The magnitude of what is happening with COVID-19 is starting to sink in—the loss of fun for everyone. No school, no parties, no trips and sadly no St. Patrick’s Day Parade means fewer memorable moments made.
Or does it? I fully support protecting our elders and neighbors (and ourselves). So…for the moment, I’m done grieving the loss of fun and am on to tackling what we are going to do with all of this TIME WITH OUR CHILDREN. How can we MAKE this temporary new way of life fun?
Marrying into an Irish American family has taught me a few things. 1) EVERYTHING gets celebrated — (COVID19 or not) and 2) Music and food make a party. Here are some suggestions for how to make your St. Patrick’s Day magical for you and your wee ones!
Food and Music are the Life of Any Party
When your kids wake up on March 17, prepare a green breakfast or a traditional one.
Green frittatas, green pancakes, or any one of the thousands of green smoothies on Pinterest would be perfectly festive. Or a sure winner — Lucky Charms! For a real treat, an AUTHENTIC Irish breakfast sausage, take a trip downtown to Browne’s Irish Market on 3300 Pennsylvania.
While your family eats, listen to Irish music on YouTube. There is plenty of Irish music for adults like “Oh Danny Boy,”“Wild Rover,” or “I’ll tell Me Ma,” as well as, an adorable array of kids Irish music like “I’m a little Leprechaun.”
Snack or Lunch
Create a rainbow from fruits and veggies or any group of green fruits and veggies on skewers like, green grapes and kiwi, or cucumbers, green peppers, celery, broccoli, green beans and asparagus.
As a child I grew up eating corned beef and cabbage. I’ve learned that’s not actually Irish BUT truly delicious. More authentic, Irish-themed dinners include Shepherd’s Pie or Beef Stew with a side of Irish Soda Bread like the one my Mother-In-Law makes (pictured below). For the pickier kids (like my own) try roasting potatoes or doing a baked potato bar — fun for you and yummy for them!
There are two ways you can go here 1. Add green frosting or Jell-O with rainbow sprinkles on any kind of cookie, cupcake or cake-pop. 2. Try an authentic desserts like those you would find in Ireland, like my favorite: sticky toffee.
Costumes and Activities are the Pot o’Gold
I’ve never ACTUALLY been to a costume party in Ireland, but our goal is to add FUN to our St. Paddy’s Day at Home, so now is the time to pull out last year’s shamrock sunglasses and leprechaun hats even capes, masks or dragon costume, anything green you already have in your toys bins or drawers.
Parade at Home Put up green streamers around your house or make a paper chain with construction paper. Decorate your mantle and their bikes/scooters/grocery carts. Turn on the Notre Dame theme song “Victory March” or “Here Come the Irish” and parade around the driveway or the living room.
If driveway parades aren’t your thing try a craft with paper and green paint or creating a shamrock with Legos.
Movie and Popcorn
With your middle school child watch a movie like “Rudy”. With your high schooler a movie like “Brooklyn”. Paired with popcorn you’ve made it a festive night.
Don’t limit your imagination or theirs! On Monday, ask your kids how they would like to celebrate. Go overboard or keep it simple! Kids remember the little things, like how you make them feel. Whatever you do, give yourself the opportunity to have fun and enjoy your people. Wishing you all the Luck O’ the Irish!