KID’S CRAFTS: ST. PATRICK’S DAY
March 17th is the feast day of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. No one knows exactly when St. Patrick was born although historians believe that he was born in Britain. We do know that his real name was Succat and when he was sixteen years old, Irish pirates attacked his family’s estate and kidnapped Patrick,. The pirates forced him to live as a herdsman in somewhere in Ireland. During this time, he became a devout Christian and began to see visions. After six years of enslavement, his visions told him to escape.
He returned to his family but later, fled for the northern coast of Gaul where he became a priest. His course of study lasted 15 years and when it ended, he returned to Ireland, and eventually became Bishop of Ireland.
Symbols associated with St. Patrick’s Day include leprechauns and the shamrock. Leprechauns are a race of elves who gave their gold to anyone who could catch them. The shamrock became the national symbol of Ireland because St. Patrick used its three leaves to explain the idea of the Holy Trinity to the Irish people. This was St. Patrick’s way of incorporating Irish customs and beliefs into his teachings of Christianity.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY RAINBOW
Ages: 5 – 12 years
Time: one hour
Kelly Green craft foam sheet
Purple craft foam sheet
Dark Green craft foam sheet
Orange craft foam sheet
White craft foam sheet
Blue craft foam sheet
Red craft foam sheet
Dowel rod 20”
Yellow craft foam sheet
String – double the length of the dowel rod
Using templates or stencils (or enlarge the patterns provided below ) trace and cut two clouds out of the white craft foam sheet. Place one cloud slightly lower than the other and so that they partly overlap each other. Glue. Trace and cut 3 small, 2 medium, and 2 large shamrocks out of the dark green craft foam sheet. Trace and cut 3 small, 2 medium, and 2 large shamrocks out of the Kelly Green craft foam sheet.
Arrange the large shamrocks in a random pattern on the bottom part of the banner and glue. Place one small Kelly Green shamrock and one small dark green shamrock aside. Arrange the rest of the shamrocks so that they overlap the dark green shamrocks, etc., and glue the pieces. Glue the two shamrocks that you laid aside so that they appear to tumble from the clouds. Avoid centering them on the design because the design will look more interesting if the shamrocks are scattered to the left and right of the design.
Cut three strips 8” x 1 1/2” out of the white craft foam sheet. Glue the ends of each strip so that they form a loop. When the loops are dry, glue the loops to the back of the banner. Insert the dowel rod through these loops and hang your banner for St. Patrick’s Day.
Erin go bragh! (Ireland forever!)
VARIATION: The rainbow in the design reaches for a pot of gold. Where does your rainbow go and how far? Try making your own banner design using four-leaf clovers.