St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt

ShamrockCelebrating St. Patrick’s Day is fairly simple: you eat corned beef and cabbage and drink plenty of Guinness. But putting together something for the kids takes a little more creativity. This year, in additions to treats, our big idea for little ones is a St. Patrick’s Day scavenger hunt! Here are a few items we think would be fun for kids to find for the holiday to honor Irish heritage.

For this scavenger hunt, the obvious goal is to find the leprechaun’s pot of gold. Because leprechauns are sneaky little creatures, they’re excellent at hiding their treasures. The clues they leave behind will be clever so your kids will have to think like leprechauns to find their riches.

Shamrocks Of course you don’t have to use real shamrocks for this — you can cut them out of green paper or craft something subtle to throw your kids off. If you have a shamrock hole punch, you can make shamrock paper trail or use it to punch tiny shamrocks out of kale to make them seem authentic.

Leprechaun Pipe Leprechauns always have a pipe hanging out of their mouths. Look for toy bubble pipes at the dollar store and hide it so it looks like your little leprechaun left it behind. It works as a clue and a fun prize!

HarpIrish Harps and Tin Whistles Leprechauns are talented musicians — they love to play tin whistles and Irish harps. You can craft simple harps or check your craft store for miniatures. You can also check for miniature tin whistles, but a recorder would work, too — they’re very inexpensive and they make a super starter-instrument.

Tiny Shoes and Tiny Hammers Leprechauns are cobblers by trade and they wear out their shoes by dancing — tiny shoes should definitely be on your scavenger hunt list. You might want to scour your kids’ doll collection for these! They shouldn’t be too hard to find, but tiny hammers might. Use a kitchen mallet or a wooden mallet if you’re short on tiny hammers — a regular hammer would also work if you feel OK about your kids handling adult tools.

Pot of Gold A pot of gold is the obvious choice for the big prize. You can hide chocolate gold coins separately from the pot of gold — leprechauns are known to hide bits of their gold scattered about the countryside. Leading to the pot of gold, you can try hiding Skittles for clues — drop them like bread crumbs to lead them to the pot of gold — it’s about as close as you can get to finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Chocolate-Gold-CoinLastly, no scavenger hunt is fun without good riddles to try to piece together to find your next clue. Not all of us are clever enough to come up with multiple riddles for one game. Luckily, the internet provides us with unlimited resources for creating poems with just a few clicks. To write your clues, use a riddle generator. But since this is a St. Patrick’s Day scavenger hunt, you might try making your clues into Limericks as they, allegedly, originated in Limerick, Ireland. There is also a Limerick generator to help you with that.


St. Patrick’s Day isn’t all about boiled vegetables and beer — it can be fun for the whole family! LTD Commodities has ideas and products for entertaining all ages and all holidays. Keep checking back for inspiration for every season.

St. Patrick’s Day: Fun Facts About Leprechauns

leprechaunIt’s finally March — the snow hasn’t melted yet but, luckily, we still have St. Patrick’s Day to distract us until the sun starts to shine. It’s a holiday with religious roots but it’s also adopted quirky symbols to help celebrate the day — particularly leprechauns. They’re mythical creatures with peculiar behaviors. Here are 5 fun facts about leprechauns.

Cobblers What you may know about leprechauns is that they’re cobblers (not the kind of cobblers you eat!) — they make shoes by trade. This is why you can track them by the sound of their tiny hammers — they’re always tapping away to put together shoes. What you may not know is that they make shoes because they are unstoppable dancers and they wear out their shoes so quickly making shoes themselves was the obvious solution to being shoeless. They’re also very good musicians — they have a talent for tickling the strings of a celtic harp, blowing a tin whistle or playing a fiddle.

leprechaunCousins Leprechauns are not known to be charming — they’re moody little creatures, but it’s nothing compared to their cousins, the lurichauns. Lurichauns are similar in stature, but instead of making shoes, they make trouble. They’re heavy drinkers and hideout in wine cellars — if a wine cellar owner has a lurichuan in his cellar, he can expect many messes and misfortune.

