Children enjoy holidays, especially those where you can create party activities for them to remember. St. Patrick’s Day is a perfect time to gather imaginative ideas and decorations to entertain children.
Decorations should be simple and meaningful to the children. For example, use colored construction paper of all the colors of the rainbow and ask the children to trace their hands on the paper. Cut out the hand prints and staple these to the bulletin board. Add a paper cutout of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You can also hang shamrocks made from green construction paper from the ceiling or use green crepe paper to give the room a festive atmosphere.
Being messy is always fun for children. Get cans of non-scented shaving cream, waxed paper and green dye. Spray the shaving cream on the waxed paper, add green dye to the shaving cream and let the children squish it around on the paper. Have old rags or paper towels nearby to take care, after the activity, of their enthusiasm! There are also some St. Patrick’s Day activities that are not as immediate as green shaving cream and require patience, but are worth the effort. A few weeks before St. Patrick’s Day, cut individual green sponges into shamrock shapes. Give each child a pie tin with enough water to cover the bottom of the tin. Place sponges in the water and ask the children to sprinkle grass seeds onto the wet sponge and place the tins in a sunny place. The children can keep the sponges moist to see the grass sprout.
Playing games enlivens any party. Try the game of pinning the shamrock on a leprechaun. Blindfold the children when it is their turn and ask each child to pin a shamrock on a picture of a leprechaun taped to a wall. Be sure each child is going in the right direction so there are no mishaps. Another suggested activity, if you have the space in your room, is to play recorded Irish music and have a dance party.
St. Patrick’s Day is an opportune time to introduce healthy foods to children. Choose foods that are naturally green like green apples, grapes, broccoli, kiwis, peas, beans, and green olives. This does not mean that you need to be without sweet treats. Giving a small amount of green jello or slices of cake with green sprinkles to the children is appropriate to teach about dietary moderation. Serve the food and drinks on green plates and cups.