As I mentioned in last week’s post on School Fundraisers, this month, we have been raising money at Big M’s school with Coin Wars. Every week we sort out the coin of the week from Daddy’s coin jar to bring into school and fill her class’ jar. Having sorted the last of the coins, we were left with lots of what my Grandmother used to call ‘funny money’… all the foreign coins left from my husband and my long ago travels abroad. Since many of them are gold in color, Big M declared them treasure… which inspired me to let her dig for Gold Under the Rainbow, in this messy and fun St. Patrick’s Day-themed activity.
Searching for Gold Under the Rainbow
This is a great sensory activity, feeling out the different textures of the coins vs. the squish of the shaving cream; watching the colors mix and blend together; and lastly, watching the coins rinse clean in the bowl of water.
Gold coins (‘funny money’ or plastic coins)
Small bowl of water
Plastic table cloth
Cost: Less than $5
Prep Time: Less than 10 minutes
Clean-up Time: Less than 15 minutes
Once Big M had sorted out all the coins to donate at school, we were left with a bunch of foreign coins, she called ‘the treasure!’ When I asked her if she would like to dig for buried treasure, she said, “Great idea, Mama!”
I placed the gold treasure on the bottom of a small foil tray, then covered it with shaving cream. You can get old school, Barbasol shaving cream for $1 at the Dollar Store. I made two foil trays, one for each of the Ms, and it took just about one full can of shaving cream to fill both trays. Then, I squirted different color paint in arcs over the shaving cream to form our rainbow.
Using one of our favorite tips from our Crafting with Kids Survival Guide, I laid out half of a plastic table cloth to help contain the impending mess. I gave each of the Ms a rainbow tray and a small bowl of water to rinse their treasure in.
As expected, Lil’ M was all about getting her hands dirty and making a mess. Big M, my neat fanatic, did not like her hands getting messy and wanted to wipe them off after every coin. She ultimately asked for a spoon!
My little leprechauns thoroughly enjoyed their quest for gold under the rainbow. And the color swirls and mixing colors were a great reinforcement for Big M after our Color Magic activity earlier this month (still have that song in my head!) Wipes made for super easy clean-up of the girls’ hands, arms and face, and the plastic table cloth made for easy clean-up of everything else. I took the water bowls with the coins to the sink, and everything else, I tied up inside the plastic table cloth and threw out!
What are your favorite St. Patrick’s Day activities? We are big Fighting Irish fans, so we like to make the most of one of our favorite holidays! By the way, did anyone else know you are supposed to set traps for leprechauns?!?!? For more fun activities, be sure to follow our St. Patrick’s Day Pinterest board!