St. Patrick’s Day offers endless activity ideas and is fun to celebrate even for those who are not Irish. Below are simple group discussion starters, appropriate for those with Alzheimer's, along with some ideas for crafts and music. Start off by wearing something green - it can set a fun tone for the day and can be used in conversation all day long.
Fun Facts and Songs
Why celebrated: It was a religious feast day to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland but it is now a festival celebrated around the globe, to celebrate the Irish culture.
Where celebrated: St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the Irish folk and people around the world. Some cities hold parades or turn their rivers green.
Characters associated with it: The most common character associated with St. Paddy’s Day is the leprechaun. The four leaf clover is also associated with St. Patrick’s Day. It has been said that a four leaf clover will bring you good luck.However, the most common St Patrick's Day symbol is the shamrock. The shamrock is the leaf of the three leaf clover plant and is a symbol of the Holy Trinity.
How people celebrate it: They dance, eat different, special foods, and wear green. Today, people see parades and watch St. Patrick Day based movies. Irish foods include Shepherd’s Pie, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and Irish Soda Bread.
Songs for St. Patrick’s Day: When Irish Eyes are Smiling, Irish Lullaby, I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover.
St. Patrick's Day Activities for those with Dementia:
- Paper strip shamrocks: Have the person help cut strips of green shaded paper. You can draw lines on the paper as a guide, if needed. Then the person can help make the loops, as you staple to make a fun shamrock shape. Alternately, draw a shamrock shape on a piece of paper with a permanent marker and then have the person color it in or glue green string on the outline you made.
- Stamped shamrocks: Fold on side of an empty toilet paper roll, so that is sort of heart shaped, and tape in place. Dip the end into greed paint and stamp three of the heart shapes edge to edge to make a shamrock.
- Rainbow snack: Line up colored Froot Loop cereal to create a rainbow. Then eat! Create a sample first, that the person can follow.
- Shamrock snack: Cut slices of green pepper (the 'shamrocks') and place atop of cheese covered english muffins. Put in the oven to toast and melt the cheese.
- Music: Listen to or sing 'When Irish Eyes are Smiling' or 'Danny Boy'.
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