Some of my kids’ favorite holiday memories center around Saint Patrick’s Day. I’m not really sure why, exactly, because while we observed the day, it was never really a big deal. Maybe it’s because we made it fun, or maybe they related to the day because of their Irish heritage. Either way, I want to list a few resources here to demonstrate just how easy it is to put together a lesson that will be meaningful, memorable, and fun!
When our children were very small, I mostly called their attention to the day by serving a Saint Patrick’s Day meal where everything was green. Green vegetables were easy enough to prepare. Take your pick! Broccoli, peas, or maybe a lettuce salad with Green Goddess dressing. The main course was a little trickier, but I settled on spinach noodles with an Alfredo sauce to which I’d added a few drops of food coloring. (A little goes a long way, here!) A bowl of sliced green grapes usually rounded out the meal. For dessert, we had “Leprechaun Floats”–lime sherbet with Sprite or 7-Up. My kids found their green meal delightfully “icky” and ate every bite!
When they got a bit older, I branched out to traditional Irish foods such as Irish stew, Shepherd’s Pie, corned beef and cabbage, Irish brown bread or Irish soda bread. The kids still insisted on the Leprechaun Floats, so that became a classic favorite.
About this time we also added a video on the life of Saint Patrick. I’ll include a short, free, YouTube version below. There are also several feature-length films, but as the covers have changed since we last watched them, I’m not really sure which one we were fond of, so I hesitate to recommend one. Best advice would be to check at your library or on Amazon or NetFlicks. While you’re there, you might also check out The Quiet Man, which became another of our family favorites. (Even though it’s a 1950’s classic, there’s a good deal of fighting and generally unbecoming behavior. If you or your children are very sensitive to such things, you might want to preview.) Other suggestions include Darby O’Gill and the Little People or Finian’s Rainbow.
Finally, if you’re REALLY interested, you might want to know that SchoolhouseTeachers.com has an online unit study available.
Saint Patrick’s Day and other holidays that relate to history and heritage are a great opportunity to build some fun into your homeschool program without taking a lot of time away from your regular activities. Feel free to borrow and/or adapt any ideas that strikes your fancy! 🙂