Here are 15+ St. Patrick’s Day activities for preschool kids to learn and explore with. Literacy, math, STEM, and more early learning activities for a St. Patrick’s Day the preschoolers are sure to love.
Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your preschoolers, or is it a holiday you’d rather skip?
I know not all teachers enjoy bringing St. Patrick’s Day into the classroom, but I have to admit that I love it.
The name Mary Catherine might have already clued you in, but I’m part Irish. And in college, I was able to spend a year living in Cork, Ireland. I have some amazing friends, and some very fond memories, from that time.
All of that to say that I definitely enjoy a good St. Patrick’s Day theme with the kids.
12 St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Preschool
Over the years, we’ve done a wide variety of St. Patrick’s Day activities in both preschool and kindergarten. Here are some of my favorites, as well as a few I can’t wait to try in the near future.
You’ll have to tell me about some of your own preschool traditions for St. Patrick’s Day, too.
Make a class book about leprechauns.
You can use my free printable (at the bottom of this post) or just make your own version. Ask each child “If you were a leprechaun, where would you hide your gold?” Write their answer down, or have them help do the writing. Then, encourage the kids to draw pictures based on their answers.
I loved hearing the answers my preschoolers gave me! They ranged from “in a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” to “on the ceiling of my room” to “in the oven”.
I’d suggest doing this in small groups or one-on-one during center time. This way, you can have a good conversation with each of the children.
Once the individual pages are done, make a cover page (again, you can use my free printable if you’d like to). Laminate the front cover, and laminate a plain piece of construction paper of the same size for a back cover. Place the kids’ pages in the middle and make it all into a book. You can use a binding machine, or hole punch the pages and place on binder rings.
Be sure to keep the class book in the reading center to be read again and again!
Explore the colors of the rainbow with scented rainbow science.
I have to admit, this is one of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day activities for preschool kids (well, any kids really).
We have done this one in the classroom and at home so many times, and it’s been a hit each and every time.
Reading Confetti’s pot of gold craft is great for the art/craft center.
All of my preschoolers really go into making this simple craft. We didn’t have the cool gold stickers like the original idea, but we did have sparkly gold pompoms and gold craft jewels. The boys and girls didn’t seem to mind at all.
I had fun watching who put the colors in rainbow-order and who just placed the stickers willy-nilly.
Put a pot of gold dice game in your math center.
To set up the math game, set out a stack of plastic gold coins, a few dice, and a leprechaun’s pot.
The kids can work together, rolling the dice and placing the appropriate amount of coins into the pot. They can also turn it into a competitive game if they prefer that option. If so, have the kids split the coins between the players. Players can take turns rolling two dice, and whoever gets rid of her coins first is the winner.
Break out some gold coins to explore the alphabet.
Make your own alphabet gold coins by writing directly on the coins or adding ABC stickers. Then add the coins to your favorite sensory material and put it in the literacy center.
Set out LEGO and ask the kids to make their own leprechaun traps.
Ask the children how they would make a trap to catch a sneaky leprechaun. Encourage the children to make a plan on paper first. Then have them grab some LEGO bricks and make their traps.
You can also do this challenge in the block center with blocks of all different shapes and sizes, too.
Set up a colorful corn sensory bin.
Years ago, I experimented until I found a way to make richly colorful popcorn kernels. Since then, we’ve used the brightly colored corn in sensory bins, art, etc.
The kids can pretend to be leprechauns looking for gold.
This idea is a very simple one. Use rainbow colored yarn to make a sensory bin for the kids. Add some coins, plastic gold coins, etc. to the yarn bin.
From there, you can add a math component by encouraging the kids to find a certain number of gold coins. There are quite a few ways to change it up based on the kids’ interests and what you’re working on.
Have a sneaky leprechaun visit and cause a little mischief.
I’ve had some mischievous leprechauns visit my classrooms over the years! Sometimes they make a big mess, turning over furniture and dumping buckets of math manipulatives. Sometimes it’s a smaller mess, like rearranging the numbers on our calendar pocket chart. Occasionally, there’s glitter or St. Patrick’s Day confetti involved.
Either way, there are always little leprechaun footprints (why do they always seem to get into that green paint?) left for the kids to find.
Fun tip: To make the leprechaun footprints, make your hand into a fist. Paint the side of your pinky finger and the side of your hand right by it. Keeping your hand fisted, press onto a piece of paper or hard surface. Then dip your pointer finger into the paint and add five “toes” to the footprint.
As with the visit from the gingerbread man, the kids LOVE this and get so excited about the trouble the leprechaun causes. Talk about an awesome language experience — the kids talk about it all day, retell the events to me and any other staff members they run into, and they often even talk about what they thought the leprechaun did after visiting our school.
Let the kids put together a leprechaun hunt.
After the leprechaun’s shenanigans, sometimes a leprechaun hunt will arise naturally. I don’t usually plan one for the kids, but there have been multiple years when groups of children set one up all on their own! To me, the way the children extended the leprechaun’s visit was even better than anything I could have planned in its place.
During center time, some of my former students planned how they would find the leprechauns. They drew maps and talked about it for more than an hour.
When outside time rolled around, they were ready to go! The kiddos consulted their maps and searched all around the playground. Some of them even found clues — leprechaun footprints (small spots in the dirt), green mulch (really just regular mulch), and even gold the leprechaun had buried (small rocks). Their imagination really knew no bounds!
Get little fingers working with beaded shamrocks.
These shamrocks are a fun way to work on fine motor skills, and you can also incorporate color recognition and pattern making with them.
If you want to incorporate a literacy element, turn them into name shamrocks (like these beaded name hearts).
Add plastic gold coins to beautiful gold slime.
Children can help you make a batch of gorgeous golden slime as part of a science activity. Be sure to talk about how the ingredients work together to make something new.
After that, add in some gold coins and watch as the children play and explore with the slime.
St. Patrick’s Day Books for Kids
What are your favorite books to read to the kids around St. Patrick’s Day?
Here are some ideas for you:
Even More St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Preschool Kids
Here are more ideas you should check out:
How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with your kiddos/students? What are your favorite St. Patrick’s Day activities for preschool kids?
If you’re looking for more, please come by my St. Paddy’s Pinterest board.
Grab Your Free Printable Here
If you want to make the “If I Were a Leprechaun” class book, I have a printable available to members of Fun-A-Day’s email community. Click the button below to join for emails with even more early childhood ideas (and get the class book outline as a freebie).
Preschool Lesson Plans You Should Check Out
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes book suggestions, printable plans, over 30 learning activities (whole group, small group, and centers) related to the theme, and corresponding printables.
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers