Kids’ Craic: Celebrate: It’s St. Patrick’s Day!
by Dottie Wenger

You don’t have to visit the Emerald Isle in order to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  Here are some fun ways to recognize the holiday wherever you are:

  • Wear green!
  • Enjoy an authentic Irish dinner, like corned beef and cabbage. Or, try Irish Stew with soda bread.  Another idea is an all-green meal:  broccoli, peas, jello jigglers and milk with a few drops of green food coloring. 
  • For picky eaters who aren’t fans of the authentic stuff, serve Lucky Charms for dinner- hey, it’s only one day.
  • Listen to Irish music. Exercise is always a good thing, and kids will love dancing to an upbeat “Irish Jig”
  • Make green Play-doh- involve the sense of smell by using lime jello in the mix! Use shamrock cookie cutters to make shapes.
  • Create a leprechaun trap!

No-Bake Irish “Potato Candy”
This recipe contains no real potatoes, but it was created by Irish immigrants in Philadelphia  The cinnamon-coated sweets resemble small potatoes- roll them into potato shapes and serve them in a “potato sack” (brown paper bag).

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

Directions
1. Beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla together.

  1. Slowly add the powdered sugar.
  2. Then, mix in coconut and stir until well-blended.
  3. Form tablespoon-sized balls, roll in cinnamon and roll each one into a potato shape.
  4. Place the pieces onto a foil-lined cookie sheet and chill until set. Keep them in the refrigerator until serving time.

Literature Highlights
For Younger Kids:
Ten Lucky Leprechauns  written by  Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook, Illustrated by Jay Johnson. 
A rhyming St. Patrick’s Day celebration! Kids count to ten with a bunch of silly leprechauns.
For Older Kids:
Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland     Popular author-illustrator Tomie dePaola tells the life story of Saint Patrick–from his early beginnings, to his Ireland captivity, to his eventual founding of the first Christian church in Ireland.   

A Few of the St. Patrick’s Day Events for Kids in Ohio

  • Kids, Canvas, and Fun: Patrick’s Day Masterpiece. Tuesday, March 10th, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Concord Community Center in Painesville.  For kids in grades K-4.
  • Lunch with a Leprechaun! Saturday, March 14thm. – 1:30 p.m.  Fellows Riverside Gardens, Youngstown.  Includes traditional Irish buffet, live music by County Mayo, the Burke Irish Dancers, crafts, and photo op with the leprechaun!
  • Patrick’s Day parade in historic Dublin, Ohio. Saturday, March 14th
  • Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Akron Zoo- Sunday, March 15th 11a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • Patrick’s Day Cosmic Bowling Party at Roseland Lanes in Oakwood Village. Sunday, March 15th from 2:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Mahoning Valley St. Patrick’s Day Parade- Sunday, March 15th on Market Street in Boardman.
  • Patrick’s Day parade in Cleveland! Tuesday, March 17th, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

*Dottie taught kindergarten and second grade for a total of thirty-two years, and now handles marketing and promotions for Yorktown Service Plaza in Parma Heights.  She is a baker extraordinaire, and in her spare time enjoys participating in 5K events and going on adventures with the Cleveland Hiking Club in order to offset collateral damage from her baking hobby. 

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