Saint Patrick’s Day – for adults, it’s a day consume libations with friends. But how do kids see it?
The truth is, most kids don’t know what St. Patrick’s Day actually is. Why? Because their parents don‘t teach them about the day. And this isn’t because they don’t take the time to educate their children, it’s because most parents don’t even know what St. Pat’s day is truly about. So let’s take a look at St. Patrick’s Day from a child care perspective – what is it? What’s the history? And what are some fun ways to celebrate with your children?
We all know that St Patrick’s Day originated in Ireland, and just the same as it is in the US, Ireland celebrates the day with a huge party. It’s a day to celebrate Irish art, Irish people, Irish religion, and all things Irish. Though St. Patrick’s Day is not considered a National Holiday in the U.S, it is considered as one in Ireland. In other words, everyone has the day off of work and school to celebrate. But what exactly are they celebrating? Each year, March 17 marks the death of Saint Patrick.
Who is St Patrick? Born in 385 AD, St Patrick was kidnapped at age 16 and forced to work as a slave in Ireland. After 6 years of hard labor, St Patrick escaped and went on to become a bishop in France. In his older years, St. Patrick returned to Ireland to bring the word of Christianity to the Irish people – and has been celebrated for doing so ever since.
In child care, we not only encourage parents to share the history and story of St. Pat’s day with their children, but we also encourage the celebration of Irish traditions. So without further ado, here are some great ways to celebrate St Patty’s day with children:
- Wearing Green – We all know that green is the color of St. Patrick’s Day, and we encourage your children to wear their favorite green outfit on this day. But do you know why green is the color of choice? Well, it wasn’t always this way – blue was actually the original color of St Pat’s day. It was not until the 17th century that the color was changed to green to match one of the colors in the Irish Flag.
- Pinch me – Did someone you know forget to wear green on St. Patty’s day? A pinch for you! Now don’t get us wrong, we don’t encourage pinching in daycare – but this could be a fun tradition to start at home (a light pinch of course). According to tradition, leprechauns and fairy creatures have been known to pinch anyone they feel fit. The only way to avoid the pinch is to wear green, which makes you invisible to these mischievous creatures. A pinch from a friend is a good reminder to put on your green shirt before the others get to you!
- Make Shamrock Cookies – When St Patrick came back to Ireland to bring the word of Christianity, he explained it using the Shamrock. The three leaves of the shamrock represented the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. To this day, the shamrock remains the most common symbol for St. Pat’s day.
- Leprechaun hide and seek – Leprechauns are small, unfriendly fairies that live in the forest guarding their treasures. If they are caught by a man, the must reveal where their treasure is. But if you ever catch one, beware, the second you take your eyes off of them they will vanish – taking their treasure with them!
St Patrick’s Day is a great excuse to celebrate, and it can be just as much fun with children as it can be with friends. Take some popular St Pat’s day traditions and share them with your children through games and crafts, and encourage them to share their games and stories with their daycare friends!