Holidays and Traditions, St. Patrick's Day

How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Kids for the overwhelmed mom

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How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Kids for the Overwhelmed mom

Happy Green Day, as my daughter so lovingly calls it, is only 5 days away.  So, I thought  that there is no better way to kick off St. Patty’s Day by sharing How to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with kids for the overwhelmed mom.  But of course before I share with you all the fun and simple activities we have found to truly bring the magic into this holiday I need to share with you why exactly we decided to jump on board with celebrating!!

Happy Green Day- Our Story

Recently I have been posting a lot about ways to celebrate certain holidays like Valentines, Remembrance Day, Thanksgiving with your kids and it almost seems silly to do.  But a couple of years ago I struggled to know how to create that fun in my own home.  I was in the middle of a rocky place in my life with little joy.  The joys I found came from my girls and the things we did together.  But at one point I remember being that momma who scrolled through my Facebook feed (because instagram wasn’t a thing or on my radar yet) secretly envious that I couldn’t have a family like the ones that so many of my friends did.  A family that dressed up for holidays, or had fun surprises with each new day when a celebration rolled around, a day that we could have made chocolates together or had done a Christmas Countdown.  And secretly my heart ached.  Because lets face it sometimes when your life feels like absolute despair and heartbreak it is so hard to even think about the fun that can come from life.  So when life changed for me so quickly last year,  I realized that the voice that I wanted to have for this blog was one where I could share the joys that come from the simplicity and fun of the joys that come from our children even when your life isn’t perfectly the way you wish it could be.

Until last year I really hated St. Patrick’s Day.  To be honest when I thought of the day I only cold come up with two reasons why people wanted to celebrate; one was to wear the color green so you don’t get pinched and the other was for the college kids to have an excuse for drinking and partying.  My ideologies seemed pretty dismal right?  But during my teaching of my grade 2 and 3 class we discovered some pretty amazing things!!

Did you know that St. Patrick was based off a man who escaped from slavery to then change his life around to be a Christian missionary and go around helping to save others from slavery??  Pretty cool right!  Did you also know that the shamrock for St Patrick’s Day actually represents the trinity and how we are at one with God as we live His principles and ways??  Also really cool!!  So I guess there was some actual goodness to this holiday but I still didn’t want to celebrate this day with my girls.

That all changed when Bosom Buddy posted a photo of her stairs.  You are probably wondering why in the world someone would post a photo of their stairs but it was what sat on the stairs that totally changed my heart and made me feel really good inside thinking that I wanted to do that too!!  Bosom Buddy’s staircase showcased all the stuffed animals that she had in her house.  I can’t remember the exact number but I want to say something like 75 stuffies sat on her stairs in all their glory placed there by little green leprechauns who had come to make mischief in their home.  So of course I had to jump in on the holiday fun that came with St. Patrick’s Day!! Because in all reality a holiday is what you make of it and the traditions that you start in your own little family.

So now that I have born my heart and soul to you; here are 17 Fun and Simple Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Kids for the overwhelmed mom.

How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Kids for the overwhelmed mom

