This fun craft for toddlers and grade-school children will teach them how to recycle items that would normally go into the trash and help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This craft also uses paint or ink, which is fun for any child who loves to get messy.
Here are the materials you will need:
- Coffee tray (Dunkin’ Donuts makes such a tray)
- Green paint or ink pad
- Durable paper or cardboard (such as the back of a cereal box)
- Smock or inside-out shirt
- Newspaper to cover your table
- Cut out the raised portions of your coffee tray, which you may notice look just like shamrocks or three-leaf clovers. Typically you will end up with four shamrocks and a few inches below the shamrocks to help you grasp them. This part requires sharp scissors and a bit of patience, so don’t let toddlers do the cutting and supervise older children.
- Dip the clovers in paint or ink like you would a stamp and press on paper. Repeat dipping every one or two stamped clovers.
Other Shamrock Stamp Ideas
To add some pizzazz, you can also put glue and green glitter on the paper, or glue on or draw St. Patrick’s Day icons such as leprechauns and rainbows. Older children might enjoy drawing first and then adding the shamrocks to their pictures. Be sure to save the clover stamps for next year! You can also make a collage of different colored shamrocks all over the paper using different paints and inks. You can put the stamps on leprechaun hats too.
Here is an extra tip: make a smock out of a man’s button-down shirt by simply cutting the sleeves short. The smock will be long enough to cover toddlers and grade-school children.
History of the Shamrock
If you want the craft to include a learning experience, do a little research on the history of the clover, which St. Patrick used to represent the Holy Trinity, or the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, according to legend.
St. Patrick was also known for driving snakes out of Ireland, however, scholars believe this was a metaphor for ridding the country of druid, celtic, and shaman magic.
As Ireland became more repressed by the British Empire in later centuries, the shamrock took on the new meaning of pride and rebellion for the Irish people.
Shamrocks are very much embedded into Catholicism in Ireland, and can be found in many unexpected places, such as floors (see image). Similarly, there are limitless ways to bring shamrocks into crafts for children.