Green Punch Recipe

Green Punch Recipe

A simple combination of lime sherbet, fresh lime juice, and lemon lime soda, this frothy, effervescent beverage is sure to make your St. Patrick’s Day celebration an extra festive affair. Friends will be green with envy if you don’t share, so be sure to prepare a large batch for everyone to enjoy. This activity involves plenty of pouring and stirring—be sure to get your kindergarten to lend a hand!

What You Need:

  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ quarts key lime sherbet
  • 1 2-liter bottle of lemon lime soda
  • Ice cubes
  • Green sugar (optional)
  • Green maraschino cherries and lime wedges (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Have your child put the lime juice and water in a large punch bowl.
  2. Slowly stir in the sherbet.
  3. Add the lemon lime soda and stir. Watch as it starts to froth!
  4. Now it’s time to get the drinking glasses ready. To create the sugar rim, pour some colored sugar on a plate. Moisten your fingertip with water and rub it around the rim of the glass, then press the rim of the glass in the sugar and twist it around to give it a nice even coat.
  5. Put a few ice cubes into the glass and fill it with punch.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge and green maraschino cherry if desired.

What a festive way to quench everyone’s thirst this St. Patrick’s Day!

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No Bake Play Dough

No Bake Play Dough

Do you need a quick no-bake recipe for play dough? All you need to create a day’s worth of joy are some simple ingredients and some elbow grease! Your preschooler will love helping to create his own bright and cheery play dough!

What You Need:

  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Cold Water
  • Salt
  • Flour (regular or gluten-free)
  • Cornstarch
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Food coloring
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Cutting board
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

What You Do:

  1. Show your child how to measure using the measuring cup and measuring spoons. Help him mix together 1 cup of cold water, 1 cup of salt, 2 teaspoons of oil and food coloring to create his favorite color in a bowl.
  2. Slowly have him add the 3 cups of flour and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the mixture and stir until it starts to feel like bread dough.
  3. Have him place the dough onto the cutting board.
  4. Help him knead the dough until it reaches the correct consistency.

Helpful Tips: You can eliminate the food coloring if you want the dough to stay white. Also, store the dough in tightly-sealed plastic containers to play with again and again!

 No Bake Play Dough!
This way it is always fresh not hard and dried up.
Perfect recipe, if too sticky keep adding a little flour. We made a double batch and separated it at the end to make many colors. It was fun for the kids to watch it change from white to a color the more they played with it.
I’ve asked around at the office, and while we’ve never tried it with gluten-free flour, we think it does! It would probably work best with gluten free regular flour, though, as opposed to gluten-free baking flour (because that has extra ingredients). Hope this helps!

Make a Puppet Theater

Make a Puppet Theater

Set the stage for a series of fun-filled puppet shows with your preschooler by transforming an ordinary cardboard box into a one-of-a-kind, box theater! This puppet theater is a great way to spend quality time with your child while creating a useful play set. Work together in the creation of a stage, scenery, puppets, and storyline inspired by a favorite character, book, or movie. For an added lesson, re-purpose everyday household objects for the art materials used to emphasize being environmentally aware.

What You Need:

  • A large cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Packing tape, or other strong tape
  • Gluemake-a-puppet-theater-
  • Crayons or markers
  • Magazines, newspapers, or fabric samples

What You Do:

  1. Turn the box upside down. Make sure that the opening is on the bottom.
  2. Ask your child to trace a line around the top half of the box on the front side. Extend this line across the center of the box.
  3. Using the scissors, cut the line around the edges of the box. Do not cut through the middle line. This step should be done by an adult.
  4. Fold the top half flap that has been cut down by bending the cardboard at the drawn middle line.
  5. Optional: If you do not want to have to lift the box up and down every time your child uses the puppet theater, have her help you to create a back door. Ask your child to draw a door on the back of the box. Cut out one side and the top of the drawing. Fold the door back to form a flap.
  6. Invite your child to decorate her new theater however she would like. This can be done by drawing with markers or crayons or gluing child-friendly magazine or newspaper pictures onto the box in collage style. For an added flare, decorate with ribbons or pretty pieces of cut fabric.
  7. When the decorations are in place and the glue is dry, she now has a place to perform. Round out your stage by encouraging your child to create a variety of puppets to perform with and multiple backdrop drawings that can be hung inside the box. Finally, enjoy the show!

