Originally published on Savvy Auntie.
With spring fast-approaching, it is time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. In the spirit of Irish culture, here are some fun activities that are sure to excite your little leprechauns!
1. Green Parade
Start off the Irish festivities at your house by having your nieces and nephews take part in Auntie’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Although blue is the color that was originally associated with St. Patrick, have the kids come over to the party garbed in green costumes of their own design. Prepare parade contest categories, such as “Most Creative” or “Most Green,” and award the winners with green ribbons in the form of shamrocks.
2. Hunt for Gold Coins
Purchase some small- or medium-sized black pots from your local arts and crafts store, and fill each of them with sand or small pebbles. Bury plastic gold coins inside the pots for the little ones to find. This could turn into a nice counting lesson for your younger nieces and nephews.
3. Blarney Stone Story Time
Prepare some craft embellishments like glitter, pipe cleaners, and pom-poms, and give each of the kids a sizeable garden stone (or a large potato) to decorate. After your nieces and nephews have finished with their creations, have them sit around in a circle to tell stories about their Blarney Stones. After one child has finished telling his story, he gets to choose who will tell the next tale by kissing someone else’s Blarney Stone!
4. Pot of Gold Relay Race
Set up some large black pots at one end of your backyard and fill them with chocolate gold coins. Then allow nieces and nephews to form their own teams. Runners will race to the pots of gold, dance an Irish jig around the pots, and then retrieve as many chocolate gold coins as they can carry. Should anyone accidentally drop any amount of coins, they must return all the loot to the pot, dance another jig, and then run back to the starting point for the next runner to try his or her luck!
5. Potato Leprechauns
Put out some art supplies like paint, glue, and felt or cloth, and give each of the kids a large potato to decorate and turn into a little leprechaun. Display the finished leprechauns in small black pots filled with chocolate gold coins—the leprechaun’s treasure. You can take this art activity a step further, and have nieces and nephews take turns creating and sharing their own limericks. The more humorous and mischievous the poem, the better!
6. Shamrock Shirts
Let your nieces and nephews partake in “the wearing of the green”—meaning to wear a shamrock on one’s clothing. All you need are some white t-shirts, green bell peppers, and green fabric paint. Just cut the bell peppers in half (widthwise) to form the shamrock shape, dip them into the green paint, and have fun stamping shamrocks onto the t-shirts.
7. Lucky Day Art
LDA stands for Lucky Day Art, Long-Distance Aunties! If you won’t have the chance to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your nieces and nephews this year, then you’re in luck! Here’s an activity that is just perfect for celebrating Irish culture from a distance. Simply take some green construction paper and cut out three large, heart-shaped petals. Glue the green petals onto a white piece of cardstock in the form of a large shamrock. (Be sure to cut out a green strip of construction paper for the shamrock’s stem.) Write a good luck message on your shamrock card and send it to your nieces and nephews (e.g., “Good luck on your spelling test next week!”). The kids can never go wrong with a good luck charm from Auntie!