Special thanks to former contributor Christie Cuthbert for sharing the fun ways she celebrates with her family. Check out her new book, “The Mischief Makers: A Series of Shenanigans and Brotherly Love” available on Amazon.
St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, and while this holiday isn’t one of the biggie’s like Christmas or Easter, it does offer a wide variety of fun to be had with your kids. There are rainbows, pots of gold, little leprechauns who wear green and dance with fiddles. Need I say more?
Did you know that more than 34 million Americans claim Irish heritage? Our family happens to be one of them. My husband hails from the Southside of Chicago, an area known for Irish immigrants. St. Patrick’s Day is given full pageantry there, with parades, the Chicago River being dyed green, and more. Marrying into that kind of merriment has been an absolute joy, and I love watching my own kids learn about their heritage and ancestry.
Whether you’re Irish by blood or just for the day, there are so many fun ways to celebrate with your entire family. Here are a few of our favorite things to do.
“Alexa, play pub music”
Each morning in the month of March I like to wake my boys up for school by blasting Irish music throughout the house while telling them, “top of the mornin’ to ya lads, now get ur britches out of bed before I call in the cows!” in my worst sounding Irish brogue. They actually enjoy the music, and there’s often an impromptu jig being danced between cereal and getting dressed.
Learn Some Irish Slang
“Give it a Lash” means to give something a try. For example, if your child says, “I can’t get my iPad to work, you respond, “Hand it over here, let me give it a lash.”
“Banjaxed” means something’s not working or is broken. For example, “Sorry there’s no coffee. The Keurig is banjaxed again!”
“Donkey’s Years” is an expression to show a long passage of time. So when your kids have gone back to school after being virtual for months, they could say to their teacher “Garsh, it’s been donkey’s years since we’ve last seen ya, Ma’am.”
Pot-of-Gold Scavenger Hunt
Hide these clues throughout the house and have the final clue lead your little ones to the pot of gold, also known as a bowl filled with chocolate coins or anything of your choosing that equates “treasure.”
The notes on the sides of the clues are “cheat notes” for moms and dads to direct you where to hide the clue. Cut those off before hiding the clues. Happy Hunting!
Rainbow’s End Cupcakes
These were a Pinterest find about 10 years ago and they’re such a huge hit with my kids, I make them every year. All you need is:
Reeses miniature peanut butter cups
Airheads rainbow sour straws
Once your cupcakes have cooled, simply frost with the green icing, then place the peanut butter cup on one side, and pipe a big glop of the white icing on the other side to make a cloud. Then pipe some yellow on top of the peanut butter cup to make it look like gold. Snip the sour strip to about 3 inches and place it into the two globs of icing to form the rainbow.
Irish Flag Rice Krispy Treats
This is as simple and festive as it gets. Simply follow your favorite Rice Krispy Treat recipe, then buy green and orange candy melts. Once your treats are cooled and cut into rectangles, simply dip each side into the colors (follow the package instructions for melting) and place on parchment paper to cool. (Want to make it even easier? Unwrap premade Rice Krispy Treats…)
There are a million and one ideas online, and my kids’ have plans to come up with their own creations this year. But this tried and true trap lasted us 4 years. You’ll need:
Stick or unsharpened pencil
Directions: Paint your rock gold and let it dry. Tie the string onto the rock and also connect it to the stick. Prop the box up on one side with the stick and position the gold-painted rock underneath it. Then, make a trail of lucky charms leading up to the trap to lure the leprechaun.
Make sure to cause some mayhem around the house for the following morning to show the leprechaun had come.