Blog Post

Luck of the Irish – Fun for St. Patrick’s Day

If you know me, you know holidays are a thing in my house. I’m not Catholic. I’m not Irish. I’m not Orthodox. But hot dang, I love a good celebration. I also enjoy history and food. So of course, as holidays approach, I work hard to create learning experiences that will appeal to my kids. Our boys are 6, 4, and 2 so these activities are best suited for those ages.

These audio stories are favorites around here. Here are two specifically geared towards St. Patrick:

Adventures in Odyssey

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/media/adventures-in-odyssey/episode-394-saint-patrick-a-heart-afire-pt1

https://www.christianbook.com/395-saint-patrick-heart-afire-part/9781604823943/pd/DA22029-5?event=CBCER1

Sensory Bins

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Colored macaroni or rice is easy to do and fun for your kids. I go with a rainbow theme at St. Patrick’s Day.

  1. Divide pasta/rice into freezer bags. Use one bag for each color dye.
  2. Working with one bag at a time, add 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol to the bag. Close the top and scrunch it around in your hands to distribute the alcohol.
  3. Then add your food coloring to the bag. Again close the top and scrunch it around in your hands to distribute the color.
  4. Spread the dyed pasta out on a cookie sheet (you may want to line yours first with wax paper or aluminum foil) and let dry overnight.

That’s it. Easy peasy!

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Toss some Dollar Tree St. Patty’s Day items in, or relevant items from around the house, and you have a home made sensory bin for your toddler. For an older child, you could add a Dollar Tree cookie sheet and magnetic letters that spell “green” “rainbow” or other color words. Print simple color words on card stock and give the child the chance to go on a search and spell the words out on the cookie sheet. They could also “hunt” for color treasures around the house to match their spelling.

Kids in the Kitchen

Okay, I am going to get real for a hot minute: I learn A LOT when I bring my children into my kitchen. I learn I am not patient. I learn I have a mouth that I need to control. I learn that my boys LOVE to be with me and make things. I learn that the Holy Spirit is necessary for me to parent well.

That said, we do get in the kitchen. Often. One, because I like to eat. I have boys. They like to eat….and they often eat things best if they make them.

So, here are a couple ideas for getting your kids into the kitchen with you during the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Irish Beef Stew

  • 3lbs stew beef
  • 1/4c apple juice
  • 2 onions
  • 1 can organic tomato soup
  • 6 potatoes
  • 6 carrots
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1T onion powder
  • 1T pink salt
  • 1/2t black pepper
  • 1c water
  1. Brown the stew meat in oil or butter. This will seal in the flavor and juice.
  2. Have your littles help wash and cut the potatoes and carrots into 1 inch pieces.
  3. Place all ingredients in your crock pot on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Enjoy with some delicious Irish Soda Bread!

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Fruit Rainbow

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Choose fruit in every color of the rainbow! Let your children help wash the fruit (my middle son thinks this is the best part of being in the kitchen). Older kids can be assigned to create the rainbow itself, or littler ones can help hand you colors as your request them. All three of my boys have kitchen knives and can help slice fruit. This was a big hit with our kids. They gobbled up every bite.

Lucky Scavenger Hunt

Cut out a rainbow for each child from colored construction paper. One strip of each color (ROY G BIV). Then place them around the house with a coin under each. Have your children collect one of each color (instruct that they must not have more than one of any color) and the coins. Hide a pot of coins somewhere too, for fun. Once they have 7 colors and 7 coins, they can glue their rainbow together and count their money. I love the idea of a 3D rainbow they can play with afterwards. You can check out some ideas here.

Book Basket

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These are some of our favorites!

Copywork

I like to pull together some tracing copy work for  the boys and also include hymn study or a well known poem, etc.

Get your own copy.

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I hope some of these ideas and resources were helpful to you and your family. I enjoy idea sharing, so I welcome links and comments about what your family does.

On Arrow Hill,

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Blog Post

Lent & Passover – Resources for your family

I grew up with Passover Seder being customary and influenced most by my paternal Grandmother, Isabelle. She would roast lamb and set out the Seder plate and explain the items. She also would serve a delicious mint jelly for the roasted lamb dinner. Before the lamb and vegetables was a first course of homemade matzoh ball soup and latkes aplenty, paired with both applesauce and sour cream.Yum!

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As a teen, my parents took me to a really great church that hosted a Passover Seder every year complete with worship, traditional music, and dancing! It was the highlight of my church memories even before I chose Jesus.

Last year, the boys helped create Afikomen bags for our hidden matzoh. They practiced saying “Yeshua” and we even wrote His Hebrew name on the bags. We plan on doing this again this year.

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I preface our family’s Passover Seder traditions with these glimpses into the past because it is paramount to setting up why I still celebrate.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up. Write them down, and tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

This scripture is the premise for our Passover. I am continually brought back to it both as I prepare my heart and busy my hands with the preparations.

I believe Messiah has come. Yeshua. Jesus. He fulfilled the Promise and the law. Yet, I obey His command to teach my children about His ways. One of the primary ways to do that is through this feast.

This all symbolizes Jesus for our family and how he is the hidden pearl of great price. He is the bread broken for us. He took the stripes just like the stripes matzoh. When we seek Him, He is found. When we find Him and hold fast to Him, we are gifted a great Prize. 

So, what are some great resources and ideas for celebrating with your family?

As I shared above, an Afikomen bag is a staple at a Passover Seder. The Seder leader hides the bag with a matzoh inside during the meal, then the children hunt for it. Once found, it is traded for a small prize (typically money), which represents finding the Bread of Life, is our great reward!

You can buy a beautiful afikomen bag or you can let your children have fun making their own. Our craft was simple. It required paper bags, markers, twine/string/yarn, tape (to seal the end of the twine or yarn for threading), and a hole punch.

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Cut your paper bag to a size that fits just around a piece off matzoh. It should make a pocket when folded over the matzoh. Older kids can hole punch each side themselves, or mom can do it for the little ones. We played traditional Passover music in Hebrew during our craft time. Tape the ends of the string you chose so it is easy for the child to thread in and out of the holes on each side.

Finally, you can discuss Yeshua and share the Hebrew letters for His name. The children may copy it onto their bags. We also copied a relevant scripture.

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Another wonderful resource we are using for the entire season of Lent, is Jennifer Naraki’s Rich + Rooted Passover.

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This curriculum is beautiful. It provides simple activities paired with scripture verses and token items to help symbolize the stories and theology surrounding this season. I suggest buying it about a month prior to Ash Wednesday in order to give yourself time to gather the suggested materials (many of which you may have in your home already). This curriculum starts on Ash Wednesday and can be the core of your traditions during this season.

Finally, here are some children’s book recommendations for this season:

Sammy Spider’s First Haggadah

Sammy Spider’s Passover Shapes

Jesus Is Alive: The Amazing Story (Bible Wise)

The Big Sister’s Secret : The Story of Miriam (Bible Wise)

The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden 

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

 

I hope that you find Lent and Passover traditions that bring your family closer to Him.

On Arrow Hill,

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