Granting Wishes According to legend, leprechauns squirrel away they’re boot bucks scattered across the Irish countryside or in little pots at the end of rainbows. It is believed that if a human catches a leprechaun he’ll get the leprechaun’s pot of gold or three wishes in exchange for the leprechaun’s freedom — but leprechauns are tricksters and they almost always outsmart their captors. In fact, leprechauns are where the term “Luck of the Irish “ comes from. Folklore holds the story of an Irishman caught a leprechaun who granted him three wishes. For the first two wished, he asked to be the richest man on a tropical island. When he arrived, the island was deserted and he had to use his remaining wish to get back to Ireland. Seems there’s nothing lucky about the luck of the Irish. 

Lady Leprechauns There are no female leprechauns. There are two possible explanations for this: 1) Leprechauns are part of the fairy kingdom. When a child is born as a girl, it is considered a fairy; boys are leprechauns. 2) According to The History of Fairies by Carolyn White, they are possibly the male offspring of fairies considered to be repulsive.leprechaun

Protected by Law According to IrishCentral.com leprechauns are considered endangered species and is now protected under the European Habitats Directive. Leprechauns are one of the draws to the community tourists who contribute to the economy. Since 2011, the law has shielded the flora, fauna and heritage of the leprechauns from those who might monkey with their habitat.

Whether leprechauns exist or not is important on St. Patrick’s Day, but celebrating the mystical tricksters is part of the fun of March. Set a trap, come up with your three wishes and prepare to be outsmarted!

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts to Get You Through February

Winter is winding down and we’re warming up thinking about spring and all of the fun holidays that come with it. While we’re stuck indoors for a few more weeks, we’re all about crafting for spring! With St. Patrick’s Day and spring on their way, we’re thinking green… here are a few of the crafts we’re using for inspiration.

shamrock-braceletPlayful Pipe Cleaners When life hands you green pipe cleaners, make shamrocks! Lacy from Catholic Icing twists and shapes pipe cleaners to make adorable favors to hand out on St. Patrick’s Day. To take it a step further, turn the shamrocks into something wearable! Beinglds.blogspot.com has a sweet step-by-step on how to make shamrock bracelets with those pipe cleaners. With these awesome accessories, no one will get pinched on St. Patrick’s Day.

3-d-shamrock3-D Magic If you got a lot of practice cutting out hearts for Valentine’s Day, you’re primed for a fun and easy shamrock craft! Crafty Morning came up with a simple way for children to craft paper into a piece of 3-D art! All you need are green construction paper, glue, scissors and a paper mount for your masterpiece.

shamrock-menShamrock Whimsy If the idea of spring has you feeling a little whimsical, help your little ones change toilet paper rolls into little shamrock men! This will keep their hands and brains concentrated on carving shamrocks out of green construction paper to dress up the cardboard tubes for playful decor on St. Patrick’s day. Follow Sweet and Lovely Crafts detailed instructions for a craft-filled afternoon.

pot-o-gold-hatPot-O-Gold This is probably the most fun craft-turned-party-favor you’ll find for St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a leprechaun hat that doubles as a pot of gold! A few plastic food containers, paint, construction paper, and a bag of chocolate gold coins will make you look like a crafting hero and entertainer extraordinaire. For a tutorial, check out Paper Plate and Plane’s blog.

shamrock-votiveSt. Patrick”s Day Glow Extra jars or upcycled glass candle holders can be the object of a delightful St. Patrick’s Day craft! With craft glue and green tissue paper, your shamrocks will give your St. Patrick’s Day decor a warm glow! Mess for Less takes you through each step to make these simple yet classy crafts that children will love to make.

felt-shamrockPinch Protection For easy pinch-protection, a felt shamrock is the go-to embellishment for any outfit! This is another craft that will make use of your heart-making skills. Splendid Amy guides you through a few snips, a couple of stitches and the tiniest bit of hot glue to make the sweetest shamrock to put on a hat, a headband or to wear as a pin! This craft will have you counting down the days to March 17!

shamrock-cardShamrock Salutations For faraway Irish friends, send some shamrock salutations with homemade cards! A heart rubber stamp, glue, glitter, and paint turns a simple piece of paper into a St. Patrick’s Day keepsake for loved ones you want to reach out to on March 17. Child Made Tutorials lays out all of the instructions on how to make a heart into shamrock as well as shows you the sparkling finished product.

5 Facts You May Not Know About St. Patrick’s Day

Today everyone claims to be Irish, but there are more to the traditions of this holiday than you may know. We’ve found some interesting facts about St. Patrick’s Day we’d like to share with you.

