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In honor of St Patrick’s Day we decided to “visit” Ireland. Until now my 3 year old didn’t have a lot of exposure to Ireland and its folklore, so we started by reading a very basic book – Hooray for St Patrick’s Day by Joan Holub, illustrated by Paul Meisel. She loves books about school, and in this book children put up a play, make crafts and have a St Patrick’s Day parade. As an additional bonus, there is also a leprechaun hiding in each picture (Smarty keeps calling them lollipons).
The book that didn’t work out for us was Look What Came From Ireland. I returned it to the library without even showing it to Smarty, because there was almost nothing in this book that she could possibly connect to. It’s not the first time I had to do it – sometimes the books marked for 4-8 are definitely meant more for 8+ than for 4 year olds.
Look at the Maps
I believe in early exposure to “real” geography, so I always make a point to pull out a map when we talk about different countries (unfortunately, we don’t have a wall available for a wall map). I printed two maps for Smarty to look at – Ireland at the world’s map and a more detailed map of Ireland. She was amazed that Ireland is so tiny and said, How can people fit there? It gave us a chance to talk a little bit about scale. She also asked a good question about the legend of St Patrick. She asked, If St Patrick threw snakes out of Ireland, where did they go? There is water everywhere!
A Craft for Ireland
We didn’t have time for an elaborate craft, so we did simple “Irish rings” out of sparkly green pipecleaners and green pompoms. Smarty was delighted to have her homemade jewelry… well for long enough to snap this picture!
Smarty is very enthusiastic about learning about the world and makes the funniest conclusions. Here is our exchange on weekend:
- Me: You know, leprechauns are really magical creatures.
- Smarty: No, they are not! They are just people who live in Ireland!
An Irish Dish for St Patrick’s Day
On Monday we made Irish beef stew (my husband doesn’t like lamb). It turned out delicious, at least for adults, but a little too much work and clean up for my taste.
More Resources for St Patrick’s Day
- Engineer This: Design and Build a Leprechaun Trap
- St Patrick’s Day Crafts
- A Rainbow Day
- Looking for Rainbow in Nature
- Consider following my St Patrick’s Day Pinterest Board
Do you do anything special to celebrate St Patrick’s Day even if you are not Irish?