Holidays are the perfect excuse to spend quality time with the people you love the most—and who appreciates a fun holiday celebration more than kids? St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon, so don’t pass up on the chance to teach the children in your life all about the holiday and spend meaningful time with them! Keep reading for five St. Patrick’s Day ideas that you, your friends and family, and kids of any age are sure to love.
The History of St. Patrick’s Day
Before we dive into our ideas for celebration, let’s explore the history of St. Patrick’s Day and why we celebrate it in the first place. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle. He lived in the fifth century and is known for bringing Christianity to Ireland. People have celebrated the holiday on March 17, the anniversary of his death, for over 1,000 days. Traditionally, this included attending church in the morning and celebrating by feasting on Irish bacon and cabbage.
Today, people around the world celebrate the holiday—particularly in the US, Canada, and Australia. Common recipes include Irish soda bread, corned beef, and cabbage and champ. As you already know, the most common way people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is by wearing as much green as possible. This beautiful holiday has grown into a celebration of Irish culture, history, and people.
Make Shamrock Shakes Together
The Shamrock shake has become a staple of St. Patrick’s Day. Since it was created in 1967, the green mint-flavored shakes have been sold seasonally at restaurants throughout the US to celebrate the holiday. The great news is, you can also make your very own Shamrock shake at home with your kids!
Most recipes don’t even take too much time to create! This recipe from the All Recipes website, for example, only takes 10 minutes to prepare. Here’s what you need to get started:
- 2 cups of vanilla ice cream
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- ¼ teaspoon mint extract, or more to taste
- 9 drops green food coloring
If you want to make these drinks extra festive, you could even include adding the following:
- 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup (Optional)
- 2 tablespoons whipped cream (Optional)
- ½ teaspoon green decorator sugar (Optional)
Whie this recipe makes two whole shakes, all you need to do is add more of each item to make even more of this delicious treat that you can enjoy with the whole family!
Have a Costume Contest
Of course, wearing green is an absolute necessity on St. Paddy’s Day! Why not make this activity even more fun and meaningful by making it a costume contest? Make handmade leprechaun hats and red beards, whip out the four-leaf clovers, and watch how creative your kids can be with their outfits!
You could even help your kids customize a new outfit with green accessories to sew into their clothes or add on top of their clothes. The opportunities are endless when you keep an open mind—and lean into your favorite little ones’ creativity.
Some of the best activities with children involve being active and using their hands to create something! Why not teach them how to create and take care of life by planting Shamrocks every year? These beautiful plants are festive, lively, and fun!
Plant them in your backyard or even grow them as houseplants, and give your kids the chance to learn how to care for something and watch life sprout from the earth. On top of being festive and beautiful, they are also more meaningful and long-lasting than a sack of candy.
Don’t know where to begin with growing a shamrock plant? This guide can help!
Make St. Paddy’s Day Crafts
When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day crafts, the opportunities are endless! From leprechauns to pots of gold, there are so many things that you and your kids can make with a little paper, glitter, and paint. Here are just a few ideas that you and your kids would love to make together.
- Paper plate masks
- Rainbow banners
- Leprechaun hats
- Candy cauldrons
- Sun catchers
- Pots of gold
- Shamrock puppets
- Shamrock wands
- Rainbow headbands
- Leprechaun traps
Whatever you decide to make, sitting down to get creative and make something new with your kids is an excellent way to bond and get in that extra-special quality time.
Tell a Festive Story Together
Another fun way to get creative is to write a story or book together. Even better, you can make it on-theme for the holiday itself! Whether that means telling a story about a leprechaun searching for a pot of gold or a fictional retelling of Saint Patrick himself, you and your kids can take turns coming up with the next part of the story. Not only is this a great way to turn on their creative hats, but it also helps them develop language skills!
Don’t want to come up with a story from scratch? There are also so many books with a St. Patrick’s Day theme that kids are sure to love. The following are just a few of the most popular books for wee little ones at this time of the year:
- The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover
- The Little Leprechaun Who Loved Yellow
- Fiona’s Luck
- Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka
- St. Patrick’s Day from the Black Lagoon
- Magic Tree House: Leprechaun in Late Winter
End up reading a story or creating a new one with your kids this St. Paddy’s Day season? Share your favorites with us in the comments! We would love to hear more about the quality time you’ve spent with your little ones.
However you decide to spend St. Patrick’s Day this year, your kids will love having the opportunity to spend time with you celebrating life and culture, and I’m sure you will, too! We hope you have a very happy and beautiful St. Paddy’s Day—wherever you may be!