Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fool's Gold Game

A cute St. Patrick's Day game on  The game is called "Lucky Gold Hunt" and is perfect for preschool and young elementary children. 

With a little enhancement, the game can be exciting for older kids, as well.  Children of all ages can search for money together.  But, with the addition of a few rules, the older children will can build important math skills while having a good time, too.  Who can trick the leprechaun out of his gold?  Who will be tricked instead?  Gather your gold and your pots for a little leprechaun hunt!

Fool's Gold
  1. Gather real coins of various sizes; enough to make $2.00 per person. You may also use the fake coins that realistically resemble the different authentic coins. You will also need 5 tiny green leprechaun(or pictures of them) per person, 5 plastic gold coins per person, and lots of small cloth sacks that sinch closed.  If you do not have those, you may use squares of black cloth ties closed with a ribbon.
  2. First, you will need to divide your coins and place them in bags.  You will need to divide the coins based on your child's ability.  You may place a lot of coins some bags and only a few in others.
  3. Once the coins sacks are prepared, you should also individiually wrap the leprichauns and gold coins.  This will total 10 Lucky Bags.
  4. Hide the bags of coins and the Lucky Bags around the room or in the yard.
  5. Give each child a purse, or small container, for collecting their coins as they hunt.
  6. Then, let the hunt begin!
  7. THE GOAL:  The leprechaun has hidden his gold and the children must find it.
  8. Children should find the small sacks, bring them back and open them in front of you.
  9. The children are trying to collect $1.00 or more in coins.  BUT.....
  10. IF.... the children open a sack with a gold coin, they must give you half of the coins and all of the unopened sacks that they have collected.  They found fool's gold and the leprechaun tricked them out of their money!  This means, it is better to collect only a few sacks at a time.  BUT.....
  11. IF.... the children open a sack with a leprechaun, the leprechaun must return all of the money and sacks that were taken from that child.  For, if a leprechaun is caught, he must grant that person's wish.  The leprechaun has been tricked!
  12. Once the child has collected $1.00 or more, they have filled their pot of gold and may help the other children find any remaining sacks.
  13. HOW TO WIN: If the children can find all of the sacks of gold, then the leprechaun must let the children keep their gold.  But, if the children can not find all of the sacks, the leprechaun gets all of his money back so that he may hide it again!
  14. For young children, you will want to trace the shapes of ten coins on a piece of paper. The children will search for their coins and collect them on their proper shape. As in the original idea on  In this scenario, if fool's gold is found in the sack, the child must give the coin to the leprechaun.  The leprechaun will ask them to perform a trick or answer a question before they can search again for gold.  But, if a leprechaun is found in their bag, the leprechaun must tell the child where one of the bags of money is hidden. 
  15. To heighten the stakes a little, children can try to collect 5 of each coin.  If they get fool's gold, they must give a coin to you the leprichaun.  But, if they find a leprichaun, they have tricked the lepricaun and may have all of their coins back.
NOTE TO THE LEPRECHAUN:  It is helpful to keep a paper cup with each child's name on it to store anything that you have taken from them.  You can have the kids decorate the cup and write their name on it.  You may also use this opportunity for the kids to make a second cup of a different color which they may use to collect their finds.

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