St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated each year on March 17th and is a national holiday in Ireland. The holiday marks the anniversary of the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. While the holiday is a big drinking day for many adults, we’ve got a great list of St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids as well so they can enjoy the holiday as well.
Often, this holiday is associated with leprechauns, pots of gold, and four-leaf clovers. Using the color green and some of these popular symbols, you can have all kinds of fun planned for kids of all ages. Each idea includes all the supplies you need and some basic instructions, so look no further—we’ve got you covered.
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Fun St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids
These games and activities cover kids of all ages. Whether you are organizing a party for your children and their friends, or just trying to do some fun homeschool St. Patrick’s Day Activities for kids in your family, we’ve got you covered with these fun options.
1. Do a Treasure Hunt for Gold Coins
- Chocolate gold coins (or something of a similar size and look)
- A treasure map
Pick a room or two in your home and set up a treasure hunt for your kids. Hide gold coins in as many places as you can think of and then draw a treasure map giving them some clues about which areas of the house contain parts of the treasure.
Give each kid a basket or bag to collect their coins. Just make sure to count their findings to see if the entire treasure has been uncovered. You definitely don’t want any chocolate or candy melting or being found by the family dog.
2. Learn Something New About Ireland
- Printable worksheets
- Online lesson plans
- Paper and pencils for the kids
The internet has everything you could possibly need to entertain your children. One of the best resources is online lesson plans that many teachers use as well as parents who do homeschooling. The Teacher Planet website has lots of worksheets and information to help you teach your kids about Ireland and some of the fun traditions and trivia. Make the learning a fun experience by finding some videos or songs to go along with the lesson or even offer some prizes for whoever remembers the most facts at the end of your time. You might even learn something new yourself.
You can also search for some specific information about Saint Patrick if you want to cover the religious background of the holiday and the man it celebrates.
3. Make Some Rainbow Slime
- Elmer’s clear glue
- Baking soda
- Contact Lens solution
- Food coloring
If you are looking for some rainbow activities, make some slime. It’s one of the most popular activities for elementary school kids right now. This kids’ website talks you through the entire process. Make sure to supervise the entire process. It’s a science experiment and kids should always follow the instructions carefully and practice safety first. Adults should handle the chemical products and assist with the mixing to make sure nothing is ingested. Make green slime or go ahead and do all the colors of the rainbow.
4. Play a Round of St. Patrick’s Day Bingo
- Bingo cards
- Markers to cover boxes
- Prizes for the winners
Bingo is a great game for kids. You can find a free printable bingo card with a St. Patrick’s Day theme and have some fun. Grab some prizes to hand out to the first couple of kids that get bingo. Have fun with the pictures and symbols on the card, and, if you want to make it more challenging, teach the kids how to yell something in Gaelic when they get bingo!
5. Scavenger Hunt to Find the Pot of Gold
- Clues to hide
- A pot of gold as the treasure at the end of the hunt
- A space for kids to explore and search
Whether you set this up in your yard, inside of your home, or even at a neighborhood park, you’ll just want to make sure you have the space to hide multiple clues for them to find. The clues can be written on shamrocks or follow leprechaun footprints. Each clue should lead them to the next clue until they have found them all and reach the pot of gold at the end. You can make the final prize anything you want.
6. Pin the Shamrock on the Leprechaun
- A large leprechaun
- Small shamrocks cut out of paper
- A blindfold
Put a picture of a leprechaun up on the wall with a specific spot that a shamrock should go. Sometimes he’s holding it or it’s on his hat. Give each child a shamrock with some tape on the back. When it’s their turn, they will put the blindfold on and spin around a few times before walking towards the leprechaun to try and stick the shamrock in the correct spot. It’s just a holiday-themed version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
7. Use Celtic Music for Musical Chairs or Hot Potato
- Speakers for music
- A potato or a circle of chairs
Another classic party game for kids is musical chairs. You set the chairs in a circle with one fewer than the number of kids at the party. Turn on the Celtic music (to make it festive) and when the music stops, everyone scrambles to find a chair. Whoever is left standing is out and you remove a chair. This goes on until the winner is the only one sitting at the end.
Another way to play is the hot potato version. It works because potatoes are often associated with Ireland. Turn the music on and have the kids toss the potato around the circle. They keep going until the music stops and whoever is left holding the potato is out.
