I have a deep deep love for Ireland that will forever be a part of my past, present, and future. After college, on a whim, with no job, no savings, never having left the country, knowing nobody abroad, I packed a bag and moved to Ireland: “My Biggest Life Changing Moment.” “May the road rise up to meet you...” First published in 2016, this post shares 10 Family Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Ideas and Movies to watch to help teach your kids about St. Patrick’s Day AND about the true Irish Culture! Click here for a list of the Top 21 Irish Movies to Watch!
My time living abroad in Ireland changed the path of my life forever, the person I am today, even the way I mother my children and live life. The country of Ireland and the Irish people are truly unique and special, and St. Patrick’s Day will forever be a very special day for me!! What does St. Patrick’s Day Mean to You?
For those only wanting to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, go ahead and get your green on, but for those who want to learn and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland, the below will give you a true insight into the culture of Ireland. With my children, I want them to know how special Ireland is to me and they do have Irish/Scottish heritage as well. This post contains an affiliate link.
Here are 10 Family Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Ideas to help teach your kids about St. Patrick’s Day AND about the Irish Culture: Sláinte!
10 Family Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Ideas:
#1 Saint Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Which brings us to the explanation as to why and how the Shamrock* became the National Flower of Ireland. St. Patrick used the Shamrock to teach the Holy Trinity, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, to the pagans of Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th. Here is a video telling the story of St. Patrick and how he used a Shamrock. *Shamrock is actually a made up name for a specific clover.
Here is another sweet video for kids to watch:
#2 When I lived in Dublin, Ireland, it was a must to see The Book of Kells which is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin and contains the four Gospels of the New Testament..
The film, The Secret of Kells, is based on the story of the origin of the Book of Kells. It also draws upon Celtic mythology. Family Friendly, Rated G, 75 minutes
#3 Kissing the Blarney Stone: St. Patrick’s Day Craft
#4 Check out the National Geographic’s website, countries Ireland, with your kids.
#5 Darby O’Gill and the Little People, rated G, From the accents, terminology, leprechauns, pots of gold, Irish jigs, lush countryside and good-natured blarney it doesn’t get more Irish than this. It’s old-fashioned, innocent fun, with a love story thrown in the mix and a very young Sean Connery.
#6 My boys, four and seven years old, really liked this movie: Song of the Sea is a sweet little movie about a little boy who discovers his mute sister to be a selkie freeing the faeries in the spirit world. Rated PG.
AND Another selkie story:
The Irish love stories about selkies!!! The Secret of Roan Inish “Between land and sea there is a place where myths are real” Rated PG
#7 Forget Elf on the Shelf, this mischievous leprechaun has a blast in our house!! Silly McGilly Book & Doll Set Once our Silly McGilly hid little chocolate gold coins around the house and my boys had to hunt down all his pot’o’ gold coins. Mostly, he leaves little notes of Irish Sayings and Proverbs that really help understand the culture.
#8 Man of Aran (1934) A documentary, though fictional, with some historically inaccurate parts, it’s still a view into how life on the Aran Islands was in the early 1900 period. Rated NR
#9 In America is a movie that shows Irish immigrants who move their family to America. This is a movie that hits you more after you watch it then during the actual movie. Not for young viewers! It’s rated PG-13. It does contain some sexuality, drug references, brief violence, and language.
In America is an Irish movie that I like for a few personal reasons:
1) Part of the movie was filmed just one street over from my flat in Ireland and I got to watch the filming.
2) I even had a drink and chips with some of the set crew.
3) Shows just how difficult it can be for immigrants, and I could relate with several situations.
4) This is a great movie while also very depressing. You won’t walk away feeling happy. But sometimes the real movies are good to watch.
#10 The movie, Into the West, rated PG, shows a widower living with his two sons in the slums of Dublin (pretty much where I was living in Dublin, not joking). The grandfather, who’s an old story-telling Traveller, arrives with Irish folk-tales and legends to share….the movie beyond travelers and the father/son relationship really is about Ireland.