St. Patrick's Day: A day of family fun at home
As far back as I can remember, I always loved St. Patrick's day, that excitement, not just because you got the day off school or because it was my sisters Birthday or even the fact it was the one day we were allowed to break lent, no, none of them, it was to go and see the parade. I used to love if St. Patrick's day fell on a week day because you could get to see two or three parades over the weekend. The near by villages around us would have theirs on the Saturday or Sunday and the main town would have theirs on St. Partick's day regardless if it fell on a week day. I always looked forward to seeing all the floats, I was even in a few as a child and as a teenager between the bands, business floats and in school! Last year when it was announced that there would be no parade in 2020 I knew we had to do something to curb the disappointment, that I just couldn't let the day pass with out making it as exciting for the boys as I could make it.
These are some of the things we done to mark the day and make it special and never in a million years did I think we would be doing the same things a year later but you know what I think we have just found another family tradition out of this pandemic.
Last year we spent the few days before St. Patrick's day making different decorations for our front window in our house (see picture in the introduction) . This year we done the same and have spent the last few days making decorations and they are now proudly displayed in our front window for all the neighbours and passing cars to see. By displaying your child's work you are showing your child support which is a great way to boost confidence and self-esteem.
These were so easy to make all you need is 3 wine corks per shamrock, masking tape, paper and green paint. Simple arts and craft activity to celebrate St. Patrick's day, it gave me an opportunity to explain the difference between a shamrock and a 4 leaf clover, what the Shamrock represents and the history of it. Great for fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and language.
Watch the video how to make them
Draw the shape of a snake on white paper, puts a design on it and get them to colour it in with different colours.
Paper plate snake: You need bubble wrap, green paint, sellotape, rolling pin, paint brush, scissors and paper plate. First wrap the bubble wrap around the rolling pin and tape it. Paint the bubble wrap with the paint first then when it is covered in paint roll it onto the plate. When the paint dries, cut it into the snake shape. Add a piece of red paper for its tongue. You can add string to the head of the snake and hang it. Great for fine motor skills and colour recognition.
You need: White card, coloured paper, marker, sellotape. We drew a cloud onto white card, then drew on eyes, mouth and nose. We cut strips of the different colours out. We turned the cloud around and stuck the colour strips onto it with sellotape. Great for fine motor skills, colour recognition and scissors skills.
You need: orange paint, green and black card, glue, while paper, tin foil, marker and a fork.
First get the child to draw a large circle for the face. Cut out a hat shape and a black strip of paper, stick the black strip onto the hat. Twist some tin foil then shape it into a square and stick it onto the black part of the hat. Using the fork, dip it into the orange paint the make prints with it for the beard. Great for showing children we can use lots of different materials to paint, you don't need to be restricted to just paint brushes.
St. Patrick's day:
To start the day we make green shamrock pancakes. You can use any pancake recipe or even ready made pancake mix and add a few drops of green food colouring to it and give it a good shake. I use a washed squeezy bottle like an empty Mayo or honey bottle. Pour the mixture into the bottle to make it easier to do your pancake art, for this a shamrock.
Click the link to see the video on how I made them.
Leprechaun's gold hunt:
A few days before hand I buy some chocolate coins from a discount store. I set up some clues the night before like "I am milk and I live in the ...." or "this is the place I put my dirty clothes" and make it into a treasure hunt and they have to follow all the clues after breakfast to the leprechaun's gold.
We first mark out our route with masking tape. We then go about finding toys that we can make into floats. Using some paper, green and orange markers, tooth picks, scissors, string and sellotape we make some Irish flags and bunting to stick on our toys and floats. We even set up some spectators for our parade. When it is all complete we video our parade and send it to all our family and friends around the world.
For video click link below
Irish dancing competition:
This is always fun. We stick on some Irish music and dance around the sitting room like no one is watching!
To finish off the night after dinner we watch an Irish movie and have some treats. This year our pick is The Secret of Kells.
Some St.Patrick's day activities leading up to the day:
All you need is zip lock bags (wash and dry them out afterwards to reuse again for dying), poster paint, rice and some trays for them to dry on. First pour in your rice into the bags, put a little bit of poster paint about a table spoon, zip bag up, shake well then pour out flat onto a tray and leave to dry. When finished the rice activity put into zip locked bag to keep, it can last up to a year or even longer if kept dry and some lighter colours can be recoloured with darker colours.
To see the video click on the link below
What better way to learn to recognise the different coins then by doing a coin sorting tray. We added in the shamrock's and the colours of the Irish flag into one tray.
We talked about the colours of the Irish flag, we named the colours in both English and Irish, we recapped on what the Shamrock represents and we looked at the different types of coins we had. As Mr6 sorted out the coins, Mr4 mixed the rice together with his feet. After Mr6 sorted the coins all out they spent a little while pouring, scooping and transporting the rice around the tray. The three colours of the rice mixed together look great.
Great for coin recognition, number recognition, sorting, grouping, visual perception skills, thinking skills, hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, imagination, language and learning to classify and categorise helps memory skills.
Using the mixed up green, white and orange rice from the pervious activity, I added in pompoms, pipe cleaners, coins, beads, shamrocks and some scoops. The first sensory bin I made was one directed at learning. They had a sheet of paper asking them to find all the different things and write the correct number in each of the boxes.
The second sensory bin I shaped the rice into a shamrock shape, added some green, white and orange bowls, scoops, spoons etc and a few trucks along with all the bits that was in the sensory bin above.
These sensory bins are great for exploring, imaginative play, role play, fine motor development (pouring and scooping), language, counting skills, number recognition, problem solving, colour recognition and so much more.
Making the Irish flag with lego:
Using green, white and orange lego pieces you ask the child to make the flag out of the lego.
Great for fine motor skills, logical thinking, colour recognition, order and sorting.
Matching colour game to the flag:
On a piece of paper draw the Irish flag. Then ask the child to find things in the room and take it to the flag and match them to the correct colour. This is a great one for when you want to keep them busy so you can enjoy a hot coffee or tea!
We hope you have a great day what ever you get up to for St. Patrick's day. Do tag us over on Instagram @playwithmemammy if you get inspiration from this post and we will share all your St. Patricks day parade videos too.
Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!