St. Patrick’s Day could be the secret to life. You take a grey, cold, lifeless world and add a tiny green plant than in all other places would be considered a weed. But at the end of a long, hard winter that tiny weed promises that winter will end and more green will come. We celebrate by dousing any splash of green with “water” (there is water in beer), collecting all the green we see, and displaying it along with gold because, let’s face it, any hint of spring is worth it’s weight in gold.
I wrote this when spring had not quite sprung, we had yet another snow/sleet/what-ever-you-call that cold wet grey stuff falling from the sky, and I was desperate for a bit of green and hint of life. M-man and I probably went a bit crazy with the shamrock decorations. My house now looks like either a construction paper rainbow of lucky charms or where leprechauns go to die. I always knew St. Patty’s day got messy (hello, green beer), but this really takes it to a different level. If you want to join in the mess, here are 4 easy St. Patrick Day crafts for kids:
A Pot of Gold Rainbow.
M-Man is a worrier. It is just hard wired in him. I thought this activity could help him practice seeing the bright side. First we talked a bit about luck and how you can’t control when you have good luck, but if you are always looking for the good in things then you’ll find a lot more. One luckiest things you can see is a rainbow, which is why lephrechauns hide their pot of gold at the end. (I am sure this is in no way an accurate account of St. Patrick Day lure, but come on. I’m working with an anxious four-and-a-half year old here!)
Next, we make our construction paper pot of gold. I traced a pot shape on two pieces of paper and cut them out. M-Man stapled them together to form a pocket, punched holes for the handle with a hole punch, and cut the yarn for the handle. (Yay fine motor skills!) Then, he cut out strips of paper that we taped together to make a rainbow that can slide in and out of the pot.
We hung our pot of gold on the back door*. Every day until St. Patrick’s Day M-Man looks to see if the rainbow is in the pot. Some days it’s there, others it’s not. But on the days that it is in the pot, then he’s lucky and gets a small little treat. So far he’s gotten a few fake tattoos, some seashells, and a homemade checkers game. Which brings us to….
This is a great activity because you really use it! First, fold a piece of construction paper in half. Cut some lines in it, being careful to not cut all the way to the end. (This is another wonderful fine motor activity for your little guy to do.) This will be the “base” of the board.
Then, cut some paper strips. These will make up the squares. We chose rainbow colored, but I would recommend making sure the base is a different color than the squares. We have a green base and a green square strip and it causes confusion all the time… don’t be like us.
Next, show your child how to weave the paper strips together. This could cause some frustration, so its probably best you are helping with this step.
Finally, you need to find something to be the checker pieces. We used gold doubloons because my little pirate has more play gold than my bank account. To make one set a different color, I taped some green fabric pieces to some of the coins. A drop of nailpolish would have worked as well.
From there, enjoy yourself! We really enjoy playing our homemade game. Mick learned how to play checkers for this game, and we have had so much fun playing a game that he made.
Make some shamrocks.
Notice our shamrocks? To make them we reused our Valentine’s Day hearts! I love reusing materials whenever possible. Not only is it good for ol’mother earth but it teaches M-Man this importance of being resourceful and not wasteful. Additionally, this one was super simple, but showed how simple shapes are often the building blocks for other shapes.
Melt a rainbow.
Cut out a two matching rainbow shapes from wax paper. Next, take some crayon shavings and have the child arrange them into a rainbow on the wax paper and iron them on a low setting. Hang it in a window, stand back and admire. After all, you need a grey sky to see the colors of a rainbow.
That’s enough of a mess for now. Thanks for reading!