St. Patrick's day is one of those holidays that just doesn't receive the same sort of attention as say, Christmas or Halloween. But it can be just as fun for kids if you put a little thought into it. Kids believe in magic for only so long, why not make the most of it while you can?
These ideas work for a classroom of children, or for your family at home. Here are some fun things you can do to make the day magically fun:
Step One: Build the Suspense!
Talking about Ireland, tradition and leprechauns is the first step. Share some stories from the web about these mischievous little creatures. Go to the library and find some story books (the more pictures the better!) and read them together before the holiday. Be sure you mention the rainbow with the pot of gold at the end.
Step Two: Gather Your Supplies
You'll need a few things to pull off this holiday magic:
- Small rocks, about the size of a quarter
- Gold spray paint
- Gold glitter (yep, paint the rocks!)
- Small shamrock shaped confetti or even paper shamrocks
- Your imagination!
Step Three: Set the Stage
If you're doing this for a classroom of children, this idea is plenty of fun. If it's for one or two children at home, it's fun too. The idea is to remind the child/children at the end of the day that tomorrow is St. Patty's day and they should be extra watchful in the morning because the leprechauns like to play tricks on people.
Then, while the children are gone overnight (or your child is in bed), rearrange all the furniture. Consider stacking chairs up on a table, turning things upside down. Generally, create a little havoc.
Then, take your gold glitter and sprinkle it around the "crime scene." On each child's desk or in a place where your child at home is sure to look, leave a small printed poem about St. Patrick's day (you can find lots of these on the web. We have some fun St. Patrick's day clipart that you can use for your note. Weigh the poem down with a pile of small golden rocks. Drop a few shamrocks as a trail to the door, to mark the path the leprechaun took.
Step Four: Grab Your Camera!
When the children (or child) comes into the room, play up what a surprise all of this is with questions like "Who do you think did this?" Then watch with delight as they discover their "gold nuggets." Be sure to tell them later that they're rocks so they don't think they're suddenly wealthy! Remember to take some pictures, their faces should make for priceless photographs.