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For many, Saint Patrick’s Day is a festive day full of the color green, shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows, pots of gold and Irish pride. As homeschoolers who LOVE great books and ways to explore the world around us, Saint Patrick’s is the perfect opportunity for some learning fun! Today I’m sharing with you some of our favorite Saint Patrick’s Day books and a super pretty craft activity – Shamrock Decoupage Luminary FREEbie!
*Be sure to read all the way through to download the FREEbie!
History of Saint Patrick’s Day and Its Many Symbols
There are many books out that share the history of Saint Patrick’s Day and why we celebrate it. One of our all-time favorites is Tomie dePaolo’s Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland. This books is comprised of an easy-to-read biography of Saint Patrick, followed by several legends associated with Saint Patrick. It was in Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland that we first learned the symbolism of the shamrock. When Saint Patrick was preaching Christianity to the people of Ireland, they had difficulty understanding the concept of the Holy Trinity. Per the legend, Saint Patrick picked a shamrock and explained that each leaf represented a part of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost), yet they were all part of the same plant. The Irish people immediately understood and the shamrock has forever since been associated with Saint Patrick’s Day.
Another book that shares the history of Saint Patrick is St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons. In this book the author shares a short biography of Saint Patrick, six legends about Saint Patrick and the various ways Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated.
If you’re looking for more detail and explanation of the many symbols of Saint Patrick’s Day, then Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs: The Story of the St. Patrick’s Day Symbols by Edna Barth is the book to read. Not only do you learn a more detailed biography of Saint Patrick, but she provides insight into Irish traditions and legends and the meaning behind the many symbols associated with Saint Patrick’s Day.
Saint Patrick’s Day Books with Facts and Fun
The St. Patrick’s Day Shillelagh by Janett Nolan is a fictional story that helps readers understand the history of the shillelagh and its meaning to the Irish people. What we love most about this book is its emphasis on the importance of family, heritage and traditions. We also love the beautiful watercolor illustrations throughout the book!
My twin boys (who are currently in 2nd grade) absolutely love Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Treehouse books. Combine that love with a book written about a holiday we’re studying and you have a winning combination! In the fictional Magic Tree House #43: Leprechaun in Late Winter, Jack and Annie are transported to ancient Ireland where they are to meet and inspire a new friend. As with most Magic Treehouse Book’s, Magic Tree House #43: Leprechaun in Late Winter encourages teamwork, cooperation, friendship and a little creative belief in the unbelievable. If you’re looking for more Saint Patrick’s Day facts, then consider the companion book Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #21: Leprechauns and Irish Folklore: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #43: Leprechaun in Late Winter by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce.
Saint Patrick’s Day and Leprechaun Fun
Most of you are probably familiar with ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, but have you heard of The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day by Natasha Wing? This book is a fun twist on the Christmas classic, but with some leprechaun mischief mixed in! Speaking of leprechaun mischief, who knew there was a Saint Patrick’s Day companion to the Christmas Elf on the Shelf tradition? The Leprechaun Trap: A Family Tradition For Saint Patrick’s Day by David & Kelly Clinch provides a mischievous leprechaun spin that puts Elf on the Shelf antics to shame! While we personally have not done any of these activities in our own home, we’d love to hear from families that have experienced this leprechaun mischievousness!
Shamrock Decoupage Luminary FREEbie
If you’re at all familiar with us at World for Learning, then you know we can’t resist the opportunity for a fun, hands-on activity that kids of all ages will enjoy! After all, why not bring learning and books to life with some exploration and creativity! The inspiration for our Shamrock Decoupage Luminary FREEbie comes from the legend of the shamrock. If you recall, Saint Patrick used the shamrock to represent the concept of the Holy Trinity. Our Shamrock Decoupage Luminary FREEbie lets you put the shamrock on beautiful display. Download our Shamrock Decoupage Luminary FREEbie for supplies list, easy-to-follow instructions and shamrock template options.