How to Take Care of Mini Pet Turtles

Mini turtles are species that stay small, generally reaching an adult shell length of no more than . Small turtles are not only cute and fun to watch, but they are usually easier to house and care for than larger species. Proper care depends on the species of mini turtle you choose. Research the needs of some of the popular small turtle breeds—such as musk turtles, mud turtles, and spotted turtles—before you bring one home.

EditSteps
EditTaking Care of Musk Turtles
Provide a tank for a single turtle. Like most small turtle species, musk turtles are aquatic, meaning they spend almost all their time in the water. Get a tank that will offer your turtle plenty of space to swim and explore its underwater environment.[1]
If you want to keep a pair of musk turtles, get a tank. Avoid housing 2 males together, as they may become aggressive with each other. If you keep a male and female together, you may need to separate them if the male harasses the female.

These turtles typically grow no longer than . The males tend to grow slightly larger than the females.

Put a submersible filter in the tank. You’ll need a filter to keep your turtle’s water fresh and clean. Look for a filter that is “submersible” or “internal.”[2] If you’re not sure what kind of filter will work best, get advice from a reptile specialist at your pet store or from your exotic pet vet.
Turtles produce a lot more waste than fish, so using a filter is important for keeping your turtle’s environment from becoming dirty and foul-smelling.

Fill the tank with non-chlorinated water, but keep it shallow. Pour in enough water that your turtle can swim around, but keep it shallow enough that the turtle can stretch up to breathe while its back feet are still on the floor of the tank. That way, your turtle won’t have to tread water constantly to reach the surface.[3]
You can buy a water conditioner to neutralize chlorine and other harmful chemicals in your tap water. Check your local pet store or search online for an appropriate conditioner for turtle tanks.

Offer a basking spot for your turtles. Musk turtles don’t spend a lot of time out of the water, but they may occasionally want to bask. Provide a small area of the tank where your turtles can crawl completely out of the water if they need to.[4] This could take the form of:[5]
A plastic basking platform

A large rock that the turtle can climb easily

A piece of driftwood

A floating turtle dock

Give your turtle a UVB basking light and water heater. All turtles need UV light and heat to help them stay warm and properly metabolize essential vitamins and minerals. Get a high-quality UVB reptile clamp lamp and position it directly over your turtle’s basking spot.[6]
Look for a heat lamp with a built in thermometer. Ideally, the light should warm the area directly under it to around , while the rest of the tank should stay around .

Keep the light on for 12 hours during the day, then off for 12 hours during the night. This will help the turtle maintain its natural biological rhythms.

You can also keep the turtle’s water warm with a submersible heater. Maintain a water temperature of .

Decorate the tank with medium-sized gravel if you wish. Musk turtles don’t need a substrate, but adding gravel or a few rocks can make the tank look more attractive.[7] Take care not to put in any rocks that are small enough for the turtle to swallow.
Keeping the bottom of your tank bare will make it easier to clean.

Feed your turtle a variety of animal foods. Musk turtles are primarily carnivorous. Offer your turtle foods such as earthworms, crickets, bloodworms, snails, and cut up pieces of fish or shrimp. You can also give your musk turtle pellet foods that are specifically formulated for freshwater turtles. Put the food directly into the water with the turtle.[8]
Musk turtles younger than 6 months should be fed twice a day. Feed turtles older than 6 months once every other day.[9]
Offer only as much food as your turtle can eat in about 10-15 minutes. Clean up any uneaten food right away so that it does not go bad and contaminate the water.[10]
Ask your vet to recommend a multi-vitamin supplement for your turtles. Add the supplement to their food once a week. Hatchlings need a daily calcium supplement, while adults should have calcium supplements 3 times a week.[11]

Handle your musk turtle cautiously. Musk turtles can bite, and they also tend to release a nasty odor when they’re scared or stressed (hence the name!). If you must handle your turtle, carefully pick it up from the back of the shell. This will make it harder for the turtle to bite you, and may also prevent it from feeling as frightened.[12]
Musk turtles have long necks, so take care that your turtle doesn’t stretch around and bite you while you’re trying to pick it up.

EditCaring for Mud Turtles
Give an adult mud turtle a tank that’s at least . Although mud turtles are tiny (with most reaching no more than in length), they love having lots of space! While hatchlings can do well in a tank that is only , you’ll need to upgrade them to a larger space as they get into the juvenile and young adult stages.[13]
As a general rule, your aquarium should have of floor space for every of turtle.

Provide a canister filter for the tank. Canister filters are ideal for mud turtle habitats because they can filter out lots of waste and don’t disturb the turtles with a lot of vibration.[14] Ask at your local pet store or check with an exotic pet vet to get recommendations for the best kind of canister filter to use.
You can also build your own canister filter if you prefer. Search online for tutorials for making DIY turtle tank filters.[15]

Offer a large basking area (occupying about 1/3rd of the tank). Make sure your turtles have a relatively large “haul-out” area where they can come out of the water and bask. Mud turtles spend more time on land than some other species of aquatic or semi-aquatic turtles.[16]
You can buy or make your turtles a rock-like basking shelf out of plastic or fiberglass, or provide a large rock or piece of wood for them to hang out on.

For mud turtles, the tank’s floor area should be about 2/3rds aquatic and 1/3rd basking area.

Fill the tank with clean water twice as deep as the turtle’s length. Make sure the water is deep enough so that your turtle can easily dive and swim. Use fresh, unchlorinated water, and change out 1/3rd of the water once a week.[17]
Talk to your vet or a reptile specialist at your local pet store about how to achieve the ideal pH and chemical balance for your turtle’s water. Mud turtles like slightly brackish water with a pH of 6.6-7.6.

Decorate the bottom of the tank with large river stones if desired. A bare-bottomed tank is easier to clean, but you can decorate your mud turtle’s habitat with some pretty polished cobbles for a more natural and attractive look. Make sure to select stones that are too large for your turtle to swallow.[18]
If you choose to add stones, you will need to stir up and agitate the rocks once a week in order to keep debris and dirt from accumulating between them.

You will also need to remove all the rocks and disinfect them in a solution of 1 part bleach to 20 parts water once every 2 to 4 weeks.

Put a basking light and water heater in the tank. Mud turtles need lots of warmth and light to stay healthy and metabolize the vitamins they need. Place a UVB heat lamp over the turtle’s preferred basking site and maintain a temperature of under the lamp. Use a water heater to keep the water at .[19]
Your curious mud turtle might try to bite the submerged water heater. Protect the heater and turtles by placing a piece of PVC pipe over the heater. Drill several holes in the pipe to let the heat out.

You can use a heat lamp or under-tank heater to warm the terrestrial part of the tank to .

Make sure to give the turtles a natural light/dark cycle by keeping the basking lamp on for 12 hours at a time and then switching it off for 12 hours during the night.

Feed your turtles a variety of animal foods. Mud turtles are carnivores, and they do best with a varied diet. Offer foods such as small to medium-sized feeder fish, snails, insects (such as crickets), and earthworms. Don’t give them more than they can eat within 10-15 minutes.[20]
You can also offer your mud turtles freshwater turtle pellets.

Hatchlings should be fed twice a day, while adults need to be fed once daily.

Add a multi-vitamin supplement to your turtle’s food once a week. Young mud turtles also need a daily calcium supplement, while adults need extra calcium 3 times a week.

