April works full time in higher education balancing her time between her special needs son, handsome husband, elderly mother, and new baby coming in May 2014. She has a background in theatre, film, and television but somehow stumbled into the educational field. She loves spending time with her family, dreaming of the beach and organizing her house.

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St. Patrick’s Day Crafts For Special Needs Kids

St. Patrick’s Day is fun for kids to dress all in green and try not to get pinched!  There are a lot of great crafts and things you can do to engage your child in the holiday without involving the traditional ale.  My son has absolutely loved doing crafts not just for this column but even in other settings.  These crafts will require assistance depending upon the level of disability of your child.

Glitter Shamrocks

Find a shamrock pattern and print the amount that you wish to make.  Cut out the shamrocks or have your child cut them out if they are able to do so.  I would layer your work space.  Larger paper on the bottom and a smaller 8 1/2 x 11 paper as the main workspace so it will be an easier clean up.  You can either use glue glitter or glue and glitter.  I do not recommend using stick glue as the glitter doesn’t stick well to it.  They can do a design with the glue or just cover all of the shamrock.  Put the glitter on the glue and then shake off the excess glitter.  Put it aside to dry on cookie racks or another similar location.

Netted Leprechaun Trap

Find a small box that you can cover with shamrock scrapbook paper or create your own design.  You can also create a rainbow on the box to create an illusion of gold at the end of the rainbow.  You can use gold buttons or spray paint noodles gold for the pot of gold.  You can also use green netting on the outside of the trap with one side of the box being used as the trap door.  Prop it open with a stick painted gold.  Be creative and have your child decorate it to their satisfaction.

Mickey and Minnie St. Patrick’s Day Headbands 

The directions for this cute craft is on the website, but it is something that you will need to really help them with.  It’s a little more difficult in terms of using the hot glue gun, but they will have fun wearing them!

Rainbow Handprints

You can either use colored paper, paint or rainbow color craft foam.  (I prefer the colored paper.)  Trace your child’s hands on the various colors of the rainbow.  Cut them out or paint first, then cut.  Let the paint dry first before you do the next step.  Take a white piece of paper and glue them onto the paper in the shape of a rainbow. You can always add a pot of gold if you so desire by using glitter or gold painted objects.

Fruit Loop Rainbow

If you happen to have Fruit Loops or any of the generic cereal around, this is a great craft.  It helps with the fine motor skills.  Separate the different colors into various bowls. On a sheet of paper, draw a wide bodied rainbow so the fruit loops have space to be glued.  Glue the colored fruit loops on the part of the rainbow that matches that color.  You can let it dry and hang it on your refrigerator or give it as a gift to a family member.

Shamrock Tree Craft

You will need paper and crayons for the trunk portion.  To create the trunk, trace your child’s arm from the elbow up including the fingers.  Print the shamrock template onto green colored paper.  Cut them out and set them aside.  Have your child color the tree trunk, then glue the various shamrocks onto the tree.  Your child can then create a rainbow, grass, clouds, etc.  If you wish to be tactile, you can use cotton balls for the clouds, real grass for the grass, etc.

These are just a few of the really great crafts you can do with your child.  If you like to search the internet, make sure that the crafts you pick to do with your child are appropriate to his/her level of abilities and don’t be afraid to dig in with them and get messy!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

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