On St. Patrick's Day, lots of second graders will be wearing green and celebrating the “luck of the Irish.” For lots of kids, this is a time of leprechaun treasure hunts and little chocolate “gold” coins. As your child scampers around looking for St. Patrick's Day goodies, why not add to the fun by helping him make a shamrock tote bag to hold the collection? Constructing his tote will help him build strong hand muscles and improve his fine motor skills, two crucial steps to neater handwriting.
What You Need:
- 1 12" x 18” piece of green craft foam
- 2 9" x 12” pieces of craft foam with sticky backs, one white and one light green
- Tote bag template
- Shamrock cutouts
- Flat sticky back “jewel” flowers (optional)
- Hole punch
- White lanyard string
What You Do:
- Make a tote bag template by cutting a half circle as seen in the picture. Cut out two green tote bag pieces. Lay them on top of one another, and use the hole punch to make holes along the sides and bottom, ½” apart.
- Cut one large white shamrock shape from the white sticky back foam sheet.
- Lay three flat, yellow-colored heart shaped "jewels" in the center of the shamrock, and use a long rectangular jewel to make a jewel shamrock "stem" in the middle of the white shamrock, like this:
- Optional: decorate around the shamrock with flat, sticky back jewels.
- Now you’re ready to lace up your shamrock tote. Cut a length of white lanyard string about 40” long. Starting at the top, tie off one end of the lanyard string with a secure knot, and then whip stitch around the rest of the pouch.
- When you reach the top again, tie a knot to secure the whip stitch, but don’t cut off the rest of the string. Use it to make a “shoulder strap” for your pouch! Measure out the length you want, and tie it off on the other side of the pouch. Clip off any extra string, and you are off and running, leprechaun gold galore!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.