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Fun, Simple and Cheap St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

Hats

Making visors for the new spring sunshine is a simple way to entertain a group of children for a St. Patrick’s Day party or in the classroom.  The visors are available at most craft stores.  Decorating can be creative with puffy paint, glitter glue or simple with the foam stickers.

Create a collage rainbow.

Draw the outline of a rainbow in pencil, tear paper  into bits and glue onto rainbow.  The paper can be old magazines or scrap pieces of colored paper.  Pots of gold can be added at the end of the rainbow with glitter on the inside of the pot.

Planning a St. Patrick’s Day Party for the Kids

Whether you are hosting a party, play group or just planning something fun for your family there are many engaging activities, yummy foods and creative crafts to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Matter of fact, it is one of my favorite parties to have children over to our house. There are no great expectations on this day, it is usually beautiful outside (at least in the southwest of the U.S.) and it just seems to always be relaxing and exciting for the children.  Maybe, it is the lack of cake and ice cream!

Where to start?

Choose the time of day.

The time of the party depends the age of your children, your schedule and if you will serve a meal or light snacks. For a small group, I start at 9:00a.m. and have green pancakes for breakfast.  If you would like to keep things simple,  plan between meals so you will only offer snacks.

Invite:

If it is for a playgroup or an informal group of friends I will send out an e-mail.  If I am planning a larger group or if I have the time I will buy or make invites to mail.  This is your preference and schedule!

Activities and Crafts:

Most parties I plan are jam packed with activities since we do not have a large house or yard to roam in.  Also, the teacher part of me likes to set everything up in “centers.”   With that in mind, I plan more than I need just in case one craft is not as cool as I thought or if they finish earlier than anticipated.  You may have a large yard or bounce house to allow more free play.  Under the heading of St. Patrick’s Day are several craft and activity ideas for planning a party.

Food:

The theme is quite easy for St. Patrick’s Day, GREEN.   Younger children are easy to plan for since they typically eat snacks for their meals.  So, you could have everyone bring a green snack such as cucumber sticks, celery, grapes, kiwi, chips and guacamole and the list goes on.  As mentioned, I serve a pancake breakfast (pancake mix with green food coloring) and have another snack (green veggies and fruit) a wee bit later. More traditionally, a lunch or dinner of corned beef and cabbage could be served for older children, or the theme of green eggs and ham could be used for food and decorations.

Decorations:

I have the children decorate as they please with green streamers and shamrock cut-outs.  They think of spots that I would never have…like all the doorways.  If you have crafts from school or your own home just put them up and the house looks ready for a celebration!

Have fun and keeping the party simple allows for one more memorable moment with your children.


Homemade Play Dough

This recipe is a good one for the little ones, just in case they feel like tasting it!

Ingredients:

2 cups     flour

2 cups     water

2 TBLS    oil

1 cup        salt

2 tsp         cream of tartar

Food coloring and/or glitter, the color you desire to make.

Stir ingredients and place over medium heat in a pan. I like to use my large fry pan, it seems to cook more evenly.  Cook until the dough pulls away from the side of the pan and is not sticky.  Cool the dough and then knead thoroughly.  Store in plastic bag or airtight container.  The dough will keep for about three months unrefrigerated.

I like to double the recipe if we are planning for playdates or classrooms.

The play dough can be used for free play, making letters, shapes and number or small gifts for friends.

Pudding Paint

Doing this activity for the first time with my two and four year old brought out their different personalities so clearly and humorously.  Little Lauren literally dove into the pudding and started body painting.  Her masterpiece never made it on the wall because it never dried and we left that thing out for a few days!  I was happy with my decision to try this outside.  So, use small bowls of pudding to give your little ones that like to get dirty.  As for my contemplative four year old, he dipped in a finger or two and made a few lines and thought that was enough for him and off to wash his hands!

I used pistachio pudding for St. Patrick’s Day but like the idea of vanilla so there are no nuts in it.

Pudding Paint Recipe:
Instant Vanilla Pudding
Food Coloring
Mix pudding according to directions
Add food coloring for desired color.
You can also use different flavors of pudding for different colors of paint.

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Shimmering Shamrocks

There are many ways to decorate a shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day. Utilize any extra craft materials such as buttons, material, yarn, stickers etc. and let the children have fun creating their own design. Here are a few other ideas for your wee ones!

Finger Paint Shamrock
Cut a shamrock shape out of white finger-paint paper. Put a dab of yellow and blue paint on the paper, let children finger-paint when done sprinkle on some green glitter they turn out very pretty.
Sweet Shamrock
Cut out shamrock shapes from green paper. Have the children put glue around the edge of the shamrock. Sprinkle salt or sugar on the glue.

Spotted Shamrock
Cut out smaller sized shamrocks from 81/2×11 paper. Have paint in bowls and Q-tips available in each color. Demonstrate how to make dots by “stamping” the paper, this looks great when they finish. The smaller size is because it takes a while to do this, for the impatient children you may need to help or they may try to paint with the Q-tip to complete faster. To extend this activity and teach about pointalism there are a few sites but here is one with a neat activity and sample pictures: http://yennadon.sd42.ca/online/artforweb/pointalism.html.

Spring Windsock

What You Will Need:

Construction Paper, any size, we like the large 18″

Paint

Spring themed sponge (optional)

Staples, tape and hole punch

String

Streamers or crepe paper

Using a large piece of white construction paper, have the child paint or sponge paper. Print one side of the paper, let dry. Fold the paper into “tube” shape, with the prints on the outside. Staple ends together and tape middle. Staple three strands of  crepe paper at the bottom.  Put two hole punches at the top and have the child string through. Beautiful Spring Windsocks!

This can be used for any spring activity or holiday.  For example, for St. Patrick’s day you can use green paint and a shamrock sponge and green streamers.

As you can see in the picture below it is a good idea to do outside if possible!

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