St. Patrick’s Day gives us an excuse for a month-long celebration. We decorate our house in green, design Leprechaun traps, paint rainbows, make green pancakes and host a small St. Patrick’s Day party. And no, we are not Irish. We just use any excuse to make March, typically known in Chicago as Nope-no-Spring-in-sight month, more exciting.
I invented this game for our St. Patrick’s Day Party a few years ago. It appeals to kids of all ages, easy to set up and easy to explain to a bunch of excited kids. You can also play it all month long any time kids need something to do.
The excitement of this game comes from unpredictability. The lucky coin can be discovered immediately or take forever (especially, if you are putting the coins back after each turn instead of keeping them).
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What you need
3 shamrocks (print my pattern)
a small Shamrock sticker (for the back of one coin)
- Use my pattern here to print Shamrock leaves. You can print shamrock shapes on green paper and cut them out. Or do what I did: print one leaf on a regular white paper and use it as a template. It means I put the leaf on top of the green paper, traced it, and cut it out.
Note: you can play this game any time of the year by replacing shamrocks with eggs, flowers or spiders.
- Put a sticker on one of the coins to designate it as a Lucky Coin and flip it over to hide it among the other coins.
- Distribute all the coins on top of leaves.
Note: what I learned is that the more players, the more leaves, and coins you want to use in this game.
And another thing I discovered: my 5-year-old was happy to play this game by herself for hours (ok, more like twenty minutes, but I’ll take it).
St. Patrick’s Day Counting Game
- Players take turns throwing a die and picking a corresponding number of coins. Don’t forget to check the back of each coin to see, if it’s a lucky coin.
- The first child to get the lucky coin wins the game.
- Advanced Level: Take this game up a notch, and turn it into a memory game. Each time a player looks at the back of the coin and discovers that it’s not a lucky coin, he needs to put it back. Now the players have to remember, which coins were already checked before they make their move.
- If you wish, the winner can get a small trinket from the dollar store.
- With older kids, you can use paper and pencil and keep the score.
- Use two dice for addition practice. Don’t forget to add more leaves and coins.
- While you are playing the game you might want to talk about Irish luck.
Do you have any favorite St. Patrick’s games? Share in the comments below!