What is St. Patrick’s Day really all about? Is it about leprechauns, shamrocks, rainbows, and pots of gold? Who was St. Patrick anyway? Every year, on March 17th we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but as I began thinking about some fun things I could do with my kids this year, I realized that I didn’t know anything about St. Patrick. So I did a little reading, and what I discovered gave me a whole new perspective on this Irish holiday.
Patrick (Patricius) was a teenage boy living in Britain when he was kidnapped and put on a slave ship headed for Ireland. He spent 6 years as a slave and it was in those years that he encountered God and received Jesus Christ as his Savior. One day he had a dream that he was going back to his own country and he heard a voice say, “see your ship is ready.” Patrick escaped and returned home. Sometime later, he had another dream that he was to return to Ireland as a missionary.
St. Patrick was a man of God who brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to a very Pagan country. In 432 A.D. he built the first Christian church in Ireland. Over the course of 29 years, St. Patrick planted 300 churches and baptized over 120,000 Irishmen.
According to legend, he used the three leaf clover to explain the trinity. He used the one plant with three leaves as an analogy for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
With all of this in mind, I had an idea for a St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt for children that would highlight the God who St. Patrick lived for. I’m all about good old fashioned holiday fun! We always wear green on St. Patrick’s Day so we don’t get pinched 🙂 and for the last couple of years, we have celebrated by making these Rainbow Fruit Kabobs. But I love an opportunity to teach my children about their identity in Christ. I love to create fun experiences for them to learn Biblical truths. So I think we have started a new St. Patrick’s day tradition in our house!
Here’s How the Treasure Hunt Works:
Print out the free templates I have included (at the end of this post) for the Gold Coins and the Bible Verse Cards. Cut out the circles and use a glue stick to attach them to the chocolate coins. I found my coins in the dollar section at Target. Cut out the Scripture Cards and have them ready. Hide your gold coins out in your yard (or inside if it’s a rainy day). Gather your kids and tell them that you are sending them on a treasure hunt. Have them each collect the same number of gold coins. Bring them inside, sit down together at the table and lay out the scripture cards. Now your kids can match up their coins with the cards that have the same scripture references. Have your kids take turns reading the verses that they found. This fun experience will give kids the opportunity to discover the treasure of who they are in Christ. As you wrap up your time together indulge in a little chocolatey goodness!
Here are some pictures and a video of our family enjoying our St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt.
Sources: Patricius: The True Story of St. Patrick, Saint Patrick, The Shamrock, and The Trinity, Shamrock Image