Irish craft projects can inspire children to learn about Ireland and to appreciate the legacy and mystery of the "Emerald Isle." While the kids work, relate historical tales of struggle, hope and triumph about the Irish people and their land. Mark St. Patrick's Day--a holiday dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland and celebrated each March 17--with the creation of Irish crafts.
Kiss the Blarney Stone, located at Blarney Castle in Ireland, and you will reputedly inherit the gift of gab. If Irish travel plans are not in your future, however, you can settle for a homemade version that's simple enough for kids to make. Buy a bag of smooth river rocks at the dollar store or scrounge around a gravel driveway for suitable stones without sharp edges. Let the children paint all over the rocks with green tempera or acrylic paint. The acrylic paint will give an appealing, shiny finish but can stain clothes, so consider the age and skill of your crafting children when choosing paint. When the paint is dry, give the kids an assortment of yarn, wiggle-eyes and other small embellishments to glue onto their blarney stones.
Legend has it that St. Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland, which is why there are no native snakes on the island. A popular belief is that St. Patrick banished the reptiles from Irish soil while he was working to bring Christianity to the island. Make handfuls of paper chain snakes by looping, then taping together the ends of 1-inch-wide and 6-inch-long strips of green, brown or black construction paper. Make one loop, then wrap the next paper strip through the first loop and secure it with tape. Add loops until your snakes are as long as you like. Cut a 1/4-inch-wide and 2-inch-long strip of red construction paper and glue it to the first loop for the snakes tongue. Draw eyes with markers, or glue wiggle-eyes above the tongue.
Kids 10 years and up can make a shamrock welcome sign. Press real clover to add a touch of nature to the Irish craft. Gather clover from common patches of the green, three-leafed plant, found growing in parks, lawns and other grassy areas. Gently spread out the little plants on an open page in a heavy phone book. Mark the page with a sticky-note at the top. Close the book and let the clover dry and flatten for two or three days. Print the phrase "Céad Míle Fáilte," an Irish phrase that translates to "a hundred thousand welcomes," onto a 5 inch by 7 inch piece of white card stock, as suggested by the Original Kid's Crafts website. Glue the pressed shamrocks around the words. Mount the sign on an 8 inch by 10 inch piece of green card stock. Punch two holes near the top corners and attach yarn or raffia to form a hanger for the sign.
- st patricks day shamrocks image by sparkia from Fotolia.com