Organizing a fête in technicolour is easy—all you need are some basic dollar store supplies. To start, cut coloured paper into small squares and separate by hue on paper plates. Draw the outline of a rainbow on a large sheet of paper and tape it to the wall or floor. Invite guests to wear their favourite colour, and then group your little visitors into colour teams. Have each team fill out a section of the rainbow by gluing the paper squares to the rainbow outline. Tip: Decorate your rainbow with odds and sods: Use construction paper, tissue paper, flyers and even old ticket stubs.
A cookie-decorating station is an inexpensive activity that appeals to all kids. Using plastic artist’s palettes, set out candies, sprinkles and icing. Stand back and watch the budding pastry chefs go to town. Where there’s a rainbow, there’s bound to be a pot of gold (or two). While the kids are busy with a craft, hide chocolate gold coins around the room. Explain that a leprechaun has lost his loot and needs help recovering his treasure. Give each child a “pot” (Chinese takeout boxes, available at bulk food stores, work well). Turn on a fun song and have the guests start the search for the leprechaun’s gold.
Tip: Have a low-key but colourful activity ready for when the first guests arrive. Cover a table in white paper and lay out markers, pencil crayons and crayons. Let them leave their mark.
You’ll need 2 250-g packages cream cheese (at room temperature); 2 to 3 tbsp milk; 6 small zip-top bags; a knife; a small food-safe paintbrush; and red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple gel food colouring; 4 bagels.
1. Beat cream cheese with milk, using an electric mixer, until creamy. Divide among 6 bowls. Stir a bit of gel colouring into each bowl until desired shade is reached.
2. Cut bagels in half horizontally, then cut each ring in half crosswise.
3. Scrape cream cheese mixture into separate zip-top bags. Cut 1.5 cm off a bottom corner of each bag. Pipe red cream cheese across top of bagels and then orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Use paintbrush to even out each colour and fill in gaps. (Wash and dry brush before changing colours.)
You’ll need 1 cup each blueberries, red grapes, chopped honeydew, chopped pineapple, canned mandarin segments and chopped strawberries, and 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt. Layer 8 small glasses with the fruit. Scoop a dollop of yogurt on top, and let your rainbow sprites dig in.