Families Are Seeing Green!

By Jan Roberts

It's not just the Irish who enjoy St. Patrick's Day - children participate in the "wearin' o' the green" to school so they won't be pinched, and the whole family should join in the fun. Holiday celebrations give a welcome break from stressful routines, at the same time creating many memorable moments. See if these activities won't bring you the luck of the Irish!

1. Play lively celtic music while the family gets ready for the day.

2. Try the Irish jig together. With hands on hips, while hopping on left foot, put: Right heel out in front, right toe across left foot; right heel out in front and then back in place. How, hopping on the right foot, repeat the same pattern with the left heel out in front, etc.

3. Top 'o the morning to ya! Breakfast fare could include Lucky Charm cereal with green tinted milk, Irish soda bread, and Irish Breakfast tea.

4. Place a lush pot of shamrocks in the middle of the table.

5. Read books about the history of St Patrick (March 17 commemorates his death) and the ornery, mischievous leprechauns, and other Irish customs.

6. Send children to school with green lunches: shamrock shaped sandwiches on green bread (available in some stores), lime yogurt, green apples, green grapes and kiwi, green pepper and celery, shamrock shaped green sprinkled cookies.

7. Cause a little havoc in the children's rooms while they are at school and blame it on leprechauns. They are also known to tint the toilet water green! Encourage the children to make shoebox traps to see if they can capture the little green rascals.

8. Host an afterschool treasure hunt for children and friends. Hide little pots of shamrocks, small mesh bags of gold coins, a few Irish potatoes, and small plastic leprechauns. Provide sidewalk chalk so children can create a big, colorful rainbow. Serve white frosted cupcakes topped with green gumdrop shamrocks.

9. Make Pot of Gold Drops. Spread peanut butter between two Ritz crackers. Now dip in melted butterscotch chips and place on wax paper to set.

10. Top off the day with a dinner of Irish stew, boiled potatoes, green jello with grapes, cucumbers with Green Goddess dressing, mint ice cream, and Irish cream coffee

11. Read some Irish jokes, share a little blarney, and listen to a few lovely Irish blessings. Memorize one together.

12. Watch an Irish movie such as Finian's Rainbow or Darby O'Gill and the Little People.

End the perfect St. Paddy's Day with a soothing, green tinted bath and a gold coin on each bed pillow. Celebrate how lucky your family is to have found each other at the end of the rainbow!

About the Author:

Jan Roberts teaches weekly parenting classes, is a parent coach, and writes a weekly newspaper column entitled "The Parent Coach". She speaks on parenting issues, and conducts family traditions workshops.