8. Compete in the Cabbage Crawl
- Two cabbages
- Ribbon or tape to make a track
The cabbage crawl is another fun nod to traditional Irish food. Divide the kids into two teams. They will race each other in a relay-style to get their cabbage from the starting line to the finish line. The catch is that they cannot use their hands. They have to crawl and push the cabbage with their heads. You’ll have everyone laughing and crawling around on the floor.
9. Put Together a Green Themed Sensory Bin
- A plastic bin
- Rice or some kind of filler
- Gold coins
- Small containers
Sensory play is popular with younger kids and parents love to put together themed bins based on the time of the year. You can make a St. Patrick’s Day-themed bin by mixing in some gold coins with the rice and some containers for the kids to put the coins into. Sensory activities are great for developing fine motor skills.
St. Patrick’s Day Crafts
Fun crafts can help kids participate in any holiday and learn a little about it along the way. Break out the supplies and have some fun on St. Patrick’s Day and the days leading up to it. Who needs to buy party decorations when you can just get the kids busy making them.
10. Make Leprechaun Traps
- Shamrock stickers
- Green paper
- Jars or something to build the trap
- Lucky charms or gold coins for bait
- Pipe cleaners
- Popsicle sticks
Leprechauns are out on St. Patrick’s Day, so why not help your kids trap one? Leprechaun traps are fun crafts that can get everyone really excited for the holiday. There are many ways to put these together, so we’ll give you a few ideas.
One trap can be built by setting up a roll of construction paper with a trap door. You can use pipe cleaners to hold open the door. Fill the tube with bait to lure in the leprechaun. The idea is that once the leprechaun enters the tube to get the bait and knocks the door shut behind him. A popsicle stick flagpole can shout out that there is free gold hidden inside. Make sure to decorate the trap so it’s camouflaged in St. Patrick’s Day decoration.
Another option is the jar. You can fill a mason jar or any kind of small container with some lucky charms to lure in leprechauns. Kids can use pipe cleaners to make a ladder to make it easier for the small leprechaun to climb in and get the gold, but they won’t be able to get out since there is no ladder on the inside of the jar.
Spend time ahead of time to plan out the traps with your kids. This is a great STEM activity because it requires some engineering before you build it. It will also require some imagination as they decorate it. If you catch a leprechaun, you get three wishes, so have them test their luck. Maybe they will even find some evidence that a leprechaun visited, but didn’t get trapped thanks to their magic.
11. Decorate with Shamrock Crafts
- Green construction paper
- Shamrock templates
- Glitter and stickers
- Markers, paint, and crayons
Let the kids run a little wild and use their imagination to make their own shamrock decorations for your windows and doors. Grab paper and you can give them a template to trace and then cut out. Once the shape is done, it can be decorated with any supplies.
Glitter, stickers, ribbons, markers, crayons, and paint can be used to jazz up the shamrocks. You could even have them cut smaller pieces of shades of green paper to be taped or glued to the shamrock to make a mosaic. Open your craft supply closet, pull out anything that can be attached to paper, and give the kids all the options. If you make a lot of these, you can string them together and make them into a garland to hang up in your home.
12. DIY Little Leprechaun Hats to Wear for the Day
- Cleaned out ice cream tubs or containers
- Paper plate or heavier cardstock in green (or white and then paint it)
- Black electrical or washi tape
- Green paint
- Yellow paint or construction paper
- Orange construction paper or strings
Making leprechaun hats is a great St. Patty’s Day craft because it turns into a costume for the rest of the day for the kids. The base of the hat can be any old container that is cleaned out and will fit on a head. Ice cream buckets are great, but you can also use cottage cheese or yogurt containers or anything you have laying around. This would be a good thing to collect in advance and keep in your craft supplies area.
Paint the container green and add a green rim with a paper plate or cardstock. Once the hat is dry, add the black tape and yellow construction paper to make the buckle and make it really start looking like a leprechaun hat. You can add any kind of decoration to the hat.
To really take it to the next level, consider adding a beard that is attached to the hat. Using orange string or cutting out orange construction paper, you attach each side to the hat so when the kids put it on it looks like they have a bright orange beard like the leprechauns do in cartoons.
13. Tie-Dye Green T-Shirts to Wear
- Green fiber reactive dye (and any other colors)
- White t-shirts
- Rubber bands
- Buckets or squeeze bottles for applying the dye
- Plastic tablecloths or trash bags to lay flat
Tie-dying is a classic kids’ craft that is easy and they can wear their creation over and over again. If you’ve never done it, it’s super easy. Set up your work area and cover the space with plastic tablecloths. You want to be careful that you aren’t dyeing the floor or other unintentional spots. It’s also good to wear aprons or older clothing while you make your shirts as well.
