I can hear those bagpipes already! I think most people agree that St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most happy holidays out there. You don’t need to have roots in the Emerald Isle to enjoy it either; afterall, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! And, now everyone can enjoy an allergy-free celebration with veggie clovers and sesame seed-free hummus dip.
So, if you’re having a classroom celebration as we did a few years ago, may I suggest these few tips that worked fantastically for our elementary school aged kids:
1. Download some Irish tunes (you’ll be clapping and toe tapping in the car en route!). Start with “The Unicorn” by the Irish Rovers (fun fact: this song was written by Shel Silverstein!).
2. Find a good children’s story. I last read one from our school’s library (out of print now) about siblings who tried to catch a leprechaun in the hope of gaining some wishes. It entranced the kids so much that my son came home and built about 5 leprechaun traps in our yard (lots of bugs, no leprechauns caught). You can check out Amazon’s best sellers for St. Patrick’s Day here to find one that fits your audience.
3. Crafts or games are always a good idea. Get those kids moving! If you have the flexibility, take the gang outside to build leprechaun traps out of sticks and bark. Indoors, you could decorate boxes (rainbows encouraged!) or use legos to make in the “traditional” leprechaun box trap. I understand leprechauns are lured by the promise of gold…
4. Finally, give them food! Here’s my easy, no bake, idea for serving the kids something healthy…
St. Patrick’s Day Veggie Clovers
mini cucumbers (also sold as persian cucumbers)
green bell peppers (you may wish to choose ones that have fewer side slits)
optional: red or yellow bell peppers or slivers of carrots
For the sesame seed-free hummus:
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained but reserving liquid
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
optional: 3 slivers of roasted red pepper
Thinly slice cucumber into disks and overlap to arrange into three and four-leaf clovers. Hollow out peppers and carefully slice horizontally. If using carrots, slice into thin disks and arrange as clovers or slice into sticks and place in ramekin for easy snacking.
For the dip: Add garbanzo beans, garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and cumin into a blender or food processor. Pulse until well-blended. Add reserved liquid to desired consistency. Optionally, add roasted red peppers to make a red pepper hummus dip.
Erin Go Bragh! And Enjoy!