Avoid handling your mud turtle. Mud turtles are not cuddly pets, so don’t pick them up more often than you need to. If you have to pick up your mud turtle, grasp it at the back of the shell so that it can’t bite you.[21]
Like musk turtles, mud turtles have long necks. Take care to keep your hands far enough out of the way that your turtle can’t reach back and nip you.

EditKeeping Spotted Turtles
Keep your spotted turtles in a large tank or medium-sized turtle tub. Spotted turtles can get a little larger than other mini turtles, achieving an adult shell length of up to . They do best in a tank that is at least or a medium-sized aquatic turtle tub habitat.[22]
Spotted turtles are sociable, so you can keep a group of them together if you wish. For example, you could house up to 4 males and as many as 15 females in a tub that is by .

Equip the tank or tub with a submersible or canister filter. Use a high-quality turtle tank filter to keep your turtles’ water fresh and clean. This will help prevent your spotted turtles from developing fungal infections and other health problems.[23]
Ask your vet or a specialist at the pet store to recommend a filter that will work well with your turtles’ enclosure.

Give your turtle(s) plenty of basking spots. Spotted turtles are prone to fungal infections, so they need to be able to come out of the water and dry off completely from time to time. Offer them at least 2 basking areas (such as large rocks or pieces of wood) where they can climb out and lounge before returning to the water.[24]
Take care not to place any pumps or filters in an area where they will splash water up onto the basking spot(s).

Keep the water no more than deep. Although spotted turtles are aquatic, they are not strong swimmers. Keep their water relatively shallow to prevent drowning. Make sure their water is clean and free of chlorine and other harsh chemicals.[25]
In addition to providing easily accessible basking spots, you can also help prevent drowning by giving your turtles artificial plants to cling to.[26]

Provide plenty of light and heat. Put a UVB heat lamp over your turtles’ favorite basking spot. The basking spot should be heated to around . Use a submersible heater to keep the water temperature at about .[27]
Don’t allow your turtles’ water to exceed , or they will go into a dormant state known as aestivation.

Place a sand or rock substrate in the habitat. Spotted turtles do well with a little substrate at the bottom of their tanks or enclosures. If you wish, you can use a shallow layer of sand or small to medium-sized rocks.[28] Be sure to agitate the substrate once a week to stir up loose dirt, and change out or disinfect your substrate during regular tank cleanings.
If you use rocks, select stones that are too large for your turtles to swallow.

Give your turtles an array of animal-based foods. Like most mini turtles, spotted turtles are carnivorous. Offer them foods such as crickets, earthworms, mealworms, pieces of chicken, crab, or tadpoles. You can also offer them freshwater turtle pellets.[29]
Some spotted turtles will eat small amounts of leafy greens, such as romaine lettuce.[30]
Hatchlings and younger spotted turtles should be fed several small meals throughout the day, while adults should be fed once every other day. Don’t feed them more than they can eat in 15-20 minutes.[31]

Handle your spotted turtle sparingly. Spotted turtles become stressed out when you handle them a lot, so try not to pick them up more often than you have to. If you do need to hold a spotted turtle, do so for no more than 20 minutes at a time, 3 or 4 times a week.[32]
To avoid bites and minimize stress on your turtle, grab your turtle with both hands near the back of the shell.

EditVideo
EditTips
Other popular small turtle species include Reeve’s turtles, map turtles, and box turtles. No 2 species have the same needs, so research the best way to care for whatever type of turtle you choose.

Whatever kind of mini turtle you keep, you will need to clean its habitat regularly. Wash your turtle’s tank and any items in the tank thoroughly every 2-4 weeks.

Many turtle species can live long lives, with some reaching lifespans of 50 years or even up to 100 or more. If you buy a turtle, plan on caring for your companion for many years or decades.

Always purchase turtles from reputable breeders rather than buying turtles that were captured from the wild. Removing turtles from their natural habitat is destructive to the ecosystem and can be traumatic or even deadly to the turtle.[33]
EditWarnings
In the U.S., it’s illegal to sell a turtle with a shell that’s less than long. This is because small turtles are more likely to carry salmonella than their larger counterparts.[34] If you do buy or adopt a tiny turtle, always wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and antibacterial soap after touching the turtle or objects in its habitat.

Quarantine new turtles away from any other turtles you may have for at least 60-90 days to ensure that they don’t have any infectious diseases or other health problems.[35]
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How to Do the Orange Justice Dance

One of the most popular dance moves on Fortnite is the Orange Justice dance. While it looks like a difficult dance, it is easy enough to learn. With a little practice, you’ll be dancing just like the Orange Shirt Kid in no time.

EditSteps
EditMoving Your Legs
Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart. Start by getting into position. You don’t want your feet too spread out, but you also don’t want your feet too close together. Imagine that your shoulders and feet are the four corners of an upright rectangle.[1]

Practice swaying your legs to your right. To sway your legs to the right, bend your knees as if someone is kicking them from your left side. Then practice until you get a feel for the movement and can do it without thinking.[2]

Try swaying your legs to the left. Once you’re able to sway your legs to the right, try doing it in the other direction. Just imagine that someone is kicking your knees from your right side.[3]

Sway your legs from side to side. If you can sway your legs to the left and to the right, then the next step is to try swaying your legs from side to side in a seamless movement. Practice just the leg movement for a few minutes or until you get a feel for it.[4]

EditAdding the Arm Movements
Cross your arms down and to your left as you sway your hips to the left. Make an ‘X’ shape with your arms. You should put your right arm on top of your left, and keep your palms facing your body.[5]

Put your arms down as you lean to the right. As you sway right, keep your left arm on the left side of your body, and your right arm on your right side. You’ll want to keep your palms facing your body.[6]

Sway left and open your arms. As you sway to the left, outstretch your arms up and to the side. Your arms should be in a “I don’t know gesture.”[7]

Sway to the right with your arms down. You should make your arms parallel, with your right arm on your right side, and your left arm on your left side. Keep your palms facing inward.[8]

Clap up as you move to the left. As you sway to the left, raise your arms in front of your face and clap. You should make a triangle with your arms with your head in the middle.[9]
Your hands should be just above your head.

Combine the leg and hand movements. Once you’ve got a feeling for doing the leg movements and the hand movements, try doing them at the same time. Go slow at first and then go faster when you get more comfortable doing it.[10]

Practice, practice, and practice. No one can master the orange justice dance in a day. Getting good at it takes lots of time and practice. Don’t give up if you can’t get it down right away. Stay positive and keep trying!

EditVideo
EditSources and Citations
EditQuick Summary
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How to Host an Autistic Friendly Family Gathering

Holidays, get-togethers, reunions, and other family get-togethers can be a source of great joy (and great stress). They can be especially tough for autistics, who may deal with social confusion, sensory overload, high demands, and other stressors. Here is how to make your get-together more inclusive, relaxed, and fun for your autistic relative(s).

EditSteps
EditPreparing the Environment
A casual, relaxed environment is likely to be calmer for everyone, and reduce stress on the autistic person.

Set up different rooms to focus on different activities. This allows guests to go from one room to another, based on what they want to do. You might put the toys in one room for the kids, food in one room for eating and socializing, a large group of chairs in another, and some puzzles/quiet activities and a few chairs in a side room for people to take breaks if needed.
This will help the autistic person “escape” for a while if they become tired or overwhelmed.[1]

Keep the noise level down. Loud noise is overwhelming for most people, especially autistics. If you have to raise your voice to speak, it’s too loud.
Keep the TV off, or very quiet. Turning on closed captions and keeping the volume low helps.

