A lot changes when children enter the picture. Holidays are no exception. St. Patrick’s Day, for example, was once a day consisting of green beer and pub crawls. Now, it’s tough to find ways to observe the holiday that the kids can participate in as well. We’ve got you covered! You can still get in the spirit o’ the Irish – the fun will just be a bit more reserved. The kiddos will love these ideas for celebrating St. Paddy’s Day, and you might just find yourself getting excited about planning some entertaining activities for the ones you love!
1. Eat a “Lucky” Breakfast
Start the day off right with a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal in, of course, green milk. Tell the kids the St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun must have paid them a visit and made the milk green!
2. Go to a Parade
Most cities hold a family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day parade. Check your local paper and find the one nearest you. The kids will be mesmerized by the sights and sounds of the colorful floats, Irish dancers and marching bands. Just don’t forget to pack a blanket or chairs!
3. Make Green Goodies
Whip up a batch of mint chocolate chip cookies or brownies, or add green food dye to cake, cupcakes, cookies, or rice crispy treats. Have plenty of green sprinkles and frosting on hand, and leave the decorating to the kids.
4. Tie Dye Shirts
You may want to complete this activity a few days prior so the shirts have time to dry, and the kids can present them proudly on St. Paddy’s Day! You’ll need white, 100% cotton t-shirts, green fabric dye, rubber bands, and a bucket for soaking the shirts. This project can get messy, so tie dye outside if possible, and make sure the work area is covered and everyone wears rubber gloves.
5. Dress Up
Along with their green tie-dye shirts, go all out and provide the kids with plenty of green accessories for dressing up. A dollar store will have lots of fun items, like party hats, glasses, necklaces, socks, scarves, and more!
6. Treasure Hunt
Leave clues around the house for the kids to find, each clue taking them closer to the “treasure.” Write the clues on paper shamrocks, and make the hunt as simple or elaborate as you’d like. At the end, your little ones will discover their pot of gold. Fill a black pot up with gold coins or chocolate coins, and throw in some extra prizes if you want, such as candy or stickers.
7. Craft Time
There are many fun and easy St. Patrick’s Day crafts for kids, like a cereal rainbow. Use colorful circle cereal, like Fruit Loops. Cut a paper plate in half, and have the kids glue the cereal pieces on by following the curve of the plate. Explain that the lucky pot of gold is found at the end of a rainbow!
8. Decorate the House
Allow the kids to help you decorate this year. Have them draw or trace pictures of leprechauns, shamrocks and pots of gold, make a Happy St. Patrick’s Day banner, and place festive cut outs on windows. They can hang their cereal rainbow craft, too!
9. Read a Book about St. Patrick’s Day
Take some time out of the day for an educational activity. Visit your local library and pick out a St. Patrick’s Day book to read. Your youngster can help make the final decision. Some popular stories are: The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever by Teddy Slater, That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting, and O’Sullivan Stew by Hudson Talbott.
10. Set a Leprechaun Trap
Leprechauns can be awfully mischievous, so set a trap the night before St. Patrick’s Day to try to catch one! The trap can be as simple as placing a small pot underneath a laundry basket held up by a stick. Place a large piece of paper in front of the trap for your child to decorate with things that may entice a leprechaun, like rainbows and gold glitter. While your child is sleeping, put a few pieces of candy under the trap with a note from the runaway leprechaun saying, “Good try!”
11. Drink Green Root Beer Floats
The kids are a bit young to sip on a cold one, but we’re one step ahead! Opt for root beer floats and use mint chocolate chip ice cream or lime sherbet for a tasty, kid-friendly beverage.
12. Watch an Irish Movie
Rather than dragging everyone to the movies, why not create a theater in your living room for a cheaper alternative? Get the popcorn popping and give each person a box of their favorite movie theater candy. Some family-friendly, Irish-themed movie options include: The Luck of the Irish, Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers: The Last Leprechaun, and The Secret of Kells.
13. Go Shamrock Hunting
Go to the park or a grassy field, or even your own backyard, and let the shamrock hunt begin. The kids will have a blast searching for and plucking three leaf clovers with the hope of the rare four leaf clover popping up.
14. I Spy Green
How many green things can you spy in the world? See who can find the most green objects in a certain time frame, or work together to spy as much as you can. This is a great way to venture outside of the house while getting the kids to be aware of their surroundings.
15. Green Play Dough
Play dough can be fun for all, and it’s also super easy (and cheap) to make. Add some green food dye, and you’ve got another St. Patrick’s Day activity! Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup white flour
- ½ cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 cup water
- food coloring
Mix the first four ingredients in a pan. Add water and mix well. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The dough will become stiff and difficult to stir. Remove from stove and knead the dough to proper consistency while adding the food coloring.
16. Do a Puzzle
Complete a fun St. Patrick’s Day puzzle with your child. Buy an age-specific puzzle at the store or complete an online jigsaw puzzle sure to get your minds reeling.
17. Face Paint
Who needs to go to a carnival to get their face painted? Not your kids. Paint St. Patrick’s Day themed art on your children’s cheeks, and if you’re feeling daring, let them take a turn on you!
18. Grow a Shamrock Sprout
Using a household sponge (preferably green) and a packet of lettuce, spinach, or broccoli seeds, your kids can grow their own sprout on a sponge cut into the shape of a shamrock. This fun activity also encourages responsibility in having the child care for the plant.
19. Play Games
Have an Irish-themed game night. Ireland and potatoes have long been connected, so a game of “hot potato” doesn’t seem out of the question. Play Irish music while passing the potato to each person. When the music stops, the person holding the potato is out! Another fun option is musical chairs with Irish music, and for an extra twist, you must hop and jump like a leprechaun while circling the chairs.
20. Take a Green Bubble Bath
The fun doesn’t stop even when it’s time to get ready for bed. End the night with a green bubble bath – this may be the one time the kids actually want to hop in the tub.
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