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This is a monthly column that we hope parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or older siblings will share with children of all ages. Most are by our guest columnist, Grainne Rowland; a master spinner of stories who re-tells the tale so well they are once again fresh and new.
"There was a place in childhood that I remember well, And there a voice of sweetest tone bright fairy tales did tell."
Index of All Children's Stories
Kids' Ireland Library
A Hidden Message Word Search
contributed by Hartson Dowd
The words in capital letters below have been hidden in the search grid. When you’ve found them all, read the letters that are left to spell out a quotation from Saint Patrick’s most famous prayer.
Patrick is the patron SAINT of IRELAND
He was kidnapped from Britain as a boy, and forced to herd SHEEP on SLEMISH Mountain, in County Antrim. After a few years, he managed a daring ESCAPE, and traveled to Europe. There, he studied to become a BISHOP, but he never forgot the IRISH people.
Finally, he returned to Ireland, where he created his first church and MONASTERY. With his CROZIER, he traveled the country, converting people to Christianity with the help of the SHAMROCK. With his BELL, Patrick is said to have led all the SNAKES in Ireland to the cliffs, where they fell to the sea and never returned.
Thanks to Patrick’s inspiration, and with the help of his friends and fellow saints, CELTIC Christianity flourished, especially at its greatest church, ARMAGH. The only writings that Patrick left for us are his famous CONFESSION, that he wrote in LATIN, and the famous prayer known as Saint Patrick’s BREASTPLATE. He died on MARCH seventeenth, the day we now celebrate as his feast day, and was laid to rest in County DOWN, Ireland.
New St. Patrick's Day Custom for Children
by Kathleen M. Keane
As with Christmas and Easter, I wanted St. Patrick's Day to have magical memories for my children. Over the years, I developed a new 'custom' they would wake up with Leprechaun hats on their beds, along with a shamrock pin and other St. Patrick's Day goodies - stickers, tatoos, necklaces, and so on.
Then, they would find a trail of chocolate coins leading out to the
driveway where they would discover the driveway strewn with real coins; they got to keep what they picked up.
Naturally, we enjoyed Lucky Charms for breakfast and Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner, but the 'new custom' has made St. Patrick's Day one of their favorite holidays. Of course, as they grew older, they asked questions as to how these things occurred... just as they asked about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. It took a wee bit of blarney for me to give them an explanation. Eventually, I penned the explanation to prose. One day, perhaps, I'll get this published as a children's book. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy it... and have a safe holiday!
The leprechaun is a cobbler but he more than a cobbler be
as he guards the gold and treasures of the many fairies wee.
More precious than the treasures is what he hides so well...
it's privacy he pleasures and hopes his shoes will sell.
To keep his magic strong and this, you never knew...
he seeks to kiss a wee colleen fair maiden, one so true.
With his ungainly image one thinks he is a shrew
and no decent fair maiden would kiss one if she knew.
And so he has to steal it and in the night he creeps
the eve of auld St. Patrick's Day one magic night he seeks.
Asleep lies the fair maiden a fairy sprinkles dust...
to keep her from awakening and kiss her, yes he must!
For in the maiden's purity there lies a heart so true
for a leprechaun to steal a kiss makes all his dreams come true.
The purity of her fair heart is truly made of gold
and all the kingdoms of the world knows this is hard to hold.
And if the Leprechaun succeeds to kiss this maiden true
his magic and his wealth increase still, he'll not share with you!
Now should he ever get him caught while kissing one so pure
his wealth and magic will dissolve and that he knows is sure!
Stealthily the cobbler creeps to steal this kiss so rare
holds his breath and kiss the cheek of this young maiden fair
This success has left a mark...has filled his heart with glee
has made him do a little jig which has awakened thee.
So in his fearful haste to flee he ran out oh so fast...
his little hat blew off his head...that hat will hold your catch!
A clover did fall from his shoe and turned into a pin
Wear this now on your lapel for good luck to come in.
Some of his gold fell from his pot and in this mortal world...
turned into chocolate on the spot for little boys and girls.
And when his cobblers feet did tread upon the land outside
the gold he'd spilt upon the ground he can't pick up or hide.
And as he watched in disbelief as gold did turn to cents
he disappeared with great relief another year past hence.
So watch now, on St. Patrick's Day the eve of which may find
a leprechaun in cobbler-wear who'll leave a trail behind.
And as you gather up the treats on this Saint Patrick's Day
give thanks for all the blessings that have now come your way.
A Craft To Catch a Leprechaun
George is the editor of the Irish Heritage newsletter and he tells us that his daughter created this craft for her kindergartners a few years back. This project is rated VERY EASY to do.
Shoe box (do not need lid)
Green felt, craft foam, or paper
Shamrock stickers, optional
Stick about twice the depth of the box.
How To Make It:
Cover a shoe box with aluminum foil using glue or tape to hold it in place.
Cut shamrocks out of felt, foam, paper, or use stickers to decorate.
Glue the shamrocks, if not using stickers, to the box.
The night before St. Patrick's Day, put a stick under the box and leave it out by your front door. If a leprechaun stops by, he'll leave a surprise for you!
NOTE: George's daughter suggests leaving green candy or shiny new pennies. You might also consider a few of those foil covered chocolate coins. By the way, the Irish Heritage Newsletter is very interesting, entertaining and informative. If you'd like to subscribe, simply send an email to George at Steeler059@aol.com. Tell him Bridget says hello!
Click here for the Story of St. Patrick for kids.
Click here for the Kids story Fooling St Patrick.
Click here for the story of St Patrick for adults.
Index of All Children's Stories
Kids Reading - from All Posters
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Mon, Mar 10, 2014
on St Patrick's Day
You might be surprised to learn that in Ireland, not so long ago, about the only green you would see adults wear on St. Patrick's Day was fresh shamrock which was pinned onto a lapel or tucked into a cap or hat. And children probably didn't wear any green at all, except for the small amount included as a color on special St. Patrick crosses which they made themselves and wore to mass on St Patrick's Day morning. How different it is today! People all over the world love to dress up in all kinds of wild outfits, especially if they are going to a parade. Even in Ireland, the day has become a splashy festival like Mardi Gras in New Orleans - especially in Dublin - and very few people think of it as the religious holiday it once was.
Photo Credit: Trend Photos
ED.NOTE: Photo source includes coloring pages
Click for More Culture Corner.
"No man ever wore a cravat as nice, as his own child's arm around his neck."
- Irish Proverb
In Ireland in the 1780s, a young boy and girl who find a wolf's den in the forest vow to protect the animals from the superstitious townspeople and the greed of the hunters. Rave reviews including this one from Booklist:
"Convincing characters, tense action, and powerful conflicts makethis book an outstanding choice."
To learn more or to purchase, please click The Last Wolf in ireland.
Children's Irish Dictionary
by Hippocrene Books
As a total beginner in Irish, this has taught me quite a few words. The illustrations are beautifully done, and best of all, each word is given a rough English spelling of its pronunciation. Edited from an amazon review.
Click here for Kid's Irish Dictionary.
A lovely collection of well known Irish songs from the turn of the twentieth century. This album was created as a gift to MaryLee's Nana, Rose Burke Duval. The first half are songs well known to grandparents and the second half are original and traditional songs for children.
Click here for Irish Songs.