March we started studying Ireland (because St. Patrick’s Day, lol) and are really enjoying it! The first week of the month we were on vacation in the Caribbean as a family (yeah I know, rough), so we had a somewhat late start to our activities. I visited this beautiful country when I was five months pregnant with my oldest; it’s hard to believe it’s been four years! Our activities this month has made me remember the lovely visit I had there, albeit only in Dublin. Next time, I want to explore the rest of the country!
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George’s Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth. Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland), which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. For the purpose of our activities this unit, we included both Irelands. 🙂
I love to see what other parents and caregivers do for their little ones; post on Instagram under #travelingthroughlearning and follow my feed, and I will feature my favorite activities at the end of the month. You can also share what you have done on this blog or PM me with Ireland-themed activities that you have done/and or blogged about and I’ll include links to them in this post once the unit is complete.
- Placemat & Flag of Ireland – This full color printable shows some interesting stats of the country as well as some pictures of major landmarks. I like to put it in a plastic sheet protector and use it as a placemat for meals. It is excellent to promote learning at the dinner table. This also includes a Irish flag to post as part of your unit.
- Map Outline & Major Cities of Ireland – This outline map can be transferred to foam or felt and the city tags can be printed off and attached with map-pins, to help learn about the major cities.
Model of Landmark/Dwelling:
- Built a Model of Dublin Castle – Build a beautiful paper version of this historic landmark with a milk & oatmeal carton and small medicine boxes.
- Pot O’ Gold Counting/Matching Cards – Adorable St. Patrick’s Day Themed Cards to teach little ones to count – has matching dots and tallys and can be used with clothespins or faux gold pieces to learn numbers 1-10.
- Learn about the Euro – Great hands-on activity to describe the monetary differences of coin currency and how they differ from your own countries (in our case, the United States).
- Montessori-Inspired Red Clover Felt Puzzle – The Shamrock is Ireland’s national flora, but since we don’t have them here in Colorado, I made a felt puzzle with corresponding parts tags for our Red Clover, which is a distant cousin (and more relatable to my preschooler).
Montessori-Themed Indigenous Fauna Cards:
- Montesorri-Inspired 3-Part Matching Cards: Irish Fauna – These are animals found in Ireland, and can be used to match with or without miniature models.
- St. Patrick’s Day Counting – Adorable worksheet with St. Patrick’s Day counting photos.
- Shamrock Coloring Page – Celebrate St. Patty’s day and the luck of the Irish with this shamrock coloring page! Your little ones can even learn a new sight word as they color.
- A popular toy in Ireland was the Meccano Sets, which were construction sets made from metal. These were played with primarily by boys, and they could build cranes and other mechanical items from it. Boys and girls both liked to play with board games like Ludo, a strategy board game for two to four players, in which the players race their four tokens from start to finish according to the rolls of a single die.
- Faerie Garden/Small World Play – Great creative with small world play to create a small fairy garden – great for the imagination!
- St. Patrick’s Day Themed Loose Parts / Sensory Bin – Awesome hands-on activity for little hands to promote sorting and counting.
- Flower Fairies – Make adorable little fairy dolls from faux floral blooms.
- Skittles Rainbow Melt – STEM Science Experiment
- Gold Slime – Just use gold glitter glue and follow the instructions to make an amazing gold slime.
- Grow a Potato – During the Great famine, sometimes referred to as the Great Potato Famine of Ireland, a blight caused much of their potato crop to not grow, causing widespread hunger and financial ruin. This fun activity allows little ones to grow a potato and see how they turn into plants.
- Walking Rainbow – Create a watercolor rainbow with this fun experiment showing how different colors turn into others. Great for promoting concepts of color mixing and the scientific concept of absorption.
- Sugar Rainbow – Discovering density has never been more colorful, or fun! The Sugar Rainbow is a creative and engaging method of teaching about how different densities will stack atop each other. There’s even an additional lesson about adhesion and cohesion! Combine gorgeous colors and awesome science with a little bit of sugar and water!
Practical Life Skills:
- Irish Stew – Irish stew is a traditional Irish dish made from lamb or mutton as well as potatoes, onions and parsley. My family is vegetarian so we used only vegetables, but you can put in meat replacement if you so desire.
- Soda Bread – Make delicious bread to go with your Irish Stew. The essential ingredients in a traditional Irish soda bread are flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.
Fine Motor Skills:
- Tie a Celtic Knot – Celtic knot designs in general have become a symbol of cultural pride for those with Welsh, Irish or Scottish heritage. Although the history is not directly related to the Irish culture, the most popular designs have been attributed to the Irish/Celtic culture well over the past century.
Gross Motor Skills:
- Irish Step Dance/Riverdance – Get your little one’s moving with this fun hands on (feet on?) activity to mimic the intricate moves of the Irish Step Dance.
- Celtic Women – Celtic Woman is an all-female Irish musical ensemble based in Ireland. The foundation for Celtic music’s popularity outside Ireland and Europe was built by tapping into the success of artists such as Enya, Moya Brennan and Clannad, along with stage shows Riverdance and Lord of the Dance.
- This month we dressed our art doll in a vintage dress made for the 1980’s Ireland Barbie – I love thrift finds that work perfectly for my country units!
- Saint Patrick – a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, he is the primary patron saint of Ireland. Children can color this beautiful coloring page while learning about this saint.
- S is for Shamrock, An Ireland Alphabet – Gives readers a guided A-Z tour of this small island country whose influence extends far beyond its sea borders. Famous landmarks such as the Blarney Stone and Finn McCool’s Giant Causeway speak to the land and history that shaped Ireland and its inhabitants. The prose and poetry of Eve Bunting, Irish native and children’s book author, bring the magic and mystery, character and culture of the Emerald Isle to vivid life.
- What Makes a Rainbow – Book for young children, with magic ribbons that appear with the turn of each page.
- Fiona’s Luck – The greedy Leprechaun King has locked away all the luck in Ireland and the whole country has fallen in to despair. Through clever charades, Fiona outwits the Leprechaun King and restores luck to the land.
I love to see what other people have done for Irish themed activities, so if you have something you think I need to add to this list, please DM me! 🙂