If you have the younger set over to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, you can keep them busy and entertained while also teaching them a thing or two about March 17.
Venture beyond pin-the-shamrock-on-the-Leprechaun activities with a bit of science, history and arts-and-crafts. Because busy hands usually belong to hungry kids, you can involve the kiddos in making fun edible St. Paddy’s Day treats, too. Gather your young guests and celebrate the spirit of the Irish with any of these fun projects.
Slime is all the rage with the younger set and it’s an easy DIY.
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup (4 oz.) white or clear school glue
- Green glitter, food color and/or confetti
- 1 teaspoon borax powder
- 1 cup warm water
- Large bowl
- In a bowl, stir together ½ cup water and the glue until thoroughly combined.
- Stir green décor into the glue mixture.
- In another bowl, stir borax into 1 cup warm water until combined.
- Stir borax mixture into glue mixture until desired texture.
- When ready to store, transfer slime to clean container and cover loosely.
The Science of Rainbows lets your young guests make their own rainbows using everyday ingredients.
- 6 clear drinking glasses (as deep as the straws are long)
- Warm water
- Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple food colors
- Granulated sugar
- Clear straws
- Fill each glass with warm water. Add one food color to each water glass and mix well to create six different colors.
- The first of the six glasses will have no added sugar. Stir 1 rounded teaspoon sugar into the second color, 2 rounded teaspoons into the third and so on until stirring 5 rounded teaspoons of sugar into the sixth. For each, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Hold the straw near one end, wrapping four fingers around and placing your thumb over the top opening. To make your Rainbow, lift your thumb off the opening, dunk the lower end of the straw about 1 inch into the non-sugared water. Cap the straw firmly with your thumb, lift it out of the water and dip it quickly into the next (1 teaspoon) solution. Go an inch deeper than you did into the first glass as you want layers of about the same thickness. With the straw in the liquid, lift your thumb but quickly replace it. Lift the straw and you’ll have the first and second colored solutions stacked inside the straw. Continue dipping until you have all six colored solutions inside the straw. In science-y terms, this is considered a “density column of sugar water,” but to your young party-goers, it’s a delightful Sugar Rainbow!
- When you’re ready for another, hold the straw over the dish and lift your thumb to empty the straw. Rinse it and make another rainbow.
DIY Tablecloth and Placemats will keep little hands busy while also encouraging their creativity as they learn a few fun facts about St. Paddy’s Day.
- Markers, crayons and/or colored pencils
- Craft paper roll with enough paper to fit tabletop
- Undecorated paper placemats
- Learn a bit about St. Patrick’s Day legends by researching online or in books. Why is the shamrock a symbol of this holiday? The leprechaun? Why is there a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Share the history of these legends with your young party guests.
- Have the kids decorate paper tablecloth or placemats with drawings, puzzles and even games inspired by what they have learned. Encourage them to talk to each other about what they’re drawing.
Rainbow Seeds make a great take-home activity for young ones.
- Fruit-flavored bite-size candy
- Snack-size resealable plastic food-storage bags
- Separate candy by color, placing one color in each cup of a muffin pan.
- Show your guests a picture of a rainbow, explaining how the colors are always in the same order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.
- Have them fill their bags with different colored candy. They can imagine the bag’s contents as a seed packet that will “grow” a rainbow!
Leprechaun Wands may not contain true magical powers, but these tasty pretzel snacks will make magic happen just the same!
- White baking chocolate
- Green food color
- Pretzel rods
- Green decorating sugar
- Parchment paper
- Melt baking chocolate according to package directions; stir in food color.
- Have kids dip the top third or so of each pretzel rod in chocolate. Immediately sprinkle with decorating sugar.
- Place on parchment paper to set.