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.
Dye things 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.
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.)
Eat like the Irish. Turn dinner into a cultural lesson by serving dishes native to Ireland, like soda bread, corned beef and cabbage and shepherd’s pie. Irish Abroad, an online community for Irish expats and enthusiasts, has a wide variety of Irish recipes available to try.
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.
Speak like an Irishman. Use St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to teach your kids about a foreign language by practicing phrases in Gaelic. Foreign-language site Omniglot has a long list of Gaelic sayings, complete with sound files for correct pronunciation. Even if you can’t get it exactly right, you’ll have a lot of fun trying.
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