Top of the Mornin’: St. Patrick’s Day

Setting up the party for the leprechauns #waldorfhome #waldorf #spring #fairies #leprechauns

Good morning! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We’ve had a wonderful morning, with a little leprechaun magic, a surprise or two, and a prank. Those pesky leprechauns. We always think that the party we lay out for them should please them enough not to play a trick on us. But inevitably they do something prankish.

Leprechaun party! #spring #fairies #waldorfhome #waldorf

Here’s the little party we set up for them late yesterday afternoon.

Party for #leprechauns! #spring #waldorfhome #waldorf #fairies #stpatricksday

While we decorated in the slanted golden sunshine and put out milk and honey and flowers, the brownies were baking in the oven. Asher poured a very generous amount of green sprinkles on top, and then we went in.

Good morning! The leprechauns were here! #spring #waldorfhome #waldorf #fairies #stpatricksday #family #9yearold #leprechauns

This morning, Asher discovered they’d left some rainbow colored gems and gold wrapped packages filled with candy: Skittles and some sour rainbow sticks.

Leprechauns brought us skittles and rainbow candy! #spring #waldorfhome #waldorf #fairies #stpatricksday #family #9yearold #leprechauns #magic

Candy first thing in the morning! (There were four little packages of candy. Asher put a package on each of our breakfast plates, assuming that we all got presents from the leprechauns. So sweet!)

It’s a school day, of course, so we had to get on with our routine. Getting dressed was a little tricky, for the leprechauns STOLE ALL THE SOCKS. ALL the socks. Every pair of socks in the whole house was missing! After some frantic searching, we found them all in a huge pile behind an armchair in the living room! Pesky leprechauns!

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Green pancakes for St. Patrick's Day! #waldorfhome #waldorf #holiday #home #stpatricksday #family #love #mornings

We had green buttermilk pancakes and eggs for breakfast. I sent the boys with a few Skittles in their lunches today. I made so many pancakes I invited my parents over for breakfast after the kids went to school.

Now I have socks and gold glitter everywhere! And I have a smile on my face. I know all this is silly. I know getting up at 5:45 for shenanigans in the dark is ludicrous. I do it anyway because the world needs more whimsy, more silliness, more joy.

Tonight we’ll have shepherds pie and brownies with green sugar topping … because why not? WHIMSY! (I promise to read about the Irish famine too.) After dinner, we’ll read one or two of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day books together.

For more whimsy in your day, head over to Little Acorn Learning’s blog and enter the St. Patrick’s Day Photo Scavenger Hunt, for a discount on cool curriculum and festival e-books.

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

 

With love and whimsy, and Irish blessings aplenty, Sláinte!

 

St. Patrick’s Day Festivities

We made our leprechaun house and welcomed the to the party we set up. #waldorfhome #waldorfinspired #holiday #home #stpatricksday #8yearold #secondgrader

We had our little St. Patrick’s Day fun yesterday. Asher and I made a little party for the leprechauns, which we do each year on the 16th. I know some people like to build traps to try to catch a leprechaun, but we like to throw them a party instead. We set out tiny dishes (an old child’s tea set) and put milk in the saucer and honey on a plate. With some green paper we made a little banner. This year Asher wrote the letters spelling “Welcome” himself. Then we put some flowers around whole thing. It takes about 20 minutes to do this, and Asher gets really excited. He’s always been very fond of leprechauns.

Welcome leprechauns!  Welcome to our party!  #waldorfhome #waldorfinspired #holiday #home #stpatricksday #8yearold #secondgrader #leprechauns

In the morning, he rushed outside to see what was there. The leprechauns left a pot with some fairy jewels and some gold dollar coins for Asher and Lucas to split. They ate up all the honey and drank the milk, so we can only assume they had a nice time in our little party space. They also made a huge pile of our shoes by our front door—the shoes we carefully put away into the cubbies where we belong. Leprechauns always do something tricksy, no matter what treats we leave for them. I’m told the little people all over the world are tricky like that.

Frosting

I made corned beef and cabbage in the crock pot, and an Irish soda bread from a Martha Stewart recipe. It was crusty and heartier than I expected, with caraway seeds and raisins and wheat bran. We read The Leprechaun’s Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards. Asher and I baked and decorated cupcakes. He’s quite good at frosting them! I enjoy having times like this when he and I can do creative things alone together. He will usually gravitate toward whatever Lucas wants to do instead, as you might expect. But when we’re alone, Asher is able to be his young, 8-year-old self.