The t-shirts should be prewashed to make sure they are free of any dirt or oils. Give the kids their t-shirts, or whatever white piece of clothing they are going to dye. You can fold and tie up the shirt in a hundred ways and each will create a unique design. Utilize the rubber bands to tie the shirt tight. This will help leave some parts of the shirt white and form the famous designs that come from tie-dying.
It’s time to apply the dye and you can do this a few ways. The shirts can be dunked into buckets of dye, or you can use squeeze bottles to squirt it into specific places. If you want to add in more colors, orange would be good for the holiday since the Irish flag is green, orange, and white.
When the shirts have color added, it’s time to let it soak in. Shirts should sit for about 24 hours to get the brightest colors. Rinse the shirts with cold water while the bands are still on. Then, you’ll want to rinse in lukewarm water while removing the bands and unwinding the shirt. Keep rinsing until you don’t see colors in the water anymore. Last, you’ll run the shirts through a laundry cycle without any other clothes and they are ready to wear.
For more techniques, you can check out this full guide on how to tie-dye.
14. Mix Together Some Homemade Rainbow Playdough
- ½ cup of flour
- ½ cup of water
- ¼ cup of salt
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 tsp of cream of tartar
- Food coloring in red, orange, yellow, green, and blue (or the primary colors that you can mix to get orange, green, and purple)
Playdough is great for younger kids as they learn how to build things. While most St. Patty’s Day decorations and crafts focus on the color green, you can also celebrate the rainbow that the leprechauns follow to find the pot of gold. While you can purchase Playdough of all colors at the store, it might be more fun to make it yourself and have the kids help measure and mix.
Once you have all your ingredients ready to go, mix the flour, water, salt, vegetable oil, and cream of tartar in a small pot and then add a few drops of the first color. Mix well and then start cooking on the stovetop on medium heat for a few minutes while stirring constantly. Remove it, let it cool down a little, then roll it into a ball. Repeat the previous steps for each color until you have the entire rainbow. Glitter can be added at any time by rolling it in.
Once you have all the colors, challenge the kids to build a rainbow by putting the color together. This is the fun part because they can play with it and put it to good use.
15. Use the Bottom of Water Bottles as a Stamp
- Plastic water bottles
- Green paint
- Glitter glue
One creative way to get the shamrock shape is to use the bottom of a plastic water bottle. If you flip it upside down, you’ll notice that there are three sections raised up so it looks like a shamrock. Put a little dish out with green paint and have your kids dip the bottom of the bottle into the paint and stamp it onto a piece of paper. Once you have the basic shape stamped on the paper, it can be decorated with glue and glitter or any other craft supplies you have to make it more original.
Make an entire field of shamrocks or color some rainbows in the background and you’ll have some great decorations that you can put up each year for the holiday or send out to loved ones.
16. Make a Shamrock Hat
- Paper plates
- Green paint, crayons, or markers
Paper plates are great for crafts because they are durable and can handle some cutting, folding, and adding paint. To make the hats, you fold the plate in half and cut out the head hole leaving a few inches where the shamrock piece will stay attached to the rim. You will then keep the plate folded in half and cut the outline of the shamrock from the middle. By keeping the plate folded in half, you’ll get an asymmetrical shape.
If you are working with preschoolers, you’ll probably want to cut the plate yourself, but if you have older kids, you can make a template for them and let them cut the plate themselves. Once the shape is done, the hat can be decorated. Use different shades of green to make it original.
17. Use Handprints to Make Four Leaf Clovers
- Washable green paint
- Tiny hands
- Large sheets of paper
Handprints are a perfect tool if you have kids that are pre-k and younger. It’s fun for them to get a little messy and the crafts make great gifts to send to grandparents and loved ones. The first step is to have everyone start with clean hands and clean sheets of paper. Use a plate or shallow bowl for the paint and have the kids dip one of the hands into the green paint so it’s covered. Then they will put it down on the paper, making four handprints in a circle with the fingers pointing out. These will be the four leaves of the clover. Wash the paint off, let them dry a little, and then have the kids add stems and decorate their clovers a bit.
18. Color In a St. Patrick’s Day Printable Coloring Pages
- Printer with paper
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
If your kids like coloring, take advantage of the printables you can find online. Crayola has free coloring pages available to print out and fill in, and other sites have printable options, as well. These feature all the usual St. Patrick’s Day imagery with lots of leprechauns and rainbows. It can be a very calming activity for the adults too so pull up a chair and join the kids.