Set aside an area for any children to do noisy play, such as outdoors or in the basement. If they’re getting loud, ask them to choose between quieting down or going outside.

Music should be quiet and relaxing, or nonexistent. (Try involving the autistic person in the playlist selection, so they can pick something familiar and calming.)

Ensure that mealtime seating is flexible. An autistic person may feel more comfortable sitting in a corner, sitting next to a trusted family member, sitting at a side table, or sitting in a quieter space. Let there be options.
Leave plates of appetizers sitting out so that people can grab some whenever they’d like.

Let people take food into other rooms, if possible.

Let people eat at different times if desired. This can be more relaxing than cramming everyone at one table.

EditPreparing for Different Needs
Check in with regards to the menu. Some autistic people have dietary needs that could influence what they can and can’t eat. Ask the person (or their parent/guardian) if the menu you’re planning sounds about right.[2] There should be at least one thing they know they are able to eat.
Put spices on the side. This way, people can choose between no spice, some spice, or a lot of it.

Buffets, such as build-your-own sandwich, can fit a variety of eaters.

Some autistic people prefer simple foods, like plain macaroni and cheese, cheese pizza, crackers, pudding, and other “kid food.”

Encourage the person to get needed and wanted accommodations. Whatever helps keep them calm and happy will be beneficial to everyone. This could include:
Wearing headphones

Wearing a hoodie and putting up the hood

Wearing comfortable clothes instead of fancy clothes[3]
Bringing familiar activities, comfort objects, or toys

Allow a shorter stay. Long social gatherings can be tough, and it’s okay if the person needs to leave early, or take long breaks. Reassure the autistic person and their family that some or all of the family can leave early if needed and that there will be no hurt feelings.
For an overnight trip, the autistic person may benefit from staying at a quiet hotel, where they can relax with only immediate family or on their own.

Talk with the autistic person about what to expect (if applicable). Improvising in a social situation can be tricky, so it helps for the autistic person to rehearse and plan for an unexpected or difficult situation. Younger or higher-support autistics can benefit from social stories and extra prep.
“If you get overwhelmed, you can go to Grandma’s bedroom, where it will be quiet. There are some papers and colored pencils so you can draw there if you want.”

“Uncle Mort really likes hugs. If you don’t want a hug, you can say ‘I would prefer a handshake, please.'”

“People will give gifts. Say ‘Thank you,’ even if you don’t like it. If you don’t like it, keep that secret, until we are back at home where you can tell me.”

Prep the autistic person for any rude family members, if needed. Dealing with impolite or nasty relatives is hard for everyone, but especially an autistic person, who may have fewer social skills and may make an easy target for nasty comments.
“Aunt Jenny criticizes people because it makes her feel better about herself. It’s not fair, and it’s not right. It’s just what she does. So if she says anything about you, remember that she’s just saying it because she doesn’t know better.”

“I know Grandpa is mean sometimes. It’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything to deserve it.”

“Sometimes Uncle Roberto says mean things when he’s stressed. It can especially be hard for his daughter Ana. If he gets angry, you can leave the room by yourself, or invite Ana to go do a puzzle with you.”

EditCreating a Relaxed Atmosphere
Talk to other family members as needed. Explain that the person’s needs might be a little different and that they aren’t trying to be “difficult” or “naughty.” They’re just autistic.
“Emily gets upset easily. It’s not on purpose, it’s because holidays can be stressful, especially for autistic people. If you think she might need a break, encourage her to go outside for a short walk, or tell me so I can help her.”

“Kids, you may notice that Alex moves a little differently, and he doesn’t talk much. Everyone is different, and that’s okay. Alex really likes to play dinosaurs. Maybe you’d like to play dinosaurs with him?”

“Dad, I know you think LeBron acts weird, and you don’t like that he doesn’t make eye contact. That’s normal and healthy for autism. I need you to be kind and supportive towards him so that I can feel good about having him come visit you.”

Make hugs and kisses optional. Depending on their sensory needs and mood, the autistic person may not want to be touched. During hellos and goodbyes, say that if someone doesn’t want hugs/kisses, they could do a handshake, high five, or just wave goodbye instead.
Encourage other relatives to go along with it. Explain that you’re trying to teach the kids and/or the autistic person that they get to choose who touches them on their own terms.

Be flexible with everyone. Different people have different needs, autistic or not. Be willing to make adjustments so that everyone can be comfortable and have the most amount of fun they can.

Allow small group and one-on-one discussions to break off. Socializing in smaller groups can be less stressful for autistics (along with introverts and shy people).[4] Let it move organically and allow people to separate from the main group as needed.

Step in if you notice things getting heated. Conflict is stressful for everyone. Autistic people especially can find it distressing, and may not have the social skills to de-escalate it or take care of themselves.
Remind others not to raise their voices.[5]
Try changing the subject.[6]

EditSupporting the Person
Keep conversations relaxed with the autistic person. If you chat with the autistic person, try asking about their interests. Talking with an autistic person isn’t incredibly different from talking to a non-autistic person.
Expect different body language, like fidgeting and lack of eye contact. This is normal.

Keep it age-appropriate. A nonspeaking 12-year-old is still a 12-year-old and is unlikely to appreciate baby talk.

Don’t be scared! Autistic people are still people.

Accept unusual behavior. It’s natural for autistic people to be a little odd, and it doesn’t have to be a big deal. For autistics, natural behavior includes:
Not making eye contact

Fidgeting and wiggling

Being quite honest (sometimes a little too honest)

Taking things literally

Struggling to deal with frustration, and needing more breaks

Respect boundaries. The person may not be up for talking, hugging, kissing, et cetera, depending on their mood and individual needs. Don’t push them. Let them do what keeps them comfortable.[7]

Check in if the person looks stressed. It’s helpful to ask how they’re doing from time to time, and offer an escape if they look overwhelmed. Reassuring them that they can take a break makes it easier on them.
“Want to go take a break in my bedroom? There are some coloring books in there you could color in.”

“Would you like to come with me in the car to go pick up the pizzas? It would be just you and me.”

“Angie, you look overwhelmed. Let’s go for a short walk and smell the fresh air, just you and me.”

Let them enjoy the gathering in their own way. Maybe it means sitting under tables, rocking back and forth, or eating crackers instead of the fancy food you arranged. That’s okay. What’s most important is that everyone has fun.

EditTips
If the person has major dietary restrictions, they or their family could bring suitable food if that makes it easier.

Encourage people to respect the autistic person’s right to privacy. Publicly discussing the autistic person’s issues is embarrassing (even if the autistic person can’t or doesn’t say so). If people start talking about their intimate personal details, say “Let’s respect ____’s privacy” and change the subject.

For gift-giving, try asking the person’s family what they like, or having the person list some ideas. Knowing the person’s special interests, and popular gifts for autistics,[8] helps.

If young children will be around, place dangerous or breakable items out of reach.

EditWarnings
Don’t push a distressed autistic person even harder. This will likely just lead to a meltdown or shutdown.

Now is a bad time to over-challenge the autistic person because the environment itself is likely going to be challenging. Avoid criticizing, over-correcting, pushing too hard, and trying to make the person handle even more (such as entering an overwhelming social situation, or trying a new food they didn’t say they wanted to try).