Sticky gooey

Treats for St. Patrick's Day

They turned out great! And yes, I saw a photo of cupcakes like this on Pinterest or somewhere and bought the rainbow candy knowing it would blow my boys’ minds. We don’t often make treats like this. Lucas’s eyes lit up when he saw these. (He was at baseball practice while we made them. Bigger boys have after-school activities and stuff.)

St. Patrick's Day dinner -- outside -- with my parents #holiday #home #stpatricksday #family #love #homemade

The best part of the day, though, was having my folks over for dinner. It’s so warm already, we had our St. Patrick’s Day feast outside! It’s good to enjoy the perfect weather if you have it, I say. Yum. Grandma read us Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman after dinner, and then it was time to get ready for bed.

May love and laughter light your days,

and warm your heart and home.

May good and faithful friends be yours,

wherever you may roam.

May peace and plenty bless your world

with joy that long endures.

May all life’s passing seasons

bring the best to you and yours!

More of my St. Patrick’s Day book recommendations are found here. You know, for next year. 😉

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day baking. #baking #vegan #waldorf #festivals

Asher and I baked vegan sugar cookies yesterday. I always forget how long you’re supposed to chill the dough to make rolling and cutting the cookies easier.

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Lucas, Asher, Daddy, our dinner guest Kimmie, and I decorated the cookies after supper. I think we all enjoyed it.

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Aren’t they pretty? Icing made from coconut oil is delicious, by the way. We made these treats to leave some out for the Leprechauns (and for us to enjoy!).

Party set for the Leprechauns! Tea and cookies, with cream and honey. #waldorf #spring #leprechauns #festivals

Here is the little party we set out for the Wee Folk last night. Shamrock cookies, hot mint tea, honey, and cream.

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Opening gifts from the Leprechauns early this morning.

Early this morning, we found the Leprechauns had eaten up all the goodies and left the boys presents. Two pots of gold! With five gold dollar coins each and rainbow sour candy wrapped in gold paper.

It wasn’t until later, when the boys were getting ready to leave for school, that we realized the Leprechauns played a prank on us after all. They duct taped all our shoes closed! Those wonderful, pesky Leprechauns!

Tonight we’re going to dinner at our friends’ house. We’re bringing cookies!

St. Patrick’s Day Books for Children

I love St. Patrick’s Day. I love the rainbows and shamrocks, green foods, and stories of leprechauns and magic. Over the years, my kids and I have explored lots of St. Patrick’s Day books and this is a list of our favorites. Some are old, some, new. As usual, my fundamental recommendation is that you steer clear of licensed products. Believe me, although this list is long, lots of books didn’t make it onto this list.

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Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Kelly Murphy is a fairly new treasure, published in 2009. This book is full of terrific art and a very clever lass who outwits the greedy King of the Leprechauns, who has stolen all the luck from the land and made the people suffer. Most leprechaun stories involve men or boys, and it’s great to have a heroine in the genre. The moral here is that you must depend on your wits, and not on your luck to be successful.

Clever Tom and the Leprechaun was published in 1988 by Linda Shute, who illustrated the book and adapted a traditional leprechaun story originally published in Legends and Traditions of South Ireland in 1825. Shute’s illustrations are watercolor and pencil and are quite lovely. Clever Tom, unfortunately for him, is not quite clever enough to get the sack of gold from the leprechaun shoemaker he captures one day.

From To Sing a Song as Big as Ireland

To Sing a Song as Big as Ireland is by Nathan Zimelman and is illustrated by Jospeh Low. This is quite an old book, published in 1967, that we found at our library. The story is long and wonderful. A little boy named Terrence O’Flaherty O’Flynn wants more than anything to sing a song as big as Ireland, but he’s really quite small. He tries and tries to grow bigger so that he’ll have a strong voice, but none of his plans work out, not even standing on the dewy ground and beneath the warming sun, or carrying a goat on his shoulders like the strongest man in the county carries his horse. Finally the boy goes to ask his mother, who advises that he catch a leprechaun and get him to grant the boy his wish. The leprechaun gets it wrong several times before the boy can finally sing his song, and when he does “his song told of all of Ireland—its lakes and its hills and its green land, of every bird that rose on its air and every animal that grazed in its meadows and passed through its forests … it told of all of  Ireland’s people, and so it was as big as Ireland itself.”

