St. Patrick’s Day Homeschool Party

St. Patrick’s Day Homeschool Party March 21, 2012

We invited some homeschooling friends for a morning of St. Patrick’s Day activities.  We had 20 children at our house (what’s that about socialization?), and following the “Unit Study in a Day” format I described recently in Mater et Magistra magazine, we had various stations on our theme.

The first order of business, frankly, was to get all of the big boys outside.  They played Rounders, a game somewhere between cricket and baseball, which the Irish brought to America and may have

Painting ziti for green necklaces

been the foundation of our national pastime.  As it happened, the boys were so happy with their game that they did not come in again until snack time, which allowed us to focus on the younger children for the craft time.

We had two craft stations: jewelry making and painting.

For the jewelry, the older girls made felt shamrock barrettes following this model, except that we added a stem instead of the fourth leaf so that they would be Holy Trinity shamrocks and not lucky clovers. The preschool age children make necklaces using green painted ziti and green pony beads.

For the painting, we used q-tips to paint a rainbow and then glued on some crinkled tissue paper gold and a pot

Potato Stamp 
Potato Stamped Shamrock

which I had pre-cut the night before.  We used green peppers dipped in green paint to stamp on shamrocks.  (Make sure that you get a three sided bell pepper for this project).  We did not do the potato stamping, but I did it later with my own children and I would add it next time.  For that last one, you cut a potato in half, then insert a heart shaped cookie cutter into the potato.  Use a sharp knife to cut around the cookie cutter, removing that part of the potato, then remove the cookie cutter and you have a heart stamp.  Stamp three times on your paper to make a shamrock.

We had story time, and they read Jaime O’Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie De Paola and Patricia Pingry’s Story of St. Patrick’s Day. Another favorite in our house is Gail Gibbon’s St. Patrick’s Day.

During snack time, we had the Irish Rovers playing in the background.  We made rainbow

fruit skewers, then shared soda bread (I use this recipe), shamrock cookies and green cupcakes.  On the soda bread we had homemade butter — this is a great activity for energetic children, you just pour heavy cream into a jar and shake, shake, shake it, past whipped cream, to butter.  Strain off the buttermilk and you have soft, fresh, delicious homemade butter.

Rainbow and Pot of Gold
Fruit Rainbow

To wrap up, a few leprechauns went out and hid gold coins in the front yard, and we had a treasure hunt.  Here’s a tip — this meant that the children were all outside, close to their cars, which made saying goodbye natural and easy at the end of the party.

Other activities that I considered, and would use another time, especially if I had more older children involved, would be a Holy Trinity shamrock, coloring an outline map of Ireland, or painting Irish flags.  This party may become a tradition for us, so I won’t be surprised if some of those make their way into a future agenda!


Pepper Stamped Shamrocks

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