EditRelated wikiHows
Make a Calming Down Corner

Attend Family Gatherings When You Are Autistic

Plan and Organize a Family Reunion

Relate to an Autistic Person

Interpret Autistic Body Language

Avoid Drama at Family Gatherings

Calm an Autistic Child

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How to Care for Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are fascinating little creatures that may need your help from time to time! Many people enjoy feeding hummingbirds, and you can do the same by offering homemade sugar water in the hummingbird feeder. While this water won’t provide the nutrients the hummingbird needs, it does give them the energy to look for other plants, such as the flowers you’ve planted in your backyard for them. If you find injured or stunned hummingbirds, including, you can also take steps to help, though you should call a wildlife rehabilitator for professional guidance.

EditSteps
EditFeeding Hummingbirds
Make a 1-to-4 ratio of sugar syrup. The mixture should be 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Boil the water in a pan you’ve rinsed thoroughly to make sure there’s no soap left. When it’s cool enough to measure, measure out the amount of water you need. Add the sugar to the warm water and stir until it completely dissolves. Let the mixture cool completely.[1]
For instance, boil a little over of water (to account for evaporation). Measure it out, and then add 1 cup (225 grams) of sugar to the water.

Only use white cane sugar. Don’t use brown sugar, turbinado sugar, honey, or artificial sweeteners, as these are toxic for hummingbirds. Use spring water if you can, but you can also use tap.[2]

Pour the mixture into the feeder and put it outside. Change the mixture every 1-2 days. Store any extra sugar water in the refrigerator, and it will stay good for about a week or so. It’s bad when it starts to go cloudy.[3]
When you change out the mixture, rinse it out thoroughly before adding more solution to the feeder.

Put the feeder in a shady area away from predators. If you leave the food in the sun, it will ferment faster. Fermented sugar is bad for the hummingbirds. In the shade, it can last 1-2 days before going bad in the summer, but in the sun, it may go bad in a couple of hours.[4]
Also, place the feeder out of reach of animals like cats, which are natural predators of the hummingbird. Try to place the feeder at least off the ground.[5]

Clean the feeder at least once a week with mild soap and warm water. Take the feeder apart. Pour in warm water and a dash of dishwashing soap. Use a sponge or scrubber to clean out the inside, and then rinse it thoroughly. Make sure to scrub out the nectar ports, too. You may need a small straw brush to get inside the ports.[6] It’s even better if you can clean it every couple of days.[7]
If you can’t take the feeder apart, try to use a bottle brush to scrub the inside. Alternatively, pour water and soap in it. Shake it up and then rinse it out.

If the feeder is moldy, clean it out with soap and water, then leave it in a solution of of bleach and of water for an hour or 2. Rinse it off when you’re done.[8]
Some of them can be put in the dishwasher, so check the bottom of yours to see if it says it’s dishwasher safe.[9]

Include a wide variety of flowers in your backyard for food. Hummingbirds will eat nectar from perennials, annuals, and biennials, so plant a diverse selection to help feed your friends. You can try hollyhock, geraniums, snapdragons, lantana, Indian paintbrush, bee balm, and/or impatiens.[10]
You can plant flowers in the ground or in flowerpots; the hummingbirds won’t care.

EditHelping a Hummingbird
Capture a hummingbird in your home or a building by making it dark. Turn off all the lights and close the curtains, which will make the hummingbird flutter down to the floor. Then you can use a flashlight to find it. Scoop it up with your hand to take it outside. Be gentle![11]
If the room is bright, the hummingbird will try to fly upward.

You can also hold a hummingbird feeder just outside the window but use a broom handle and hold it very still. The bird may head that way eventually.

Put a stunned or injured bird in a small box. Poke holes in the top of the box so the hummingbird can breathe and put crumpled up tissue paper in the bottom. If you find a hummingbird on the ground, gently pick it up with your hand, trying to stay as close to the ground as you can to see if the bird decides to fly off. Cup your hands around it if you need to and gently place it in the box.[12]
Set the box in a warm but not hot area. If you see the hummingbird stretching out its neck or opening its mouth to breathe, move it to a cooler spot.

Offer sugar water to a stunned bird. Try offering it a little sugar water in an eyedropper. Hold it up to the bird and place a drop or 2 on its beak. Don’t squeeze it out, as you could drown the bird.[13]
If you don’t have an eyedropper, try holding it up to a hummingbird feeder.

Let the bird drink every 30 minutes or so but don’t force it to drink.

Call a wildlife rehabilitator if you think it’s injured. If you see an obvious injury, then you should call right away. If a stunned bird without an obvious injury doesn’t recover quickly within 1-2 hours, you should also call a wildlife rehabilitator to see what you should do.[14]

EditAssisting Hummingbird Babies
Return babies to the nest if they’ve fallen. Check the nest to see if it’s been attacked by insects like ants or even a larger predator. If the nest seems okay, gently place the baby back in the nest. Watch the nest to make sure the mother returns to the baby.[15]
If the nest isn’t okay, put the baby in a small box or basket and put it near the nest. Watch to make sure the mother finds the baby.

You can also move a nest back to a branch if it simply fell down.

If the baby has been abandoned, move on to feeding it and calling a wildlife rehabilitator.

Watch an abandoned nest for 1.5 hours before taking action. Most of the time, nests are not abandoned by the parents. You may just be missing the mother coming by to feed the babies. If you think a nest has been abandoned, don’t take your eyes off of it for 1.5 hours, and if you don’t see a parent, then you can take action.[16]
If the birds make noise consistently for more than 10 minutes, they are likely abandoned and very hungry.

Call a wildlife rehabilitator. You can find this information online or in your local yellow pages. Baby hummingbirds need specialized care, so you really need to turn them over to a trained professional.[17]
As babies grow, they need to be fed a specialized diet of ground fruit flies, vitamins, enzymes, and oils. They require feeding every 20 minutes to stay healthy over a long period.[18]

Offer sugar water to the babies every 30 minutes until you can get help. It’s best to leave the babies alone if you can, but if they are crying out for food, you may need to offer something until help arrives. If the baby opens its mouth to be fed, you can drop in 3-5 drops of sugar water every 30 minutes. If you can’t get the baby to feed this way, you need to get it to a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible.[19]
Trained professionals will use a very small catheter to give the babies food.

Don’t try to bring the nest inside. Babies have trouble regulating temperature, and they may get too hot inside. If a baby is abandoned on the ground, the nest has been attacked, and the mother doesn’t return, you can put the baby in a box like the one you’d use for an adult.[20]

EditThings You’ll Need
Sugar water

Hummingbird feeder

Soap

Scrubber

Bleach, optional

Small box

Tissue paper

Eyedropper or syringe

EditRelated wikiHows
Make Perches for a Hummingbird Feeder

Create a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden

Make Hummingbird Food

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How to Get Your Dog Used to Wearing Clothes

Dressing up your dog can be both fun and practical, especially if you live in a climate where your canine friend can use a little extra warmth now and then. Getting a dog used to wearing clothes takes some time and effort, however. Start by picking out clothes that are easy to put on and comfortable for your pet. Once you’ve picked an outfit to start with, start gradually training your dog to wear it. Be sure to keep the process relaxed and low-pressure for your dog.

