During my years as a professional nanny, some of my fondest memories stem from our crazy and creatively themed playdates. If there was a holiday, you could guarantee a special playdate was to be had.
As a mum, I'm enjoying making new memories, building on some of the great experiences I enjoyed during those 15 years. If you are interested in planning a St. Patrick's Day themed playdate, consider trying out some of these things we will be doing this year:
1. Have a hunt for shamrocks.
For younger children, cut shamrocks out of green construction paper and hide them around the house or in the backyard. Give each child a bucket or bag to collect their shamrocks in. For older children, turn the game into a scavenger hunt by writing clues on the back of each shamrock. Have the clues lead to a black bucket filled with chocolate gold coins.
2. Paint with green peppers.
Cut a green pepper in half and use a paper towel to remove the excess water from it. Dip the pepper in green paint and voila! For babies and toddlers, instead of using paint, consider adding green food colouring to vanilla pudding. Using a paintbrush, add a stem to the clover.
3. Serve green goodies.
From green grapes and apples to cucumber slices, if it's naturally green, it's game to serve. Using cookie cutters, cut sandwiches into the shapes of shamrocks and for dessert, serve green frosted cupcakes or sugar cookies.
4. Set the mood.
Have some traditional Irish music playing in the background as you welcome the children to the playdate. Younger children may enjoy dancing to the music while preschool and elementary school aged aged children may enjoy playing freeze dance to it. You can download an MP3 version of When I Was Young – Children's Songs From Ireland at Amazon.com.
5. Read a book.
It's always a good idea to have a quiet activity ready to go during a playdate to help wind the children down. St. Patrick's Day in the Morning or That's What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting, St. Patrick's Day by Gail Gibbons or The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing make great reads for the 8 and under crowd.
6. Share a pot of gold.
Fill a black bucket with little goodie bags for the children to take home. St. Patrick's themed stickers, a piece of candy and a shamrock shaped cookie and cookie cutter are all great St. Patrick's themed favour ideas.
How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your children? What creative things would you include in a St. Patrick's Day themed playdate?