Your toddler’s current understanding of St. Patrick’s Day might be limited to “The day Mom and Dad drink that funny green stuff,” or “When we get to eat green pancakes for dinner.” This year, help your child get an inkling of the true meaning behind the holiday (honoring little green men who steal gold?) by creating a special St. Patrick’s Day art project together. Save the green beer for a celebration with your spouse.
Amaze your toddler by turning vegetables into shamrock stamps. Slice a green pepper in half and, poof, you’ve got a shamrock. Cut a potato in half and then carve a shamrock shape into it. Show your child how to dip the vegetable into paint and press it onto a piece of paper to make a cool St. Patrick’s Day design. Use green paper and white paint or green paint on white paper. Indulge your child’s inner leprechaun by drawing an empty pot of gold. Then slice the top off of a carrot and dip it into yellow paint to stamp pieces of gold into the pot. Sprinkle glitter on the wet paint to truly become your toddler’s hero. Add a snack of shamrock cookies to keep you and your toddler going.
Dig into your recycling bin to help your toddler create a leprechaun house. Use a cereal box, oatmeal container or plastic carton or bottle as the house. Cover the structure with green construction paper or paint. Cut windows and doors and then let your toddler decorate it in leprechaun style with paint, markers, glitter or stickers. Add whimsical touches like a cardboard swing hanging with yarn, a pot of gold made from a bottle cap or a mini leprechaun bed made from an empty matchbox — (just make sure you keep the non-safety matches that came in the box hidden in the house where your little one won’t find them.)
If you polled a group of toddlers, most would agree that it doesn’t get more fun than slathering paint on your hands. Make a hand or foot print rainbow by pressing your child’s prints onto paper in each of the primary colors. Make your rainbow into a circle and put a picture of your child in the middle. Create a shamrock by keeping your child’s fingers pressed together as you press his hand three times on the page, pointing to the left, right and up. If you strongly disagree, Mom, you can get the same results by tracing your child’s hand or foot on colored paper.
Pot o’ Gold
Successful toddler art projects often involve objects they can manipulate easily. Items that are shiny or have an interesting texture are typically a hit. Cut a pot of gold from sturdy paper or cardboard and let your toddler add the bling. Turn plain old beans into gold nuggets by dipping them in glue and sprinkling with gold glitter. Cut tin foil into circles for coins or add miscellaneous treasures with foam shapes, beads or plastic coins from the craft store. Top o’ the Morning to you — you’re done!