On Day 2 of our Leprechaun Games (inspired by Fun at Home with Kids), Little Man awoke to find that the leprechauns had returned to continue the search for gold game (Read about Day 1 here). This time he was met with a tray of “Magic Treasure Stones.” We took the Treasure Stones to the table (with copious towels and clean water again) for him to “excavate.”
The basis of the Treasure Stones is the awesome fizzy reaction that happens when you combine baking soda with vinegar. It can make science fair volcanoes explode, and Magic Treasure Stones erode away to reveal hidden treasure. For our purposes we repurposed an empty mustard container that I had set aside for future water table activities, and filled it full of plain, white vinegar. This activity takes a good amount of vinegar, so you may need to stock up… I did.
Little Man squirted the Magic Treasure Stones with the vinegar (aka “cloud water”) and watched as they fizzed and foamed, slowly revealing their treasure. Three of the stones contained “golden” coins, and two contained “sea gems” (aka glass blobs). He had a great time smashing the partially eroded stones and rinsing the coins off in the water. In fact, I think he would have been happy simply with the coins and the dish of water. I’ll have to keep that in mind for future water table activities as the weather gets warmer…
Over the course of the rest of the day, he played with his “treasure” and we talked about leprechauns, rainbows and golden coins. He went to bed after rereading his letter from the leprechauns, excited about the search for the last three coins, and what the leprechauns would give him when he completed their game.
Now we two leprechauns need to plot our last installment of the Leprechaun Games, as well as a delicious St. Patrick’s Day dinner. After all, a good game needs a good dinner to pull it all together.
Here’s how I made the Magic Treasure Stones:
1 large glass baking dish, or clear plastic tub (like for sensory play)
1 box baking soda
Green glitter and shamrock confetti
Green Finger Paint (Color Safe)
3 “Golden” Coins
Assorted sensory fun like glass beads
2 tbsp. water, plus extra
2 cups white vinegar
- In a large bowl mix together the baking soda, green glitter and confetti, and a good squeeze of your color safe green finger paint.
- Drizzle the 2 tbsp. of water over the mixture and give it a good stir to evenly distribute the water. Then add one more good squirt of the finger paint and stir again. The mixture should look pretty dry. This reminded me of making a pie crust or scone dough. You don’t think it will hold together, but it will. Test your mixture by grabbing a handful and forming it into a rough ball. If it won’t hold its shape, then drizzle in a little more water until they just hold their shapes.
- Finish your first “stone” by inserting one of the golden coins into the stone and forming it again. Carefully set this stone aside in the glass baking dish.
- Divide the rest of the mixture into four portions in the bowl, and continue forming treasure stones and inserting the treasure until all five balls are completed.
- Set the stones aside some place safe and allow them to dry overnight. You want the balls to be nice and dry for the best reaction with the vinegar.
- When you are ready to go, please the stones somewhere that your little one can find them. I recommend leaving these in the baking dish rather than scattering them around. They are fragile.
- When you are ready to excavate, fill your squeeze bottle with the vinegar and show your little one how to spray the treasure stones. The stones will fizz and slowly erode to reveal the treasure within. Your kids will likely enjoy smashing the opened, softened stones, so be sure to have towels and clean water handy.
- Rinse off your treasure and the three additional golden coins. Have fun!
Click here for a printable version of the Magic Treasure Stones “recipe.”