Monday, March 12, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Craft

We are not actually very big into St. Patrick's Day. In fact I usually completely forget about it because my brother-in-law's birthday is the same day and I think of it as his birthday instead! However, this year my son has some things going on in school that have to do with it including a leprechaun that is coming to give "luck".

Well this has me thinking more about St. Patrick's Day. I was doing a rainbow craft with the kids anyway so I decided to add a St. Patrick's Day theme to it. 

We started out talking about rainbows and how they occur. We talked a lot about rain splitting the light of the sun and how it is necessary to have both sun and rain to get a rainbow (yeah for science!).  

We also talked about the colors in the rainbow (leaving out indigo we will have to go into that more later). We did all of this talking while were actually doing the craft itself. 

When we were making the pot of "gold" for the end of the rainbow (making it St. Patrick's Day themed) and how some people think that if you can find the end of the rainbow you will find a pot of gold. We talked a little about St. Patrick's Day coming up and how it is a kind of Irish myth that this can happen. I decided to talk this time to talk with them about what is most important to us, and it is not gold. 

Friends, family, and love are more important to us than money/gold because it is something that makes us feel really good, so we talked about that. I feel like really important to talk about this due to how materialistic our surroundings are and this was a great way to fit this talk in with a craft. 

My daughter is a little young to actually get what I was telling her and my son was a bit skeptical but talking about it is so important. Due to love being what we find more important we put hearts at the end of the rainbow. 

Here is the finished craft: 
 What you need:

White paper
Hole punch
Cotton balls or tissue paper
Egg carton
Pipe cleaner
Foam Hearts (or some other "gold" for inside the egg carton)

What to do:

1. First you need to prep. I cut out the clouds from two pieces of copy paper holding them together and then punched holes around the outside of the cloud while holding the two pieces of paper together. This helps to keep them lined up and matching in size, shape, and location of the holes. I am sure that older kids (even my sons age) could do this but that is not what we did this time. 

2. We drew lines for each of the colors of the rainbow on a piece of white paper so that the colors would end up in the correct shape. 

3. Paint the colors on the page (or color with crayon/marker). 

 4. While the paint dries cut a long piece of yarn, tape one end up so that it can be more easily threaded through the holes. Tie the other end through a pair of holes on the clouds. Sew the cloud up leaving a few open when you get close to the end. 

5. Stuff cotton balls or tissue paper into the cloud. Finish sewing up the cloud and tie it off. 

6. Glue the cloud to the rainbow (you can cut the rainbow out so there is not any white on the edges of the paper if you like, or use blue paint to make sky behind the cloud). 

 7. Next using one egg carton section create the pot by using green or black to color it. 

8. Glue your "gold" inside the "pot", we used foam hearts. 

9. Punch two holes directly across from each other on the egg carton and one hold at the bottom of the rainbow. Put a pipe cleaner through one hole, then through the hole at the bottom of the rainbow, and then through the second hole on the pot to make a handle. 

10. Hang it up! 

This craft is great for fine motor skills, vocabulary building, learning colors, science awareness, cultural awareness, and talking about the importance of family/friends. 

You can find the dot paints we used at the link below:

A great rainbow book is this one:

Or if you are looking for one that is more science oriented but very kid friendly I recommend this one: 

One of my absolute favorite children's books for spring and rainbows is this one:

What kinds of things are you doing with your kids for St. Patrick's Day? What are your family traditions surrounding it?

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