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Celebrate St. Paddy's Day With Some Themed Children's Activities

Get the luck of the Irish on your side this week with these fun and educational distractions for you and your lil' leprechauns.

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17, and according toHistory.com, is a religious feast holiday, celebrated on the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death in the fifth century.

The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years. To find out more about the history of St. Patrick’s Day, clickhere and get your kids in on the fun!

One way to excite their imagination is to show children pictures of Ireland and talk about what looks the same and different from where they live now. You can also use this picture to begin an interesting conversation with your little one, which is real picture of the Chicago River in Illinois. Every year since 1962, the Chicago River has been dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day!

Here are more ways to celebrate this holiday with your children with fun crafts, recipes, and games.

Crafts and Art

St. Patrick’s Day provides a great opportunity to explore the color green. Ireland is also called the “Emerald Isle” because of its lavish green scenery. Have your child use their fingers to make green fingerprint shamrocks. If they are younger, you can also have your child finger paint with green pudding.

Cut a large shamrock out of green construction paper. Have your child write “green” in the center. Let your child search through old magazines for things that are green, cut them out, and glue them on the shamrock. Older children will enjoy labeling the pictures.

Rainy weather contributes to the green landscape in Ireland, and another result are the plentiful rainbows.  Have your child create a rainbow of their own using by coloring on a coffee filter with washable markers. Use a squirt bottle to mist “rain” on the colors and watch how they spread and mix on the paper. You can also create a rainbow using Fruit Loops cereal.

Practice number recognition by labeling shamrock cut-outs with numbers 1-10 (or higher for older children). Place the shamrocks on the floor. Play music and have your child dance, hop, or jump around the room. When the music stops, have your child pick up a shamrock close to them and read the number.  After your child is finished playing, have him or her put the shamrock numbers in order.

Download the mini unit found here to find lots of fun ideas! Activities include a shamrock acrostic poem, a place value activity, a Lucky Charms graph (use Lucky Charms cereal to make a graph), shamrock patterns, a “color by sight word” coloring page, and fun facts.

Recipes

Create a pot of gold-Jell-o using lemon-flavored gelatin and a lime to create a tasty pot of gold. You can also make rainbow rice crispy treats with your child. Click here for the colorful recipe.

Your son or daughter will be so surprised to have a “Leprechaun Lunch”  this St. Patrick’s Day when you put green foods in your child’s lunch for a special treat. Some ideas include: lime Jell-O, green applesauce, snap peas, green grapes, a pear, a green Pringles lunch pack, a granny smith apple, green peppers, celery, green yogurt, and green candied popcorn.

Ireland

Take the time to learn more about the beautiful country of Ireland. Check out books, learn what the flag looks like, and listen to the national anthem. Rent CD’s from the library that feature traditional Irish music and locate Ireland on a map.

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This Week’s Bookshelf

  • The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day by David A. Adler
  • Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever by Teddy Slater
  • St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons
  • St. Patrick’s Day Countdown by Salina Yoon
  • Hooray for St. Patrick’s Day! by Joan Holub, Paul Meisel
  • St. Patrick’s Day Alphabet by Beverly Barras Vidrine
  • Jack and the Leprechaun by Ivan Robertson
  • It’s St. Patrick’s Day by Rebecca Gomez
  • Jeremy Bean’s St. Patrick’s Day by Alice Schertle
  • The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow by Nancy Cote, Sean Callahan
  • Green Shamrocks by Eve Bunting
  • What Makes a Rainbow? By Betty Ann Schwartz
  • A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman
  • Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
  • Spectacular Ireland by Peter Harbison

For cover art and summaries of these titles, visit the "Show and Tell Tuesdays" bookshelf here.

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