EditSteps
EditChoosing Clothes for Your Dog
Start with clothes that are easy to put on and remove. When you’re first starting to get your dog used to clothes, look for simple items that fasten around the dog’s chest or belly. Avoid clothing that you have to pull over its head or limbs, since some dogs find this frightening or uncomfortable.[1]
Good options to start with include sleeveless coats or jackets that fasten with straps across the chest and under the stomach.

If you want to start even simpler, look for a large bandana that you can fasten around your dog’s neck.

Avoid clothes that cover your dog’s head, feet, legs, or rear end. Your dog may feel stressed or panicked if you try to put on clothes that cover too much of its body. Don’t try to start with anything that might feel too confining, such as garments with hoods, sleeves, or pants that cover the dog’s hindquarters.[2]
As your dog gets used to wearing simple clothes, you can eventually work your way up to more challenging items, such as pull-on sweaters, hoodies, or full-body outfits that cover your dog’s back legs.

Check that the clothes fit your dog properly. Your dog will be uncomfortable in clothes that are too loose or too tight. Before purchasing an article of clothing, such as a coat, get your dog’s measurements to make sure you are choosing the right size.[3] Use a soft cloth measuring tape when measuring your dog.
Make sure doesn’t have small parts that your dog could swallow, such as large buttons, since they could get stuck in its bowels.

For most dog clothing, you will need to get a measurement around your dog’s neck (where the collar typically sits), around the widest part of the dog’s body (typically the chest, just behind the shoulders), and from the back of the neck to the base of the tail.

Check the clothing labels to see if they offer specific sizing guidelines (e.g., the weight, girth, and length ranges for which the item is appropriate).

Look for items that are adjustable, such as vests or jackets with adjustable straps.

EditTraining Your Dog to Wear Clothes
Start getting your dog used to clothes as early as possible. If you can, work on training your dog to wear clothes while it is still a puppy. Younger dogs have an easier time than older ones adjusting to new things.[4]
Even if your dog is already an adult, you may still be able to train it to wear at least simple clothes with a little extra patience and effort.

Allow your dog to sniff the clothing you’d like to put on. When you’re ready to try putting clothing on your dog, bring out the outfit and let the dog examine and smell it. Praise your dog for showing an interest in the clothes and offer it a treat.[5]
By rewarding your dog for simply being around the outfit, you will begin to create a positive association with the clothing.

Put the clothing on gradually while praising the dog. Take the item of clothing and gently touch the sides of your dog’s body with it. Reward the dog with treats and praise if it stands still. Then, try draping the clothing over its back. If your dog is willing to stand still while you do this, start slowly fastening the clothing in place while continuing to offer praise and treats.[6]
If your dog acts nervous or uncomfortable, stop and try again later. This will help prevent the dog from developing bad associations with getting dressed.

Give your dog a toy to play with while it wears the clothes. Once you’ve successfully put the clothing on your dog, offer it a favorite toy or a puzzle filled with treats to keep it busy. This will distract the dog from the clothing and help it associate being dressed with having fun.[7]
Continue to praise and pet your dog while it wears the clothing.

Increase your dog’s time in the clothes by 5 minutes a day. The first time you dress your dog, leave the clothing on for no more than a minute. If the dog tolerates it, try increasing the length of time to 5 minutes the next day, and then 10 the day after that.[8]
If your dog gets stressed out or upset when you try longer sessions, go back to leaving the clothing on for shorter periods of time for a while.

EditTips
Consider your reasons for wanting to dress your dog. It’s okay if you want your dog to wear clothes to look fashionable rather than out of practical necessity (e.g., if your dog needs help staying warm in winter). However, don’t force your dog to wear clothes unnecessarily if it finds them uncomfortable or stressful.

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How to Hang a Frameless Mirror on the Wall

Although frameless mirrors are usually installed in bathrooms, they can also be incorporated throughout your home for a sleek look that will match any type of decor. While framed mirrors can be hung in the same way as picture frames, you’ll use a different set of approaches to hang a frameless mirror. One option is to use mirror clips; another is to glue the mirror to the wall with a special adhesive.

EditSteps
EditMounting with Clips
Mark the spot on the wall where you want the mirror to hang. Place the mirror against the wall in your desired position. Using a pencil, mark around the top and bottom corners. Take the mirror off the wall and place out of the way.[1]
This step will be easier with the help of another person who can hold the mirror in place while you make the markings.[2]
Clips are best for small frameless mirrors. If you are hanging a large mirror, use J-channels or Z-clips in place of regular clips, which can support more weight.[3]

Use a level to make sure the mirror will hang straight. Based on the corner markings you made, use a spirit level to draw straight lines across the wall where the top and the bottom edges of the mirror will go.
To use a spirit level, look at the bubble in the tube. If it is equally spaced between the two black center lines, then your edge is straight. If it slides off to one side, adjust the angle of the level until the bubble sits in the center.[4]

Double check that the wall is flat. Clipping a mirror too tightly against a bumpy wall can cause it to shatter. To locate bumps, slide a straight-edged board that is longer than the mirror itself over the wall. A yardstick is a good option, but if that’s too short, try a straight piece of x lumber. It will rock back and forth over a bump. Mark these spots with a pencil and sand them down.[5]
Power sanders are the simplest and quickest method.

You can also use sandpaper wrapped around a wood block.

Locate and mark the studs in the wall. Studs are the evenly-spaced wooden support beams that can be found behind most interior walls in homes. Slide an automatic stud finder along the wall to find the studs. With a pencil, mark the outside edges of each stud in the area where you plan to hang the mirror.[6]
If you don’t have a stud finder, you can approximate the location of the studs by tapping on the wall. Taps between studs will sound more hollow, while taps over studs will sound more solid.[7]
If the mirror is positioned so it falls squarely in between studs, consider shifting its location so at least one clip can be screwed into a stud.

Mark where you plan to install the bottom mirror clips. Depending on the width of your mirror and the number of clips you have, space them out evenly. The mirror manufacturer may have recommendations about how to position the clips most effectively. Using a pencil, make a dot where the screw will go for each clip.
Make sure to align the bottom edge of the clip with the line you drew marking the bottom edge of the mirror. The markings for the pilot holes will fall to above the line, depending on the size of the clips.

Drill pilot holes and install the bottom clips on the wall. Using a power drill, drill holes in the locations you marked. If any of the pilot holes do not fall on top of a stud, tap in a plastic wall anchor with a hammer until it is flush with the wall. Place a clip over each pilot hole and screw it into the wall with a screwdriver or drill.[8]
Make sure you’re using the right clips. Bottom clips are typically made up of a single U-shaped piece of material, while top clips are composed of two L-shaped pieces.

Mark where you plan to screw in the top clips. Using a spirit level, draw a line vertically upwards from each bottom clip until it intersects with the line for the top edge of the mirror. Line the top edge of the top clip up with this point. Mark where the pilot hole should be drilled.[9]
Similar to the bottom clips, the pilot holes should fall to below the top line.

Drill the pilot holes and screw the top clip brackets into place. If any of the holes are not positioned over a stud, insert wall anchors into the drywall until their lips are flush with the drywall. Unscrew the two parts of the top clip. The larger piece is the bracket—screw each of these into place on the wall.[10]

Screw on the rest of the top clips to secure the mirror against the wall. Slide the mirror into the bottom clips. Carefully, tilt the mirror back so it rests flush against the wall. Fit the other pieces of the top clips into the top brackets and screw them together just enough to firmly hold the mirror in place.[11]

EditAttaching with Adhesive
Mark where you want the mirror to hang using a pencil. Hold the mirror against the wall in your desired position and mark the top and bottom corners using a pencil. Use a level to ensure that the mirror will not hang crooked. Parallel to the lines you’ve drawn but about inside, stick 4 pieces of painter’s tape to the wall.[12]
The painter’s tape marks the area where the mirror will be glued to the wall.

