Save Some ‘Green’ On Your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Looking to keep your kids entertained this St. Patrick’s Day, but want to see more green IN your wallet than OUT? Look no further! I have your tips for low and no cost ways for your family to ‘shamrock out’ with the leprechauns whether they lead you to the pot ‘o’ gold or not.

Kid’s YouTube Workouts: Have fun pre-burning your St. Patrick’s Day ‘green beer’ calories with your kids for free with these fun holiday themed workouts by PE with Mr. G.

https://youtu.be/9JsDWLrD9OE (Would you rather workout- St. Pat’s Day version)

https://youtu.be/JZrjf4kU8U4 (Find the gnome workout St. Pat’s Day version)

https://youtu.be/xpA_3hCWZCk (Leprechauns on the run-video game style workout- super fun!)

https://youtu.be/_p9zL6OVih8 (St. Pat’s Freeze dance yoga)

Step Dancing with the Muppets: If you’ve ever been curious about Irish step dancing you and your kids can learn about it with Murray the Sesame Street Muppet and his little Spanish speaking friend Ovejita. If you want to actually learn some of the basic steps, then try the second link taught, beautifully slowly and simply by ‘Miss Becky’.

https://youtu.be/g29CeZJz3ek (Step dancing with Sesame Street Muppets)

https://youtu.be/FVXpDmo2yPU (Learn step dancing with Becky)

Why Dye a River When You Can Dye a Flower: Click on the link below for instructions (and a little blurb on the science behind how it works) on how to dye white carnations green for St. Patrick’s Day.

https://www.sciencefun.org/kidszone/experiments/dyed-flowers/

Pin the Coin on the Pot ‘O’ Gold: I used Crayola’s free coloring pages (https://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/holidays/st-patricks-day-coloring-pages/?page=1&count=24) to print out this cute little Pot ‘O’ Gold. Then we used some gold coin shaped foam stickers from Oriental Trading Company (wait for the free shipping folks) (https://www.orientaltrading.com/st–patrick-s-day-self-adhesive-shapes-500-pc–a2-13719940.fltr?keyword=st.+patrick%27s+day+stickers) to play ‘pin the coin on the pot ‘O’ gold’.

You’ll also find a leprechaun coloring page on Crayola’s website where your kids can draw in whatever face they want their ‘wee person’ to have.

My daughter took the liberty of adding a body too.

Leprechaun ‘Egg’ Hunt: I have a giant bag of plastic Easter eggs laying around in the basement as I’m sure everyone with little kids does. I picked out all the green and orange ones, filled them with chocolate coins, skittles, and pocket change and then the ‘Leprechaun’ hid them outside for the kids to find.

Leprechaun Hunt Walk: This was really just a clever way to entice my kids away from the YouTube videos of other kids playing with toys. I armed each one with a food storage container and a butterfly net as well as a baggie of ‘leprechaun bait’ (skittles). Then we took off on a hike through the woods with the promise that if we did not manage to catch a Leprechaun, they could eat all the skittles…. guess who got to taste the rainbow?

How to Catch a Leprechaun (with a trap, of course): We found a Leprechaun trap kit at Target a few years ago in the dollar bin, but there’s no need to spend money on one. You can easily make your own by painting a shoe box green and decorating it with stickers, glitter, gems, etc. The night before St. Patrick’s Day we set our trap and bait it with either Skittles or Lucky Charms cereal. The tricky rascal gets away every year, but not without leaving some little consolation prizes- quarters, pennies, chocolate coins, green sunglasses from the Target dollar bin, St. Patrick’s Day socks from the Dollar Tree….have fun with it!

St. Charles St. Patrick’s Day Parade: It’s back baby! Covid could only keep it down for, well, uh, two years. This year though, the traditional parade through downtown St. Charles will carry on in all its former glory. Check out the link below for dates/times/info.

