This year in history, we’re studying England. Monkey is reading through the Harry Potter books for literature and reading through English history for history. I found these neat Usborne English history books from the UK that we are using and love. Because we’ve been studying England all year, we thought it would be fun to celebrate an English holiday. We don’t have St. George’s Day in the United States, so we thought this would make the perfect holiday to celebrate and make a fun St. George’s Day craft.
A Brief Overview of St. George’s Day
St. George is England’s patron saint. He died April 23rd, which is why St. George’s Day is celebrated. According to this source, UK residents celebrate the holiday with parades, flags, church services, and other festivities, although no one takes off work for the holiday and the banks are open. So, I would equate it with St. Patrick’s Day here.
According to legend (and maybe history?), St. George was a soldier from Turkey who was a member of the Roman army and personal guard to Emperor Diocletian. He was executed for converting to Christianity on April 23, 303 and is buried in Israel.
I honestly don’t know how this made him the patron saint of England, unless it was really just because the poem “St. George and the Dragon” was so popular.
St. George’s Day Craft: Perler Bead Dragon
Since George was popularized by the George and the Dragon story, we decided the best way to celebrate St. George’s Day was with a dragon craft. Monkey had been begging to use our new Perler beads, so we used them as the basis for our craft.
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Dragon template (click to download and print)
Perler beads (orange, red, brown, and yellow)
Print the template so that when you print it, it is exactly the same size as your 4X4 bead tray. If the measurements are off, the template won’t work properly.
Follow the outline using our completed project as a guide. In the end, we modified the template slightly. Feel free to use your own color choices as well. No one says you can’t have an aqua-colored dragon.
Place a sheet of wax paper over your design still on the tray. Press a hot iron over the design for about 30 seconds until the beads start to melt together. Let the design cool.
Flip the dragon over and remove it from the bead tray. Place the wax paper over the non-melted side and press the hot iron on the paper to melt the second half of the dragon. Let the beads cool completely before giving the dragon to your kids to play with or display.
What St. George’s Day craft ideas can you think of?