Corned Beef and Cabbage is Not Irish?

Corned-beef-and-cabbage

Photo credit: tasteofhome.com

This traditional St. Patrick’s Day fare is not Irish but it is an Irish-American dish. It?s derived from the Irish entre, Bacon and Cabbage back bacon (a traditional British cut of bacon) boiled with cabbage and root vegetables. Pigs and cabbage were readily available in Ireland, but cows were not. There are a few explanations for this: some say in the early 20th century Irish laborers were lured to bars that offered a free meal of corned beef and cabbage. Others say early Irish immigrants were drawn to their Jewish comrades’ corned beef because it was comparable to the back bacon they were accustomed to.

Leprechauns

Leprechaun

Image credit: http://confanon.wikia.com/

Here’s a little known fact about the mythical little people: they’re protected by European law to prevent extinction. The leprechaun is on a list of items in an area near Carlingford, Ireland designated to preserve the heritage, culture and folklore. It is on a site where a leprechaun was allegedly spotted in 1989.

Drinking

St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent, the six week period before Easter in which people of Christian denominations give up indulgences. St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is used as a break from the fast in which people can partake in excesses like drinking alcohol or eating chocolate; however, until the 1970s, by law pubs in Ireland were closed for the holiday.

Green

There are many explanations for why we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. One allegation is that it’s worn by fairies and immortals and by farmers to help their crops grow. A more plausible explanation is that St. Patrick used the three leaves on a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity so people started wearing shamrocks. That little piece of green evolved into a symbol of pride and nationalism and why we wear green to honor the Irish now.

Parades

The St. Patrick’s Day parade did not start as an Irish tradition. It’s a religious holiday a day of feast and in Ireland the day is spent at church and with the family. The first record of St. Patrick’s Day parade was in 1762 when a group of Irish men marched to a tavern in lower Manhattan in New York City. Today it’s the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade; it attracts more than two million spectators every year.

St-Patricks-day-parade

Photo credit: hottrip.net

It’s Plant a Flower Day

Daisy-SingleIn honor of Plant a Flower Day, we’ve rounded up some tips on how to plant flowers that will bloom to their full potential. Check out these great tips below.

Where to Start

If you want instant gratification, you can go to a plant nursery where they?ve nurtured and cared for seeds as they?ve grown into a blooming flower for you to purchase. You can also buy seedlings that you can watch grow and bloom at a later date.

In either case, you will have to transplant the flower or seedling. Winter 2014 has been brutal, so you should know to only transplant when the ground is warm enough ? ideally after the last frost date . If you haven?t had your last frost, you can keep your flower indoors until it?s warm enough to transplant outside.

Do It Yourself

If you want to start from scratch, here?s what you?ll need to get your seeds sprouting:

  • seeds
  • ventilated containers
  • soil
  • plastic wrap or covering

You can buy seed starting soil or you can mix it yourself. The soil should be lightly moistened when it?s put in the ventilated container. Too much moisture can cause the seeds to rot. ?Using a garden trowel, dig small holes for each seed with distances between each seed according to your seed packet.? Drop the seeds in each hole and gently cover each seed with soil. Lightly water the soil and cover with plastic wrap to keep moisture in the soil. Place the containers in a warm spot and water only as needed.?When the seeds have sprouted, you can put their containers on a tray that will hold water so the flower will be fed from the bottom up.

Transplanting

Before you transplant your flowers, you can help them get used to living outdoors by letting them sit outside for a few days so that it won?t be such a shock to them when they?re put in the ground.

When you?re ready to give your flower a spot in the yard, water the planting bed, to help your flower take root. You should also water the flower before taking it out of the ventilated container so you can gently ease it out. The root will probably be knotted up in a ball. Try to separate the branches so that they can spread once they?re in the ground.

Dig a hole in the plant bed that?s roughly the same size at the roots. Set the flower in the hole, sprinkle enough soil around the base to keep the flower upright. Moisten the soil again and let your flower grow.

Planning for Next YearOrange-Red-Tulip

If you want ?perennial flowers to bloom in the spring like irises or tulips, you?ll need to plant the bulbs in the fall.

If you want to have a flower ready to plant on Plant a Flower Day 2015, start your indoor seeding at the end of February ? it takes about a month for the seeds to sprout.