St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday dating back to the early 1600’s. This holiday is held in honor of Patron Saint Patrick, who was known for bringing Christianity to Ireland. This festival-like celebration is held on March 17th, which is the day of Saint Patrick’s death. It involves dancing, parades, and eating lots of delicious food! Slowly the popularity of this holiday grew all over Europe. In 1737, the United States hosted its first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston, Massachusetts. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all around the world by people often wearing green, chasing rainbows and playing fun tricks with children. Below are some excellent activities that you can use to celebrate St. Patty’s Day with the children in your life.
A Taste of Ireland
One of the best parts about learning about other holidays and traditions around the world is tasting foods from different locations. On St. Patrick’s Day, food is a huge part of the celebration. Traditionally, dishes such as corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and Irish Soda Bread are served. It’s super fun and enjoyable to add some Irish-themed sweets as well! Baking bread is a strong Irish tradition so why not pass it along to the young bakers in your home? Cooking and baking provide great opportunities for practicing math and measuring skills. Making Irish Soda Bread with your child is one great traditional way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in your home. If you have more of a sweet tooth, you can also try making these very festive and easy Shamrock Cookies.
A leprechaun is a small, fairy-like creature that is often mentioned in Irish traditions. They’re a big part of Irish folklore and from stories passed down, we hear that they’re mischievous little critters. Though no one has ever seen a leprechaun, tales tell of them causing all kinds of trouble. What must one do to stop the leprechauns? Why catch them, of course! Check out How to Build a Leprechaun Trap with your children!
The Pot of Gold and the Rainbow
What are those silly leprechauns after anyway? The story goes that they’re looking for the Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow. Create your own Pot of Gold by filling a dish with pennies, nickels, dime, and quarters and let your child count and sort the coins.
Not only are children practicing fine motor development by picking up the coins and putting them into piles, but they are also learning about the value that each coin has and how several smaller coins can equal the same amount as one more valuable coin.
Another way to extend the rainbow conversation is to talk about the colors of the rainbow. The easiest way to teach children the colors of the rainbow is to tell them about your Irish friend named Roy G. Biv. You can make up any little story about Mr. Biv, but the important thing to remember is that for every letter in his name, a color to the rainbow was given: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. This simple little tool can help children remember and identify the colors of the rainbow. Check out this awesome Red Cat Reading Video about the colors of the rainbow too!
by Gabrielle Fisher