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- No craft projects that older kids groan about
- No costumes that might make them look “uncool”
- Lots of food, lots of fun, and lots of lies!
What more could a kid ask?
Since we’re encouraging kids to lie all day, you may want to set up a Blarney Zone with caution tape so all the lies are contained in one area and everything returns to normal outside the zone!
This 20′ Blarney Zone Party Tape is from Amazon for $1.79.
Let the fun begin!
Tell the kids about the tradition of pinching anyone who doesn’t wear green on St Patricks Day. (Make sure you’re wearing green, or maybe even this “No Pinching” T-shirt as a segue into the story.)
There is a legend that the leprechauns would pinch anyone who didn’t wear green on St Patrick’s Day. Whenever you see someone who isn’t wearing green, pinch them to remind them that the leprechauns will get them if they don’t wear green.
After a few minutes of the poor kids without green getting chased around, give them all something green to wear to put an end to the torture!
- You can find green shamrock stickers in any store
- Amazon has a Happy St. Patrick’s Day (Unisex) Necklace for $1.39
- Amazon has Green Plastic Derby Hats for only 55 cents each
Don’t Laugh at the Leprechaun
Now that they’re all hyper, keep the ball rolling with this game. Divide the group into two teams. Each team lines up about 4 feet away from each other with all the kids facing each other. Two players, one from each team stands at either end of the space, bow to each other and say “Dia Dhuit” (pronounced jee-ah ghwit) which means hello in Irish Gaelic.
The two players, keeping eye contact, walk towards each other. They pass and then walk to the end of the line. While the two players are walking the team members in the line try to make the opposing player laugh as they pass by. They can make faces, act silly, tell jokes, but are not permitted to touch the person or move out of the line.
The Goal: to walk thru the space and keep a straight face. No smiling, no laughing. If the player smiles or laughs they have to join the opposing team.
How to Win: the person who is the only one not to smirk, smile or laugh is the leprechaun. You may want to set a time limit on this game because it may be impossible to have just one person standing at the end.
If you have a group of kids who think it’s fun to dress up, you can consider giving the winner a Green Leprechaun Beard as the prize ($3 at Amazon), making him the leprechaun. Otherwise, give all the kids a small prize or one of their party favors.
Now they’re probably ready to play a sitting game. Have them all take a seat around the table for a card game. You’ll need a deck of cards for every five kids, so consider two games playing simultaneously if you have more than ten kids.
Tell them about the Blarney Stone – you can find the information on Wikipedia here. You may want to print off the photos to explain to them how people hang upside down to kiss the battlement wall and how high they are. (To print: just click on the photo to see the enlarged picture, then right click on the white space surrounding the photo and choose “print”.)
It is said that the person who manages to complete the feat of kissing the Blarney Stone is given the gift of blarney – which is defined as eloquent speech and flattery that deceives or influences. (It’s also called the ability to tell a man to go to hell in such a way as he will look forward to the trip!)
How to Play Blarney
The card game I call Blarney is based on the game you may know as Cheat, Doubt It or Bullshit.
Deal out all the cards, face down. (It doesn’t matter if some players have more cards than others.) The person with the Ace of Spades goes first – if playing with two decks the Ace of Spades closest to the dealer’s left goes first.
Players have three choices:
- Play the expected cards they have in their hand – in this case the Ace of Spades and any other aces.
- Play a different card from their hand and bluff, saying it is what is expected.
- Or they can do both: play the expected card with other cards. This could also involve a bluff – you could say you were playing three aces but actually put four or five cards down.
After the first person plays the Ace of Spades, the person sitting at their left is expected to play deuces (twos). They do one of the three choices above, playing a different card if they don’t have a two in their hand because you must discard a card when its your turn.
When discarding, the player places their cards face-down in a pile in the center of the table and announces what it is expected to be: “three twos”. They could be bluffing, or they could be telling the truth. (“Don’t Laugh at the Leprechaun” was great practice for keeping a ‘poker face’ now.)
Now the other players have a choice. They can either accept that the person is telling the truth or challenge them if they think the person is bluffing. If they think they’re bluffing they shout out “Blarney!” and turn over the cards the person played. If the person was bluffing they must pick up all the cards on the table. If they weren’t bluffing the person who challenged them must pick up all the cards in the pile.
Whoever picked up the pile of cards now plays, expected to put the next number in the center of the table, which would be threes in this instance. Yes, this could mean that some players get skipped or the same person who just played has to play again.
The object of the game is to keep playing until one person is able to discard all of their cards and be declared the winner – which usually involves having the correct numbered card to play on their last turn.
If two people call Blarney at the same time, the person closest to the player’s left hand will be the one who challenges and turns over the cards.
Set a time limit for play and reward the winners for each hand dealt, or give everyone a small prize.
St Patrick’s Day Mad Lib
Older kids love to play Mad Lib! Print off the mad lib questionnaire found here (scroll down to the second page) and have one person ask for suggestions and fill in the blanks. If your kids are younger, instead of ‘adjective’ ask for a describing word, and instead of ‘noun’ ask for a thing.
After filling in all the blanks read the story aloud. When the laughter dies down, fill in the blanks for a whole new story!
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