Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, aren’t they? In that spirit, I have included some activities for all ages in this edition of Hooray for Holidays! Of course, there are always the tried and true ways to celebrate almost any holiday: play dough, sugar cookie decorating, preparing traditional foods. Here are some Irish-themed art projects for your enjoyment:
Obviously, store bought play dough can easily substituted for the homemade. But if time allows, the science lesson that cooking provides is an added bonus. The recipe I have provided requires cooking, so it requires adult supervision.
- Green play dough (recipe below...called "cool and crazy dough")
- Various sized shamrock cookie cutters, rolling pins, plastic scissors, etc.
Allow the children to prepare the play dough as independently as possible. (I recommend rubber gloves for the kneading process until the dye is incorporated.) Once prepared, let them loose with an array of play dough tools. Some kids will play for hours, rolling out the dough, cutting the shamrocks with cookie cutters or may even try with the scissors. (I always gave my kids plastic scissors with play dough to strengthen their cutting ability.)
Cool & Crazy Dough
This is an old recipe I’ve had for years from the Gold Medal, Children’s Cookbook entitled The Rainbow Bakery. I am unsure if it is still available but it has some cute recipes.
- 1-cup all-purpose flour
- 2-teaspoons cream of tarter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-cup water
- 1-tablespoon vegetable oil
- About 15 drops of green food coloring
1. Put all ingredients in a 1 ½ quart sauce pan. Cook over medium heat about 4 minutes, stirring very hard, until mixture forms a ball.
2. Take ball of dough out of saucepan, and let it stand on the counter 5-10 minutes to cool.
3. Squeeze the dough about 30 seconds or until it is mixed and smooth. Cool completely.
4. After playing with the dough, store tightly wrapped in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Hand Print Shamrock
This activity is very adaptable to your child’s age, attention span and how much time you have in your schedule.
- 4 traced handprints (parents can trace for those unable to yet)
- 1 cutout “stem” (done free hand)
- Green markers, crayons or paint
- 2 piece of construction paper (orange, white or green)
- Glue/Glue Sticks
Trace 4 separate handprints on white construction paper. (If you are short on time, simply trace them on green paper and eliminate the painting/coloring step).
Paint or color the handprints, then cut out. Do the same for the stem. Then glue the pieces onto your choice of colored construction paper. (Refer to the picture on the link above if unsure of placement.)
Voila! You have a nice keepsake. IKEA sells some great green frames that would create a nice gift for a loved one this Thursday.
Shamrock Tic-Tac-Toe Game
Recently I saw a very cute, but labor intensive, do-it-yourself St. Patrick’s Day Tic- Tac-Toe Game. While, I really wanted to make it, my hectic schedule simply won’t allow for it. Since this seemed like an activity that would keep the kids busy for some time, I decided that it was worth purchasing some precut materials. Because precut foam varies in size, I have made the material list flexible.
- 1 Large Foam pre-cut shamrock
- 1 White Foam Sheet cut into a square-sized shape to fit the large shamrock
- 1 Package of small shamrocks (varied colors)
- Black Sharpie (or similar style) marker
- Glue (hot glue gun will expedite drying time)
After you cut the white foam sheet to fit the large shamrock, use the black marker to draw the standard tic-tac-toe (9-square) grid. Then glue the white foam square to the large pre-cut foam shamrock.
Divide the colored shamrocks for the playing pieces. Finally, enjoy the classic game with your kids! You will probably have more fun than them, but remember to share.
Some additional links to activities…
Why not incorporate learning into this fun day? Have the kids listen to a talking e-book? It was made by a sixth grade class and it gives a concise overview of Ireland, its history and culture.
For some great printable Celtic Fairy Tales to read to the kids or to have the older ones read to you (which is a great way to incorporate the suggested 20 minutes of daily reading), go to this site.
To order “Print and Play Games” click here.