Too Many Leprechauns was published in 2007. Stephen Krensky wrote it and Dan Andreasen is the artist. I love the opening: “Finn O’Finnegan looked like a rogue and walked like a rascal, so it was widely thought that he was at least one or the other. And his shadow, which followed him closely and knew all of his secrets, might have said he was both.” The leprechauns have overrun the town of Dingle and they’re keeping everyone from sleeping with their endless tap-tap-tapping on their fairy shoes. Well, rascally Finn O’Finnegan will fix them. He finds flaws in the little shoemakers’ work, and they’re so insulted they show him their pile of gold coins earned from their shoe-making. Finn manages to hide their gold from them!

Leprechauns Never Lie, by Lorna and Lecia Balian, is a fun book about two women who are too lazy and old to do their daily work. The young woman, Ninny Nanny, sets out to find a leprechaun to change their fortune. She’s lucky enough to find one, and almost gets a great deal, but in the end, her laziness causes her to miss out on the biggest prize of all. Still, in the process, she and ailing Gram do get their chores done, and that’s a good thing after all. This book was originally published in two colors in 1980; in 2004 it came out again with beautiful full color illustrations by Lecia Balian.

From Tim O'Toole and the Wee Folk by Gerald McDermott

Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk: An Irish Tale Told and Illustrated by Gerald McDermott is worthy of a read. Tim and his wife Kathleen are very poor, and she suggests that maybe he should go and find a job; alas there are no jobs to be found. Although Tim gets lucky enough to stumble upon a group of reveling leprechauns, he gets tricked out of his worthy prizes by neighbors. It’s all because he didn’t do exactly what the wee folk told him to do, and that’s what you get by cutting corners. The wicked, swindling neighbors get their comeuppance in the end, though, and Tim and his bonny Kate do make their fortune through the beneficence of the leprechauns. In these bright illustrations the leprechauns are all cute and charming, wearing green and scarlet.

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day by Susan Wojciechowski with art by Tom Curry might be an outlyer on this list. The story is about two rival towns, Tralee and Tralah, that compete each year to see which one decorates best for St. Patrick’s Day. Six-year-old Fiona Riley comes up with the plan for Tralee to finally win the contest. A leprechaun arrives and asks for help at all the doors, for his cows are stuck in the mud. Citizens of Tralee go to the cows’ rescue, despite their need to finish decorating for the contest, and their generous spirit is rewarded.

St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning, by Eve Bunting features no leprechauns or magic, but it’s magical nonetheless. Little Jamie wakes very early on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day and feels sad that he is considered by his family too small to march in the village parade. But what do they know? He tiptoes out of the house and has a parade all his own with his sweet dog Nell and the slowly waking village. Jan Brett illustrated this sweet book using only three colors, and her pictures of the Irish countryside are charming and evocative. Bunting was born in Ireland and lived there for 30 years. She published this book in 1980.

A Pot o’ Gold is a wonderful anthology of Irish legends, poetry, songs, and even some recipes. It features a legend about St. Patrick, stories with the wee folk, mermaids, fairies, leprechauns, Finn McCool, and more. Works of authors such as Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Katharine Tynan, Arthur O’Shaughnessy, William Butler Yeats, and Jonathan Swift grace this anthology. If you were to buy only one book of Irish stories for children, this might be the one.

The Irish Cinderlad was written by Shirley Climo and illustrated by Loretta Krupinski, and was published in 1996. This is a male, Irish version of the Cinderella story based on two old Irish tales: “The Bracket Bull” from 1898 and “Billy Beg and His Butt” from 1905. The lad, Becan, is banished to the cow pasture when his stepmother and stepsisters come to live with him and his father. This fairy story features a magical bull, a giant, and an opportunity to rescue a princess from a terrible sea-dragon (à la Andromeda). Becan has his faithful friend, his own courage, and his giant feet to thank for his change of fortune, for no one else can fit into his lost boot.

