Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Toddler Style

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day: Toddler Style

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig
“Happy St. Patrick’s Day!”

(source: http://irish.spike-jamie.com/gaelic.html )

While we are not Irish, my family does have some Gaelic roots; both my great-grandparents on my mother’s side were Welsh.  In fact, though they lived some streets apart in Wales, they did not meet until they crossed the Atlantic and settled in Michigan!  As St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that even the least Irish of us are invited to enjoy, I wanted to share some activities that we have been doing to celebrate Ireland in our home.  This post is dedicated to our friends Megan and Brian and their lovely Irish family: to good friends—I’m glad our friendship has endured distance and years and we hope to see you soon!


Jack and the Leprechaun by Ivan Robertson

The Leprechaun who Lost His Rainbow by Sean Callahan

The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever! By Teddy Slater

Learning Activities:

We have been talking about shamrocks, leprechauns, and Ireland in our home!  Here are some toddler-friendly learning activities to enjoy:

*Decorating a felt board with felt Shamrocks

*Drawing and painting Shamrocks; we also have a stamping marker that V uses to make mini-shamrock shapes

*Playing Irish Music:  we have a whole stack of CDs with both instrumental and vocal Irish songs that we will play in the time leading up to the holiday

*Finding Ireland on a map or globe; talk with your child about how Ireland is an island located in the Atlantic Ocean.  Talk about some of the features of the country:  (it rains frequently so the land is very green; there are more sheep than people (we heard this from a tour guide on a bus tour of Galway Bay!; there are many hills and cliffs overlooking the ocean)

*M and I traveled to Ireland and Wales after college; in fact we were engaged at St. Davids in Wales on a cliff overlooking the ocean (a romantic story I’ll save for an anniversary post, I think…).  We have many beautiful pictures of terrain and castles that we shared with V.  She was interested in the cows in some of our shots (I have a pic of a cow gazing through the window of a ruined stone building that is one of my favorite shots ever!) and the castles!

*Making Irish food :  have your child help you prepare a traditional Irish favorite.  I’m looking for a good soda bread recipe if anyone has one to share!  A favorite cookbook in our house is Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala.  We have made traditional Celtic dishes for dinner parties and especially love the Scones, Honey Glazed Chicken, and Champ recipes.  Our neighbor and landlady, prepares excellent corned beef and cabbage for her annual St. Patrick’s Day gathering, which I enjoyed for the first time last year.

*Have your child pick out an all green outfit to wear for the day!

There are many ways to share this fun and festive holiday!  And when you tuck your little ones into bed for the evening, you can pour a glass of Guinness or a goblet of mead and toast to your loved ones.


2 responses to “Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Toddler Style

  • jeanette

    A few more books are The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day byt Natasha Wing…to accompany this book, make a leprechaun trap…either with a can or John’s was an old shoe box that he painted green and decorated with shiny things….look on the 17th to see if you trapped a leprechaun by finding maybe some gold foil chocolate coins under it or a small green stuffed animal!
    The Good Luck Clover by Janet Craig is a First-Start reader book and For the bit older crowd of who Ready Freddy, there is a step into reading book called Looking for Leprechauns by Abby Klein. a fun part of the Ready Freddy books is that in each picture there is the word FIN somehow in the design…often in his hair or on a dresser or shoe…some are very hard to find..so this is an added element to those books.
    We are totally not Irish but have so much fun with the day. Our community has a parade downtown with 5K run/walk race to raise money for a local free medical building in town and they also have bed races down the center of town. it is a good way at the end of winter as we all want to get outside to have some fun with spring!

    For foods we at times with honor Dr. Seuss for a second time during his birthday month with Green eggs in the morning.

    oh my Pam send me the reciepe for that Honey Glazed Chicken..sounds wonderful!!!!

    such a fun time! Thanks for the fun post!

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