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 leprechaun danceSt. Patrick's Day Activity ThemeHappy St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day Idea  Sensory: St. Patrick's Day Activity
Ginny offers this activity saying, "This is a sensory experience with your feet." 

Materials: Pieces of paper long enough to walk around on, green paint, pan large 
enough for children to step into, bucket of water for washing feet and towels to 
dry children's feet.

Description: On St. Patrick's Day we paint with our feet using green paint. 
Beforehand I ask a parent to help me by washing the children's feet.  Because I 
have an associate in the room, I take a small group of children (4 or 5) out in 
the hall where I have assembled a pan of green paint, paper, and a bucket of 
water with a chair for the child to sit down on when washing his or her feet.

I invite the children to take off their shoes and socks and roll up their pant 
legs (I ask girls not to wear tights that day).  Then one at a time the children step into the pan of paint and onto the sheet of paper.  I hang onto them at first because it is very slippery.  We talk about how the paint feels and try to come up with fun words to describe it.

When the child is done they sit on the chair right by the paper and the volunteer parents washes & dries their feet.  The parents really enjoy this and often volunteer to help out again if I have another of their children another year!

I ask the children to stay & watch their small group until everyone is done and then go back into the room together as a group.  That way there is not so much coming and going of children. Usually there is someone in each class who prefers not to do this.  I think it is very important not to force a child to experience this.  I do invite them to watch their small group paint so that they feel included.

Comments: This is one of my favorite activities for the whole year. 

Glitter Shamrocks
During this circle time rhyme from Janice S. youngsters use counting skills and follow up with an art activity.

Materials: Shamrock shape cut out of green paper or white paper painted green and glitter.

5 Little Shamrocks
1 green shamrock, in the morning dew,
Another one sprouted, and then there were two.
2 green shamrocks, growing beneath a tree;
Another one sprouted and then there were three.
3 green shamrocks, by the cottage door;
Another one sprouted and then there were four.
4 green shamrocks, near a beehive
Another one sprouted and then there were five.
5 little shamrocks, bright and emerald green,
Think of all the luck these shamrocks will bring.
Art Activity: Paint shamrock shapes green and sprinkle with glitter.

Leprechaun Hats
Encourage artistic ability, imagination and fun with these leprechaun hats from Julie T.

Materials: White butcher paper or craft paper, green paint, masking tape, black strip of construction paper & a square of gold construction paper for the buckle.

Description: Cut a big square of butcher paper and have the kids paint it green. 
After it dries, mold it around a sand bucket, taping it to stay in place. Then have the kids try it on and re-tape to fit their heads.  You might want to make a template to see how big of a square to cut.  Then cut the strips of black paper to fit around the hat band and staple in place.  Finally, either glue or staple the buckle onto the strip of black paper. Wear on St. Patrick's Day.

This fun preschool activity plan from Julie T. promotes imagination, sharing and lots of excitement.

Materials: Rocks, gold paint and gold coins (enough for all children to find twice), 
A bucket, & a note from a leprechaun.

Description: About two weeks before St. Patrick's Day, before the children have 
arrived, put your classroom in disarray.  Knock over chairs, turn the clock upside down, put things where they shouldn't be etc.  When the kids come in and see what has happened start explaining that you think a leprechaun could have done it. We had some background information on the legend of leprechauns and had one on our bulletin board so they could see what one might look like.  Also reassure them that leprechauns are friendly and would never hurt anyone.

Then a couple days later leave a note from the leprechaun (again messing up the 
room) saying that while playing tricks on your room he lost all his gold  (a hole in 
his pocket) and if your kids could help him find it he would leave them a great surprise on St. Patrick's Day. Also tell them, if they have already found a piece 
of gold to tell a friend where a piece is so that everyone gets a chance.  If the leprechaun comes back and not all the pieces are there he will not leave a surprise. This lets them know that they can not take the gold pieces home.

Each day leave out about 4 or 5 gold pieces for them to find, rewarding them with a shamrock sticker.  On St. Patrick's day (make sure they wear green or you get to tickle them) have a bucket filled with shamrock cookies and goodie bags for each child.  We also have green sherbet and toppings.  It is fantastic fun!

Comments: You might like to tape record your message from the leprechaun, have 
someone use a Irish accent and have some Irish music playing for your party.

Game: "Patrick the Leprechaun"
Marty K. offers this game for pre-k and kindergarten children to follow 1-2 (or more) step directions.

