St. Patrick's Day is a time to celebrate the life and work of St. Patrick. It is also a chance to break out the rainbow crafts and leprechaun stories. If all of this isn't enough, this green-filled holiday is the perfect opportunity to pinch people every chance we get.
Many people consider St. Paddy's Day a holiday for adults. Heaven knows there are a number of people out there using it as an excuse to drink to their heart's content.
Of course children shouldn't spend time at adult St. Patrick's Day gatherings. However, there are plenty of ways to celebrate with your kids on March 17 that doesn't involve drinking and rowdy parties. Here are a few of our favorites.
Set a Leprechaun Trap
The night before St. Patrick's Day set aside a bit of time to craft with your kids. Pull out the paper, makers, and stickers and decorate a shoebox however you wish. Prop the box up with a stick and put some soda bread or lucky charms under the box for "bait." The next morning, go to check the trap only to find the leprechaun "escaped" leaving chocolate coins — or some other treat — behind.
Do a Rainbow Craft
There are literally hundreds of rainbow crafts out there. From Froot Loops to fingerpaint rainbows, the choices are endless. Do an Internet search for rainbow crafts, pick one that suits your desired skill and mess levels, and get to work with your kiddos making a colorful creation.
While you are working, discuss the reasons behind making rainbows on St. Patrick's Day. Explain what leprechauns are, and that the stories say the leprechauns keep their gold at the end of the rainbow.
Learn an Irish Dance
The Pittsburgh Ceili Club hosts ceili (pronounced Kay-Lee) gatherings on a monthly basis. A ceili is a party of sorts that includes Irish music and dancing, and occasionally storytelling. The Ceili Club teaches the basics to beginners at the beginning of the evening, and traditional folk dances are done throughout the night which are simple enough for everyone to participate in.
This is a great way to get a taste of Irish culture and have some fun while you're at it.
Read an Irish Fairytale
Ireland is home to some of the most amazing fairy tales you will ever hear. There are hundreds of fantastic stories about selkies, changlings, fairies and banshees to name a few. Find some books containing a few of these tales at your local library and settle in for story time with your children.
Make Some Green Food
With a bit of green food coloring, almost any food can be made green. Green cookies, ice cream, and cake are kid favorites. If you'd prefer to get a bit more silly, you could go with green mashed potatoes or green scrambled eggs.
Watch an Irish Movie
There are dozens of great, family-friendly Irish movies out there. Pick one and grab those green snacks to munch on while you enjoy a family movie night. Some of the very best family movies direct from Ireland include War of the Buttons, The Secret of Roan Inish, The Secret of Kells, and Song of the Sea. Most can be found at any local library.
These are just a few of the hundreds of ways you can celebrate St. Paddy's Day with your children. Pick and choose what you like from here or come up with your own ideas. Remember to use your local library for resources, and keep an eye out in the community for upcoming events celebrating St. Patrick's Day.