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No, You Can't Just Dye All Your Food Green & Call it a St. Paddy's Party

St. Patrick’s day doesn’t just have to be about pulling out every green article of clothing you own and wearing them all simultaneously (although it should definitely be about that); it’s also a tribute to Irish traditions, from mythology to festive food. Well, and drinking. If you’re an adult, that is. But if you’re a kid? Even better: We’ve got all the St. Patrick’s day kids party ideas any parent can use to turn March 17th into a family-fun day for the ages.

With the recipes and DIYs below, kids will have a fantastic time — and you can sit back and enjoy a green beer while mentally high-fiving yourself for your crafting, cooking and general festivity skills.

While St. Paddy’s Day does inspire many of us (hi) to simply go wild with the green food coloring, there are also plenty of nongreen twists on classic Irish fare that will be a hit with adults and kids alike — and that look like delicious food rather than green alien slime.

Try these cabbage and corned beef egg rolls with homemade beer mustard (homemade. beer. mustard) or these Irish nachos or Irish tacos — a crowd-please perfect for a St. Paddy’s taco Tuesday. This Irish cheese and beer soup is a great way to warm up (also, it’s delicious and served in a bread bowl — what more could you ask?) For dessert, try these appropriately green and kid-friendly lime sherbet floats and shamrock chocolate-covered pretzels.

And speaking of green alien slime, try crafting this St. Patrick’s Day Slime recipe to keep kids plenty busy. It’s pretty much guaranteed hours of green, glittery fun that you may or may not need to pick out of your carpet the next day. These lucky Mason jar luminaries are a surprisingly straightforward craft for kids, and they can even change up the colors or the four-leaf clover design for their own unique spin. For the goofiest kids, these shamrock headbands are a quick and fun DIY you only need green felt, pipe cleaners and a headband to make. As for the really young kids? Include them in the crafting festivities with this rainbow Fruit Loops necklace — which they can eat too. Always a plus.

Decorations are a big part of any party; you have to set the stage, right? This faux moss table runner is an easy DIY for a simple and stylish table. It uses only a piece of thin artificial turf, some votive candles and a few fake (or chocolate) coins scattered around. If you’re looking for something a little more obvious, this lucky penny sign is perfect. Or let kids have a hand in decorating with these paper strip shamrocks — an effortless and quick decoration your kids can make using just green construction paper. Seriously. That’s it. Strips of paper. So easy.

And of course, a party isn’t a party without some entertainment. Make good on “pics or it didn’t happen” by providing partygoers with a festive green backdrop and these St. Paddy’s photo booth props for them to selfie to their hearts’ content. And if it’s nice outside, let kids wear themselves out searching for a pot of gold with this fun outdoor scavenger hunt.

And as the party winds down, awesome goodie bags are always great to send home with your tiny guests. These are beyond easy (and cheap) to assemble; simply print some St. Patrick’s Day coloring pages and tuck them a into gold paper cup with a rainbow of crayons. Add a green ribbon, and voila! Martha Stewart’s got nothing on you.

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