Shamrock Stamps

Shamrock Stamps

Nothing says Saint Patrick’s Day like a great big shamrock. Simple and symmetrical, this symbol of Irish culture is a perfect shape for preschool prints. Stamp your Irish cheer on any paper surface by creating a lucky shamrock stamp! Now your kid can show his love of the Irish on cards, gift wrap or book covers while learning the basics of printmaking.

What You Need:

  • Green tempera paint
  • 2 Cardboard squares, 6″ x 6″
  • White construction paper square, 6″ x 6″
  • Low-temperature hot glue gun
  • Paper plate
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

What You Do:

  1. Cover the table you’re working on with newspaper.
  2. Show images of shamrocks to your child and explain that a typical three-leaf clover isn’t symmetrical. However, the four-leaf clover, which is rare in nature but commonplace at any St. Pat’s celebration, is symmetrical. Show him how the leaves of the clover are heart-shaped.
  3. Have your child fold the white paper in half and draw half of a heart on the paper. The mid-section of the heart should meet up at the fold. This will create a template for the stamp.
  4. He can now cut out the heart shape from the paper, unfold it into a heart, and trace it on one of the cardboard squares.
  5. Help him cut out his cardboard heart and set it aside.
  6. With the second cardboard square, help him bend it into a roll so it resembles a long tube.
  7. Help him glue the cardboard “tube” in place. This will become the handle for his shamrock heart stamp.
  8. Now, help him glue the end of the handle to the center of his cut-out heart. Allow this to dry for a little while.
  9. Time to make some shamrock prints! Pour some green paint onto a paper plate. Then, have him gently dip the heart into the paint while holding the handle of his stamp.
  10. Test out the stamp on the newspaper to get the correct paint consistency.
  11. Show your child how to position the heart-shaped stamp to create shamrock prints.
  12. Use your stamp to spread St. Patrick’s Day cheer!

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Shamrock Pin

Shamrock Pin

Don’t let your kid get caught without green clothing or accessories on St. Patrick’s Day! In just a few steps, he can craft a gleaming green shamrock pin for himself or a friend. Beading this small, festive pin is a great way to practice perseverance as he gets into the St. Paddy’s Day spirit.

What You Need:

  • Larger safety pin
  • Smaller safety pin
  • Green beads
  • Colored beads (for rainbow pattern)
  • Clear contact paper
  • Green clover (or cut-out paper shamrocks)
  • Pliers
  • Small hole punch
  • Scissors

What to Do:

  1. Have him cut two squares of contact paper that are about 2”x 2”. He can peel the backing off of one piece and lay the clover onto it, pressing it flat.
  2. Help him peel the backing from the other piece of contact paper and stick it to the piece with the clover on it, sandwiching it between the two layers. Press down firmly to avoid any air bubbles.
  3. Ask him to trim the excess contact paper around the clover and punch a hole near the top.
  4. Open the small safety pin, and have him string the shamrock “charm” he just made onto it. Use the colored beads to fill up the rest of the pin in a rainbow pattern. When it’s full, close it.
  5. Using the pliers, unbend the coil on the large safety pin. This will allow him to put the beads all the way onto the pin and still be able to attach it to an article of clothing.
  6. Fill it halfway with the green beads, and then thread on the smaller safety pin with the shamrock charm. After he fills it the rest of the way with green beads, his pin will be complete!

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St. Patrick’s Day Pot of Gold

St. Patrick’s Day Pot of Gold

Bring a bit of the luck of the Irish into your St. Patrick’s Day celebration by showing your child how to craft a special pot of gold. Combine a festive holiday activity with an educational art project that encourages him to learn about sculpture as a three-dimensional art form. After he designs and crafts his own unique paper mache pot, he’ll fill it with “gold” of all sorts. From foil covered chocolate coins to handmade gold pieces, use this St. Patrick’s Day original as a fun family centerpiece that holds treasures galore.

