By Lori Lite, Founder of Stress Free Kids
You don’t need to be Irish to tap into St. Patty’s Day. Put your own spin on this holiday to get your Irish (or not) eyes smiling and your soul relaxing. Playful family traditions reduce stress and strengthen relationships. Here are a few tips to eat, drink, be merry, and relaxed for St. Patrick’s Day.
Brighten your day with green at your breakfast table. Use a green tablecloth. Put a green plant on the table: crocus, daffodil or even a cactus will brighten the mood. Fun green plates or green candles can get your family in the mood for spring. Start the day talking about the rainforest, leprechauns, or playing Rainforest Relaxation Music during breakfast.
Serve up an Irish dish or eat something green. Many kids will eat spinach dip, asparagus, or even Edamame beans, especially when you tell them it is the food of Leprechauns! Found these fantastic Shamrock Ravioli at Costco.
Try Green Tea or a green vegetable drink. (my favorite is Kyo-Green)
Wear green, listen to Irish music, and dance around the house. Do an Irish gig with the kids. Watch a few minutes of River Dance…and the kids will jump into action.
Take the kids or whole family for a nature walk and look for signs of leprechauns. Use a camera and encourage children to take photos of clues. Have a green item scavenger hunt. See how many green things you can find and make a list. Leave a shoe outside your door with something shiny in it to entice a leprechaun to leave a piece of candy or little gift. Use green sidewalk chalk to make shamrocks or arrows that take the leprechauns on a fun path to follow.
Blow green outdoor colored bubbles (Crayola makes them). Imagine that you are filling the bubbles with hope filled wishes… Write affirmations / positive statements on paper shamrocks. Place one on everyone’s plate and go around the table reading them out loud. Try, ” I am lucky.” ” I am full of laughter.” ” I have a song in my heart.”
Storytelling or story creating is a fun way to foster creativity, laughter, and relaxation. Sit outside or around the diner table and create a progressive story. Each family member can add a portion of the story… A leprechaun woke up under a mushroom with one of his pointy shoes missing… Create a story where everything is green!
Arts and Crafts:
Use lots of gold and green to make a leprechaun house out of an old shoebox or cereal box. Finger paint with shades of green. Look for clover and press them into the paint. Use items from your recycling bin. Lots of ideas on art and crafts projects with recycled materials can be found at PlanetPals.com.
The color green can be used to rejuvenate, calm, or heal. Sit quietly and visualize the color green filling every cell in your body. Focus on breathing in healing green air and out healing green air. See the green filling your lungs and heart. A Boy and a Turtle and Bubble Riding are both visualization stories that teach children to relax with colors. Both of these relaxation stories are available on audio CD or downloads.Indigo Dreams: Adult Relaxation teaches adults how to fill their body with colors and Indigo Teen Dreams introduces teenagers to visualizing and working with colors.
♧ Happy St. Patty’s Day from Stress Free Kids ♧
Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. For more information visit Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook.