With its emphasis on drinking and debauchery, St. Patrick’s Day can seem like a holiday more suited to adults than little ones. But these fun activities can make being Irish (or pretending to be!) a family affair.
1. Dye food green
This is an easy one – simply add a few drops of green food coloring to milk, scrambled eggs, pancake batter or other “dyeable” foods for a quick St. Patrick-ification of your meal. Or serve foods that are already green, like pistachio ice cream, lime gelatin or spinach salad. Kids will get a kick out of funny color snacks, and might even be interested in helping you cook or bake the green dishes.
2. Hold a treasure hunt
Channel your kids’ inner leprechauns with a search for “gold.” For younger kids, hide loose doubloons in strategic places in the backyard and let them search, Easter-egg hunt style. For older kids, create written clues that will lead them to a “pot of gold” at the end. (DIY blog The Crafting Chicks has an excellent tutorial on a treasure hunt, complete with printable clues.) Use plastic coins for your gold or an image of a pot of gold that can be traded for something your child values, such as Robux or a $5 gift certificate to an ice cream store.
3. Eat like the Irish
Turn dinner into a cultural lesson by serving dishes native to Ireland, like soda bread, corned beef and cabbage or shepherd’s pie. Irish Abroad, an online community for Irish expats and enthusiasts, has a wide variety of Irish recipes available to try.
4. Stamp with shamrocks
This is a fun, low-cost activity especially suited for younger ones – cut off the top of a green bell pepper and dip the cut edge in green tempera paint, then stamp onto paper or cardstock for a fun St. Patrick’s Day work of art. Paint a stem on the bottom of the stamped shapes to make them more shamrock-like.
5. Build a leprachaun trap
Instead of building a better mouse trap, build a leprachaun trap. Those pesky little people like to make messes, dye water green and leave trails of gold dust. But if you catch one, you can force him to tell you where his stash of gold is. Ask your kids to build a trap for the leprechaun (with real or chocolate coins or even Lucky Charms cereal as bait) out of craft materials and recyclables. It’s fun and a great STEM challenge.
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