https://www.stcstpatricksparade.com/eventdetails

Shamrock Stroll/St. Paddy’s Day Express/Shamrockin’ Along the Fox River: Three fun ‘Irish’ themed events are being offered this year by the St. Charles Park District. The Shamrock Stroll is a family friendly ‘drop in’ event particularly suitable for the youngest of your family members. You can load the littles into the stroller or wagon and take a nice constitutional through Mount St. Mary’s Park on a scavenger hunt for horseshoes, leprechauns, four leaf clovers, and rainbows. At the end the kids get to pick a prize from the leprechaun’s pot of gold. While you are at the park why not take a ride on the St. Paddy’s Day Express? It’s one of those kid sized trains that they usually drive around the mall. You have to pre-pay and pre-register for a certain time so that’s a bit annoying. Shamrockin’ Along the Fox River is a fun themed race for the athletically inclined out there. At $40/head it was a little too rich for my short sedentary legs, but if you are a more serious runner, then this is the event for you! Check out the link below for details and registration for all three events.

https://book.peek.com/s/21992230-244f-4104-9043-dee349847151/03opX (Registration and details for Shamrock Stroll, St. Paddy’s Day Express, Shamrockin along the fox river)

Fun with Face Paint: Got some watercolor paints lying around the house and even the tiniest shred of artistic talent? I did- thus you see a poorly painted cheek rainbow and nose shamrock.

A Wee Bit ‘O’ Play Doh Fun: We passed one rainy afternoon by digging through our Play Doh bin and finding all the orange, white, and green cans (Dollar Tree and Walmart have single cans of Play Doh in stock right now if all yours have dried up or been mixed into that homogenous brown that kids seem to love). Then we rolled out our dough and used my St. Patrick’s Day cookie cutters to make some squishable Irish magic.

Irish Flag Feet: This was a great opportunity to learn about Ireland and the Irish flag as well as to use up some old finger paint. The only downside is when your three-year-old takes off running through the kitchen before you can clean off his feet.

https://youtu.be/EZEcAdYXDh8 (YouTube Irish facts clip with Gaelic subtitles)

https://youtu.be/ckRcNbYQD9k (Homeschool Pop Irish facts video)

Puff Ball Pots ‘O’ Gold: What do you do with all those colored pom-pom balls you’ve collected from various art projects? Have your kids build some fine motor skills sorting them into piles of colors, then learn the names of the colors in English and Spanish, and finally glue them onto paper in the shape of rainbows and pots of gold.

Luck ‘O’ the Kitchen: Did I get carried away with the ‘Irish’ themed meals and treats- yes I did! For breakfast: (from left to right) we have lucky yogurt, shamrock pancakes, and leprechaun French toast. Lucky yogurt was Greek yogurt with honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and green food coloring added. Then I garnished with Lucky Charms cereal. Shamrock pancakes were just regular silver dollar pancakes with green food coloring added poured into four connected circles (or just pour regular pancakes and cut them into shapes with a cookie cutter-way easier). Leprechaun French toast was regular French toast with green food coloring added to the egg mixture and then cut into shapes with cookie cutters.

For Dessert: (top) Sugar Cookies decorated with green frosting and sprinkles. (bottom) Rollo’s Pretzel Shamrock Cookies.

https://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com/shamrock-pretzels/ (shamrock pretzel recipe)

https://www.thatswhatchesaid.net/shamrock-pretzel-bites/ (variation on shamrock pretzel recipe)

Lucky Charms Rice Crispy Treats: I used the Rice Crispy treat recipe but subbed in Lucky Charms Cereal instead.

https://www.kelloggs.com/en_US/recipes/the-original-treats-recipe.html

Shamrock Shakes: Add vanilla ice cream, milk, green food coloring, and just a tiny dash of peppermint extract, blend, and you have a shamrock shake that will turn McDonald’s ‘green with envy’. I’ve also blended in Girl Scout thin mint cookies before- AMAZING!

Green Mac ‘N’ Cheese: Easy mac plus green food coloring provides a kid-friendly alternative to corned beef and boiled potatoes.

Theme Bath: It’s no ‘blarney’, kids will be a lot more pumped to get in the tub if there’s fun holiday specific products to make a huge soapy mess with. Here’s the treasures I’ve found this year from left to right: sparkly plastic unicorns in rainbow colors (Five Below), green shamrock rubber ducks (Party City), Crayola bath paint in green (Dollar Tree), bath foam in green and orange (Walmart), bath bombs (Dollar Tree), mini shamrock beach balls (Party City), Crayola Foaming soap in green (Walmart clearance section), bath crayons in yellow/orange/green (Five Below).

Hopefully you have found an idea or two here that will inspire your family to dance a little jig! Have a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day celebration!

Cheers!

Love,

Marie!

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