Keep in mind that adhesive is a more permanent solution. It will damage your wall and likely your mirror if you try to remove it once it has been glued on.[13]

Mark the area where the mirror will be glued to the wall with painter’s tape.

Prime the area for adhesive. Many household paints contain additives that make it easier to clean but harder for adhesives to attach and form a strong bond. Sand away the paint until you get down to the drywall. Wipe off any dust. Then, coat the sanded area with a primer and let dry.[14]

Install a temporary wooden brace to support the mirror’s bottom edge. Remove the painter’s tape from the wall. Drill a piece of plywood into the wall so that its top is flush with the marked bottom edge of the mirror.[15]
If you’re installing the mirror in the bathroom, you can often use the countertop backsplash as a bottom support rather than installing a temporary brace.[16]

Apply the adhesive to the back of the mirror. You’ll need a high-grade adhesive known as mastic, which is often used in construction. The manufacturer will recommend the ideal pattern for application. Make sure to keep the mastic at least from the edge to prevent it from squeezing out when you press it against the wall.[17]
Make sure you are using a type of mastic that is specifically intended for mounting mirrors. Using another kind could damage the silver coating on the back of the mirror.[18]

Stick the mirror firmly to the wall. Rest one corner of the mirror on the support and keep the other slightly lifted. Press it against the wall. As the mastic comes into contact with the wall, allow the lifted corner to slide back down and rest against the support, spreading the glue across the wall surface. Use a clean paint roller to press the mirror firmly into the wall.[19]
For additional security, stick pieces of painter’s tape to the top corners of the mirror until the glue dries fully.

Allow the mastic to dry for about 24 hours.[20]

Remove the wooden brace and repair any holes. Once the mastic has dried completely, use a drill to unscrew the wooden brace from the wall. Using a putty knife, spread spackling across any holes left over from drilling the brace into the wall. Sand the spackling smooth and paint over it with a color that matches the wall’s existing paint. Peel off any leftover painter’s tape.
Make sure to check your local building codes. Some areas may require clips in addition to adhesive when mounting mirrors.[21]

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How to Wear a Black Leather Jacket

Black leather jackets are a timelessly cool fashion statement. Wearing one can instantly transform your outfit, making any ensemble feel more edgy. It might be intimidating to wear a leather jacket for the first time, but they are surprisingly very versatile and easy to dress up or down. A black leather jacket is a classic statement piece that belongs in every closet!

EditSteps
EditFinding the Right Jacket
Identify your price range. A high-end leather jacket can be quite expensive, with some experts even saying that you should not buy a leather jacket that costs less than $500.[1] There are options like faux and vegan leather that provide the same look without costing as much, with some attractive alternatives under $100. [2]

Determine the best type of leather for you. Most leather jackets are fashion pieces, though leather can also be thick and wind resistant. While leather made from cows can be stiffer and firmer, fashion leather is often made of lamb or sheep skin and thus is more delicate. [3]
You may decide to opt for faux leather or vegan leather for either cost or ethical reasons.

Decide on decorative features. Some leather jackets have decorative features, like studs or fur collars. While these accents can make your jacket unique, it might also limit what you are able to wear it with. [4]

Select the right size. Many people like their leather jacket to fit more snug. If you want to pair your jacket with a sleek outfits, some experts even suggest selecting a jacket that is a size smaller than what you normally wear.
If you want to layer bulkier items under your jacket, make sure that your jacket is a big enough to do so comfortably. [5]
It is important for your jacket to fit well around your arms and shoulders, so it should look trim and fitted but not so tight that it restricts your movement.[6]
If you buy real leather, you might want to buy a more snug fit since leather can stretch over time.[7]

EditWearing Your Jacket Casually
Pair it with jeans to liven up your everyday wardrobe. This is an iconic look, and is a go-to if you want to look both stylish and casual. This really is a timeless template for an outfit, because you could pair it with ripped jeans and look more punk rock and androgynous, but with jewelry and a purse it can look more feminine.
Wear it with a t-shirt and a looser style of pants like boyfriend jeans if you want to look extra casual. [8]
Pair your jacket with skinny jeans, a tight t-shirt, and tennis shoes for a cute everyday outfit.

Wear your jacket with combat boots for a punk rock look. Many people wear leather jackets because they want an edgy, punk look. Combat boots and a leather jacket are a great way to convey a rebellious but stylish attitude. [9]

Layer it with a hoodie to give your casual style a rebellious vibe. Because leather jackets are not the best cold weather choice, layering your jacket can make your jacket warmer on those cool fall days. It is also a great casual outfit to wear if you are running errands or catching lunch with a friend. [10]
When also paired with combat boots and a band t-shirt this can be a very punk rock look.

Drape it over your shoulders as a statement piece. A draped leather jacket is an equally casual alternative to layering. This look is great for warmer days where you still want your jacket as an accessory piece. It is a great out-and-about option. [11]
If you’re draping your jacket over your shoulders, it is best paired a tighter layer like a t-shirt or a tank top. Anything bigger would make the jacket look bulky.

Dress up your leisure wear. Pairing a leather jacket with leggings and tennis shoes is a great way to dress up your casual wear. While you might be skeptical about wearing your exercise attire to lunch, throwing a leather jacket over the ensemble makes it much hipper. [12]

EditDressing Your Jacket Up
Put it over a dress or skirt to make your going-out style more chic. A black leather jacket can make a feminine outfit feel more edgy, or it can soften your jacket. Because a leather jacket is classically stylish, it does not make the ensemble feel too casual when paired with the right accessories. [13]
Different types of skirts will give your outfit a different vibe. A pencil skirt is more sleek, while a leather jacket with a short pleated skirt can make you look alternative and cute.

Wear it with brightly colored pants to look bold. Black leather jackets are such a classic closet item, so it is unexpectedly cool to make your leather jacket more subtle by wearing it alongside a loud statement piece. You can find a patterned pair, or just opt for a bright color. [14]

Wear it to work to modernize your business attire. While a leather jacket might not fit in every work environment, it can be incorporated into a casual or business casual wardrobe. It is a great way to look professional while remaining modern and chic. [15]
A good work option would be a leather jacket over a button-down shirt and pencil skirt.

A close-fitting leather jacket can look like a blazer, and would be a great work option over a cute blouse. [16]

Pair it with high heels to look glamorous and sexy. A pair of heels can totally change the dynamic of your outfit, and this is no exception with a leather jacket. [17]
Wearing a black leather jacket with a silk blouse, skinny jeans, and stilettos is a great option for when you want to look dressed up but do not want to wear a skirt or dress.

If you want to look hip and dressy, opt for chunky heeled sandals, a black leather jacket, and a cute mid-length dress. [18]
When paired with a short skirt and very tall heeled boots your leather jacket will give off a sexy vibe.

