If you're looking for a unique way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your kids, a scavenger hunt is pretty perfect. Whether you are in a part of the country that's still having crappy weather (hi, the entire Northeast this week) and need to conduct said scavenging indoors or if you're thundersnow-free and want to organize a more elaborate outdoor scavenger hunt, one thing's certain: Kids are going to have a blast searching for a leprechaun's pot of gold.
Check out these easy St. Patrick's Day hunt ideas — from finding shamrocks to completing a camera challenge. May the luck o' the scavenger be with you.
Treasure hunt ideas for little kids
- Send little ones on a scavenger hunt for shamrocks by taping foam sheet shamrocks indoors around the house. You can even throw in a "pot of gold" (pennies or even pyrite if you're ambitious) in exchange for all the finds.
- Hide shiny new pennies around the house for your kids to find. Remember to craft up a little pot to collect the coins in.
- Scatter bits of gold candy around the house for the younger seekers to find; just keep the candy age-appropriate to avoid choking hazards.
- Conceal prizes under shamrocks that are each color of the rainbow; label them with the next color of shamrock that players will need to find.
A version of this article was originally published in February 2014.
A St. Patrick's Day scavenger hunt for grade-school kids
Depending on the age of your players, you can make your St. Paddy's Day quest as simple or complicated as you'd like. Some fun scavenger hunt ideas for grade-school-age kids include:
- Give kids lists of items related to St. Patrick's Day (like a clover, a lucky penny, a "Blarney" stone, etc.) to search for inside the house, in your backyard or even around your neighborhood with supervision.
- Cut out tons of three-leaf clovers from construction paper and just a few four-leaf clovers. Spread them all around the house and let kids hunt for the four-leaf shamrocks for a prize.
- Present kids with a list of themed items that represent this lucky holiday (something with the rainbow on it, a gold item, something lucky, an item with four parts, etc.), and keep an eye out as they scout the neighborhood.
- Split kids up into teams and see who can collect the most items of their team color (gold vs. green or what have you) either around the house or around the neighborhood with supervision.
Scavenger hunt ideas for tweens & teens
Older kids will likely want a bit of a challenge when it comes to St. Patrick's Day fun, so organizing scavenger hunts that require critical thinking and a few extra steps will keep them engaged.
- Lead tweens and teenagers on a St. Patrick's Day scavenger hunt guided by clues that require more brainpower than luck. They don't have to be complicated, but don't make it too easy either. Bonus for writing clues in limerick form!
- Guiding older kids on a photo scavenger hunt takes this tradition to another level. Send tweens and teens out with a camera; their goal is to snap photos of items around the neighborhood that form each letter of a designated word ("lucky" or "shamrock" or you can even go crazy with "Erin go bragh"). They can use signposts, funky tree branches, manhole covers, litter — you name it, anything that looks like a letter. You can then print out the photos to assemble as a St. Patrick's Day scavenger hunt keepsake. (And maybe also motivate the kids to volunteer to pick up litter in your 'hood?)
- For a St. Paddy's Day night to remember, hide green glow sticks around the yard taped to pieces of wrapped candy.
- Possibly the most difficult scavenger hunt idea: Conceal "lucky" items — coins, pyrite, rabbit-feet, horseshoes, four-leaf clovers — around the yard, but wait until nighttime to send kids out to search for these lucky treasures using flashlights. Now that's tough.