Materials: A large cutout of a standing leprechaun (he may hold a large stick in one hand) and a separate cutout of a cloth sack to represent a sack of gold. You could substitute a pot if you prefer.  Many smaller cutout shapes of shamrocks and gold coins. Laminate all items to protect them.  Add a small roll of tape to the back of the shamrocks and gold coins.

Description: Attach "Patrick" on a wall, easel, etc.  Ask the children to place either shamrocks or gold coins somewhere on or around Patrick.  Ex. "Put your shamrock on Patrick's shoulder, behind his stick, in back of him.  Put the gold under the sack, on Patrick's shoe, over his sack, etc."  You may make this as simple or complex as you want by making the directions multi-step.

Comments: The kids really enjoyed the theme and the activity.  They were so excited when the results were comical.

St. Patrick's Day Windsock
Susan U. shares this St. Patrick's Day craft that also is good for windy March weather.

Materials: White paper lunch bags, green construction paper, green and white crepe paper streamers, glue, stapler and staples, yarn and scissors.

1. Cut shamrocks out of green construction paper.
2. Cut a round hole in the bottom of the bag.
3. Glue shamrocks on the bag, with top of shamrock toward bottom of the bag.
4. Staple 18 inch streamers in alternating colors to top (open end) of the bag.
5. Put a knot in each end of a 12 inch piece of yarn.
6. Staple yarn ends just above knot on each side of bottom of bag.
7. Hold the windsock by the yarn, and let it blow!

shamrock Following Directions: Shamrock Shapes
Preschool and kindergarten children listen and follow directions during this activity from Marty K.

Materials: Paper cutouts of Easter eggs, hearts, shamrocks, or any other shape for other holidays.

Description: Give each child a shape and ask them to listen, either 
individually, or as a group, and follow the directions.  Ex. Put your egg on your nose, over your head, etc.  Or, put your heart under the table,  next to the trash can, in back of Susan, etc.  You could add multi-step directions, various colored shapes, etc.

Comments: The children have enjoyed this!

Take a peek at the Shape Activity Theme.

Cooking Activity: "St. Patrick's Day Surprise"
Pre-k and kindergarten children follow directions and cooperate during this St. Patrick's Day preschool cooking activity by Dina T.

Materials: Large box, 5 oz paper cups, spoons, 3-4 boxes of pistachio pudding (instant), 6-10 cups of cold milk, 1 large plastic container with a tight fitting lid and masking tape.

Description: As a final activity to go along with a St. Patrick's Day theme, you can send your class a "care package" from a leprechaun!
Empty the pudding powder into a zipper bag and decorate the bag with ribbons, markers, etc. Place the pudding mix, cups, spoons, milk, large container, and tape into the large box. Include directions for the class to follow in order to make the pudding:

Empty "magic powder" (pudding) into the container.  Add the milk (include the specific amount based on the #of boxes of pudding used).
Cover tightly with the lid and tape securely. Sign the note: From your friend The Leprechaun!

Have the kids sit in a circle and take turns shaking the container.  The pudding will turn green and thicken. Dish out the treat and enjoy!

shamrock  Puppets: Shamrock Buddies
Try adding these easy to make puppets by Molly to your St. Patrick's Day preschool curriculum.

Materials: Cut out Shamrocks, wiggly eyes, markers and green construction paper strips (about 1 inch in width and 4 inches long). Also white yarn, a hole puncher and glue.

Description: Give each child a green Shamrock, and two wiggly eyes. Add 4 strips of green paper (fan folded) for legs and arms. Attach with glue to make your Shamrock buddy. Punch a hole at top and thread with yarn to make him or her dance.

shamrock  Planting for St. Patrick's Day: "Shaggy Shamrock"
Preschool children follow directions and use estimating and sequencing skills during this early childhood activity by Kimberly D.

Materials: Sponge, grass seeds, water and paper plates.

Description: Cut out a shamrock shape from a sponge then sprinkle on grass seeds. Keep moist. Everyday check to see how much grass has grown.
Comments: Children must moisten their sponges everyday.

rainbow Hand Print Rainbow
Here's a bulletin board idea for St. Patrick's Day from Carey H.

Materials: Large white paper arcs (cut from butcher paper or other large white craft paper) and assorted paints.

