Did you know March is actually Irish-American History Month? It was October 1990 that Congress passed a law marking March 1991 as Irish-American History Month. Every year since, either a subsequent law or presidential proclamation was made stating the same.
Irish-American History Month for Kids
When it comes to kids and history months, it is not difficult to see how you may be met with groans. The key is to make it fun.
Start the day off with placemats.
To get into the spirit, lay down a placemat at breakfast. Let them wake up to the idea of Ireland, even if it is more geared toward typical Saint Patrick’s Day.
Eat Irish breakfast fare.
We have kids. That means most of us do not have a ton of time to cook, let alone make an extensive breakfast.
Irish Soda Bread is an easy recipe. With only five ingredients and no yeast, the bread can be baked in under an hour. Bonus, your kiddos can knead the dough for you.
If you really don’t have that kind of time or desire, simply grab some sausage, eggs, and even baked beans and serve them up. Thanks to the convenience of our world, pre-cooked, microwavable sausage and baked beans make this possible. Perhaps not as authentic, but busy moms have to manage.
Play Irish games.
For the sake of simplicity and time, these games are ones that busy parents can muster. They have little prep time and lack the need for large teams of children.
The game of Marbles is quite easy. Simply gather up marbles for two or more people. Draw a circle, ideally on smooth or level ground, put an agreed-on number of marbles in the circle, and take turns flicking a marble in to knock another’s out. The knocked-out marbles go to the player who successfully hit them out of the circle.
Piggy in the Middle is essentially Monkey in the middle. Grab a ball, toss back and forth with a player in the middle trying to get the ball. Once they steal the ball, the thrower becomes the “piggy.”
Conkers requires you to simply get chestnuts and run a string through the middle. Players take turns flicking or flinging their chestnut at the other players, trying to break their conker.
Finally, Skipping is a playground favorite. This merely is jumping rope. Two people hold the end of the jump rope and swing it round and round. The person in the middle jumps until they trip on the rope and then switch to a new jumper.
Watch Irish movies.
Thanks to Common Sense Media, you have the ability to read about movies before exposing your kids to them. How I wish I knew of this site before I scared my children with Coraline. Their list of Irish movies includes age recommendations and read reviews from other parents.
Another place to check out which would be decent flicks is on the Irish Post. They actually have a blog all about nostalgic-inducing movies, as were reported on the Muireann O’Connell show. Note: some of these are not necessarily “Irish shows” but rather are shows kids in Ireland may consider their favorites.
Learn Irish-American history.
Make sure to include the history of the Irish-American people. In 1788, the first Irishman came to Cincinnati. Being home to P&G, it is interesting to know that in 1819, Alexander Norris brought his family from Ireland to Cincinnati. His daughters would grow up to marry James Gamble and William Proctor. Less than 20 years later, they would begin P&G.
If Cincinnati history doesn’t draw your family in, explore the Irish and tap dancing. Perhaps instead, fairies and leprechauns entice you. Great! Read up on them and maybe explore making fairy gardens to remind you of your lessons. If you are looking more for just a quick overview, print out some fact cards and create a trivia game.
Whichever way you chose to celebrate Irish-American History Month, just make sure you do. Part of the beauty of our country is the melting pot of history that blends us together. The unique stories within allow us to feel connected to the plight of a group of people. In the end, you just may find a new tradition or recipe for your family along the way.