Party favors are a great way to keep the children entertained. Set up a craft table and let them make a craft to take home. "Give each child a paper bag and allow them to decorate it with crayons and markers, St. Patrick's Day stickers, rubber stamps, ect.," says Gladden. "Let them take home their decorated cookies (in a sandwich bag), gold chocolate coins, place cards from the table, and pencil topper. You can also divide up the balloons. If you have a Polaroid camera, take pictures of the children during the party and place the pictures in the treat bags as well."
Set up a cookie decorating station. Bake some sugar cookies before the party, then set out bowls of green sprinkles, green M&Ms, tinted green frosting, or any other decoration you like, and let the children decorate their own cookies.
Another option is to fill plastic storage bags with candy, rubber balls, pencils, whistles, etc., and tie the bag closed with green and white ribbon. "Include a rubber snake in the bag, especially for boys," says Gladden. "Explain that St. Patrick is credited for ridding Ireland of all snakes and saving the potato crops." The bag could also be filled with Lucky Charms cereal. Hide a chocolate gold coin in the cereal for the kids to hunt for.
Shamrock Pencil Topper
- Unsharpened pencils
- Green Fun Foam
Trace the shape of a shamrock onto the Fun Foam. Cut out the shamrocks, then make two small slits, a little wider than the pencil, in the center to pass the pencil through. Wiggle eyes could be glued on, if desired, to make silly shamrocks.