Description: On each paper arc, have children make hand prints all of one color (a red arc, yellow arc, etc.) so that you make one arc of each color of the rainbow. Place the arcs in order on the wall to make a rainbow. If you have very young children with short attention spans you can make this your art project for an entire week!
Comments: For a great bulletin board, add a pot of gold pot of gold coins with a coin for each child with their names and / or pictures.  Parents love this!

There's an entire theme filled with Rainbows!

St. Patrick's Day Colors
Pre-k children identify the color green, follow directions and use fine motor skills during this preschool activity by Kimberly D.

Materials: Plastic ziploc baggie, shaving cream and food coloring.

Description: Squirt some shaving cream into a ziploc baggie and add a few drops of yellow and blue food coloring to it. Seal it.  As children squeeze the baggie colors will mix and make the color green.
Comments: We always wear smocks to prevent any stains on clothing.
Note: Shaving cream can sting eyes, so be careful. For very young children use whipped cream instead.

St. Patrick's Day Art
During this preschool education activity Donna A. encourages youngsters to use language and creative skills.

Materials: Black & green construction paper pattern of a large pot, aquarium tubing, pipe cleaners, chocolate gold coins, pencil, paper scissors and glue.

Description: Ask the children what would they choose, a pot of gold coins or a wish!  Ask them what will they do with the gold coins, and what would they wish for.
During Art Time:
Call the children who pick a wish. Have them cut the traced pot then glue it on a green piece of paper. Next, give them aquarium tubing and have them place a pipe cleaner inside the tube and glue it on the inside of the pot or around the paper. Have the children sprinkle glitter all over the paper, let them be creative.   On the bottom of the paper write down what they had said.

For the children who choose Gold Coins, have them cut the traced pot, then sprinkle glitter around the paper, let them be creative. Then give them some chocolate gold coins and have them glue the coins to the piece of green paper. Write down on the bottom what they said. 

Comments: I did it last year, some of the pre-k children chose a wish and said they wished for all the toys. The other children chose gold coins and said they would buy a lollipop and a toy it was very cute parents loved it!

Green Painting
Michelle offers this sensory art activity for those who don't mind using food for art. Just remember to remind the children not to eat their "paintbrushes ".

Materials: Green finger paint, raw green vegetables: broccoli, snap beans, parsley, etc. 

Description: Children use the raw vegetables to paint pictures.
Comments: Teachers can change the activity to introduce others colors or foods

Take a look at the Color Activities.

leprechaun tricks Leprechaun Tricks
Preschool and kindergarten use observation and memory skills during this early childhood activity by Jenn J.

Materials: St. Patrick story, pot, chocolate gold coins and paper.

Description: This activity lasts all week. Throughout the week play little 
tricks on the children and pretend that it was the Leprechaun i.e. place a 
shamrock in the middle of a story and while reading act surprised when you turn the page and the shamrock is there, or one day mix everyone's boots up and place in different cubbies and blame it on the leprechaun. The children start to look forward to see what will happen next.

On the last day prepare about 5 clues to where the children should look for the leprechaun.  Place the first clue on the last page of a story saying i.e. "Look for me where you wash your hands". Then the children will all go to the sink to find another clue which will lead them to another clue.

For the final clue place the pot full of chocolate gold coins in the spot that the clue leads to.  The children will enjoy the treasure hunt.

Comments: If some children can read have them read the clues to the other children. Be creative with the tricks and the clues.

Tissue Paper Collage
This pre-k and kindergarten art activity from Kimberly D. promotes fine motor and color identification skills.

Materials: Poster board, green tissue paper, liquid starch and  paintbrushes.

Description: Have children put small pieces of tissue paper on to pre-cut shamrocks then paint over with liquid starch. 
Comments: Be careful with younger children using the liquid starch. 

shamrock game  Game: Shamrock, Shamrock
Jenn J. offers this twist on an old favorite which helps young children learn to take turns and develop cooperation skills.

Materials: Large space and a cut out paper shamrock.

Children sit in a large circle.  One child leaves the group to hide their eyes.  Give the shamrock to another child and have him or her hide it under them.  Call the child back  by chanting, "Shamrock, Shamrock, who has the shamrock".  The child comes back and tries to guess who has the shamrock. Once the child guesses right, the child who hid the shamrock can go and have their turn at guessing.

Comments: Another game can be used to dismiss children.  Pass the shamrock around the circle chanting "shoo shamrock, shoo shamrock, shoo shoo shoo this green shamrock stops at you". When the shamrock stops at a child then that child can leave the circle.

rainbow St. Patrick's Day Rainbow 
Ann shares this creative art activity that encourages preschool children to discuss the holiday and recognize colors.

