First Destination: Ireland
Our first destination in our Staycation Around the World journey is Ireland.
Did you know that Ireland is an island? It is surrounded by water. It is in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, near Iceland and England.
Ireland is a country rich in culture and history. There are many neat places to visit.
Click on any of the links below to take you on a tour without leaving the comfort of your own home.
So You Think You Can Dance?
Dance is an important part of the culture in Ireland.
Step dance is popular. This is a dance done mostly with feet. The upper body is mostly still.
Below is an example of the famous Riverdance, and a video showing you how to do the basic 7 dance step. Try it out and see if you like it.
The Blarney Stone & Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle is a 15th-century castle in County Cork in Ireland. Blarney is in the historic Irish Province of Munster. The Blarney Stone is in the castle. The Blarney Stone is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Ireland.
The Blarney Stone is a slab of limestone. The size of the stone is about 4 feet long and 1 foot wide. It is built into the castle’s battlements 83 feet up from the ground.
There are lots of myths about where the stone came from. Some say it came from the prophet Jeremiah. Some say it came from Stonehenge. It is supposed to have been given to Dermot MacCarthy by Robert the Bruce. The gift was for help fighting against the English at the 1314 battle of Bannockburn.
In 2014 scientists in Scotland examined a piece of the stone. They found that it was a piece of limestone from close to the castle. The stone is about 330 million years old.
The Blarney stone is one of Ireland’s biggest tourist attractions. Hundreds of tourists visit Blarney Castle every day. The visitors go to kiss the Blarney Stone. People think that kissing the stone will give them the “gift of the gab” (make them good at talking). There is usually a long queue of people waiting to kiss it. To kiss the stone people, have to lie on their backs and let their heads hang back over a ledge.
Paint the Blarney Stone
Within your kit, locate the bag with the rock in it. Use your paintbrush and green paint and paint your rock. Let it dry.
Once your rock is dry you may glue on the eyes and any other details you wish to add to it. It is up to you to add your creative touches.
Find the cardboard cut-out of a shamrock in your kit. You may paint it green if you like.
You will need your liquid glue and a bag of split peas. Brush the glue onto the cardboard with a paintbrush. Sprinkle the split peas over where you have the glue. Let dry.
Now you have your very own textured, 3D shamrock that you can put on display.
Did You Know…
More Sheep Than People
There are actually more sheep than people in Ireland.
According to recently released census figures, the population of Ireland is just under 4.8 million people, while there are approximately 5.2 million sheep in the country.
Fluffy Sheep Project
Using the black construction paper, cut out a head, 2 ears and 2 feet. Glue the ears onto the head. Glue the eyes onto the head.
Using your paintbrush, spread glue on the paper plate and place the cotton balls on top of where you spread the glue.
Glue the head and the feet onto the plate in the places where you would imagine a head and feet would go.
Sprouted Shamrock Sponge Project
- A household sponge
- Seed packet
- A water mister or spray bottle
- Shallow plate
Soak the sponge.The sponge should be damp, but not dripping.
Scatter the seeds across the top of the sponge, gently poking the seeds into the holes.
Place the sponge in a sunny window. Keep the sponge moist by misting with water; don’t let the seeds dry out.
It may be helpful to turn a clear plastic container over the plate at night to keep the moisture in.
Why a rainbow you ask?
In Irish legend, leprechauns bury pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, but since a rainbow can only be seen at a distance, the gold is forever illusive.
You will need construction paper in rainbow colors, glue, scissors and a big piece of paper where you will mount your rainbow.
Cut the colored pages into strips, then the strips into squares.
Using your glue stick, glue each of the squares down in a horseshoe or rainbow shape, color by color.
- You will need a cardboard tube
- A piece of tape
- A paper plate
- A paintbrush
- Green paint
- Push the end of the cardboard tube inwards, making a heart shape. Put a long piece of tape over it to hold
- Put green paint on a paper plate and dip the stamp into it.
- Make sure when you push it down on your piece of paper, you emphasize pushing the arch or creased part (sometimes it leaves a blank spot).
- Optional: Paint the inside of the shamrock leaves and paint a stem.
Traditional Irish Colcannon is creamy mashed potatoes mixed with sautéed cabbage and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Get help from your guardians when using knives and the stove.
- 5 large russet potatoes peeled and chunked
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 head green cabbage chopped (you can use Kale or any other greens)
- 2 green onions sliced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Place potatoes in a large saucepan with enough lightly salted water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
- Drain well making sure to remove excess water.
- Add two tablespoons butter and cream. Cover and let butter melt.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add cabbage and cook until tender: approximately 10 minutes.
- Add green onions and cook for additional 1 minute.
- Mash potatoes and gently stir in cabbage mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Make small well in top and add remaining tablespoon of butter
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 13.5g||17%|
|Total Carbohydrate 37.8g||14%|
|· Vitamin A15%
· Vitamin C63%
In your box you will find a bag of kinetic sand. Using items around your house and build some Irish castles made from sand. Make sure you take pictures of them and email them to Heather so they can be featured a future blog.
Coloring, Maze & Word Search Activities
Click on the link below, print the document and have fun!
Activities Included in Staycation Box
- Paint the Blarney Stone
- Make a fluffy sheep
- Split-pea Shamrock
- Make a mosaic rainbow
- Shamrock Stamp
- Sprout growing
- Castle building
- Cooking Colcannon
- Temporary tattoos
- Coloring pages and activity sheets
Note: An Irish man invented the tattoo machine, so some temporary tattoos are also included.
Have a blast staycationing in Ireland!