Think green, think spring, think Saint Patrick’s Day coming up on March 17.
Kids enjoy learning about interesting people and places. As parents, we can be instrumental in helping our children discover the diverse cultures that make up our world and our national heritage. That discovery is an important step in appreciating and respecting ethnic differences.
To get started, enjoy some family fun this month as many Irish Americans celebrate the “luck of the Irish.”
Here are some ideas and a craft to help keep you thinking “green.”
1. Go online or check out library books on Ireland. Learn the difference between Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland, and other interesting facts and curiosities about the Emerald Isle. Talk to Irish-American neighbors and discover what their families do to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
2. List names and surnames that are typically Irish, such as Liam, Megan, Shannon and O’Brien. Do any of your kids’ friends have Irish names? Any Irish ancestors in your family tree?
3. Make easy-to-create brilliant green shamrock suncatchers to hang in your window to welcome friends for a visit. Here’s how:
Ask your young kids to sort through crayon boxes, and look for “almost used up” shades of green crayons. Peel off the paper.
Make crayon shavings in piles, by shade, from the peeled crayons using a grater or a crayon sharpener.
Lay a sheet of wax paper, waxed side up, on a small stack of newspapers on an ironing board. Sprinkle the shavings evenly over the wax paper. Set a second sheet of wax paper on top, this time waxed side down. Cover with a lightweight cloth. Using an iron set at Warm, an adult may iron over the cloth until the shavings melt. Remove the cloth.
Make cutout shamrock shapes from your “stained glass” sheets. Glue string or fishing line to the top of each shamrock and hang them by a window.
Tip: It’s easy to make a shamrock pattern by arranging three paper heart shapes with the points touching.