St Patricks Day Family Traditions
Can you celebrate St Patrick's Day in a family friendly way when it seems like most people use it as an excuse to spend the day in a pub? Of course you can! It's one of our favorite family holidays. At it's heart, St Patrick's Day is a celebration of Irish culture. The holiday is named after Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is an official holiday in the Catholic Church and many countries around the world. Originally the day was designed to mark the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, but has largely evolved into a celebration of the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.
I grew up in a half Irish household and St Patrick's day has always been a big deal. We wore green, ate Irish food, and baked loaf after loaf of Irish soda bread for everyone we knew. Since then I've gotten to celebrate St Patrick's day in Saint Paul, MN, Chicago IL, and even Ireland itself. That brings us to today.
These days I celebrate St Patrick's day with two young children. I want them to learn more about their heritage and this seems like the perfect opportunity. However, having only a small understand of geography and an even lesser understanding of history and ancestory, we are learning about Irish culture in small gradual ways.
Many big cities have a St Patrick's Day parade. We've gone to ones in St Paul MN and Chicago IL with kids. I am hoping to add New York to that list next year. You can find our tips about going to a big, busy parade with little ones in this post.
It is remarkably hard to find good books about Ireland or St. Patrick's Day. They do exist though. Most of the best ones celebrate the wonderful oral storytelling history of the Irish. I included one more below that is more about luck than the Irish, but it's a darling book for toddlers.
Best Books for St Patrick's Day : READ LIST
Good Luck Bear : READ REVIEW
There are an abundance of shamrock and leprechaun themed activities on Pinterest. We have general avoided these. There is absolutely nothing wrong with some shamrock themed fun, but I didn't feel like my kids would really get it when they were little. We stuck mostly with the color green. Green is a big part of Ireland - you know what I mean if you've been there. And wearing green is a big part of celebrating St. Patrick's Day. So, green is where we started.
This is a must. Find some green and don it for the special day. Help your child find some in their closet as well.
Bake Irish Soda Bread Together
I wish I could give you a recipe but ours is a family secret. Shh. But you can find lots of recipes online and it is surprisingly simple to bake.
Play + Dance to Irish Music
My kids love Irish music. They generally refer to it as Fairy Music.
Green Window Collage : READ POST
We did this when my kids were toddlers. Collages are fantastic for toddlers.
Rainbow : Books + Activities : READ POST
Once you're done with Rainbows, move on to the rest of the colors or just hop right to Rainbows.
Find Ireland on the Map
Our twins have been fascinated with maps since we started our Little Passports subscription. Their big wall map hangs in our group space and we often crowd around it to find something or where someone is.
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