St. Patrick’s Day is not only a celebration of Ireland and its patron saint but is also the only time of year that it is politically correct to discuss “the little people.”
Shamrock shaped invitations cut out of green paper are ideal. Many desktop drawing programs have clip art or even ready-to-print invitations and posters already made.
St. Patrick parties for younger kids should take place during the day on the Saturday or Sunday closest to March 17. Older kids may prefer the Friday evening of the week of March 17 or to give everyone more time to prepare, have the party on the evening of the closest Saturday.
St. Patrick parties are an ideal way to introduce kids to the Irish culture and customs, the stories of St. Patrick himself driving the snakes out of Ireland and of course, the story behind the leprechaun.
Activities, Games and Crafts
Have the kids color in the St. Patrick’s Day activity sheet until all your guests have arrived.
Look over the Games section and add an Irish theme to it. A Scavenger Hunt can have the kids looking for pieces of gold that have fallen from the Leprechaun’s pot. These can be chocolate coins covered in gold foil or rocks painted gold. You can also use different sizes of shamrocks cut out of green paper. Larger ones are worth two points while the much smaller ones are worth twenty.
Introduce the kids to the sights and sounds of Ireland. Invite someone who is familiar with traditional Irish dancing to give them a demonstration. They may also be familiar with a few of the many Irish tales and folklore. There are many examples of these on the Internet, public library or at local Irish social clubs. Of course there are many Irish songs that can be bellowed out by almost everyone – so this could be an ideal time for a sing-along.
Food and Drink
Sandwiches can be cut into the shape of shamrocks with a sharp knife and a steady hand. Shamrock cookie cutters can make quick work of the sandwiches as well. Many bakeries can offer bread that is colored green. If you prefer to make your own, try adding a little food coloring to your batter before baking. A little green food coloring added to the punch will create the “Dublin Drink.”
Start looking for deals immediately after Valentines. Stickers, pencils, erasers and small note pads are also available with an Irish theme.
Have the kids cut-out large green shamrocks and place around the house. Green and white balloons are available while there is a large selection of foil balloons printed with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. Fill them with air and tape to walls and doors or have them filled with helium at your local party supply store.