St. Patrick’s Day Lucky Terrarium
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this Lucky Terrarium — an easy spring project for kids and parents to make together. This Lucky Terrarium is a fun way to celebrate Irish symbols and learn about their history.
The shamrock is cheerful, decorative, rich in history and probably the best known of all the St. Patrick’s Day symbols. The shamrock is a small, three-leaved plant that looks something like a clover. It grows all over Ireland, kept green year-round with the mild, misty climate. Tradition suggests that St. Patrick used the plentiful shamrock as a symbol of trinity – the Christian Godhead. The trefoil leaf of the shamrock represents one God in three persons — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Later, the shamrock became a symbol of national pride. In 1777 Irish members of the British army wore the shamrock emblem. Later during the Irish rebellion, it became very popular because Queen Victoria forbade wearing it.
Surprising to some is that the shamrock is not necessarily a symbol of luck. A four-leaf clover is a symbol of good-luck, because it is rare. However, much like a clover, a shamrock leaf might occasionally mutate to four.
Pot o’ Gold History
Fairies fill Irish folklore and the St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun is probably the most recognizable. Unlike most fairies, a leprechaun is hard-working and usually rich. He buries his gold in secret places. If you catch one, he just may offer it for ransom!
Luck of the Irish
The phrase “Luck of the Irish” doesn’t have roots in Ireland, nor does it refer to having good fortune! In fact, it ironically referred to bad luck! This likely stems from prejudice toward Irish immigrants when war and famine forced millions to flee the country. In the same derogatory vein, the term dismissed one’s abilities to earn rewards through hard work and innovation. This dumb-luck reference has roots in the gold-rush era when several famous Irish-Americans became wealthy in the mining trade.
Perhaps the Urban Dictionary presents a better reflection for the term’s use today — an aptitude for a positive look on a bad situation. This certainly lends an inspiring and hopeful tone to the phrase, consistent with the festivities celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day.
Make This Lucky Terrarium
Kids and parents can work together to make this Lucky Terrarium.
Plastic Gold Coins
4” Shamrock (sold at most Nurseries during March)
Water bottle (for spray watering)
First, place gold coins on bottom of glass vase. Stack some coins flat and some coins on end, facing out against the glass.
Next, layer pebbles on top of gold coins. Place larger pebbles closest to coins. This will help prevent smaller pebbles from falling between coins.
Continue by placing a layer of moss on top of pebbles. This layer of moss helps minimize the amount of soil that falls into the lower layers.
Now, cover the moss with at least 4” of potting soil.
Finally, dig a hole in the center of soil. Carefully remove shamrock from the pot and loosen edge of the root ball. Place roots in the soil. With water bottle, spray soil until barely moist.
Place terrarium in bright, indirect sunlight at normal room temperature. Don’t panic when the leaves wilt at night – they pop open again in the daylight! Allow soil to dry-out before watering. To water, lightly spray soil until barely moist. Like other bulb-plants, shamrocks will die back after spring & summer blooming. But, don’t throw it away! Follow directions that came with the plant for care during the dormant period.
Posted in Activities & Crafts, Flash to the Past