Children's hands over rainbow fruit platter.

My kids were eager to start decorating the house for St. Patrick’s Day the day after Valentine’s Day this year. In our family, St. Patrick’s Day is not just a holiday; it’s also my husband’s birthday. For many years, I focused more on his birthday. Still, as you know, children change everything, so now, leprechauns, rainbows, and golden coins have found their way into our celebration on March 17th.

I enjoyed reading Lesley Moreau’s article about her family’s low-key St. Pat’s celebration on our sister site, Boston Moms. It’s an important reminder to make these holidays work for your family. Here are a few easy ways we’ll be making our St. Patrick’s Day celebration fun and festive this year.

Simple Decorations

I appreciate how our St. Patrick’s Day decorations add color and fun to our home without taking up too much storage space. One of my absolute favorite holiday decorations is recycled art projects our children make during their time at daycare and school. Unpacking these decorations is always a special moment for me, bringing back happy memories. As a bonus, the kids love seeing all their old creations and reminiscing about the fun times they had making them.

Taste-Safe Rainbow Craft

We made these fun, taste-safe rainbows one afternoon after school using store-brand rainbow cereal, large marshmallows, and pipe cleaners. Sugary cereal like this is a treat in our house so the kids enjoyed noshing while making their creations. While we designed our rainbows, we listened to Irish music and used the time to talk about the science behind rainbows.froot loops, marshmallows, and pipe cleaners on a cookie trayrainbows made from froot loops, marshmallows, and pipe cleaners

Green Pancakes to Mark the Day

I grew up in a family where we ate green pancakes for breakfast every St. Patrick’s Day. My kids will never say no to pancakes, so it’s time to share this tradition with the next generation. For added fun, I might even dye their apple juice green!

Rainbow Fruit Platter

Speaking of rainbows, we will round out our green pancake feast with this rainbow fruit platter. We made a test batch together one afternoon, and it was equally visually pleasing and delicious.rainbow fruit tray

I bought pre-cut fruit from the grocery store and we had a blast assembling it. It helped us to talk a lot about colors and got my kids tasting some fruit that is not generally in the rotation. I’ve seen photos where folks use only one fruit for each color, but we had fun mixing it up. We created our fruit rainbow with the following:

  • Red: strawberries and raspberries
  • Orange: cantaloupe and oranges
  • Yellow: pineapple (you could also use mango or banana)
  • Green: green grapes and melon
  • Blue: blueberries and blackberries (we had them, so we figured why not!)
  • Purple: red grapes

I’ve also seen versions of the fruit rainbow with marshmallows on one end and golden candies on the other. I fully intended to do just that, but we ran out of space on the tray we were using, and surprisingly, my kids didn’t seem interested, so we ended up skipping that part.

Sensory Bin Fun

For moms of younger kids, fellow contributor Courtney Sullivan shared this sensory bin she made for her kids last year. She used split peas, fun green straws in varying lengths, black cauldrons, and gold coins she purchased from Amazon and Dollar Tree.

two sensory bins with gold coins and other items

Leprechaun Traps

According to my 6-year-old son, we must build a leprechaun trap in order to find gold. He has been working on designing the perfect trap, which has prompted lots of fun discussions about what we’d do if we found that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We enjoyed searching Pinterest for inspiration together. These traps made from a cereal box by Crafts by Amanda look simple and fun, as does this one that uses Legos in shades of green.

I’m grateful for holidays like St. Patrick’s Day that allow us to mark the passage of time during these cold and blustery months. My goal is to keep our craft projects and recipes simple. Add Irish music to the background, and you have a low-stress holiday celebration that can be fun for all ages.

Ally Piper
Ally is a summer visitor turned year-round resident celebrating her 10th anniversary of calling Cape Cod home. She is a writer and artist squeezing her creativity into the cracks while raising two energetic curly-haired kiddos (currently 6 & 4). Her children’s book GOLDEN HOUR: A CAPE COD STORY tells the story of a typical summer day for her family while visiting her grandparents in Orleans. Now, Ally counts herself incredibly lucky to be able to share all the beauty and magic of Cape Cod with her husband and children. From hiking to boating, you’ll often find them exploring and taking advantage of everything the Cape offers families.


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