Tag Archives: St. Paddy’s Day

Leprechaun Games – Day 3

We reached the end of our Leprechaun Games adventures on Monday, the official date for St. Patrick’s Day.  Little Man had successfully found six coins through the Leprechaun Cloud and Magic Treasure Stones activities.  Now on this last day of the treasure hunt, he awoke to find that the leprechauns had returned over night to hide the final installment of three coins.  This time they had hidden three coins under three rainbows in the living room.  Just between you and me, the original plan of the leprechauns was to hide the coins and rainbows outside but St. Patrick’s Day ended up being a bone-chilling cold and rainy day.  Therefore the leprechauns took pity on us and left the booty in the nice, warm, dry house.

One leprechaun showing where the coin was going to be hidden in the rainbow of cups.

One leprechaun showing where the coin was going to be hidden in the rainbow of cups.

The first rainbow was found on the living room table crafted out of Little Man’s rainbow cups.  He found this one quickly since the leprechauns used their favorite color green cup as the hiding place.

Little Man found the hidden coin quickly.

Little Man found the hidden coin quickly.

The rainbow and coin hidden inside the castle tent.

The rainbow and coin hidden inside the castle tent.

The second rainbow was hidden inside Little Man’s castle/tent.  He was relieved that the resident dragon (aka really fluffy cat) hadn’t snuck into the castle to play with the treasure.

Little Man with rainbow in hand and recovered coin by his foot.  Teddies at the ready to protect from the dragon-cat.

Little Man with rainbow in hand and recovered coin by his foot. Teddies at the ready to protect from the dragon-cat.

The third and last rainbow was one drawn by the leprechauns on Little Man’s art easel.  The plan was to give us an art project for later on in the day, and a chance to talk about rainbows, their colors and the mixing of primary colors.

The final rainbow drawn by the leprechauns on Little Man's easel for coloring later.

The final rainbow drawn by the leprechauns on Little Man’s easel for coloring later.

Once the last three coins were recovered, they were set aside in a fittingly green dish to wait until nap time.  (Now you will notice that at this point in the post there are near to no pictures.  That is because I seem to have lost my camera.  Wah!  More pictures will be forthcoming, but those of the final part of this adventure are gone.  You’ll just have to use your imagination.)

On the way to his bedroom for nap time, Little Man set up the letter and the coins for the leprechauns.  We retrieved his leprechaun letter and rolled the coins back up, leaving it all on his little stool.  When Little Man awoke, his first request was for his toy samurai and the second was to go and see what his leprechaun reward was.  I’m not sure if he thought he needed samurai protection from the leprechauns?  When he got to the stool Little Man found that the letter was unrolled, and on top of it rested a small, wooden treasure chest.  The chest was filled with leprechaun gold, and the letter thanked him for playing with the leprechauns and that they’d be back again next year.  They also welcomed him to look for them at the end of a rainbow whenever he wanted.

The treasure chest was a huge hit, and Little Man was quite impressed that he got so many “golden” coins.  Last night the treasure chest “slept” in the castle/tent so that it would be safe from dragons.  The bottom of the chest was decorated by the leprechauns with his name, a rainbow and the date.  Now I think he’s just plotting what to do the next time he sees a rainbow, and on the island he might not have to wait too long for.

The dragon lurks outside of the castle dreaming of treasure... or at least a quiet, dark place for a nap.

The dragon lurks outside of the castle dreaming of treasure… or at least a quiet, dark place for a nap.

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Leprechaun Games – Day 2

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.”

One Treasure Stone

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.

Spraying the Treasure Stones with "magic water" aka white vinegar.

Spraying the Treasure Stones with “magic water” aka white vinegar.

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:

Equipment:
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
Squeeze bottle

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the baking soda, green glitter and confetti, and a good squeeze of your color safe green finger paint.
    All the equipment needed.

    All the equipment needed.

    The "dry" ingredients.

    The “dry” ingredients.

    A good squirt of color safe finger paint.

    A good squirt of color safe finger paint.

  2. 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.
    The mixture will look very dry, like it won't hold together.  Just have faith.

    The mixture will look very dry, like it won’t hold together. Just have faith.

    A last dose of paint for a little more color.

    A last dose of paint for a little more color.

    The mixture will just hold together when formed into "magic balls."

    The mixture will just hold together when formed into “magic balls.”

  3. 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.

    A Magic Treasure Ball.

    A Magic Treasure Ball.

  4. 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 them aside into the same tray you will use to "excavate" them.

    Set them aside into the same tray you will use to “excavate” them.

  5. 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.
  6. 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.

    We posed the Treasure Stones for Aiden on his little stool and with a rainbow that he'd made with his music teacher.

    We posed the Treasure Stones for Aiden on his little stool and with a rainbow that he’d made with his music teacher.

  7. 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.
    Spraying the Treasure Stones with "magic water" aka white vinegar.

    Spraying the Treasure Stones with “magic water” aka white vinegar.

    030

    Squashing eroded Treasure Stones.

    Squashing eroded Treasure Stones.

    Retrieving the treasure.

    Retrieving the treasure.

    Treasure in the sludge.

    Treasure in the sludge.

  8. Rinse off your treasure and the three additional golden coins.  Have fun!

Click here for a printable version of the Magic Treasure Stones “recipe.”

Rinsing off the treasure was more fun than finding it in the first place.

Rinsing off the treasure was more fun than finding it in the first place.