Snacks for St. Patrick’s Day
The traditional meal for St. Patrick’s Day is corned beef and cabbage, but that might not be the most exciting holiday option for the kids in your household, so we’ve got a few other ideas that can still help get the whole family in the holiday spirit.
19. Blend Up Homemade Shamrock Shakes
- 3 large scoops of vanilla ice cream
- ¼ cups of heavy cream
- ½ tsp of peppermint extract
- Green food coloring
- Whipped cream
- Maraschino cherries
Have you found yourself craving a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s? They are cult classics and people flock to the golden arches each year to enjoy them. Now, you can make it yourself a home for the whole family to have an ice cream treat.
Blend up the ice cream, heavy cream, peppermint extract, and food coloring until they are smooth. Pour into a glass and then top with whipped cream and a cherry. Enjoy your treat. You can add some gold sprinkles to the top as well.
20. Make Green Cupcakes
- 2 ½ cups of flour
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp of cocoa powder
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp of vinegar
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- Green food coloring
- Cream cheese frosting
- Green sprinkles
Have you ever had red velvet cupcakes? Turns out, they don’t have to be red, you can make them green instead to perfectly fit into the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Get out your baking supplies and make some green treats.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then add in vegetable oil, buttermilk, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Once that is all mixed together, add in food coloring, usually around 6 drops is good, but you can decide how bright and bold you want the color. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking soda and once they are mixed, add in the liquid ingredients.
Once everything is blended, pour the green batter into the muffin tin and bake in the oven for about 16 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, top them with cream cheese frosting, either store-bought or homemade, and add some sprinkles or even some lucky charms to the top for a perfect St. Paddy’s Day party treat.
21. Eat Only Green Foods for the Day
Examples of green foods:
- Green snackable vegetables like bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and broccoli
- Green fruit like kiwis, apples, grapes, honeydew melon, and pears
- Spinach wraps
- Green cooked vegetables like Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans, and squash
Do you have kids that aren’t always great about eating their fruits and vegetables? Consider making St. Patrick’s Day a green-food-only day and challenge them to see what foods they can find that are green. It’s a fun way to incorporate some fruits and vegetables into the holiday.
Green food coloring can come in handy if you want to incorporate some noodles or eggs because you can change the colors and make it a fun experience.
22. Bake Some Irish Soda Bread
- 1 ¾ cups of buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 4 ¼ cups of flour
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of baking soda
- 5 tbsp of unsalted butter
Irish soda bread is a classic St. Patrick’s Day recipe and you can involve the kids with this baking project. You don’t need any fancy bread-making machines or wait for the yeast to do its thing, so it’s great for all levels. Get the full recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction!
23. Use Lucky Charms in a Sweet Recipe
- ½ cup of butter
- ½ tsp of salt
- 1 bag of mini marshmallows
- 1 box of Lucky Charms cereal
This recipe is made just like Rice Krispie treats and Cornflake wreaths where everything is held together with melted-down marshmallows. You prep by greasing a cake pan and having it out on the counter near the stove. Next, put a large pot on the stove and turn it on low heat. Melt the butter and stir in the mini marshmallows and the salt. Keep stirring as the marshmallows liquify. Once they are melted, remove from heat and dump in the box of Lucky Charms into the pot and stir gently.
Pour this mixture into the cake pan and press down so it’s even throughout. Let it cool down completely before cutting and serving. The mini marshmallows will hold it all together, so you’ll be able to see the marshmallows that are in the Lucky Charms box including the shamrocks and the rainbows.
This recipe is super easy to make and will be a hit at your holiday party or with your kids in their lunchbox for St. Patrick’s Day. They can easily help out with the stirring and measuring of the ingredients also, so enjoy the whole process with them.
24. Taste the Rainbow with Skittles
- Bags of skittles
- Scorecards and pens
The tagline of Skittles candy is “taste the rainbow” so why not make it a fun activity. You can lay out all the colors and let the kids taste each color and score the taste. It might help settle the debate on whether or not they are actually flavored differently. Another fun activity is a blindfolded taste test to see if the kids can figure out which color they are eating. You can keep a scorecard and see who gets the most right. Maybe they have the luck of the Irish.
Frequently Asked Questions
One of the best St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids is a treasure hunt. Create a map to help them find their way to the gold at the end of the rainbow. Enjoy some themed snacks to make the day complete!