  1. Hang rainbow coloured streamers from your child’s door to wake up to!– There is something so magical to wake up and find something is different in your home!!  When I came across hanging  streamers in the colors of the rainbow down from their doors like a curtain is so fun and magical!!  I think the girls are going to be so stoked to wake up to find rainbow streamers put there by leprachauns!
  2. Dye your milk green and serve with lucky charms!– This one is so easy to do!!  If your family is like ours and the sugary cereals rarely make their home in your pantry than having Lucky Charms is an easy way to celebrate the day of green!!  Play a trick on your kids and dye your milk green and serve up with a side of lucky charms!!
  3. Eat only green or rainbow themed food for the entire day-  There are sooooo many fun ideas to make for St. Patrick’s Day in terms of recipe or food ideas.  You can check out my pinterest St. Patrick’s Board for inspiration. I may have a slight addiction to cookie cutter shapes and using them to make sandwiches cute and fun for the holidays!!  So our lunch will be sandwiches that have been cut into the shape of Shamrocks.  I found these awesome cookie cutters at Party City for like 2 bucks!!  So if you can’t seem to find what you are looking for check your local party supplier as they have awesome things that you would never suspect them to have.  Anyways, at our house though we will be having green pancakes and  rainbow fruit skewers for breakfast, rainbow coloured goldfish crackers and cheese in the shape of shamrocks for morning snack, Shamrock shaped sandwiches with rainbow coloured fillings (red meat, green lettuce, orange cheese, etc.) for lunch, and then Irish stew and Lime Sherbet floats for dinner and dessert!!
  4.  Make and set a leprechaun trap– When I was nannying my kinder girl came home one day with the job to make a gingerbread man trap!!  I still remember her excitement in trying to catch her gingerbread man.  So I am sure you can guess that I was super tickled pink when I found out that people actually made leprechaun traps and there was a book written by Adam Wallace dedicated to actually making your own leprechaun trap!!  It definitely is a book that we are adding to our library because it is so fun and a great way to get littles excited about building their own leprechaun traps!!
  5. Make green glitter footprints that lead to a special treat or pot of gold at the end of the rainbow hidden in your house- When I was doing my first teaching practicum the teachers painted bunny footprints throughout the entire school for Easter.   It was so magical to walk in on Monday morning and see the footprints!!  The children were so stoked and so this became a loved and very anticipated event in our home too.  That’s why the little leprechauns that come to our house will indeed leave their cute little footprints all over!!
  6. Shrink Styrofoam Cups into Leprechaun Hats!!-  I just found this idea on pinterest the other day but it is too cool NOT to share!!  A teacher had her students decorate their styrofoam cups as leprechaun hats and asked the students to leave them overnight.  In the morning the leprechauns had shrunk the styrofoam cups that miraculously also took shape of real leprechaun hats!!  You have to check it out at mrsminersmonkeybusiness!!
  7. Hide all your silverware and replace with green plastic utensils- I think this would be such a fun and clever way to play some fun tricks that the leprechauns would do on a Happy Green Day!!
  8. Draw faces on your bathroom mirrors-  When you were younger did you ever draw moustaches or devil horns on the people in ads or in the newspapers??  I am sure you know what I am talking about so why not do it on your bathroom mirrors?!  Using your own reflection draw some funny faces that will shock the kids when they wake up to use the bathroom in the morning!!
  9. Dye your toilet water green-  In the book How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace one of the pages talks about turning the toilets green.  My 5 year old thought this was hilarious and so rather than actually turning the toilet green why not change the water so that for the next couple of flushes it comes out green??  This means that you would have to put food colouring in both the toilet bowl and tank for this to work 😉
  10. Create some cute shamrock themed crafts-  Personally nothing shuts holidays more that being able to have the excuse to make some crafts!!  Here are the top 3 favourite that the girls loved to do this year in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day!!
  11. Make St. Patrick’s Day popcorn and watch one of these 10 Kid Friendly St. Patricks Day Movies featured over at startsateight.com– I am having a tricky time choosing just which movie we will be watching because they all sound like they would be so good.  Heck if the kids come down with some yuckies your St. Patrick’s day will still be full of fun!!
  12. Use this Leprechaun name chart to find out each family members name and try to only call each other by your leprechaun name for the entire day!! If you want to take the challenge up a notch you can try to talk like a leprechaun for the day of green.
  13. Follow the classic traditions of the day and wear green!!  Find  some way to accessorize with a St Patrick’s themed accessories like shamrock headband, clover shaped glasses, a leprechaun’s hat, some fun St. Patrick’s day socks or a gigantic green sparkly tie!!  You get the idea have fun and dress festive.
  14. Spend some time learning about river dance and practice your own dance skills.  Here are some super fun child friendly videos that we will be checking out on Happy Green Day!!  The Breffni Irish Dance company showcases a fun dance video that not only teaches a dance for kids to learn but also has their very own dance team preform it at the end.  We may have a slightly obsessed Sesame Street fan at our house so another cool video that we will be checking out is  one with Murray from Sesame Street!!  This teacher teaches her class a traditional irish circle dance that is too adorable not to watch!!  You can definitely bet that us ladies will be practicing this circle dance at our house a few times because it looks so fun!!  In case you just want to watch a video that will leave you feeling awe inspired and amazed check out this amazing Irish dancing flash mob!!
  15. Read some fun St Patrick’s Day leprechaun books– The teacher in me just has to share the joy of reading with kids!!  It really is so fun and such a good way to bond with kids and have some fun discussions!!  With that being said here are our top 5 favourite St Patrick’s Day books:
    a.  How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace
    b.  Jamie O-Rourke and the Big Potato by  Tomie dePaola
    c.  The Leprechaun Trap by David Clinch
    d.  There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover by Lucille Colandro
    e.  The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day by Natasha Wing
  16. Create some Mischief– Leprechauns have a rap for getting into trouble so why not use it to your advantage??  Turn some picture frames upside down, rearrange the furniture, showcase your littles’ stuffed animals by lining them all up on the stairs or couch, really it’s time for you to be creative and have some fun because momma you deserve it!!
  17. Go on a nature walk– If you live somewhere where you might actually have a green St. Patrick’s Day outside,  why not take the time to go on a walk in nature and look for four leaf clovers!!  If you seem to live where snow showcases itself for a longer time than it is actually welcomed why not make your own four leaf clover and take turns hiding it for the other family members to find!!  This is one of our favourite games and why we will be doing because spring has sprung quite yet.

Really momma it’s all about having fun and enjoying the magic through the eyes of the special little people in your life.  The goal here isn’t to do every activity or idea on this list but take the ones that seem fun to you and make this holiday your own.  Be the momma who creates the fun and magic for kids because mommas are the glue that keeps a family stuck together!!

 

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