Saint Patrick's Day Story

St. Patrick's Day is an Irish holiday that is celebrated around the world honoring the missionary credited with converting the Irish people to Christianity around 400 A.D. St. Patrick was born in 373 A.D, probably in Scotland, not Ireland. He was kidnapped at the age of 16 by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. During the six years he was a prisoner, he began to have religious visions. After he escaped he went to France and became a priest. When he was around 60 years old, St. Patrick traveled to Ireland and spread the Christian word. For the complete story click here and St. Patrick customs at Get Real Magazine click here.

Shamrock -

The shamrock is one of Ireland's most famous symbols. It is said that Saint Patrick used the shamrock, or seamorg, and it's 3 leaves to explain the concept of the Trinity - the father, son, and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock is also associated with good luck! Many people wear shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day.

Leprechaun - The legendary leprechaun is an elf-like creature. In most representations he looks like a small, old man. Leprechauns like to spend their time alone making shoes. They live in the woods and hide from everyone, but maybe this has something to do with their mysterious pots of gold! The leprechauns are said to keep their pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. Some stories say if a leprechaun likes you, he will share his gold. Others stories say you must catch a leprechaun, and then he will take you to his pot of gold.

Blarney Stone - The famous Blarney Stone is not pretend, it really exists! It is set in the wall of the Blarney Castle in the Irish village of, what else, Blarney. You can visit and kiss the Blarney stone, but it is not an easy fete. To reach the Blarney stone, you must lie down on your back and bend your head backwards and downwards to reach it. It is said that kissing the Blarney Stone will give you the gift of blarney, or speaking convincingly to all you meet! Snake - The story goes that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland and into the sea. He did this by beating on a drum. It was believed that snakes were a symbol of evil and by driving them away St. Patrick helped to rid Ireland of evil.

St. Patrick Day Cards

Send a St. Patrick's Day Card, click here

Food

Leprechaun Pudding Materials:
one 1-ounce box of sugar free instant pistachio pudding for every five children, 1/2 cup of milk per child, 1 small resealable plastic bag per child, 1/2 cup measuring cup, 1 spoon per child.

Instructions:
Put tablespoon of pudding mix in sandwich bag, add milk, then close the baggy and have kids shake and squeeze, then eat.

For more St. Patrick Day recipes at Get Real Magazine, click here

Crafts
Magic Leprechaun glasses
green tagboard cut into shamrock shaped sunglasses with green cellophane covering the eye openings

Leprechaun binoculars
2 tp rolls stapled together and painted green. We will look for Leps all day.

Filter Paper Shamrocks
Precut shamrock shape out of coffee filters. Mix water and yellow food coloring and place mixture in a baby food jar. Do the same for blue. Let the children use eyedroppers to drip colors on the filter shape. The colors will run together and make beautiful shamrocks.

Filter Paper Eggs
Precut egg shapes out of coffee filters. Mix water with the basic colors. Do the same as above. Create wonderful eggs.

Shamrock Prints
Cut bell pepper in half and clean out the seeds. The children can dip the cross sections of the pepper into some green paint and press the shamrock print onto paper.

Make Shamrock Pins...
Materials Needed:
Construction Paper
Glue
Acrylic Sealer Spray
Pin Backing

Instructions:
For each pin cut out about 20 clover shapes (you can print out and use the clover shape below if you like). You want them all as close to the same size as you can get. It is a wonderful effect if you use different shades of green, but you can use whatever color you choose. Glue all the shamrock cut-outs on top of each other with the edges lining up as evenly as possible. You will then have a stack of shamrocks. If you used different colors, you will see the colors along the side of your stack. Let the glue dry.

Once the glue is dry, spray your shamrock stack with a few coats of the acrylic sealer (let it dry between coats). This will make it shiny and more durable. Once the sealer is dry, use tacky glue or a hot glue gun and glue the pin back in place.

For a litle variation, you can decorate your pin with glitter, tiny stickers, sequins, etc.

Make a Leprechaun Hat ...

Materials Needed:
Small Paper Plate
Paper Cup
Paint
Glue
Construction Paper

Instructions:
Paint the paper plate and the outside of the cup green. Once the paint is dry, glue the cup upside down in the center of the bottom of the paper plate.

Cut a piece of black construction paper to approximately 1 inch thick and long enough to wrap around the cup where it is glued onto the paper plate. This will be the band on the hat. Glue it into place. You can also cut out a small yellow buckle for the hat band if you like.

Make a Blarney Stone...

Materials Needed:
Large Stone
Paint

Instructions:
Go on a hunt and find a nice rock that would make a good paper weight. Wash it well. Wipe dry. On the rock using green paint, paint the words "Kiss Me" and /or "Blarney Stone". You could get creative and try your hand at painting a shamrock!

Make a Spiral Snake...

Materials Needed:
Paper Plate
Crayons or Markers
Scissors

Instructions:
Color designs on both sides of the paper plate. Start cutting the plate, working form the outside-in. Cut into a spiral shape. The outside edge will be the tail and the inside edge will be the head, so you want to cut the putsoide edge a little thicker and get thinner as you get towards the middle. Draw a face on your snake.

More St. Patrick's Day fun can be found at St. Patrick's Day Family Fun Page.

Activities & Other Fun Stuff
Tall and Small Game

Here is a giant who is tall, tall, tall.
Here is an elf who is small, small, small.
The elf who is small will try, try, try.
To reach the giant who is high, high, high.

Act out the movements as you sing. Stand tall, slowly sink to the floor, slowly rise, stand tall, stretch and reach arms high.


Potatoe Game

Cut out 10 potato shapes out of brown paper and number them 1-10. Place them on the floor in a row and have the kids jump from one to ten singing One potato, two potato, three potato four...etc.


Music, Sounds, Carols

I'm a little leprechaun(sung to I'm a Little Teapot")
Dressed in green,
The tiniest man
That you ever have seen.
If you ever catch me, so it's told,
I'll give you my pot of gold.


For More St. Patrick's Day fun click here
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