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The Rainbow Catcher

Materials Needed

  • A large outdoor area
  • Having a large outdoor area to play this game is crucial. If the inbounds area is too small it is not much of a challenge for the rainbow catcher(s) and your party guest will quickly become bored.

    The Set Up: Select one of your players to serve as the rainbow catcher and ask them to stand away from the other players. Once the rainbow catcher cannot hear, assign each of the other players one color of the rainbow; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Mark a large rectangular playing area and have the rainbow catcher stand in the middle of it with all of the colors on one side.

    The Rules: Play starts with the rainbow catcher calling out a color. All of the players that were given that color must try to run past the rainbow catcher to the other side of the playing area while staying inbounds. Once they reach the other side(untagged) they are safe for that turn. If a player is tagged by the rainbow catcher or goes out of bounds then they also become a rainbow catcher and stand in the middle trying to catch the colors when they are called. Play continues until there is only one color player is left, who is the winner and the rainbow catcher to start the next game.

    Clear the Field of Play: As is the case with any active outdoor game, make sure the playing area is clear of anything the party guests might twist an ankle on or trip over.

    The Leprechaun Hunter

    Materials Needed

  • Traditional Celtic or Irish music
  • It is a good idea so show the kids how to do an Irish jig and a few river dance moves before you start the game. It is not important that they get it right, but it gives the leprechaun some ideas for dances to do during the game.

    The Set Up: Select a player who will be the leprechaun hunter and send them out of the room. Once the hunter is gone select a player to be the leprechaun. Play the Irish music and the leprechaun starts doing an Irish dance that all of the other players must do their best to mimic.

    The Rules: The game starts when the leprechaun hunter returns to the room with all of the kids dancing. Once the hunter returns the leprechaun will periodically change the dance moves they are doing and all the other players must copy the leprechaun as quickly as possible. It is the hunter’s job to figure out which player is the leprechaun by watching the changes in style of dance to try and determine who is leading. If the hunter guesses incorrectly then the leprechaun gets away and you reset the game with a new hunter and leprechaun. If the hunter guesses correctly then the hunter wins and gets to select the new hunter for the next round of the game.

    The Music: Traditional Celtic folk music, Irish Jigs and Reels.

    Pot of Gold Memory Game

    Materials Needed

  • A good memory
  • If you have a sharp and focused group of players this game can last a surprisingly long time. Try to keep the pace of play rapid, sometimes guests will take forever trying to get it right.

    The Set Up: Have your guests sit in a circle in a large open area and select a random player to start.

    The Rules: The first player will say, “If I found the leprechaun’s pot of gold I would buy __________” filling in the blank with whatever dream item they choose. It can be realistic like “a new house” or outrageous like “the state of Idaho”. For purposes of example the first person said ” a new house”. The person to the left of the starter(clockwise) goes next. They will say, ” If I found the leprechaun’s pot of gold I would buy a new house and __________” filling in the blank with whatever they choose. The third person would say the entire phrase including both of the previous answers(in order) and add a third.

    This continues moving left around the circle with each person repeating what the previous person said and adding an additional item purchased with gold until someone forgets a previous item, messes up the order or in some way makes a mistake. That person is out and leaves the circle. The person to the left of the person that is now out starts the game over again from scratch. Continue playing and eliminating players until only one person remains. That person is a very deserving winner.

    If the Game is Taking Too Long: Sometimes this game can bog down with guests taking long turns. If your game starts to slow down or even from the very beginning you can add a five second rule. So if any player on their turn goes for more than 5 seconds without adding to the list they are eliminated.

    Don’t Say Irish (Taboos and Tokens)

    Materials Needed

  • A taboo word
  • A token for each guest
  • This game is an excellent choice to lead off your St. Patrick’s Day party. Since you play it passively throughout the event, it is a good idea to start it as soon as possible.

    The Set Up: The first thing to do is to select a taboo word, meaning a word(or short phrase) your guests are not allowed to say. The most obvious choice is “Irish” which will work just fine, but if you wish you can choose another word like St. Patrick, clover, green, or anything you wish that is likely to be said frequently at your party. Now you need tokens. Clothespins are commonly used since they are easy to clip onto and remove from clothing without doing any damage.

    The Rules: To start the game inform all of your guests of the taboo word. Give them each a token and explain to them that whenever they say the taboo word they will lose their token to the first player to call them out. Now start the game. If Aunt Sue accidently says the taboo word and Cousin Earl is the first to point out her mistake, then Aunt Sue must give Cousin Earl her token. Now Sue has no tokens and Earl has two tokens. The only way for Aunt Sue to get a token back is to be the first to call out someone else when they say the taboo word.

    The game continues throughout the party until a predetermined time close to the end when the game is called to a halt. The person who has the most tokens at the close of the game is declared the winner and gets a prize.

    Craft Option: You can add green ribbons, stickers, paint or anything else you can imagine to your tokens. Since guests will be wearing them throughout the party , many people choose to fancy them up.

    Irish Hot Potato

    Materials Needed

  • a large potato
  • Irish music
  • The classic game of Hot Potato is a great fit for a St. Patrick’s Day party. So pump up some Irish music and send the potato around the circle.

    The Set Up: Have the kids sit on the floor in a circle close to one another. Randomly select one player as the starter and give them one large potato.

    The Rules: Start playing some Irish music. The person controlling the music should have their eyes closed or be facing away from the circle. The kids pass the potato as quickly as possible to the person to their left for as long as the music is playing. After a random period of time stop the music. The person holding the potato is out and should exit the circle so the game can continue. Eventually there will be just one person remaining who is the winner.

    The Music: You can use traditional songs like Danny Boy or Back Home in Derry; or for a more modern feel anything by U2, the Pogues or the Cranberries.