hat for luck.

  • Finger paints are always fun for smaller children. Give them a rainbow of colors and let them make a rainbow on their paper.

  • Games for the wee folk:

  • Leaping Leprechauns!

  • Make a paper hat for one of your little ones to appoint them as the wee folk. The other kids spread out in a field or in the house, if playing indoors. They each close their eyes and wait for the "wee folk" to hide. The other children try to sneak up on the leprechaun to steal his gold. The first one to tag the leprechaun takes his place.

  • Shamrock Shuffle

  • This one can be fun, especially for the smaller children. Cut out a bowl full of three leaf clovers and add one four leaf clover. Give your children the bowl, the first one to find the four leaf clover wins a gold chocolate coin.

  • Outdoor Activities

  • Why not use this "green day" to take your family on a walk through the woods, or plant a rainbow of flowers in your garden? Outdoor activities are great fun, especially after a long winter. Find a green spot and have some fun.

  • Have a green picnic. If you live in a warmer environment and can venture outside for a meal why not bring along green food and have a leprechaun's picnic. We have had fun coloring lots of food in our lifetime; green mashed potatoes, green eggs, green gravy. You could even bring along vegetables for a rainbow at dinner.

  • Building a cardboard Irish castle outside can spark creativity and hours of fun. All you need are large cardboard boxes, markers and imagination.

  • Wherever you go and whatever you do, "May the luck of the Irish be there with you."

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Shannon and Erin are a mother and daughter with lots of children and Utah and Oregon roots.

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