Pre-K & Preschool theme ideas for St. Patrick’s Day
*Books highlighted in purple are religious books
Look for the Shamrock Bingo Game on the Bingo Games page.
Shamrock Grid Game
I collected lids from bottles to use as cutters for the children to cut gold coins out of play dough. You can buy small black plastic kettles at Halloween to use as the leprechauns’ pot of gold.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Every year our school has a St. Patrick’s Day parade, and our class makes noisemakers, flags, and hats. We also wear green leis or necklaces. Most of the children in the school spray their hair green, and the girls wear green nail polish.
We make the hat using a top hat style shape for the front (cut out of black paper), with a black band around the back. Children glue a yellow paper buckle and green shamrock to the front.
I’ve made shakers two different ways. To make egg shakers, I buy white plastic Easter eggs. Children scoop rice into it, close it, and decorate it with St. Patrick’s Day stickers. To make paper plate shakers, have children decorate the back side of a paper plate with green crayons and Shamrock cut-outs or stickers. Children scoop a handful of dry beans on the undecorated side of the plate. Fold the plate over to a semi-circle shape and tape the edge with green masking tape. Have children tape crepe paper streamers to the shaker.
The flags are made of half of a piece of kelly green felt, hot-glued to a small dowel rod. I bought a package of dowel rods about 12 inches long at a craft store. The children decorate the flag with a light green felt shamrock and gold glitter.
St. Patrick’s Day Necklace
Have the children string about 10 green and white pony beads onto a piece of thin green ribbon (tie one bead on one end so the beads won’t fall off). Punch a hole in a craft foam shamrock, and have each child string a shamrock into the middle, then string 10 more pony beads on the other side of the shamrock. Tie the ends together and wear as a necklace.
Shamrock Fabric Collage
I trace an outline of a shamrock on green paper for each child with a black Sharpie. Children cut out the shamrock and glue on small squares of green cloth (stripes, plaids, dots, ginghams, calicos, etc.).
If I Had a Wish
Children think of what they would wish for if they caught a leprechaun and could have one wish. Their dictation is written at the bottom of the paper, “If I had one wish, I would wish for ….” They draw a picture of their wish.
This is an activity that goes with any theme. Choose a book that goes with the theme, and have the children retell the story.
Read the blog post here for details: story retelling
Sorting Shamrocks by Size
These are craft foam shamrocks purchased in a package from a craft store. These shamrocks come in 3 different sizes and can be sorted by size: small, medium, large.
I use a shamrock shaped Martha Stewart craft puncher to cut out the pieces from construction paper. Print out the numeral sheets. Have children count out the correct amount of paper cutouts to glue onto the numeral.
Magic Leprechaun Drink
Mix a package of lemonade, add yellow food coloring to make the color brighter. Add a drop of blue food coloring to each child’s clear cup, then pour in the lemonade. It will magically turn green! In the past, we’ve had doughnuts with green icing which were really neat!
We read several stories about leprechauns. During the children’s nap time, leprechauns leave a note to the children with a green glitter trail leading them to a special treat. I usually buy miniature paint sets and chocolate coins in gold wrappers. I also tell them that a leprechaun house has been spotted in the park, so we go on a leprechaun hunt. There is a large old oak tree in the park with a large hole, and when we come to that tree, I make a big deal about saying “this must be the leprechaun house!” One year, the children found a golf ball and a bottle cap in the hole, and they were sure they belonged to the leprechauns. After that I decided to set up some dollhouse furniture in the hole or beside the tree.
Leprechaun Gold Game
Cut shamrock shapes from pieces of green craft foam. Place pieces of “leprechaun gold” (plastic gold coins) on some of the shamrocks, but not all of them. Play some Irish music as the children walk around the circle of shamrocks. When the music stops, everyone should find a shamrock to sit on. If they sit on a shamrock with leprechaun gold, they will keep it for the remainder of the game (ask them to hold their gold in their hand as they play the game). Place more gold coins on some of the shamrocks and start the music again. Continue playing the game as children collect more gold coins. At the end, ask each child to count their coins to see how many they collected. Note: We don’t have a winner when we play this game with little ones, so that there are no hurt feelings.