Background: This is a modified repost from my days as a guest blogger for Shade Clothing so this might be familiar to some of you, (but I changed the ending so keep reading.) I love to use the holidays-even St. Patrick’s Day- to reinforce good manners. Kids benefit from opportunities to express gratitude and appreciation.
The idea came to me after the Haiti earthquake last year. My kids seemed to be complaining about everything from breakfast to school clothes. I found myself lecturing “You’re lucky you have food to eat” or “You’re lucky you have clothes to wear at all.” My rants inspired this St. Patty’s Day idea:
|Mini pot of gold|
Attention Getter: Before we started, I filled a mini cauldron (found at Partyland) for each child full of pennies. It took 4 rolls of pennies per cauldron. Then I hid them around the house. I told the kids of an Irish legend that says if you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow you will have good luck. I sent the kids on a hunt for their own pots of gold. Squeals of excitement came from the basement when they found their pots.
Lesson: We gathered in a circle and I gave a brief lesson on how lucky we are to live where we live and have what we have. Then I explained the activity: Take a penny out of your mini cauldron and say something you feel “lucky” about. Then add your penny to the larger pot of gold in the center. We went around the circle many times and their responses ranged from the silly to the serious. My son was lucky to have his light saber and my daughter thought we were lucky to have policemen and firemen.
Follow-Up: Since it took 200 pennies to fill up one small pot, we did this activity every night with our bedtime ritual for a week or so leading up to St. Patty’s Day to go through all the pennies. I had intentions of donating all the pennies to the Haiti earthquake fund, but I can’t remember if I ever did??? This year I might just do Rolos in the cauldrons, eat them as we go, and keep the activity to one night.