After spending the last year in a pandemic, most of us have learned that holidays look a bit different in quarantine. But while up to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease each year in the U.S., millions have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 over the past 12 months. And while vaccinations are ramping up, we still need to exercise caution — which means staying home and avoiding large gatherings (especially indoors).
That might put a bit of a damper on your St. Patrick’s Day plans, particularly if your child is asking what you’ll be doing or why they can’t see their friends. The average four-year-old child asks 437 questions a day, and with help from this post, you’ll at least be able to tell them about all the lucky activities you’ll have in store. Here are just a handful of family-friendly things you can do with your kids at home this St. Paddy’s Day.
Make Homemade Shamrock Shakes
Despite the fact that alcohol and illicit drugs play a role in more than 15,000 car injury deaths per year, many people see St. Patrick’s Day as an excuse to drink themselves silly. When you stay home with your kids, however, you’ll want to avoid the Guinness and opt for something everyone can enjoy. Why not create your own Shamrock Shakes instead? You can improve on the McDonald’s classic by combining vanilla ice cream, milk or dairy-free alternative, mint extract, and green food coloring in a blender. Serve in a tall glass and top with chocolate syrup and whipped cream to finish! A simple and refreshing treat!
Build a Leprechaun Trap
St. Patrick’s Day crafts are always a good idea — and homemade leprechaun traps are a whole lot of fun. These traps are ideal because there isn’t one right way to make them. Plus, you can basically use whatever you have lying around the house. Use an empty toilet paper roll, green construction paper, popsicle sticks, empty jars, pipe cleaners, and glue to create decorative elements and figure out how you’ll “trap” the leprechaun. Of course, you’ll need bait — like gold coins or even Lucky Charms cereal. Then, set the trap and wait for a leprechaun to be tempted.
Dance to Traditional Irish Music
Even if you don’t know how to do a jig, that shouldn’t stop you from having a dance party to some music of the Emerald Isle! Make a playlist (or find one ready-made on a platform like Spotify) filled with traditional tunes and more modern Irish bands and put it on full blast while you dance around the house. Not only is this a great way to introduce your kids to a new genre of music, but it’ll also help everyone get a wee bit of exercise.
Get Cooking in the Kitchen
Of course, you can’t have St. Patrick’s Day without a delicious meal. Whether you make corned beef and cabbage or a hearty stew with meat and potatoes, cooking something scrumptious is an excellent way to celebrate. Shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread, and Reuben sandwiches are also good options. Even though you probably can’t travel to Ireland right now, being able to make these yummy dishes might be the next best thing! Of course, if you don’t feel like cooking, you could order take-out from a traditional pub in your area.
Enjoy an Irish Movie or Book Together
Looking for a way to end the day? Time to pop in an Irish film or pull out a St. Patrick’s Day book. You could watch a traditional Irish dance performance or enjoy an animated movie like Song of the Sea or The Secret of Kells. There are tons of children’s books that can help everyone learn about Saint Patrick or the beauty and history of Ireland, too. Even if you don’t have any Irish ancestry, movies and books can allow you to appreciate other cultures and traditions while whetting your appetite for travel.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at home can feel depressing, but planning a day of fun activities can chase the blues away (and replace them with greens, in this case!). You may even start new traditions with your loved ones that will continue for years to come — and that’s really what holidays are all about.