For years, we've associated the color and word green with such things as money and even the lifestyle and catch phrases like "go green" to represent recycling and saving our environment. But so too is green closely matched with the celebrated Irish culture and public holiday of St. Patrick's Day.
What can we teach our little ones about this day that dates back to the 17th century, even if we're not Irish? Well, for starters, the Irish folklore includes a charming leprechaun—an Irish fairy if you will. And what little girl doesn't like fairies? Forget Tinkerbell for a moment, because boys will get a kick out of this too, as these fairies take the form of an old, orange bearded man, dressed in green, mischievously hiding treasure at the end of rainbows. Rainbows? Treasure? Trickery and magical fairies? Oh yes, the kids will love it!
So this Thursday, wake the kids up with a treasure hunt where at the end, they will find their own "pot of gold." This could be gold chocolate coins, rainbow Skittles, or any sweet welcoming surprise.
Beforehand, print out a set of 4 clues on green card stock paper and cut into the shape of a four-leaf clover—a rare plant that also symbolizes "good luck" (watch this quick video for demo). Write a short limerick on each and then tuck them into places as appropriate with the "clue": whether it's in a "shoe" or in something familiar with "blue" and so on. Rhyming words are a fun way to get the kids singing this along as they hunt for treasure. At the end, place a green pouch, made simply with green construction paper or felt, cut into the shape of a kettle. Stash the "sweet" surprises inside.
And because rainbows are such a special part of this day, make some of your own! Like this rainbow cake recipe from Family Fun. Using white cake mix, let the kids help you dye the batter in each of the rainbow colors, separated into six bowls. This easy recipe will surely have the kids oohing at the beloved dessert that will smile at them with each bite.
If its a sunny day, head out to the backyard, and using a water hose, spray up into the sky in the direction where the sun can reflect (or at the fence to get some cleaning done). This instant rainbow just might make the kids want to get wet (and quite possibly muddy). With the extra green dye, add some to their bath!
You don't need to be Irish to have fun on St. Patrick's Day—just a little bit of creativity will do. Erin go bragh!
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