Don’t forget the prizes
Before you play, stock up on dipped St. Patrick’s Day treats to reward the winners and console the losers. The kids (and adults) will thank you later.
Find St. Patrick's Day Games
Put the homemade puzzle pieces together.
Unscramble the St. Patrick's Day related words.
Guess how many candy coins are in the bowl.
Find a series of hidden cards with words that rhyme.
The person who is "it" must guess who the leprechaun is.
Find the gold coins hidden around the house.
Race balloon leprechauns to see who can reach the target.
Find a shamrock in a themed edition of musical chairs.
Try to pin a sticker in the center of Ireland's iconic stone.
Try to land the most coins in the pot.
Move the gold from one end of the rainbow to the other.
Give a bingo board a St. Patrick's Day overhaul.
Let the kids lead their own St. Paddy's Day parade.
An all-ages dance party that freezes when the music stops.
How many famous Irish people, real or fictional, can you name?
Find the winking leprechaun while guests dance an Irish jig.
A variation of the card game Spoons using gold chocolate.
Learn about the sport of Gaelic football with this relay game.
Can you limbo while wearing a leprechaun hat?
Find matching cards in this game of skill.
Follow the clues to find hidden treasure.
Shamrock Puzzle Match
Cut out green felt paper in the shape of a four-leaf clover. Then cut down the middle of it to make it look like a puzzle piece, and have the kids try to put them together.
St. Paddy's Scramble
Create a list of 20 common St. Patrick's Day words and scramble each one. Type up a themed list and give players a set time to try and unscramble the words. Whoever finishes the most correctly wins. Use an egg timer or hourglass to count down the clock.
List words like "cptairk," "mahrkcos," and "olcerv" to see how quickly players can unscramble it (answers: Patrick, shamrock and clover)
Rainbow Treasure Coin Count
Use a clear bowl or pot and fill it with golden candy coins. Decorate with colored streamers or ribbons to resemble a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Have participants guess how much candy is in the bowl.
Jack guesses 34 pieces and Jill guesses 27 pieces. There were 31 pieces in the bowl so Jill wins the candy, because she was closest without going over.
Write rhyming word pairs on pieces of paper cut to look like shamrocks or a leprechaun's hat. Hide one half in different parts of the house or around the yard. Divide the other among the players and have them look for the rhyming piece.
If a child has the "gold" and "luck" pieces, that child would then have to find the pieces with a word that rhymes: "sold" or "stuck." The player that finds all their rhyming words first, wins.
Who's the Leprechaun?
Choose one child to be "it," and that child leaves the room. The rest at the party pick someone to be the "leprechaun," and that person chooses an Irish dance move that the others imitate. The child who is "it" then has to guess who the leprechaun is.
The leprechaun leads the dance, and as such they change the dance as they see fit. So it's up to the other kids to keep an eye on the leprechaun and change their dance to match the leprechaun. This keeps the child who is "it" from guessing correctly. Once they do guess correctly, they get to choose who the next "it" child will be.
Using chocolate gold coins, hide them around different parts of the house. Divide guests into teams of two. Give each team a cauldron or pail to collect their "pot of gold" and send them on a hunt to look for coins.
Teams race to find as many coins as possible within the time limit, which can be designated by the person running the game. When time is up, each team's coins are counted, and whoever has the most wins.
You'll need some supplies for this one: balloon, string, drinking straw, tape and construction paper. We all did this in science class; tape the straw to an inflated balloon (don't tie it closed) and have the players hold their string. Attach the other end of the string to the target. Have players decorate their balloons with a construction-paper leprechaun and tape that to the balloon.
Three people are playing, and the strings are attached to a target hung on the wall. At the count of three, the participants let go of the balloon and the balloon to reach the target first wins. This is where the cut-out leprechauns will help you decipher whose ballon won.
Not dissimilar from musical chairs, this game requires you cut out four large pieces (or one less piece than the amount of people playing) in the shape of a four-leaf clover or shamrock. Lay them on the floor, and play Celtic music to which the children dance around the shamrocks on the floor.
As the music plays, the children dance around the pieces. Then someone stops the music, and the players must find a place on a piece on the ground. The child who does not find a piece is out of the game. This continues until there is only one player left.