EditAccessorizing Your Jacket
Leave it on under a wool coat for a sophisticated look. When you want to wear your leather jacket on a cooler day, you can opt to layer with with a coat. Under the right wool or pea coat, your jacket will look like part of a well-crafted outfit and not a functional choice. [19]

Put on some red lipstick to look edgy and classic. Red lipstick and black leather jackets are both classic outfit staples. Pairing both of these together can give your leather jacket a softer and more feminine feel. [20]
This style can look very alternative when you wear a black leather jacket, jeans, and tennis shoes.

Drape a scarf over it for both style and warmth. While your black leather jacket might often feel like the statement piece of your outfit, with the right scarf you can give your jacket a pop of color. It might also serve a functional purpose in brisk fall weather. [21]

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How to Thicken Broth

Whatever your cooking project, getting your broth to the right consistency is an important step. If your broth is looking a little thin, there are several ways to thicken it, depending on the ingredients you want to use and the amount of time at your disposal. You can always reduce a homemade broth by cooking it down, but this isn’t always an option if you’ve already salted the broth, as reducing it will make it saltier. However, you can also thicken any broth with a thickening agent like cornstarch, or by making a quick roux. You can even add food items such as bread, nuts, or dairy to give a broth more body.

EditSteps
EditDoing a Basic Reduction
Turn the heat up. Make sure there’s enough heat for the broth to simmer uncovered. Medium heat should be sufficient to bring the broth to a simmer and get some of the excess liquid to evaporate.[1]

Use a wide pan to reduce faster. Using a wider saute pan rather than a deeper pot or saucepan will allow your broth to heat faster and reduce more quickly. You can also divide the broth into two or more batches (wide pans best) and heat separately to speed up the process.[2]

Give it time to cook down. It’s better for the broth to simmer rather than boil. If the heat is too high, the broth might reduce too much and become bitter-tasting. Keep the broth on medium heat, and give it at least ten minutes before checking on it.[3]

EditUsing a Thickening Agent
Make a cornstarch slurry to give your broth more body. Cornstarch is similar to flour as a thickening agent, but it works better and won’t affect the taste of your broth. Mix a tablespoon (7.5 g) of cornstarch with of cold water for each cup of broth.[4] Once fully combined, add slurry a little at a time, stirring constantly. Bring the broth to a boil. Keep stirring the slurry in until the broth is almost the thickness you want.[5]
Remember that the broth will thicken a little as it cools.[6]

Use an alternative thickening agent. Ingredients such as arrowroot, potato starch, and tapioca powder can be used as thickening alternatives to cornstarch.[7] Arrowroot and tapioca are root starches derived from tropical plants, and along with potato starch are commonly used in gluten-free cooking.
For arrowroot powder, mix 2-3 tablespoons (16-24 g) with the same amount of water. Whisk into a cup of hot broth, then slowly combine with the rest of the broth.

For potato starch, mix 1 tablespoon of starch (10 g) with of water. Whisk into a cup of hot broth then combine with the rest.

For tapioca powder, stir in a teaspoon of starch (2.5 g) at a time until broth reaches desired consistency.[8]

Make a roux by combining flour and fat. A roux is a mixture of flour and fat that can serve as a useful and delicious way to thicken a broth, soup, or sauce. Depending on how much thickening the broth needs, place 1-3 tablespoons of fat in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in an amount of flour equal to the amount of fat used.[9] Cook for about ten minutes, stirring frequently, then let it cool before adding to the broth.
Whisk the roux into the broth until combined, making sure there are no lumps.

For a lighter roux, use butter or oil. For a darker, richer roux, use drippings.[10]

EditUsing Food as a Thickener
Add bread for a creamier broth. Soak pieces of bread in the hot liquid, then remove and puree. Recombine with the rest of the liquid. You can also use breadcrumbs to thicken the broth.[11]

Mix in ground nuts for a richer soup. Nuts have been used to thicken broths and soups for generations. Grind a handful of nuts until they almost form a paste, then combine with a little of the broth and stir. Add to the rest of the broth.
Cashews are particularly good for thickening a broth or soup, adding a smooth texture.[12]

Stir in a dollop of dairy for a silky taste. Adding cream or yogurt is an easy way to thicken and enrich any broth. If adding cream or milk, start with a couple spoonfuls and add to warm but not boiling broth. Or, if you’re looking for a lighter but tangier addition, try a dollop or two of yogurt.[13]
Make sure the broth isn’t boiling or else the dairy will curdle.

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How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on the 17th of March, and named in honor of the patron saint of Ireland. The festival commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating Irish heritage and culture. St. Patrick’s Day is now celebrated by many people throughout the world, Irish and non-Irish alike, with food, drink, and all things green. Here are some guidelines on how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Irish-style!

EditSteps
EditGet Ready to Celebrate
Go green. Unless you want to, you don’t have to wear a sweater with a giant shamrock on it. (Though that would certainly help you stand out.) The great thing about this holiday is you are free to go as subtle or as wild as you like. St. Patrick’s Day t-shirts have been a common article of clothing to wear proudly. Consider the following suggestions when picking out something to wear:
An all green t-shirt with optional Irish-related sayings, for example, “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” Note that no real Irish person over the age of ten would be caught dead in one of these. T-shirts with Irish beer monikers such as Harp or Guinness are more acceptable

For those who are feeling particularly festive, try buying or making a leprechaun costume, replete with white stockings, green top hat and fake (or real!) red beard.

If you’re working on March 17th, you can still get into the festive spirit by incorporating a little green into your work attire. Try a green-striped polo or collared shirt, a green or shamrock-dotted tie, or green socks and undies for the closet St. Paddy’s Day fans.

Accessorize. Buttons, pins and jewelry are all great ways to dress up an outfit. On St. Patrick’s Day, they become ways to express the fun side of fashion. Nothing is too gaudy or outlandish. Buttons with clever (or not so clever) sayings are also encouraged. Small shamrock pins are a great and subtle way to express your support of the holiday.
It is a tradition in Ireland for all attending parades and generally celebrating to wear a small collection of Shamrock fastened by a clothespin to your top (in the same place as a badge would be worn).

Dying your hair or your pet’s fur bright green is also a great way to stand out. Be sure to use a non-toxic dye.

It’s also common to see kids (and sometimes adults) with their faces painted on St. Patrick’s Day, particularly if they’re attending the parade. Cute shamrocks on the cheeks are a popular option, along with full-faced Irish flags of green, white and orange.

Learn some Irish words and phrases. The Irish have their own distinct dialect of the English language, so if you want to sound like a true Paddy on St. Patrick’s day, try sprinkling some of these Hiberno-English gems into your conversation:
What’s the craic? This phrase can be interpreted as either “How’s it going?” or “What’s going on?” or “What’s up?” and is used in non-formal settings. Craic is a very important word in Ireland and can be used to describe your enjoyment of an event or activity, e.g “How was the party?” “Ah sure, it was great craic altogether!” Use “craic” in the correct context and you’ll earn major points with the Irish.

Grand. Grand is another multi-purpose word in Hiberno-English. It doesn’t mean large or impressive, but rather translates as “fine” or “great” depending on the context. “I’m grand” is a perfectly acceptable reply to the question “How are you?” and means the person is doing just fine. If you ask an Irish person “How did the exam go?” and they reply “It was grand” that means it went okay, it wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t a disaster either.

Eejit. Eejit is basically the Irish word for idiot. If someone does something silly or stupid, you can comment “Ah ya big eejit!” It’s not meant to be offensive, rather it’s used to make fun of someone in a playful way.