Paper plate, watercolor paints, black paint, cotton, glue, yellow circles for gold coins, large piece of construction paper.

Cut paper plate in half.  Paint one half black (this will be the "pot") and set aside.  Cut arch in other half of paper plate to form rainbow shape and paint with watercolors.  When dry, glue onto larger sheet of construction paper with the "pot of gold" at one end of rainbow.  Add cotton "clouds" to end of other 
rainbow side and yellow circles or "gold coins" to top of black pot. pot of gold coins

Comments: The completed project is nice because it ties in both the rainbow and the pot of gold. Discussions included the colors of the rainbow and the colors they wanted their rainbow to be and what they would do if they found the pot of gold.

More about Rainbows.

Puppy Shamrocks
Shannon helps preschool children put together a puppy using pre-cut shamrock shapes.

Green, black, and red construction paper.

Take a pre-cut shamrock and turn it upside down.  Next glue on wiggly eyes . Cut out a nose from black construction paper, cut out a tongue using red construction paper.  Now, glue on a nose towards the bottom of the shamrock, glue the tongue on the under side of the shamrock so that it sticks out where the petals of the
shamrock meet. If desired place a pre-cut bone on for a bow.

Ireland:  International Week
Tara R. helps the children in her early childhood class learn about another culture with this plan for the entire preschool day.

Materials: one potato, carve a shamrock in it to use as a stamp

The plan is for the entire day. First the children will wear 'tickets' around their neck so they can 'fly' to another country. They pretend to get on a plane fly to Ireland, get off and have juice and lucky charms. 

Then for activities:  To begin with the children (4's) will color a sheet with shamrocks, gold coins and rainbows.  Cut them out and glue them to a "pot", (from the pot of gold).  The children will also have the opportunity to dig up potatoes in the sand area and listen to irish music all day.

The potato stamp will be  used to stamp a piece of paper with green shamrocks.  It was a great day!  The kids loved to pretend to fly to another country!

St. Patrick's Day
Jessica P. shares this interesting holiday art activity.

Laminate paper, green tissue paper all shades (light, dark, lime etc.)

Cut a shamrock shape out of laminate paper.  Have the children put the shamrock on the tissue paper, and then cover it with another piece of laminate.  Cut off excess paper.  It makes a very nice sun catcher. We hung it in our windows.

Comments: Be careful with the laminate!  Tell the children not to pick up the laminate because it will rip.  I put it on the table for them after I peeled off
the backing.

St. Patrick's Day Pepper Prints
Theresa contributes this activity which is filled with lots of learning experiences saying it, "Enhances small motor skills, the sense of smell, touch and sight, teaches about shamrocks, and the vegetable, green peppers." Wow!

Green paint, paper, green pepper vegetables.

Cut top and bottom of green pepper off horizontally.  Have children dip top and / or bottom in paint and press on paper. The pepper makes a "Shamrock" shape.  You can also have the children print a lot of shapes, and have them count them. 
Write the numbers above or below their "Shamrocks". Thus, this project becomes a math activity.

To make this a science activity, have children mix the colors Blue and Yellow
together to make Green.

St. Patrick's Day Finger Painting 
Theresa shares this sensory activity for St. Patrick's Day. The aim is to enhance a child's sense of touch, taste, and smell.  With the added benefit of teaching about the color "Green".

Finger paint paper, cool whip or whipped cream,  green food color.

Place cool whip on paper.  Add a drop or two of green food color to the cool whip.  Have child mix, taste and have fun with painting.

You can also add green sprinkles to the cool whip for a different texture.

"Pasta Art"  for Any Holiday
Cathy T. cooks up this tactile art experience that encourages color recognition and says, " You can adapt this activity to almost any holiday."  I have done Valentine hearts and green shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day.

Pasta cooked, paper, food coloring.

Follow the cooking instructions on a box of pasta, (spaghetti works best).  Drain.  Add food coloring to get the desired color. The pasta should be SLIGHTLY wet.
Mix with a spoon.

Have a heart or a shamrock drawn out on a large piece of paper. Have the children take one strand of spaghetti at a time and put it on the paper.  Press gently so that the pasta adheres. NO GLUE NEEDED. THE STARCH IN THE PASTA WILL  MAKE IT STICK :)   Let the project dry over night.  Enjoy!

Related Theme: rainbow Colorful  Rainbows 



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