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How to Celebrate St Patrick's Day with Your Children

Home > Canberra > Lists | Community Events | Family | Fun for Children | Kids | St Patrick's Day
by Belladonna (subscribe)
Loves going out and about, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing about her adventures!
Published February 27th 2020
11 ways to keep your little leprechauns green and happy
"When Irish eyes are smiling

Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring

In the lilt of Irish laughter

You can hear the angels sing"

From the 1912 song 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling', written by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr. Music by Ernest Ball.

How to celebrate St Patricks Day with your kids

My ethnic heritage is Filipino. But every year on March 17, I turn Irish for one day. Why? Because it's St Patrick's Day, of course!

Like me, you don't actually have to be Irish or have Irish blood running in your veins to celebrate this day. In fact, my husband has Irish blood but I celebrate St Patrick's Day harder than he does!

St Patrick's Day is held every year on March 17. It celebrates the church's feast day of Saint Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland back in the 5th century CE and who was said to have died on this day. However, in spite of its religious origins and significance, St Patrick's Day has become a more secular and wider celebration of Ireland and Irish culture. And yes, the day is very much associated with lots of alcohol!

But St Patrick's Day is so much more than just about drinking. And it's a celebration not only for grown ups, but for children as well! Here are a few ways you can celebrate the Day of the Green and be Irish for one day with your children.

1. Decorate your home.
Get crafty and get your kids to make paper shamrocks, draw leprechauns, and make paper rainbows (all traditional symbols of Ireland and St Patrick's Day). Then use these to get your home into the St Patrick's Day spirit! There are lots of great kids' craft ideas for St Patrick's Day (including printables and colouring in pages) here.
Pinterest also has plenty of great ideas.
If you want some ready-made decorations, then head to your local Reject Shop, where I bought this shamrock garland and pack of cute leprechaun hats!

2. Go all green on St Patrick's Day!
It's a tradition to wear green on St Patrick's Day. It's not my son's favourite colour-he prefers red-but hey, he actually has Irish blood running in his veins, so every St Patrick's Day, I make him wear green! Plus the leprechaun hat and silly tie! Find your St Patrick's Day accessories at The Reject Shop.
How to celebrate St Patricks Day with your kids

3. Have a leprechaun gold coin hunt in your backyard.
The leprechaun is a famous Irish fairy that is said to be full of mischief and who is said to have a hidden pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Just like an Easter egg hunt, why not buy some of those gold chocolate coins and hide them in your backyard for your kids to find? Tell them that a mischievous leprechaun scattered them all over your backyard. Or put all the chocolate coins in a pot, hide the pot, and lead the kids on a scavenger hunt in your backyard, with the clues leading them eventually to the pot!

4. Read Irish stories together.
The stories may not be as well known to you as King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table or The Iliad and The Odyssey or Grimm's fairytales. But Ireland has a rich heritage of folktales and stories dating back thousands of years, with great heroes like Cuchulainn and the giant Fin McCool and the great ancient tribe known as the Tuatha De Danann (People of the Goddess Danu). Find a book of Irish stories at your local library or do a Google search and find them online.

5. Listen to Irish music.
Music is an integral part of Irish culture. So play Irish music on St Patrick's Day. Play traditional Irish music as well as famous contemporary Irish performers such as U2, the Cranberries, Van Morrison, the Pogues, Enya and the Corrs.

6. Bake St Patrick's Day cupcakes.
The kids will love baking St Patrick's Day cupcakes with green icing and decorated with rainbow coloured sour candies like the ones below.
How to celebrate St Patricks Day with your kids

7. Celebrate St Patrick's Day at an Irish pub/club.
Enjoy St Patrick's Day with the family at one of these Irish venues in Canberra: King O'Malleys in the city, PJ O' Reilly's Irish Pub in Tuggeranong or the Canberra Irish Club in Weston.

8. Celebrate St Patrick's Day at the Royal Australian Mint.
The Mint has an excellent monthly program for young children called Mini Minties. This month, the theme is St Patrick's Day.
Kids will create their own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow artwork, listen to a story and explore the gallery and factory viewing area. Join Mini Minties for St Patrick's Day on 6 March from 10.30 am - 11.15 am. The cost is $10 (plus booking fee). Ticket includes one adult and one child. Please go here to book your tickets.

9. Create a fairy garden.
Fairies have been a part of Irish culture for thousands of years, so why not create a fairy garden in your backyard? They're very simple to make. You can set it up in old pots and containers, or an old wheelbarrow or an old tyre or gumboots. You probably already have most of the things you need for a fairy garden in a pot such as an empty pot or container with drainage holes, high-quality potting soil, and some plants such as moss and succulents. You just need some pebbles, bark, twigs and leaves for decoration, and some fairy figurines and décor.
How to celebrate St Patricks Day with your kids

10. If you are Christian/religious, why not go to church?
It is St Patrick's Day, after all! Your local Catholic/Anglican/Lutheran churches will very likely have St Patrick's Day services on this day.

11. Finally, if you really, really love Ireland and everything Irish, then why learn how to Irish dance and speak Irish too?!
McGrath Irish Dance school in Phillip offers Irish dance programs for children 4 years and under right through to adults. Canberra Irish Dance school in Kingston and Mitchell also offer classes for kids and adults.
As for speaking Irish, the Canberra Irish Club offers classes in Irish or Gaelic on Tuesday evenings at 6.30 and 7.30pm, and on Saturday mornings at 10.30am; all classes are free. For more information, please go here.

Happy St Patrick's Day, everyone!

"When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay,
And when Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away!"

From the song, 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling".

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Why? Because it's so much fun being Irish for one day!
When: St Patrick's Day, March 17, 2020
Your Comment
Those green cupcakes would make any little irish eyes smile. Sensational
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|2731) 477 days ago
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