Are you wearing green today? I think this is the first year that my six year old has been aware of the whole pinching tradition that goes along with not wearing any visible green on St. Patrick’s Day. I am still wondering where this tradition came from… So off to school he went wearing one of his new “6 year old shirts” he got from Granpa for his birthday. Now I just have to hope he doesn’t get in trouble for pinching at school!
But wearing green is about as far as I ever went with celebrating this Irish holiday. With the boys getting older, and ever more curious, I decided to do a little project yesterday that I found at one of my new favorite blogs, No Time For Flashcards. I especially love how the blog’s author, Allison McDonald, ties literacy to crafts. I decided to take her lead and look for some books at the library that might pertain to the Handprint Shamrock craft. I really wanted to find something about St. Patrick’s Day and hoped for something about the symbolism of shamrocks.
Most everything was checked out, but I did get lucky and find one cute storybook, St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning, that was told in such a lilting Irish accent that if I almost had to give in to attempting it. Good thing my boys are no Simon Cowell! It was the story of a small boy who is told he is too small to join in the St. Patrick’s Day parade because he would never make it to the top of the big hill. He sets off early in the morning to prove them wrong.
I also found one that was really for slightly older kids, but really explained a lot about the Irish traditions and legends that are such a big part of this holiday. I even learned some things! Like what a shillelagh is. (It’s an old Irish word for a short, stout, oak club and is a symbol of the Irish.) Yeah, I had no idea, but now my kids do! I only flipped through this one and read the relevant and interesting (to me at least) parts while they were painting.
Today after school we need to finish cutting out our handprints and glue them into shamrocks, but if they’re still interested, I might try to do one more craft with leprechauns or rainbows, or both!
So… what are your traditions with your kids? Do leprechauns cause mischief? Do you color their food or drinks green? Do you create a treasure hunt for them (I might do this in a few years when they’re more literate)? What else?