Being an au pair means experiencing lots of new traditions, especially when it comes to holidays. You’ll likely enjoy your first Thanksgiving dinner during your au pair program year. Perhaps you’ll go trick or treating on Halloween for the first time. And, chances are, you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day for the first time too as an au pair. (Check out our Pinterest board for St. Patrick’s Day fun).
In case you’ve never even heard of St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a quick overview of what it is and why it’s recognized in the U.S. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th to honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Believe it or not, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated not only in the U.S., but also in Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Argentina! It was first recognized by the Catholic Church in the 17th century.
Because St. Patrick’s Day is not a holiday where schools are closed, there are typically lots of fun activities for kids both in and out of school. Here are some ways you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your host kids and help them enjoy this day from a young age:
- Wear green clothing! Most people wear some type of green clothing on St. Patrick’s Day. Be sure your host child’s green shirt or green pants or even green socks are clean so they can feel like they’re in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit on this day.
- Make a leprechaun trap! Leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, many kids will be eager to catch a leprechaun on St. Patrick’s Day. Leprechauns are often described as mythical fairy-like beings that get into mischief. It’s become somewhat of a tradition to try and catch a leprechaun the night before St. Patrick’s Day by leaving a trap out. Check out this leprechaun trap idea to do with your host kids!
- Eat green food! Even though the typical St. Patrick’s Day dinner consists of corned beef and cabbage, preparing green foods for breakfast, lunch or snack is a great way to have some St. Patrick’s Day fun. Need some ideas? Make a green smoothie by adding some spinach to your ingredients. Create a green crudité plate with green grapes, broccoli and Granny Smith apple slices. Put some green food coloring into pancake mix or oatmeal (bonus: top with some banana slices to replicate gold coins).
- Have fun with crafts! From rainbow paper chains to leprechaun masks, there’s no shortage of craft options for you and your host kids to create together. Crafts allow kids to show their creativity and practice fine motor skills with things like cutting, gluing, and threading, and St. Patrick’s Day crafts deliver all of this and more!
- Find four-leaf clovers! Go on a nature walk and look for the lucky (and often hard to find) four-leaf clovers! These are known to bring good fortune to your day and beyond.
Be sure to take part in some fun traditions with your host family this St. Patrick’s Day! You’ll create special memories for your host kids and for yourself. Expand your English vocabulary with words like shamrocks, leprechauns, and four-leaf clovers. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!