Irish American Cultural Institute

Providing leadership and resources to preserve, interpret, and promote Irish and Irish American Cultures


Teaching children about their Irish heritage is a learning experience for both parent and child, and the topics should be of interest to both the teacher and the student. Children can be taught about family traditions and their Irish heritage through participatory activities and through a variety of interesting games.  Perhaps the most interesting benefit of researching their heritage  is that it encourages children to reach out to relatives and ask questions about their past.

Teach Tradition

Children should be taught as much as possible about their ancestors. Browsing through photograph albums and sharing stories about the people in the pictures, especially if related to some of the child’s interests, will create a connection to the past. A younger child can associate objects with pictures. For example, if a great grandparent was photographed in a garden, the child can link garden tools or certain plants or vegetables to the family member. An older child can write a story or participate in gardening activities.

Family possessions that have been handed down are another way to form bonds with ancestors. A vintage scarf, porcelain figurine, or holiday ornament can inspire stories and imaginations. Classic Irish family traditions can be readily found in the recipes of the past. When parent and child join together to prepare a traditional recipe, both benefit from the memories created by previous generations.

Teach Heritage

Involve your child in the teaching experience by creating learning games that are fun and easy. An online scavenger hunt can provide an interactive voyage, allowing the child to learn at his or her own pace. Keeping in mind the child’s interests and skill level, the parent can give the child a list of items that relate to Irish heritage to find online. The items can be related to a specific topic such as baseball or the broader topic of sports. For older children, a time limit can be established, and for all ages, the parent and child would share in this activity, with the child seeking the items that the parent has specified.

Irish Way Program for Students


Enjoy the rich heritage and tradition of Ireland while also experiencing the country's distinct culture face-to-face. This unique program, in it's 37th year,  was founded on the belief that fostering an appreciation of other cultures is an important part of an individual’s development.
Learn More

Teach Ireland

A map of Ireland, or a virtual tour of the ancestral town, can give the child a better perspective of the family’s journey from Ireland to America. Showing the distance on a globe or world map and discussing the voyage can open dialogue and forge a child’s imagination through curiosity and wonderment.

Learning about the country and culture, both past and present will give children a better understanding of their roots.

Make It Enjoyable

Parents have the advantage of knowing their child’s likes and dislikes, interests, and learning capabilities. With this information a teaching program can be created specifically for each child. If a child enjoys sports, start with a discussion about Irish or Irish American sports figures. If music is important to a child, a conversation about musicians with an Irish heritage can span across all genres, from the newest tunes to the classics.

Most important is that the parent must also have an interest in the topic, but that should not be too difficult because the Irish and Irish Americans have made considerable contributions to just about every aspect of life. Websites and books are available listing the numerous achievements by those of Irish heritage.