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Just For Kids    |    for Kids Only

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published on 03/01/2001

MARCH - FUN FOR KIDS – You don’t have to be GREEN to be IRISH

By staff writer

It’s the month of MARCH and still wintertime, but spring is right around the corner. The mornings are crisp, the skies are blue, and the winds blow hard enough to carry a kite high up in the air. Don’t be surprised if you wake up one morning and the ground is covered with snow even if the daffodils, tulips, and pansies are blooming in your flower gardens.

Many years ago, immigrants from Ireland came to the United States of America. They wanted to make a better life for their family than they had in Ireland. They settled in the Northeastern part of the United States especially in the big cities, but are now living all over the USA. A lot of Americans claim to be from Irish descent. My grandfather was a McCrary and my grandmother an O’Neal, both had relatives who came to America from Ireland. What about you? Ask your Mom and Dad to sit down with you and write down all your grandparents’ names as far back as they can go. When you’re finished you will have made a “family tree”. Who knows? You might have the “Luck of the Irish” in your family!

March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day in honor of the great honorary Irishman, St. Patrick. To learn more about the customs and history of St. Patrick's Day, check out the Wilstar web site at

In memory of the Potato Famine, suffered by the Irish people for so many years, plan a meal for your family to share. Call it a SPUD night. Get one big Irish Baking Potato for each person in your family. Wash it really well and then dry it with a cloth. *Poke each potato with a fork and place it on a cookie sheet. Bake it for 1-1½ hours at 425 degrees. The potato will be done when you poke it with the fork and the fork goes into the potato easily and back out very easily and comes out clean. While the potato is baking, gather together some fun things to put on top like: chili, broccoli and cheese sauce, bacon bits, shredded cheese, sour cream, butter, and green onions.
*Of course, please get your Mom or Dad or another adult to help. You might get everyone in your family to help and you can be the Tater – family!

If you would like to learn more about the Potato Famine in Ireland from 1845 – 1850, go to the Cleveland Hills School, NY web site for a good history of Ireland and the famine at

What happens if you do get snowed in? Here is a game you might want to play with some friends when it’s too cold or the weather is too bad to play outside. Pretend you are high in the Swiss Alps.

Here are your supplies: Hawaiian lei, hat, gloves, table knife, fork, dice, and gift (wrapped).

Here’s how you play: Sitting in a group – one person roles die and passes it to next person and s/he roles it. Whenever someone roles a “6”, that person puts the lei around their neck, the gloves on their hands, the hat on their head, and using the knife and fork, begins opening the gift. During this, if someone else roles “6”, THAT person takes the supplies and tries to open the gift. When the gift is open, share it with the whole group.

What’s in the gift? What about homemade cookies, assorted candy, popcorn, or rice crispy snacks. Wrap the gift before your friends come over or get an adult to do it for you so you will be surprised also!

*Important. You may need help gathering your supplies. If you don’t have a lei, consider using an old tie of your Dad’s or an old necklace that belongs to your Mom. Make sure an adult is supervising this game because of the knife.

March is called the "windy month" becasue the seasons are changing - winter is blowing away while spring is arriving. GO FLY A KITE! The kite dates back to over 3,000 years ago. The Chinese were the first to make kites using silk material and bamboo. Buddhist missionaries from China came to Japan between the years 649-794 AD and brought kites with them to use in religious ceremonies. The use of kites then spread to Korea and other countries. Go to the history of kites to learn more. If you would like to make your own kite out of newspaper and sticky tape, a good web site to check out is

REMEMBER TO: Think Green and may the "Luck of the Irish" be with you!

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