March 17 is Saint Patrick’s Day, an Irish holiday steeped in showy shamrocks, lucky leprechauns and ribbon-like rainbows that each lead to a pot of gold. You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate this event. All you need is a little green garb and a festive spirit. Here are a few activities to get your celebration started.
TATER TOM LEPRECHAUN
- Large potato, washed and dried
- Olive slice eyes, carrot round ears, celery slice nose, bell pepper strip mouth
- Toothpick pieces or straight pins
- Oven, preheated to 300 degrees
- Old cookie sheet
- Styrofoam cup
- Green acrylic paint
- Black and yellow construction paper
- Slice off the bottom end of the potato so it stands independently on a flat surface.
- Use toothpick pieces to insert facial features. Set potato aside.
- Place Styrofoam cup, bottom facing up, on the cookie sheet. Bake for two minutes or until it shrinks to resemble a small hat. Cool.
- Cover exterior of hat with green paint. Let dry.
- Measure and cut a strip of black paper that is ¾-inch thick and long enough to wrap around the lower end of the cup to create a hat band.
- Measure and cut a square from yellow paper then hollow out the center so it resembles a buckle.
- Glue the band and buckle in place. Place on top of Tater Tom leprechaun.
TASTY RAINBOW FINGERPAINT
- Six zip sandwich bags
- Cool Whip whipped topping or vanilla pudding
- Food coloring
- Cookie Sheet
- Place one-half cup of whipped topping into each of the six bags.
- To get the colors of the rainbow place the following drops of food coloring into each bag: Red bag, 3 drops red; orange bag, 2 drops red, 3 yellow; yellow bag, 3 drops yellow; green bag, 3 drops yellow, 1 blue; blue bag, 3 drops blue; violet bag, 5 drops red, 1 blue.
- Remove excess air from each bag before zipping closed.
- Mix food coloring with the whipped cream in each bag by pressing it with your fingers until the colors blend.
- Use scissors to snip off the bottom corner of each bag.
- Squirt whipped cream onto a cookie sheet and use your fingers to draw a picture. Take a snapshot to remember your masterpiece then gobble up your creation.
SHIMMERY SHAMROCK CARD
- Heart-shaped stencil, small
- Green and white construction paper
- Green Glitter
- Use stencil, pencil and green paper to create three hearts. Cut out.
- Fold white construction paper in half to make a card.
- On the front side of the card, glue hearts in a cluster with the bottom ends of the hearts overlapping to create a shamrock. Cut out a stem from the remaining green paper and glue in place.
- Use a paintbrush to spread glue over the shamrock leaves and stem. Sprinkle with green glitter and shake off excess. Let dry.
- Write “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” on the front cover with a marker. Open the card and include this festive greeting or create one of your own: “May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.”
ST. PATTY’S POSIES
- Carnations, daisies or other white flowers
- Glass with water
- Green food coloring
- Green ribbon
- Place five drops of food coloring into the glass of water.
- Cut flower stem ends at an angle and place in colored water.
- Wait 24 hours. Water will travel through the stalk and turn the white flowers green.
- Gather into a bouquet, tie a green ribbon around the stems and give as a gift.
Every March 17 Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated. But just who was this patron saint? Legend has it he was a British boy, captured by a band of pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. For six years Patrick worked as a shepherd and, grieving over his plight, sought comfort in religion. When he finally escaped slavery, the young man fled to France where he joined a monastery and became a priest. One night he had a dream the Irish needed his message of hope. Leaving his life of recluse, St. Patrick traveled back to Ireland and spent the next 30 years starting hundreds of monasteries and churches before he died on March 17, the day we honor his life.
- “Jack and the Leprechaun” by Ivan Robertson
- “Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato” by Tomie dePaola
- “The Last Snake in Ireland: A Story about St. Patrick” by Sheila Macgill-Callahan
- “Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs: The Story of the St. Patrick’s Day Symbols” by Edna Barth
- “That’s What Leprechauns Do” by Eve Bunting
Fun and Festive Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day Crafts and Activities