From O'Sullivan Stew

O’Sullivan Stew by Hudson Talbott is a great book. The heroine is Kate O’Sullivan and she is a clever one! When the townspeople anger the witch by refusing to help when her beautiful stallion is taken as payment for taxes by the king, the town suffers terribly: cows won’t give milk, fishing nets come up empty, gardens fail, and everyone goes hungry. Kate convinces her da and brothers, Fergus and Kelly, that they should steal back the horse to appease the witch. But they’re not good horse thieves. It’s up to Kate’s storytelling to save them from the hangman’s rope. There are four great stories within the witch-horse-theft story. Leprechauns appear in one of them. But the best part is the unexpected twist at the end.

The Leprechaun’s Gold is a sweet Irish legend about friendship and generosity. The king of Ireland calls for all the harpists in the land to come and play in a contest. Young Tom is a braggart who thinks he is sure to win, but still stoops to sabotage. Old Pat is a kind gentleman who shares his music and meager possessions freely. On their way to the harping contest, they encounter a leprechaun in a bind. Tom refuses to help, knowing leprechauns are meddlesome troublemakers. Pat comes to the leprechaun’s aid and is rewarded for his kindness. “He played the merriest music ever heard, so wonderful that the wind itself stopped to listen. A wild tune it was, which filled the people’s hearts with joy and their lips with laughter.”

S is for Shamrock: And Ireland Alphabet by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Matt Faulkner provides lots of great lore and information about Ireland, including the Blarney Stone, the Claddagh, The Book of Kells, leprechauns, viking raids, and more. This book includes more factual information about Ireland than the storybooks on this list.

From The House of Gobbaleen by Lloyd Alexander

The House Gobbaleen is by Lloyd Alexander, published in 1995. Tooley believes he has bad luck, and although his cat Gladsake knows Tooley’s luck is no better or worse than anyone’s, he thinks that a little help from the Friendly Folk is just what he needs. When a curious little man arrives on his doorstep, Tooley invites him in. It’s not long before the wicked little man has taken over Tooley’s favorite armchair, his bed, and is eating him out of house and home. Only Gladsake can save his master from his own foolishness and outsmart the little man.

Patrick Patron Saint of Ireland is by Tomie dePaola, a much beloved creator of children’s books. I’m actually not crazy about his books, but this book offers a comprehensive history of Patrick’s life and covers the miracles he is said to have performed. If you are looking for a kids’ book that covers the religious angle of this holiday, this might be the one for you.

Enjoy!

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

Needle-Felted St. Patrick and Snakes

It was a big time, of course. St. Patrick’s Day was fun for all of us, I think. We crafted. We decorated.

St. Patrick, Snakes, and Leprechauns

Leprechaun Party All Set

In between epic puddle splashing and a during jolly good time in the heavy rain, we set up a Leprechaun party complete with shamrocks in a vase of water, table with acorn cap cups, hyacinth flowers and bird berries.

Leprechaun Party All Set

The path we lined with white stones was very inviting to the wee folk.

Mama-Made Leprechauns for My Boys

I had made some secret presents: wooden clothespin Leprechauns. A boy and girl for each of my sons.

Leprechaun Trick: Huge Pile of Shoes!

Even though we made that lovely party space and put out brownie treats for them, the Leprechauns couldn’t help themselves. They pulled a small trick on us anyway and piled all of our shoes in the entry, blocking the front door. It’s in their nature, you know. They’re tricky!

Gifts from the Leprechauns

They did, however, leave the boys some treasures. A set of rainbow gems for each and a note.

St. Patrick's Day: Note from Leprechauns

“Thanks for the goodies, and thanks for the laughs!

On your way outside today, did you trip over our gaffes?

We’ve enjoyed your hospitality, and so we’d like to say,

We’ve left a little gift or two to brighten up your day!

We know you like bright jewels, so shiny and so fine,

Nearly as much as we do. So, we’ll share a few this time:

A rainbow for your pockets, to keep and hold and share.

Our gold we’ll keep for now! Try to catch us if you dare!”

 

Apparently, Leprechauns think they are very clever.

St. Patrick's Day Table

St. Patrick's Day Table

I didn’t snap any photos of our green shamrock pancakes or piles of golden eggs. I was too busy tucking in with and enjoying my fellas. It turns out that clothespin Leprechauns are great for homemade zip-lines. Then we readied our home for a  fun party with our friends. We enjoyed a yummy lamb stew, kale salad, and soda bread (from a mix). Today, Asher is talking about his Leprechaun friends.

Hope you had a festive holiday, too!

