Fun St. Patrick’s Day Crafts and Activities

St. Patrick’s Day is the first holiday of the spring season, even if it just falls short of the spring equinox on March 20th. Whether you happen to be Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is all about what’s good and green, and there are plenty of spring-inspired activities to entertain children this time of year.

Arts and Crafts

There are two things that people associate with St. Patrick’s Day: the color green and shamrocks. Incorporating these features into any art activity can be easy, but to make things a little more fun, you can get creative and make DIY decorations, create your own games or even your own St. Patrick’s Day outfits and props.

Here are some cute crafts you can make easily with items from home:

Coffee Filter Shamrock Materials:

● Coffee filter

● 2 baby food jars

● Water

● Scissors

● Blue and yellow food coloring

● Q-tips

Instructions: Cut the coffee filter out into the shape of a shamrock. Put water in two baby food jars or similar containers. Add yellow food coloring to one jar and blue to the other. Give kids Q-tips or small cotton swabs and let them mix the colors on the coffee filter. You end up with a a cool tye-dyed green shamrock!

Shamrock Wands Materials:

● Green construction paper

● Scissors

● Glue

● Stapler

● Gold glitter

● Green straw

● Ribbon, Green and Gold

Instructions: Cut three heart shapes using the green paper. Then, glue the tips of the three hearts together to form a shamrock when combined. Staple the shamrock in the center to the end of the straw which will form your handle. Decorate the shamrock with gold glitter and other materials as desired. Cut ribbons into 3 foot strands. Gather ribbons together at one end, and staple them to the back of the shamrock at the center so that the ends hang down from the shamrock wand. If desired, cut several tiny shamrocks from the remainder of the paper and staple them along the ribbons as well.

Reading and Research

The word ‘research’ may not always inspire excitement, but learning more about the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and the Irish culture can be interesting, and fun too. There are plenty of traditional songs, poems, and dances that you can discover and try along with your kids. Put on a play or a performance including some of the stuff you and your children have learned!

Reading can also be exciting, too. There are fantastical tales of leprechauns and the luck of the Irish, but there are also plenty of children’s books and reference materials that can teach you and your kids more about the holiday, St. Patrick, and other Irish traditions.

Whip Up Some Treats

Around the end of March, corned beef and cabbage suddenly become very in-demand. Cooking with kids is a great way to introduce them to new foods, but it can also provide you with some memory-making bonding time, too. Whether you decide to make a traditional Irish dinner or simply want to indulge in some Irish Soda Bread, enlist your kids to help you gather ingredients, prepare the meal, and eat it as well!

There is always room for St. Patrick’s Day themed cakes and cookies, as well. Play around with the color green, mint or pistachio flavored treats, and go to town! Cut cookies out into shamrock shapes, add fun St. Patrick’s themed straws, sprinkles, and more. If you want to try and be a bit healthier, you can also try to create a dish like a healthy shake or smoothie using hearty, healthy greens like kale, spinach, and other fruits and veggies to keep with the spirit of the holiday.

Raising a Globally Minded Child

As our world exponentially grows more interconnected and multicultural than ever, it is important that children are raised with an open mind. Depending on where you live and how far you are from a city center, the need to diversify your mindset may not always be at the forefront of your mind, but it can be eye opening just the same. For parents, having a globally minded child can spell success. Not only can it open them up to new concepts and ideas, but it can also help them empathize and connect with others on a more personal level as well.

Becoming more globally aware is beneficial for people of all ages, however some people may not realize just how important world events, world views, and even social interaction and cultural practices can have on their lives.

According to Stacie Nevadomski Berdan, an international careers expert, globally minded children are curious, open-minded and aware of the world around them. This can help open doors to better learning, more effective critical thinking, wider socialization, and a deeper understanding for different kinds of people no matter where they’re from. “Children need to be appreciative and understand each other and not be afraid of each other,” Berdan adds.

Additionally, according to the American Council of Teaching Foreign Languages, a survey found that 98% of parents believe that children should learn a second language, as early as possible, 69% agreed that being proficient in a second language is important to a successful career today, 83% percent agreed it would be important in 5 years and 84% percent agreed that having a global mindset is important to careers today.