What You Need:

  • Construction or other thin paper
  • Scissors
  • Paper mache paste (store bought or made from an on line recipe)
  • Balloon
  • Tempera paint
  • Paint brushes or sponges

What You Do:

  1. Ask him to cut or tear strips of construction paper.
  2. Blow up one balloon for your child.
  3. Help him dip the paper strips into the paper-mache paste one at a time. Remember to coat both sides of each paper strip.
  4. Firmly press the paper strips one at a time around the balloon, covering only half of the surface. This will create the pot shape. Repeat until an entire half of the balloon is covered.
  5. Set aside to dry. It may be helpful to make a small drying stand. Cut a thin piece of cardboard or other thin paper, and tape into a circle or loop. Place the balloon in this stand to dry.
  6. Once the paper-mache is fully dry, remove the balloon. Some balloons begin to deflate on their own; others will need to be popped using scissors. Take care of the balloon popping yourself; your child should not take part in that step.
  7. He’ll now have a paper mache sculpture in a pot (or bowl) shape. He can paint the pot of gold in any color that he wishes. Try making different shades and hues of green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day!
  8. Once the pot has dried, fill it with gold of all sorts. Make play gold coins using paper and paint, or try foil-covered chocolate coins. If you are using this as a candy coin dish, remember to line the inside with a protective barrier first. Any paper mache product used by children should be non-toxic; to be safe, it is best not to mix art materials and food directly.
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Make a Magic Leprechaun Pouch

Make a Magic Leprechaun Pouch

 

Now that you’re dealing with a fourth grader, you might as well resign yourself: talk about leprechauns and you’re going to see some serious eye-rolling. But knowing the “truth” doesn’t mean a kid can’t still have some fun on St. Patrick’s Day, especially if it means doing a little magic for some younger kids. Here’s a variation of a classic trick in which your kid can make a message “appear” in a pouch out of thin air (well, almost). Check it out!

What You Need:

  • Two 9 “x 12” pieces of green felt, 1 piece white
  • Craft glue or hot glue gun
  • Gold stick-on jewels
  • Thin white yarn
  • Embroidery needle
  • Regular green thread (it should match the color of green felt)
  • Standard needle
  • Pouch template (download here)
  • Lightweight white paper and gold marker
  • One flat, gold-foil wrapped chocolate coin

What You Do:

  1.  Cut one long rectangular piece from a piece of green felt, and then cut one each from the two circle templates.
  2. Cut about 36 inches of yarn, and thread it through the eye of an embroidery needle. Double the yarn and make a knot at the end.
  3. Hold the green felt rectangle horizontally, and then pull the ends together to make a tube. Use the white thread to whip stitch them together, like this:

 

 

 

 

leprechaun-magic-pouch

Now turn the tube inside out, and sew the wider of the two circles to one end, to make a bottom for your pouch, like this:

 

leprechaun-magic-pouch4

Turn the whole pouch inside out again. Now you’ve got a bottom on your bag, and if you look inside you’ll see the seam you just made. Now it’s time to make your “magic” pouch bottom. Place a bead of glue along the seam, only two-thirds of the way around, like this:

 

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Place the smaller circle on top of the big one, so that it’s glued securely along two-thirds of the circumference of the circle, but one-third is unattached.  This will be your “secret flap.”

 

leprechaun-magic-pouch6

Now, decorate the front of your pouch with a shamrock design, using the stick-on felt hearts, the gold stick-on jewels, and gold glitter paint, like this:

 

leprechaun-magic-pouch7

Thread your embroidery needle with another 30 inches of white yarn. Double the yarn and make a knot at the end. Next, sew big white stitches in a circle, about 1 inch below the very top of the bag. Leave several inches at each end, and clip. This will be the “drawstring” for your pouch!

leprechaun-magic-pouch8

Cut a 2” x 4” strip of the white paper and have your fourth grader write a “lucky leprechaun” message for a little kid or for anyone he’d like to show this magic trick. Since this is fourth grade, and kids are studying literary devices, seize the “lucky leprechaun” moment and have your child use alliteration (when every word begins with the same letter) when writing his message. Here’s a message, for example, using the letter “L.” “Look! Lovely leprechauns like little kids like YOU!” If you’re doing this magic fan for a chocolate lover, you might also insert the flat gold-foil coin as well.

