Showing posts with label St. Patrick's Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label St. Patrick's Day. Show all posts

Mar 13, 2013

Favorite St. Patrick's Ideas for Kids

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Growing up, I was never really "into" St. Patrick's day. But now that I have kids, I see St. Patty's as a great opportunity to teach my kids about missions, ministry, and the trinity. For fun, we throw in a few other Irish-like stuff, too. Here are my kids' favorite crafts, foods, and activities:

* A trinity shamrock. We always make some sort of shamrock while I tell my children how St. Patrick explained the trinity to the Irish: God is one, but three, just as the shamrock is one leaf with three parts. Click here for more details

* Eat green food. Every meal must have some! As a snack, we like these green mint chocolate chip cookies.

* Talk about snakes. Legend has it St. Patrick banished them from Ireland - but scientists doubt there ever were snakes on the Island. Probably, the story is figurative, meaning Patrick got rid of pagan religions in Ireland. Try this uber easy pipe cleaner snake craft.

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* Watch it. Veggie Tales has a fun clip about St. Patrick, which we watch online for free.

* For silly fun, be leprechauns. These beards are easy to make and always give the kids giggle fits. Also, just for fun, we sometimes make shamrock hats from paper plates.

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* Rainbows usually come up. So we re-read the Bible story about why God sends them and either make these rainbow cupcakes or rainbow pudding. (My kids are rarely exposed to food dyes, so I don't worry about using them once or twice a year, but if you're concerned about your kids consuming them, you can make the cupcakes with natural dyes; check out the posts here and here. Not sure what the fuss is about? Read this.)

* Read some St. Patty's day books, like these. It's shockingly difficult to find children's books about St. Patrick that suit most protestant families; my favorite is the board book The Story of St. Patrick's Day. It does a good job of explaining why we celebrate this man of God. If your kids are 8 or up, you might just want to find some reading material online, like this, from the History Channel, or this, from Catholic Online.

Again, I try to focus the kids on Patrick's calling from God, the fact that he ended up serving those who originally enslaved him, and that he brought Christ to a place that knew nothing of him. Cuz that's what St. Patrick's Day is really about.

Mar 5, 2012

St. Patrick Day's Activities for Kids

* Make a green eggs and ham omelet for breakfast. Tell children St. Patrick's Day is associated with green because Ireland - the country St. Patrick preached in - is so very green because of all the rain it gets.

* Make rainbow cupcakes. Rainbows are associated with St. Patrick's Day because it rains a lot in Ireland - and therefore there are lots of rainbows, too. (Need to brush up on your rainbow science? Try this link. Now's also a good time to remind kids about why God made rainbows.)

* Make a rainbow - a science experiment.

* Teach children about the Trinity the same way St. Patrick did - through shamrocks. Click here for easy crafts that will help.

* Watch the Veggie Tales version of the story of St. Patrick.

* Make shamrock lacing cards.

* Sort or Graph Lucky Charms.

* Create a book about all things green.

* Make a snake. St. Patrick is said to have driven snakes out of Ireland; most historians believe snakes really represent paganism in this story. Make a snake shape from a paper chain, then use pens, crayons, and scraps of construction paper to make a face on the snake. Or make snake pops, a spiral snake, a snake cake, or a snake sandwich.

* Serve up green Mint Chocolate Chip cookies.

* Lay out strawberry slices, blueberries, kiwi pieces, pineapple chunks, and melon chunks into the shape of a rainbow. Place marshmallows, whipped cream, or whipped cream cheese at one end, for a cloud.

* Serve mini shamrock pizzas. Spread pizza sauce on half an English muffin or hamburger bun. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and cut out a green bell pepper and lay the pieces out to make a shamrock on the pizza. Toast until the cheese melts.

* Eat Rainbow Pudding.

Mar 16, 2011

Make a Green Eggs and Ham Omelete

Whether you want a fun St. Patrick's Day breakfast, wish to pay tribute to Dr. Seuss in this, his birthday month, or you simply want to delight a kid who loves the book Green Eggs and Ham, here's a recipe certain to please. It's from the April issue of Everyday Food.

What You Need:

2 cups (tightly packed) fresh baby spinach leaves
2 large eggs
Salt (preferably sea salt)
Freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese
2 thin slices ham

nonstick skillet
slotted spatula
whisk or fork
mixing bowl

How to Do It:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of water in the skillet. Add the spinach leaves. Toss and cook until the leaves are wilted.

2. With the slotted spatula, remove the spinach and put it in a colander. Press out as much of the liquid in the spinach as possible, then chop finely.

3. Pour the spinach into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and whisk. Season with salt and pepper.

4. In the skillet, melt the butter. Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Stir with a spatula until the eggs just begin thickening (about half a minute). Continue cooking by using the spatula to push the edges of the omelet toward the center and tilting the pan so the uncooked egg can run underneath. Cook for about 20 to 30 seconds, or until the eggs are set.

5. Place the ham and cheese on top of the omelet. Fold the omelet in half with the spatula and serve immediately.


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Mar 15, 2011

Rainbow Cake

Here's a little treat ideal for St. Patrick's Day, when your young kids are learning about Noah's ark and the meaning of the rainbow, or anytime you just want to wow your kids with a really cool dessert.

I wanted to make one myself and share the instructions step by step, but I ran out of time. So here's the recipe, from Family Fun. They made cupcakes, but you could just as easily make a cake. Just portion out the batter into bowls, add a different color food coloring to each bowl, then pour the colored batter into a cake pan in layers.

Teaching Kids About the Trinity

Let's face it. Truly understanding the Trinity is difficult even for adults. That's why it's important to start introducing the concept to your kids at an early age. There are a number of books for helping kids understand the Trinity - Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers: The Trinity and 3 - in - 1 A Picture of God are two of the best, in my opinion. And there are plenty of thoughts about illustrations that help kids understand the concept. But really the best is one of the first that was ever used: The Shamrock.

Shamrocks fit in nicely with St. Patrick's Day and offer an opportunity not only to learn about the Trinity, but also about a great man who lead many people to God. One of the ways he did this was to show pagans an ordinary shamrock or clover. Like the shamrock, with it's three separate leaves, St. Patrick said, God is one, yet three. Simple and to the point.

One of the crafts my daughter can't wait to do each year is a simple shamrock labeled with the Persons of the Trinity. We use this template. All my daughter has to do is cut out the shamrock pieces (if your child is younger, you can do this ahead of time) then write in "Father," "Son," and "Holy Spirit." If your child isn't at all ready to write, this template might be a better choice, since it requires only pasting. Here's another simple variation - and a more complicated shamrock for older kids. Of course, you don't really need a template. You could just cut a shamrock shape from paper.

But whatever method you choose, let it lead to a conversation about the Trinity and who each Person in it is. It's a great way to start learning one of the more important - yet difficult - parts of the Bible.