Tuesday, March 10, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Activities

One of my newest teacher friends is an early childhood educator. She was looking for some St. Patrick’s Day activities, and I threw together a few for her. Although these were written for very young kiddos, some of the activities could easily be adapted for a variety of ages. So, I thought I’d share them with all my blog buddies, too!

Beginning Probability—Put a bunch of paper three-leaf clovers in a bag with only one 4-leaf one. Talk about the probability of pulling out the four-leaf clover. How lucky they’d be if they pulled it out! Try to use the terms “likely” and “unlikely”, though, which is good math language.

Character Education/Arts & Crafts
Lucky Friends Shamrock—Take digital photos of all the kids and print them on regular printer paper. Have kids decorate large paper shamrocks with their classmates’ photos, glitter, potato stamping, etc. Talk about why friends are “worth their weight in gold” and what this expression means.

Arts & Crafts/Math/Social Studies
Tater Stampin’—Cut potatoes into thick slices and then into clover (or any) shapes. Blot to dry. Kids can dip them in paint and stamp with them. They can do math counting activities with the clovers they stamp. Make sure to tell the children about the Potato Famine in Ireland’s history, so your students understand the significance of using a tater.

Leprechaun Stories—Tell some good stories about practical-joke playing leprechauns. These can be books you read to the kids or stories you make up yourself and tell orally. Ask kids a lot of prediction questions while telling the story and see if they can retell it to you at the end—great pre-reading skills!

Fun Tricks
Green Scene—Turn lots of things green unexpectedly. For example, put green food coloring in their mashed potatoes served at lunch or replace all the finger paints with green paint only.

Shameless Shenanigans—Leprechauns play harmless tricks, and kids absolutely LOVE it when they do!!! Here’s how to add to the anticipation…

On St. Patrick’s Eve (next Monday), some Irish families anticipate a visit from the leprechauns. So, you could do the same! The kids put out plates of mushrooms (what small leprechauns would eat if they lived in the forest, of course).

The leprechauns can pay a visit overnight, leave some small treasures (chocolate coins in gold foil, etc.), and play tricks like turning furniture upside down, hiding confetti inside containers that hold everyday supplies (crayons), leaving funny leprechaun photos in unexpected places (underneath chairs and tables), and more.

Hope your whole class has a lot of fun—and maybe even finds that elusive gold loot at the end of the rainbow!


  1. Thanks for the fun ideas! I like the idea of introducing probability early on and including academic language in fun activities. Happy St Patrick's Day!

  2. Thanks, Joan. Yes, using academic language is a small thing that can make a big difference. I hope you had a great St. Patty's Day, too!