St. Patrick’s Day Kid Crafting

Chenille Stem Leprechaun

Here’s some more simple, impromptu St. Patrick’s Day kid crafting. We made pipe cleaner (they’re called “chenille stems” nowadays) leprechauns, shamrocks, and rainbows yesterday.

Chenille Stem Rainbows

Tonight we’ll be soaking the rainbows in a Borax solution to grow crystals on them. This is an idea I first saw on Pinterest, then traced it to here. It’s originally from Sweet and Simple Things, and this is where I first saw the shamrock shapes, too. Holiday science!

Impromptu Weaving

Lucas decided to weave his pipe cleaners to make little woven rainbow diamond shapes.

Solstice and Lucas

Solstice helped by looking handsome and providing moral support for our creative impulses.

Rainbow Weaving with Chenile Stems

Here’s Lucas’s invention. He bent in all the ends to keep it from unraveling.

St. Patrick's Day Mobile

We hung our little creations with sewing thread on a twig with several branches. If our crystalized rainbows are successful, we’ll hang those here, too. I think it will be festive for our little party we’re having tomorrow.

And since it’s still raining around here, here’s a sweet Irish blessing I love.

May the blessing of the rain be on you—
the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit
so that all the little flowers may spring up,
and shed their sweetness on the air.
May the blessing of the great rains be on you,
may they beat upon your spirit
and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool
where the blue of heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.


St. Patrick’s Day Paper Ornaments Tutorial

St. Patrick's Day Paper Ornaments

We are sick. Well, Lucas and I are, and we spent the day at home. This afternoon we rallied a bit and managed some impromptu crafts for St. Patrick’s Day. So, these kid-friendly St. Patrick’s Day paper ornaments were born. I offer these in the spirit of using what you have on hand for some low-key fun.

Materials

  • 2 paper plates
  • watercolor paints and brushes
  • watercolor paper (optional)
  • scissors
  • ribbon or yarn
  • compass and hole punch (optional)

Tutorial

St. Patrick's Day Paper Ornaments

Insert your scissors into a paper plate and cut along the outer ring and cut out a shamrock shape from the center of the plate, leaving the bottom of the shamrock’s stem attached to the outer circle. I cut out a three-leaf shamrock and a four-leaf. If you get ambitious, you can cut out the figure of a standing leprechaun, leaving both feet and one hand attached to the outer circle. This is harder to do, but give it a try. You can choose to draw your design on the plate first, or just eyeball it, start cutting, and see what happens.

St. Patrick's Day Paper Ornaments

Now get your kids to paint your design. Painting is such a great activity when you need to rest or cultivate calm in your home.

St. Patrick's Day Paper Ornaments

If you have the type of paper plates with a coating on them to make them less absorbent, then you will probably also want to paint a circular background on watercolor paper. Do you know where your compass is? If you have one, it makes this step a lot easier. Draw a circle that will fit inside your paper plate. I painted rainbows on some circles to use as backgrounds. I love rainbows.

Lucas Painting

Your children should also paint the back of a second paper plate. Be sure to wait until all the watercolor painting is completely dry before you assemble your ornament.

St. Patrick's Day Paper Ornaments

With hot glue, glue your circle background into your bottom plate. It will cover any design on the plate and compensate for that water-resistant coating.

St. Patrick's Day Paper Ornaments

Like so. The design that is still visible around the edges won’t be visible in a minute.

St. Patrick's Day Paper Ornaments

Now stack your front cut-out design on top of the bottom paper plate. Using hot glue, seal the outer edges together. Press them firmly to make them stick nicely. You might have to apply glue in six or seven spots around the circle.

St. Patrick's Day Paper Ornaments

Finally, punch a hole in the top, thread a piece of ribbon or yarn through the hole, and hang your ornament.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Mobile Tutorial

Leprechaun Mobile

I have a deep and abiding love for mobiles. Holiday decorations that hang can be very festive without taking up too much space or cluttering your nature table. Here’s a St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun mobile that is easy to make and quite whimsical.

