These days, it’s not uncommon to see kids engrossed in iPads, video games and phones; sports, dance or any other number of after-school activities all compete with screen time to fill a kid’s day. Add in homework, and kids are scheduled to the max. The urge for the family to unplug and spend time together seems to grow as everyone gets busier, but turning off the screen doesn’t have to mean the learning stops. Here are six fun, family-friendly activities that happen to include some learning on the side.
We are fast approaching St. Patrick’s Day, when everyone is Irish for a day, right? Many of us will be donning our green t-shirts, Leprechaun hats and shamrock socks for a day of celebration, complete with green beer in hand. Since March 17 is a Saturday this year, it’s likely there will be even more people clinking glasses of Guinness.
But whether you are going out to celebrate at a local pub or hosting a party at home, remember these St. Patrick’s Day safety tips to ensure your day is full of lucky charms.
- Don’t bring valuables to any celebration. Only bring with you what is necessary, such as your driver’s license, money, a phone and shamrock necklaces.
- If you’re attending an event with a large crowd, such as a local St. Patty’s Day parade, be aware of your surroundings and locate where you can go for help if necessary.
- If you plan on drinking, don’t drive! Protect yourself and others by having a designated driver and make sure everyone wears a seatbelt.
- If you are the designated driver, watch out for intoxicated walkers who pay no attention to lights or crosswalks.
- Use public transportation or take a cab both to and from your location so you can avoid leaving your car in an unfamiliar place overnight.
- If going out with a group of friends, have everyone “buddy up” to make sure they get home safely.
- Stay hydrated and fed. Make sure you don’t drink on an empty stomach (eat a corned beef sandwich!) and definitely consume water or non-alcoholic beverages in between the green beer.
- Do not leave drinks unattended. Many pubs have outdoor tents set up with port-a-potties outside. Finish your drinks before hitting the restroom.
- If you become separated from your group, don’t wander off alone. Ask the party staff to contact a taxi company for you.
- If the party is at your house, have guests turn their keys in to you when they arrive. That way you can ensure that everyone has a safe ride home. But be prepared to let your guests stay the night as an alternative.
- Have phone numbers handy for a cab company, emergency contacts and poison control.
- Have plenty of food and snacks available so your guests aren’t drinking on an empty stomach.
- If cups are unattended for a while, dump them out, especially if there are curious kids or pets around.
There are plenty of fun things to do on St. Patrick’s Day with family and friends, but it’s important to have a high level of awareness when it comes to safety. Good health and happiness is the real pot of gold!
And now I leave you with a quote from Irish dramatist Andrew Cherry:
There’s a dear little plant that grows in our isle,
‘Twas St Patrick himself, sure, that set it;
And the sun on his labor with pleasure did smile,
And with dew from his eye often wet it.
It thrives through the bog, through the brake, and the mireland;
And he called it the dear little shamrock of Ireland…