Print shamrock shapes for St. Patrick’s Day


By Donna Erickson

Signal Contributing Writer

Fill your house with the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 17. These creative and fun-to-do family activities will keep you and your kids thinking “green” all day long.

Early in the morning, enlist one of your kids to assist you in tinting a small bowl full of shaving cream with green food coloring. Fingerpaint a shamrock shape on bathroom mirrors to surprise the rest of the family when they wake up. 

Set out large sheets of white paper for your kids and let them print St. Patrick’s Day shamrock designs for festive placemats using a green pepper for a stamp! Stamp on paper napkins, too.

In preparation for the craft, choose a firm green pepper at the market that has similar contours as the shape of a shamrock. An adult should slice it in half crosswise, remove the seeds and pat dry.

Dip the cut end of the pepper in green poster or acrylic paint, then press the pepper firmly on the paper to make shamrock-like prints from the natural stamp.

Paint stems freehand on the shamrock to complete the design. (If there is a long stem on the pepper, it makes a nice handle for a young child to hold while stamping.) 

Save and slice the remaining half of the green pepper into several shamrock-shaped slices to add to a salad.

At dinnertime, listen to traditional Irish music. Talk about names and surnames that are typically Irish, such as Sean, Megan, Shannon and O’Brien. Ask your kids if any of their friends have Irish names. Share stories about any Irish ancestors in your family tree. 

For dessert, set small paper shamrock cutouts on serving plates. Sift cocoa over each entire plate and remove cutouts to reveal shamrock shapes. Serve a scoop of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream in the center. 

Visit your neighborhood public library with your preschoolers before St. Patrick’s Day and ask for books of tales from or about Ireland. At bedtime, nothing will delight your “wee ones” more than imagining a world of little people smaller than they are!

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” 

© 2020 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.

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