Evidently, one of the most common ways of raising a globally minded child is to learn a foreign language. If a parent, guardian, or family member speaks another language, or if you are originally from another country with a national language other than English, it is highly recommended that children grow up bilingual. According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, kids who are bilingual experience more positive effects on their intellectual growth, are more flexible thinkers, are sensitive to language and different modes of understanding, while also opening the door to other cultures and even more job opportunities.

Traveling is also a great way to expose your child to different things. Whether you can travel to another country or are only able to make it to a more diverse metropolitan area, introducing your kids to different cultural activities, history, cuisine and other things can help to open their minds and inspire their curiosity. Exposing children to diverse cultures from an early age can be incredibly beneficial and it can open their minds up as they grow older, leaving little room for prejudice or preemptive judgment since they will be more familiar with lifestyles and customs that are different from their own.

Reading is another great way to promote exposure, especially if you are unable to travel. Reading allows you to explore and discover other places, cultures, and languages from the comfort of your own home. For children, however, this can be extra beneficial since it can help inspire a more general love of reading and learning as well. But books are special for other reasons, too. Books, especially fiction, can place kids in someone else’s shoes, allowing them not only the opportunity for exposure, but providing them with a more intimate glimpse into the life and culture of someone else.

Getting involved with your own community is important, too. Thinking big also demands that you think on a smaller scale as well. Exposing your child to compassion, community, and caring on all different levels can help groom them to become more open-minded and considerate individuals, as they get older. For children to be globally minded, it starts with the parents in the home. Look at all the ways in which you can learn and improve, yourself, and find ways to experience new things as a family. Not only will you be learning together, but you will all be growing together as well.

Raising a Compassionate Child

The world can be a rough place, and so can the people in it. Parents have a natural tendency to want to shield their children from the things that might hurt them, but it is important that kids are informed and that they are compassionate people as well. You can’t control what happens in the world on a major scale, but as a parent you can help shape an empathetic and caring individual who can help make it a better place. In this day and age, raising a caring child can be difficult. Shielding children can help save them from some things, but it can also lead to ignorance and arrogance.

As a parent, there are some ways in which you can help make sure that your child becomes a caring individual and who truthfully cares about others as well. Children have an inborn capacity for compassion, which is why it is not uncommon for kids to empathize with other children, animals, and even stuffed toys. It’s important that parents encourage this kind of thinking and behavior, especially when the world can be so harsh, and promoting lovingkindness and other nice sentiments can help.

Showing not Telling
When trying to express softness, some kids can be a bit rough without meaning to. If a young toddler is trying to pet an animal or pick up a baby, their motor skills may not allow them to do so carefully. Instead of telling them not to show affection, show them how to do so in a way that is harmless and thoughtful. Simply telling children “no” can teach them to suppress the desire to express these feelings in the future. Instead of simply telling them “no” if you see them approaching a situation clumsily, commend their thoughtful behavior and show them how to act on those thoughts properly and carefully.

Speaking Softly
Sometimes, showing basic manners can go a long way. Speaking softly and showing kindness can help, especially if you act as an example for your children. Whether you’re talking to your kids or others in front of your kids, it is important that you set a good example and show compassion, thoughtfulness and understanding yourself. Kids learn by observing, so setting a precedent can certainly leave a lasting impression.

Encourage Helping
Whether you’re asking your children to help out with chores or pointing out ways in which they can generally be helpful, encouraging kids to get involved can be influential too. If kids are used to pitching in, especially if it is part of their daily routine, offering help to others when they see that they are struggling can come more naturally to them. You can also point situations where people may need help or could use a hand, and ask your kids how they can help and why they should. Inspiring this kind of discourse can help kids think critically and compassionately as they get older and develop thoughts and opinions on their own.

The Power of Stories
Sharing stories can be incredibly influential, and there are plenty of books that kids can pick up about people who have helped others in history. Aside from reading, share stories and anecdotes of your own as well. If you witnessed a kind act, share it with your child. If you notice someone doing something nice for someone else while you’re at the park or out shopping, point it out and ask your child what they think about it.

Helping Out Beyond the House
Volunteering is a great way to introduce kids to a larger world and the things that people can do to help make it a better place. Whether you’re helping collect food, toys for children, or picking up litter, giving kids a physical example of helping others can show them the benefits of kindness, compassion and taking action as well.

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