Materials

Materials

  • foam base and needle-felting needle
  • wool roving in gray or black, green(s), and skin colors
  • low-temperature glue gun and glue sticks
  • one twig approximately 18 inches long; ideally it will have a 6-inch straight section in the middle
  • gold ribbon, gold foil, or gold tissue paper
  • 1-inch ribbons in rainbow colors, approximately one yard of each color
  • yarn or string, approximately 2 yards
  • needle, thread, and scissors

Money-Saving Alternatives

  • Narrower ribbon in rainbow colors costs less. Although I used 1-inch ribbon, you could use several strips of the same color ribbon to create a 1-inch band of color for each color of the rainbow.
  • Instead of 1 yard of each color, you could use only a half yard. Your ribbons would be a single layer, not double as in the photos below.
  • Check your gift wrap stores. You may have some gold tissue paper or ribbon left over from a package.

Tutorial

To begin, tie two pieces of yarn or string (each about a yard long) to your twig, approximately 8 inches apart. Hang the twig from the two strings more or less horizontally (adjust the position of the two ties on the twig as needed). Then tie a knot in the two strings about 8 inches up from the twig. This will make a triangle of string above your twig. Tie your twig to something so that it hangs freely at shoulder level so that you can work on it comfortably.

Rainbow Ribbons

Lay your ribbons over the twig in rainbow order. Their two ends should be even at the bottom. Make sure you like the position of each ribbon before you affix any glue. (You can use clothes pins to hold them in place while you decide on their optimal positions.)

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With your glue gun, put a dab of glue on the inside of one layer of a ribbon and pinch the other layer over the top of the warm glue to fix the ribbon to itself. Repeat this for each color. See the photo above.

Pot

Now, take your gray or black wool roving, felting needle, and foam pad and needle-felt a pot. This will be your pot of gold. Mine was about 2 and ½ inches in diameter. If you wish to have a sleeker look for your wool pot, you can first shape it with your felting needle, then wet-felt the pot in hot water with soap. Gently rub your pot inside and out with soap until the fibers mat firmly together. Rinse it in both hot and cold water.) Shape it carefully into a pot and let it dry. You may still want to apply your needle again to perfect the pot’s shape.

Wet-Felting the Pot

With your green and skin-colored wool roving, needle-felt a leprechaun. No wire skeleton is needed for this project and since this figure will not be played with, you can attach head, hands, legs, shoes, and hat by simply needling the fibers together. Start with a torso and arms. Add legs. Add a ball of skin-colored wool for a head.

Needle-Felted Leprechaun in Progress

Needle-Felted Leprechaun in Progress

Your leprechaun can be as traditional or as unique as you like. Mine was a kind of Waldorf-inspired figure dressed in several greens, with a jaunty hat and dark green vest.

Leprechaun on Top

Stand your leprechaun on top of your horizontal twig. With needle and thread, sew your leprechaun’s hands to the yarn or string hanger. (Feel free to adjust the knot above the leprechaun‘s head as needed to make it possible for the hands to hold both strings.) Finish off the two yarn/string knots on the twig by tying them securely and cutting off the excess.

Gold Suspended

When your pot is dry, crumple your gold ribbon, foil, or tissue paper into a mound of gold and place it into your pot. You might want it to heap above the edge of your pot. With a long thread, sew up from the bottom center of your wool pot, through your gold, and back down a couple of times. On the way up again, extend your long thread all the way up to your rainbow-covered twig and tie your thread securely to the center of the twig. You’ll probably want to tie it in between the yellow and green ribbons. Cut of the excess thread tail. Your pot of gold should hang a couple of inches below your twig, at the end of your rainbow.

Finished Mobile

Find a nice spot in your home to hang your St. Patrick’s Day mobile with leprechaun and pot of gold, perhaps in front of a window, where fresh spring breezes will make your rainbow ribbons flutter.

* This article was originally published in the Little Acorn Learning March Enrichment Guide.

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St. Patrick’s Day Festivities

Leprechaun House! (with Flag)

May your pockets be heavy and your heart light.
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

Yesterday afternoon, on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, we did some fun things to prepare for the coming of the Leprechauns. Asher and I made brownies together. We happen to know for a fact that Leprechauns LOVE to eat brownies, particularly if you cut them into shamrock shapes!

Then we set about finding natural materials in our yard from which to make a Leprechaun house. Is it hard to see there, up against the “rock” wall of our house? It has a flag on top of the roof.

Lucas Roofing the Leprechaun House

We found some lovely squarish sections of bark that worked beautifully for walls. Then with short sticks and long pieces of bark found in our garden beds, we roofed the house. Lucas came home with Daddy just in time to help with the construction.