Kiss the Blarney Stone
Sometimes called "tag the blarney stone," this can be played by drawing and cutting out a blarney stone from poster board and placing it on the wall. Participants are blindfolded and given stickers. Whoever can place the sticker closest to the center of the stone wins the prize.
Out of all the participants, Johnny tagged his sticker the closest to the center. So he wins a prize.
Gold Coin Toss
Using gold coins - chocolate, or perhaps the Sacagawea dollar coins - and leprechaun pots or hats, players try to toss as many coins into the container as possible.
Place the pot or hat on the floor and then draw a line that is a few feet away that the players must stand behind. The players then attempt to toss the coins into the pot, and whoever is able to get the most in, wins the prize.
Pot of Gold Relay
What's more fun than a race? Divide participants into two teams, and have them line up beside an empty pot. Put the other pot filled with candy some distance away. As you signal go, each player from each team takes one piece of gold (or candy) from one pot and moves it to the other. Whoever fills the pot next to them first wins.
In teams of six, each player moves the gold from one pot to the other. Team one does this faster than team two, so team one wins.
What game is more associated with pure luck than bingo? Fill out bingo cards with St. Patrick's Day symbols in the squares, and whoever fills a row first wins.
Symbols such as "pot of gold," "clover," or "lucky charms" are called out. One player fills out a row of his card before all others, so they are declared the winner.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
This is a great game if your kids love arts and crafts, or performing for others. Have them put together a parade by dressing up as St. Patrick's Day characters. You can also give them musical instruments, or play some Celtic music for them to march to.
Play a traditional Irish jig for everyone to dance to. Stop the music, and whoever freezes last is out of the game.
Emerald Isle Name Game
Guess as many famous Irish as you possibly can (ex: Rudy, Bono, Colin Farrell, etc.)
One person is picked to be "it" and is sent out of the room. Everyone else decides who will be the winking leprechaun. Once that is decided, "it" comes back into the room and tries to figure out who the leprechaun is.
The leprechaun winks at someone, and they then have to dance an Irish jig. "It" then tries to guess who the leprechaun is. If they guess wrong, the game continues until "it" guesses correctly.
St. Patrick's Chocolate
The objective of the game is to be the first to get four of a kind (ex. four Aces or four Kings.) Once you do, take a piece of chocolate as stealthily as possible. Then as soon as the first person takes the chocolate, it's a race to see who can grab the remaining chocolate pieces the fastest. The person who doesn't get a chocolate coin is eliminated from the next round. Do this until one winner remains.
For example, let's say you have six people. First, select a dealer and have him or her pass out four cards to each player. Now that you have five players (remember, someone needs to be a dealer), place four pieces of chocolate in the middle of the table. Have the dealer continually give out cards until one person gets four of a kind. When that happens, the person will take a piece of chocolate. The remaining four people will race to get the three remaining chocolate pieces. One person won't get one. The four players will soon be shortened to three; three shortened to two; two shortened to one winner.
Setup a relay course with two cones at either end of a field representing goal posts. Split into even teams. Each player takes turns moving the ball down the field, through the goal posts and back before passing the ball to their team mate. The ball can be kicked or, when passing, hit with the side of the fist similar to a volleyball serve. However, players cannot carry the ball, dribble, bounce or throw it.
If there are 24 guests at the party, split into six teams of four and let the games begin. The first person takes the ball and kicks it across the field, following it as in soccer. After making it through the cones, they turn around and proceed back to the starting point. As they near their team, they decide to shoot the ball the rest of the way. The player stops and holding the ball in their left hand, hits it from the side with their right fist, launching the ball to the next player who takes off running down the field. The first team to get all four players around the course wins.
St. Patrick's Limbo
Participants wear the leprechaun hat, and try to sneak under the bar without the hat being knocked off. Whoever is the last one standing wins.
Memory Card Game
Cut out 12 cards from green construction paper. Draw or place stickers with St. Patrick's Day icons such as shamrocks, leprechauns or a plaid kilt on the cards, using each icon twice. Place the cards face down on the table in a grid. Players flip two cards at a time in search of a matching pair.
The player turns the shamrock card over, but then turns the leprechaun card over in an attempt to find one that matches. Should the player turn over a card that doesn't match, both cards get put back face down and the next player takes a turn. If the player finds a match, they can choose again. The game continues until all the matches are found.