Traditions are an important part of family life. They help to paint a picture of the family’s values, culture, and character. Traditions make for memories that will last a lifetime and beyond as they are passed on through generations.
Through traditions, kids can enjoy predictable touchstones, instilling a comforting sense of structure, stability, security, and joy!
Holidays present an obvious opportunity to reinforce long-held family traditions and institute new ones. This week, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day—and this calls for simple green fun!
Here are six ideas to make your family’s St. Patrick’s Day extra lucky.
The kids’ green sweaters will mean a bit more to them if they know even a little about why this holiday is celebrated in the first place. Gather some books on the subject of Saint Patrick or Ireland in general or check out history.com, which features a number of videos summarizing the history of St. Patrick’s Day.
Catch a Leprechaun
Ah, the Leprechaun Trap: the poster child of Pinterest-worthy expectations and taking holidays way too far. This is super fun, though, and not the major project it portends to be. Dive in!
Give your kids some empty cardboard boxes and craft supplies in advance of St. Patrick’s Day and let them plot and scheme ways to lure in the elusive Leprechaun that will, of course, visit on the 17th. This is the first thing my kids run to in the morning on St. Patrick’s Day. Last year, our Leprechaun left behind some gold chocolate bars. Yum.
Paint the House Green
Well, not literally. A green tablecloth, green dinnerware, green plants, a green wreath, and some shamrocks on the walls or hanging from the ceiling and the scene will be set for a lucky day ahead. My children delight in waking up on any given holiday to find out what the dining room table looks like all decked out. Have your camera ready to capture those smiling eyes on St. Patrick’s Day morning.
Set the Playlist
It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without some good Irish music to clap along to. Some kid-friendly classics include: “The Unicorn” by the Irish Rovers, “Danny Boy” by Celtic Woman, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” by The Irish Tenors, “The Wild Rover” by The Dubliners, and “The Rocky Road to Dublin” by The High Kings.
Additionally, you can find volumes of beautiful, traditional Irish folk music via your favorite steaming service that would make for the perfect background to the day.
Eat Your Greens
When it comes to dinner on Saint Patrick’s Day, the obvious choice is some delicious corned beef and cabbage. If your kids aren’t into that, anything green will do. Did you know you can make a natural green food dye with spinach? Green pasta is always a hit!
For dessert, Irish soda bread is a classic. Shamrock-shaped cookies are always fun. Looking for something really easy? How about some green mint-chocolate-chip or pistachio ice cream?
Cap It Off with a Wee Story
There is no better way to end any day than with a bedtime story together. My favorite St. Patrick’s Day children’s book is “St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning” by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Jan Brett.
Jan Brett’s delightful sketches, bathed in green and gold along with Eve Bunting’s simple story was first published in 1983 and comprise a charming book portraying a boy’s determination and independence in the face of others’ doubts. This relatable theme any time of year is set amidst the lovely traditions of the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.