Lucas Creating a Place for the Outdoor Table

He carefully cleared an area for an outdoor picnic table, and gently placed small stones that Asher gathered to make a cobblestone pathway leading from the door of the Leprechaun house to the picnic area.

Asher Getting Spiky Balls "Let's put this jewel in the path!"

Asher especially enjoyed gathering items to use for our project. He gathered stones, spiky balls from our liquidambar tree, flower petals, and clover. He even found a small fairy jewel that we set into the cobblestone path. The spiky balls became a kind of garden fence.

Asher Gives the Leprechauns Clover

Asher picked lots of “salad” clover for the Leprechauns to eat. We all thought the flower petals gave everything an attractive, magical ambience.

Leprechaun House with Spiky Ball Fence

Isn’t that a handsome house? We thought it looked very cozy and perfect for little fairy folk.

Leprechauns' Picnic Table with Bark Benches, Petals, and Covers

This is the picnic area, complete with bark table and tablecloth, plenty of salad, and bark benches for sitting on.

"Shamrock" and the Leprechauns' Picnic Table with Tablecloth

Our Leprechaun house is right beside our “shamrock” plant and right where we always leave out treats for the Leprechauns. So we knew they would check that exact spot. We hoped that they’d enjoy the house and have a party there!

Greenish Dinner

Then we feasted on a greenish dinner of sausage and egg wraps (green, spinach tortillas) with green (brown) rice and salad. The boys enjoyed the wraps a lot! Fortunately, the Leprechauns never eat all the brownies, so there were enough for us to enjoy for dessert.

Treats for Leprechauns (Milk, Honey, and a Brownie)

We always give the Leprechauns milk, honey, and a brownie on the night before St. Patrick’s Day. Leprechauns can be so tricky, and we find that if we leave them yummy treats, they don’t pull pranks on us. Usually, they leave gifts in return.

Milk, Honey, and a Brownie: Offerings for Leprechauns

We were pretty confident that they would be nice this year. Doesn’t that venue look inviting?

The Leprechauns Brought Leprechaun Dolls and Gold for Asher and Lucas

This morning, Lucas and Asher found GOLD NUGGETS on the cobblestone path. The milk and honey and brownie were all nibbled. Only crumbs and drops remained on the plate outside. But inside! The boys found Leprechaun dolls on their breakfast plates, with new notebooks for writing in! So I guess the Leprechauns liked our treats and the house we made for them. It seems, however, they couldn’t resist being a little bit tricksy after all. We found all of our shoes in a huge pile by the front door!

I figure we got off lucky, though. Leprechauns can cause all manner of mischief. In fact, Lucas was excited to get to school to see what naughty pranks the Leprechauns did there during the night! (I confess, I think they looked around in our messy house and figured, what’s the point? It already looks like a tornado hit this place!)

Tonight we’ll be having an Irish stew for dinner with some Irish deedly-deedly-dee music. We have some fun Leprechaun stories to enjoy after dinner, too. How will you celebrate? How will you invite magic and good luck into your home?

Clover in Morning Sun

May good luck be with you wherever you go,
and your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.

Saint Patrick’s Day

The leprechauns visited last night! Thankfully we left out some goodies for them, so they didn’t feel the need to play tricks on us.

We gave them honey, cream, and brownies and Lucas chose to decorate the plate with lots of his own sparkly treasures.

And of course there were some brownies for us.

This morning we discovered all the cream, honey, and brownies were gone! Gold nuggets, gold dust, and gold beads were found in our home and on the offering plate we left outside. Some lucky four-leafed shamrocks were left for Asher and Lucas. Lucas asked me how big the leprechauns are. I said, “I don’t know because I’ve never seen one, but I have always imagined them to be about knee-high.”

At Lucas’s school, the leprechauns made mischief. When we arrived in the morning we found that classroom chairs had been stacked to the ceiling! Students’ possessions were mixed up and in disarray. The chalk board said Friday, not Wednesday! All sorts of things were out of whack. Such shenanigans! Lucas and his buddy described the day as “pretty much a whole day of recess,” and given that his face was green with chalk dust at the end of the day, I think that means they had great fun.

We had a supper of corned beef and cabbage, carrots, onions, and celery with roasted red potatoes and garlic. Lucas’s buddy and the boy’s mom and brother ate with us. Ian brought home some Guinness and we rocked out to the Pogues, Dropkick Murphys, and Black 47.

All in all, just about perfect. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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