Monday, December 11, 2017

17 Fun St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids

Celebrate Spring with St. Patrick’s Day Stories, Games, and Crafts

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays – it represents my Irish heritage, but it is also a wonderful time as a mom to have some good old fashioned fun with my children. Each year we like to get creative, get green, and celebrate in style. Try some of these ideas for your own St. Patrick’s Day celebration – even if you’re not Irish. Celebrating holidays with your kids is an easy and memorable way to connect with them and the world around your family.

  1. Share a story about St. Patrick. No matter what your religious beliefs might be, the story of St. Patrick can spark both the imagination and curiosity of your child. Find a book at your library or watch these cute videos for kids. The first is a Veggie Tale rendition, and the next is a creative twist with LEGOs. 
  2. Go green. Color can be an effective visual tool for kids. Encourage them to wear green clothing, and don some yourself. If your wardrobe is short on this traditional emerald-isle color, grab some green construction paper and help your little one make a leprechaun hat for the occasion.
  3. Learn about leprechauns. Share this fun information with your kids and encourage them to come up with ideas about where a leprechaun could hide gold in your house. 
  4. Paint a rainbow (and leave a treasure). The easiest way I have found for little ones to paint a sturdy rainbow is to take a paper plate and cut it in half, then trim out a half circle from the middle of one half to achieve the rainbow shape. These paper-plate rainbows are usually sturdy enough after the paint dries to hang them with ribbon or string from a window or doorway. St. Patrick’s Day morning, leave behind a treasure cup for your child at the end of the rainbow!
  5. Make a pot of gold. Take an empty baby food jar and have your child paint it black. Take gold or yellow mini craft pom-poms and have your child glue them in a stack on top of the lid to represent the gold, or even take cottons balls and glue sequins or glitter on top of the cotton. For the treasure have family members write what they love about each other on strips of paper and place them in the jar.
  6. Trap a leprechaun. Get out the blocks, craft supplies, or even LEGOs and challenge your kids to use their budding engineering skills to create a leprechaun trap. Your child can take an empty shoe box and decorate it with enticing symbols and colors, then prop it up with a stick or other object. Have your child leave a trail of Lucky Charms cereal to the box and wait for the sneaky leprechaun to take the bait!
  7. Visit Ireland (virtually). Ireland is a beautiful land full of history. Get out the globe, some maps, and visit Ireland online with your kids.  
  8. Play Leapin’ Leprechauns. Leprechauns have to move quickly and quietly. Set up an obstacle course for your kids in the backyard and give each child a plastic spoon with either a gold craft pom-pom or yellow cotton ball on top (to represent the pot of gold). The challenge is to make it through the obstacle course without dropping the treasure (craft pom-pom) from the spoon. Give extra points for kids who can remain quiet – leprechauns always want to carry their treasure with them and stay as quiet as possible around humans!
  9. Make a Blarney Stone. I just even love the name of this one! The Blarney Stone is a stone that is set in a rock in Blarney Castle in Ireland, and legend has it that kissing the Blarney Stone will give the kisser the ability to be a smooth talker - or as we call it in our house – full of blarney. Help your kids find a rock and let them paint it (like an Irish version of a pet rock). Some kids find it fun to put lipstick on and kiss the rock, leaving their telltale lip prints of the proof that they are full of blarney.
  10. Cook a traditional meal. Cabbage and corned beef are the traditional menu items, but you can also add in items like potatoes, soda bread, and supplement with fun sides like kid-friendly grasshopper shakes. Take ice cream or yogurt and blend with milk, peppermint flavoring, and green food coloring for a festive treat!
  11. Decorate with clovers. The clover is a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day because the legend is that St. Patrick used the clover to teach about the Trinity – the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Show your kids how to make paper heart cut outs from green paper and add 3 together to make a shamrock. Make a string of them to hang as garland from doorways. Kids can also create their own placemats with shamrock stickers or by taking heart shaped cookie cutters and using them as stencils – drawing 3 of them slightly overlapping as if the bottom point of the hearts formed the center of the shamrock.
  12. Bake a lucky treat. Talk about why the shamrock represents Ireland and St. Patrick with your kids and then take a can of premade pizza crust/breadstick dough and help your child roll the dough and form pretzel shapes with them. Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings and bake as directed. The 3 arms of the pretzel shape also represent the idea of the Trinity.
  13. Listen to Irish music. My children have grown up on Irish tunes, as I did as a child. There are some fun and lively selections, as well as contemplative ones that reflect some of the more difficult times in Irish heritage. The following are some great classics:
    1. Danny Boy
    2. Marvelous Toy
    3. An Irish Lullaby
  14. Make a snake craft. St. Patrick was credited with driving the snakes out of Ireland. This is an easy snake craft made from a TP roll for the kids to wear on their arms.
  15. Attend a parade (or make one yourselves). Many cities have St. Patrick’s Day parades, but if you don’t have one near you, help your kids create one for your family, or even your neighborhood. Of course anything green is a great place to start!
  16. Send the kids on a scavenger hunt for gold (chocolate). This is a great activity for kids of all ages. Emerging readers can decipher picture clues, and older children can be challenged with codes and complicated clues. For a family friendly event, create different clues for different people, that way you can customize the levels, but have everyone work together toward the same goal.
  17. Discover your own heritage as a family! I’ve always known I was partly of Irish heritage, and I have wanted to pass that along to my children. Use your local historical society and great tools online to learn more about your family history. Even if there isn’t a drop of Irish, you’re bound to find more ways to celebrate together as a family!  

Related posts:

  1. 10 Fun and Easy Summer Activities to Keep Kids Learning
  2. 5 Fun Activities for You and Your Toddler
  3. Tips for Creative Summer Fun with Your Kids

View full post on Parenting Tips For Raising Successful Kids | BetterParenting.com

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!