By Rita Chavez
When March rolls around, many of us think of one thing, and it is St. Patrick’s Day. The color Kelly green is seen everywhere and people are gearing up to celebrate the holiday. There are a lot of things you can do with your kids to enjoy this festive holiday, and here are a few ideas.
Learn about Leprechauns
One character commonly associated with St Patrick’s Day is the leprechaun. These mischievous fairies of Irish folklore are said to be hard to catch causing their mischief. One book that we love to read is called “How to Catch a Leprechaun” and it is told from the leprechaun’s point of view. The story talks about how much mischief he makes and how he evades all the traps. One fun activity I have done with my kids is to make a leprechaun trap after reading the book, and it really gets their creative juices flowing, trying to think of innovative ways to catch them. And once they have their leprechaun traps set up on St Patrick’s Eve, you can use some of the examples of mischief in the story and set up a scene around your child’s trap like he “got away.”
Another fun craft activity will use toilet paper rolls, for a pair of binoculars. You can help your kids make some binoculars and take them on a nature walk to go clover hunting. They could use their “binoculars” to see if they can spot any three or four leaf clovers, and you can also pretend to take them on a leprechaun spotting walk! If you find clovers, you can press them into a book and preserve them for your child to have as a keepsake! It would take a few weeks for the clovers to dry out flat in a heavy book before you preserve them. Once dried, you could put them into a small frame, or laminate them as a bookmark for them.
Cook Traditional Food
If you and your children love to spend time and experiment in the kitchen, then you could try your hand at making a St Patrick’s Day meal! Corned beef and cabbage is an Irish-American favorite on St Patrick’s Day, and very yummy! There are so many recipes available online for this popular dish. Another recipe that would be fun for your child to help with is a traditional Irish soda bread. They could help with measuring and mixing, and it would be fun to watch the bread bake.
An easy at home activity that you could do if you’re not able to go out is to make shamrock art! There are so many art activities you could do to create shamrocks. You can take green construction paper and cut out small hearts and a stem, and have your children glue the bottom points of three or four hearts together with a stem to make many little clovers, and they can hide them around the house and you all can go on your own lucky clover hunt! You could also do hand painting and have them do handprint clovers with their hand prints and some green tempera paint on canvases.
One last thing you could do with your children would be a fun online research project. You could research legends on St Patrick and his importance in the Irish community. You could also look up legends and myths about leprechauns in Irish folklore, and the meaning behind the shamrock and four leaf clover. This would be a perfect opportunity for education and fun at the same time.
I hope you all enjoy your St Patrick’s Day and you get to celebrate with one of these fun and creative ways with your kiddos!
“For each petal on the shamrock, this brings a wish your way: Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.” - Irish Blessing
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