- Julie Hardy
ST PATRICK DAY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS IN YOUR COMMUNITY
St. Patrick’s Day is often associated with parties and drinking. But, adults are not the only ones who can have fun during this Irish holiday. Learn how to organize some St. Patricks Day activities for kids below.
The Best St. Patricks Day Activities for Kids in Your Community
Homeowners associations typically host social events to bring neighbors together. More often than not, these events take place during the latter part of the year, with celebrations tailor-made for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.
But, the first half of the year also brings some special occasions, such as Easter and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. And while most people think of dancing, drinking, and everything in green, HOA communities have to adjust their social events to fit the resident demographic. For neighborhoods with a lot of kids, organizing a wild party hardly seems appropriate.
Here are the best ideas for St. Patricks Day activities for kids in your homeowners association.
1. Learn the History of St. Patrick’s Day
It is important that kids know the reason behind holiday celebrations to truly appreciate their significance. In the case of St. Patrick’s Day, the day marks the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and generally celebrates Irish culture. St. Patrick was a Christian missionary who explained the Holy Trinity using a clover. Thus, the shamrock has evolved to become the symbol of St. Patrick’s Day.
To teach kids about the history of St. Patrick’s Day, organize an event in your association’s clubhouse. You can conduct the history lesson in the style of a classroom, complete with trivia questions with prizes for winners. At the end of the day, kids will have a deeper appreciation for the holiday.
2. Organize a Small Parade (or Watch One Online)
If you have a larger community, it may be worth your while to organize a small St. Patrick’s Day parade. Different households can band together and design floats. Alternatively, if your budget permits, the HOA can spring for the floats instead. Kids can dress up in green and march down the streets with balloons and just generally have a merry time.
Of course, you can also just organize a watch party for kids in your neighborhood. There are a handful of parades you can watch virtually. And while it might not give you the same feeling as an in-person parade would, kids can still enjoy the festivities from a safe distance.
3. Play Some Games
One of the best and easiest St. Patricks Day activities for kids is to play some games. Have the kids try out their luck with bingo or test their coordination with a game of hot potato. You can also organize a community-wide treasure hunt that leads to a pot of (chocolate) gold. If you want to gear up for Easter, try a potato hunt. The mechanics are basically the same as an Easter egg hunt, only you swap out the eggs with small potatoes.
4. Enjoy Irish Food and Drinks
A big part of celebrating Irish culture — or any culture, for that matter — is to partake in food and drinks. You can have kids bake soda bread (with adult supervision, of course) and then eat their creations afterward. Other Irish foods to enjoy on this holiday include potato dishes, meaty Irish stews, and the classic pairing of corned beef and cabbage. Keep in mind, though, that kids might not like all of these dishes.
Adults usually drink green beer on St. Paddy’s Day, but for kids, shamrock shakes will do just as well. While shamrock shakes are an American creation, it has become somewhat synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day. Even just decorating cupcakes with green frosting can be fun for children.
5. Make Some Arts and Crafts
What better way to encourage creativity than with arts and crafts? Gather the kids in your neighborhood and let them tap into their creative sides. You can make shamrock wands, handmade four-leaf clovers, and even shamrock necklaces with just a few materials. Buy some construction paper, wooden sticks, some string, and kid-safe scissors, and you’re good to go!
6. Have a Costume Contest
Who says costumes are only for Halloween? On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone wears green. But, if you want to spice things up for the kids in your community, holding a costume contest is a good way to do it.
Beyond just wearing a green shirt, have kids come in their most festive St. Paddy’s Day outfits. They can go as simple or as extravagant as they like. There are so many options to choose from, too. People have dressed up as leprechauns, green fairies, green pots of gold, and even just straight-up shamrocks. Make it even more inclusive by allowing pets to join in on the fun.
7. Learn How to Stepdance
St. Patrick’s Day is about learning and showing an appreciation for Irish culture. Another way to do that is to teach kids some Irish dancing. This can be the traditional stepdance or the Irish jig. You can hire an instructor or just put on an online video for kids to follow. Make sure to gather the neighborhood’s kids all under one roof. That will make for some truly adorable group dancing!
8. Watch Irish Movies
Another great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with kids is to watch Irish movies. This is perfect if you want something that’s more laid back and does not require a lot of planning. Some great classics include “The Secret of the Roan Inish” and “The Luck of the Irish.” If movies are not a good fit, try music instead. There are many Irish artists worth listening to, including U2, Enya, and The Corrs.
9. Exercise Your Green Thumb
If your HOA community has a communal garden, planting shamrocks is a great way to teach kids about gardening while celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Once the shamrocks are big enough, kids (with the help of adults) can repot them and take them home. Shamrocks make for great house plants, and they last a long time, too. Plus, you can teach kids how to take care of another living thing.
For Families to Enjoy
St. Patrick’s Day is usually associated with adult celebrations, with people frequenting pubs and drinking green-colored alcohol. Communities with a large population of kids, though, should include them in the festivities. With these St. Patrick's Day activities for kids in mind, you can plan a great social event fit for families.
Homeowners associations are not always easy to manage. If you need professional help, Homeland Neighborhood Management is the perfect choice. Call us today at (601) 326-7325 to request a free proposal.