Learn to Irish Dance. Irish dancing is a form of step dancing which is popular both in Ireland and all over the world. Not only will it impress everyone you know, but it’s also a fun way to increase flexibility and burn calories! You can learn how to Irish dance by attending classes in your local area or by copying some of the excellent Irish dancing videos and tutorials online. Whip out a few impressive steps and lifts the next time you hear a reel or a jig and nobody will question your Irish credentials.
Get some friends together and learn how to céili (kay-lee) dance – a form of Irish social dancing that can be done with as few as two and as many as sixteen people.

If you get good enough you can compete in the many feiseanna or Irish dancing competitions that take place all over the world. Even better, you can volunteer to perform in the next St. Patrick’s Day parade!

Learn a little of the history of St Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day has been observed as a religious festival in Ireland for over a thousand years, though it was only recognized as a celebration of Irish culture and heritage in the 1970s.[1] The day is named in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who has been credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. There are multiple origin stories for St. Patrick, but:
Most sources agree that St. Patrick’s actual name was Maewyn Succat. They also agree that Maewyn was kidnapped and sold into slavery at age 16 and, to help him endure his enslavement, he turned to God.[2]
Six years after his captivity began, St. Patrick escaped from slavery to France, where he became a priest, and then the second Bishop to Ireland. He spent the next 30 years establishing schools, churches, and monasteries across the country. He brought Christianity widespread acceptance amongst the pagan indigenous peoples.[3]
It is thought that St. Patrick used a shamrock as a metaphor for the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), showing how three individual units could be part of the same body. His parishioners began wearing shamrocks to his church services. Today, “the wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day represents spring, shamrocks, and Ireland.[3]

EditOn the Day
Travel to Ireland. What better way to celebrate the quintessential Irish holiday than a trip to the land of Saints and Scholars! Dublin, the capital city, usually holds a five day festival in honor of the holiday and is the location of Ireland’s largest and most impressive St. Patrick’s Day parade. The city buzzes with life over the course of the festival – thousands of tourists flood the city and the pubs are overflowing with travelers and locals alike, eager to “drown the shamrock”. So if you’re looking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in true Irish fashion, this is the place to be!
Alternatively, you can take a trip down the country to escape from the tourist-ridden streets of Dublin and experience a somewhat quieter, but more authentic version of the holiday. Most towns will have some semblance of a parade – the quality varying from decent to poor – but the real reason to go is for the vibrant pub-scene, where you can enjoy high-quality traditional and contemporary Irish music surrounded by an authentic Irish crowd!

As mentioned above, thousands of tourists flock to Ireland every March so it’s advisable to book flights and accommodation well in advance, to avoid soaring prices and possible disappointment.

Eat traditional Irish food. Beer and spirits are not the only great consumable goods to come out of Ireland. Corned beef, cabbage and lamb stew accompanied by traditional Irish soda bread are tasty ways to “keep it real.” Potatoes are about as Irish as you can get and are one of the staples of the Irish diet.
Traditional Irish foods include bangers and mash, colcannon, bacon (boiled ham) and cabbage, stew, boxty, Shepherd’s Pie, potato bread and black pudding.

In Ireland, the day is usually celebrated by eating food such as pink bacon or savory roast chicken. Note that corned beef and cabbage is more of an Irish-American tradition than an authentically Irish one.[4]

Play some Irish music. Ireland has a long history with music, and many incredible styles have emerged. Celtic, folk and traditional Irish pub songs might just get you in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit! You can play some Irish music at home, listen to it on the radio (some stations will have special St. Patrick’s Day features) or find out about any Irish bands or musicians playing locally.
Find a compilation CD of traditional Irish songs or download some individual songs online. You should easily be able to find traditional Irish music by artists such as The Chieftains, The Dubliners, Planxty and Clannad, for example.

If traditional music isn’t your thing, don’t forget about the many contributions Irish musicians have made to the world of rock and pop. Think U2, Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy and The Cranberries.

Alternatively, you can try your hand at some traditional Irish instruments, such as the tin whistle, the bodhrán, the harp, the fiddle or the uilleann pipes. However, you’re not likely to produce anything very melodic sounding if it’s your first time!

Attend or get involved in local parades. If you can’t make it to the five day festival in Dublin, Ireland, check out the scene locally. Many parades feature the best of local dance troupes, marching bands, gymnasts and musicians in addition to spectacular themed floats and brightly costumed participants. You can enjoy the parade as a spectator or contact your local parade organization committee to get involved.
There are many ways to participate in your local parade. You can get dressed up and march in the parade yourself, help design costumes or floats or help out with the organization of the parade. St. Patrick’s day is a festive, communal holiday – so get involved!

Though small towns aren’t likely to have parades, many large cities such as New York City, Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Montreal and Sydney have great celebrations.

Savannah, GA boasts the second largest parade in the United States, while out of any US state, Boston has the highest number of Irish descendants by percentage of population, and its South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade is the first recorded anywhere in the world.[5]

Check out the pub scene. Most bars and pubs love St. Patrick’s Day, as it’s one of the few holidays known for a marked increase in alcohol consumption, so many will be catering to patrons with a festive St. Patrick’s theme. You may find special prices on draft beer, food and cover charges. Call around to your favorite joints and ask if they have any celebration plans.
A pub crawl can be a great way to get some friends together and explore the local pub scene, especially if there are a lot of Irish bars in your area. Make a list of the pubs you want to visit in advance (if you are ambitious you could aim for 17 pubs in honor of March 17th!), then make a rule that everyone needs to have a pint in each pub you visit. 17 pints of Guinness anyone?

It would be a shame to drink Budweiser on St. Patrick’s Day, regardless of where in the world you are. If Guinness isn’t your thing, try a pint of Bulmers (also called Magners) cider, Smithwick’s ale, Jameson Irish whiskey or some Bailey’s Irish cream. Whatever you drink, avoid any green beer.

Consider having a party at home. If you aren’t a fan of the bar scene but still want to celebrate, invite a few friends over and have a St. Patrick’s Day themed party. Go as extreme or as laid back as you want: insist that everyone wear green or just have them come as they are and chill out with a few beers.
Consider starting a tradition, such as watching a movie, “The Quiet Man” with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara is a fun choice; serve corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew with colcannon (mashed potatoes and cabbage).

Make green beer and green chocolate chip cookies for your party.

In Ireland it is common to get together with family for St. Patrick’s Day, so perhaps you’d like to do this too.

EditTips
Green doughnuts can be fun, especially if you can shape them as a clover. Quite a few stores make these if you’d rather buy them.

Some people celebrate this day by pinching people who are not wearing green. There are many people who don’t like to be pinched though, so be careful!

The 8th-17th of March is Seachtain na Gaeilge, which translates to “Week of Ireland/Irish”. If you’re Irish, try to celebrate this week by speaking more Irish than you would normally.

EditWarnings
Be respectful. St. Patrick’s Day began as a Catholic feast day and is still regarded as such in Ireland. Some people in Ireland, particularly in the countryside, still observe the feast day by attending mass. Although drinking and partying on St. Patrick’s Day is widespread, it is important to be aware of this fact.

Be responsible. Whether you are going out to a bar or over to a friend’s, drinking and driving is not acceptable. Select a designated driver in advance who will not drink and will be sure you get home safely.

EditRelated wikiHows
Make Irish Stew and Dumplings

Make Green Beer

Make Irish Coffee for St. Patrick’s Day

EditSources and Citations
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