Now you’re ready for the magic. Have your child carefully insert the paper between the two bottom layers of the magic pouch. Then he should hold the pouch open so that it looks completely empty. Say, “See? Nothing here but air. But if I call a leprechaun, I can get a magic reply!” Tell your magician to make a big show of holding the bag up, and saying a bit of blarney to call upon some leprechaun “magic.” Then, he can reach into the bag, and pull out the paper and chocolate coin that are inside. He’ll then read them ceremoniously and hand over the chocolate. So what if leprechauns aren’t quite real. For folks of all ages, they can still bring marvelous message magic (and provide your kid chance to practice alliteration, too!).

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Green Collage

Green Collage

I love the idea that a variety of shapes, patterns, themes can be used. We do a class book with a giant crayon pattern. The children then paint and add specific color objects. We can display for viewing and touching. Eventually, it is assembled together as a book. A great cooperative activity! Individual books can also be made but we like the class option.

Pay tribute to the color that comes to everyone’s mind as St. Patrick’s Day nears: green! Go on a scavenger hunt around the house for small green objects to use in your collage. Filled with tactile exploration, this activity is great for boosting little kids’ creativity and fine motor skills.

What You Need:

  • Several small green objects in various textures and shapes
  • Poster board or construction paper
  • Glue
  • Hole punch
  • String

What You Do:

  1. Start by figuring out how to lay out the collage. Ask your child if she wants to lay out the objects in random fashion or assemble them within a pattern, such as a shamrock (see photo).
  2. Help your child arrange and glue the items onto the poster board or construction paper, encouraging her to explore the way things look and feel.
  3. To maximize this multi-sensory experience, you can add a sorting element by dividing the collage into different visual sections. One section could be dedicated to tactile objects of various textures such as smooth and rough; a second area could be used to identify shapes such as circles, lines, and stars; and a third could be used to differentiate colors such as light vs. dark green.
  4. Let the glue dry.
  5. Once the glue is dry, it’s time to hang up your collage for everyone to admire! Simply punch two holes at the top of the collage, thread string through the holes, tie a knot and hang it in a prominent place in the house.

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Scented Shamrock

Scented Shamrock

This Saint Patrick’s Day get in the spirit by creating a scented shamrock. Native Celtic people used the shamrock as medicine, which is why people believed it was good luck. Now, widely used as the symbol of Ireland, the shamrock is celebrated at festivals around the world during the month of March. Celebrate in your own home by creating a scented clover.

What You Need:

  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Jell-O mix, (green)
  • Paintbrush
  • Saltshaker
  • Pencil
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon, or yarn

What You Do:

  1. Before starting the project, fill the salt shaker with the green Jell-O mix.
  2. Help your child draw a shamrock shape on the construction paper.
  3. Have her cut out the shape using a pair of scissors.
  4. Encourage her to paint glue onto the cut-out shamrock, covering the entire shape.
  5. Have her sprinkle the Jell-O powder onto the glue using the shaker. Try to cover it as much as possible.
  6. Help her shake off any extra Jell-O powder and allow it to dry completely.
  7. Punch a hole at the top of the shamrock.
  8. Thread ribbon through the hole and tie it into a knot. Then, hang it from a doorknob or in a window to show your Irish spirit!

 

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Yellow and Blue

Yellow and Blue

Watch your child’s wide-eyed fascination as he turns yellow and blue paint into green! Spark his interest in art with a hands-on lesson on the color wheel. Afterward, he can use his new shade of green to paint a festive picture for St. Patrick’s Day.

What You Need:

  • Yellow paint
  • Blue paint
  • Zip-top plastic bag
  • Paper
  • Paintbrushes and/or paint sponges
  • Glitter

What You Do:

  1. Cover a work surface with newspaper or grocery bags. Make sure your child is wearing play clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on.
  2. Have your child pour some yellow paint into the zip-top plastic bag.
  3. Now, have him add some blue paint.
  4. Help him seal the bag, then encourage him to squish and squeeze the bag with his hands until the paint is thoroughly mixed together. Watch as the paint turns green! Explain that yellow and blue are primary colors and when they’re combined, they make green. Does he know what colors make orange? How about purple?
  5. Hand your child the paintbrushes and/or sponges and let him paint. If he likes, let him add glitter to his painting while the paint is still wet.
  6. Once the painting is dry, hang it up in a prominent place so everyone can enjoy it.

To learn more about the color wheel, try reading the book Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni together.

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