Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

 St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching, so I decided to compile a list of ideas, some my own, the rest from other fantastic bloggers, to share with those around me.  Think of it as a one stop shop for ideas from around the net!

  • Shamrock Crystals from Housing a Forest  
  • Green Carnations: Purchase several white carnations.  Fill a clear vase (or several) with water and add several drops of green food coloring to the water.  Trim the stems of the carnations and place them in the vase(s).  Within several hours the carnations begin to show a green coloring.  Over several days they should turn a nice shade of green (or at least the edges of the petals will turn green).  Explain to the children that plants drink water to stay alive.  The water moves from the root system up the stem and into the blooms.  The technical term is transpiration. Don't be afraid to use this term.  You'd be surprised what the kids will retain!  
  •  Read The Night Before St. Patrick's Day (Reading Railroad) by Natasha Wing and The Luckiest St. Patrick's Day Ever by Teddy Slater.  After wards talk to the kids about Leprechauns.  Ask them questions and write down the answers.  Then have them help you design a Leprechaun trap.  Ask them what they think they will need, what it should look like, and anything else you can think of.  Older kids can try to draw a picture of their trap.  Then over several days, build a trap so it will be ready for the big day (don't forget to take pictures!).  After that, what you do with it, is up to you.  I suggest pretending the Leprechaun got away but maybe he left something for the kids? 
  • How to Catch a Leprechaun from Happy Home Fairy: Directions, ideas, and several different Leprechaun traps to share with your class or child.    
  • Head over to Teaching 2 Mommies and print out the Clover Letter Match, Leprechaun Beginning Writing, and Clover Spelling Puzzle.  
Art/Fine Motor:
  • Leprechaun Feet: This is my favorite!  I wrote this article for Shoe Painting over at eHow.  Follow the directions but use green paint, yellow or white paper, and gold glitter.  So much fun but you will have a mess!
  • Color mixing coffee filter shamrocks:  Cut out clovers shapes from coffee filters, enough for each child.  Give participating children a cup of blue water and a cup of green with a dropper in each (if at home, medicine droppers work nicely).  If using food coloring, the water should have a higher concentration of drops so the color will be more vibrant.  Test it out first.   Have the children drop the colored waters onto the coffee filter shamrock and watch as the two colors blend.  Some may be more blue or yellow then green, but that's OK.  This is their project, not yours!  Let the shamrocks dry in the sun then hang in the window for display.  
    • Variations:
      • Use a paint brush to drip the colored water onto the shamrock.
      • Let the kids color the shamrocks with blue and yellow markers.  Give the children water and a brush and let them "paint" over the marker.  Watch as the colors blend!
  •  "Magic" Crayon Rubbing Shamrocks: Using index cards or posterboard cut out several shamrock shapes of varying size.  With hot glue, outline each shamrock with a thick layer of glue.  Allow to dry.  Once glue is hard, tape the shamrocks to the table (to prevent movement).  Give the children copy paper and crayons with the wrapper peeled off (which you could let them do; they'd love it!) and show them that if they place the paper over the shamrocks and rub the crayon over the bumps, the shamrock will magically appear.  This is a project that is both frustrating and rewarding for the children.  Crayon rubbing is a practiced skill and depending on the age, the child may find it difficult.  Simply be encouraging and what ever they come up with on their project, just let it be. Some may decide to just scribble on their paper in the end, and that's OK too
  • Shamrock Splatter Paint: Over at Amazing Moms they created a St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Card using a splatter paint technique involving toothbrushes.  
  • Cookie cutter prints:  Using paint (green, yellow, and/or white) allow children to stamp shamrock shaped cookie cutters onto paper.  Sprinkle with glitter for added fun.   
  • St. Patrick's Windsock: Decorate construction paper using the cookie cutter prints (above).  Along the bottom of the sheet of paper, have the children glue strips of green or rainbow colored streamers so they are hanging down.  When glue is dry, roll construction paper into a cylinder shape and staple.  Tie string or yarn at the top so the wind sock can be hung or the children can run with it in the wind.
  • Handprint Leprechauns from Meet the Dubiens.
  • Rainbow Hangers: Cut out cloud shapes from white construction paper.  Supply children with streamers in rainbow colors and have them glue the streamers to the cloud so the streamers are hanging down.  Hang clouds around the classroom.  
  • Green Shaving Creme: add some green food coloring or liquid watercolors to shaving cream and let the children play.  If you add a bit of glue and give them construction paper it can be an art project too!
  • Place Easter grass or shredded green paper in the sensory table.  Add some fake gold coins and let the children go on a treasure hunt.  
  • Green and Gold Sensory Tub from No Time For Flash Cards
  • Green Goo: mix 1 cup cornstarch with 1/2 cup water and a few drops of green color.  Let the children explore the goo with spoons and their fingers. 
I hope you will find use for all of these projects.  And please feel free to add more in the comment section.  I'd love to hear from you!


  1. These are AMAZING ideas! Thank you so much for the link up and for so much St. Patrick magic!

  2. @Happy Home Fairy, I am so glad you like it! Thanks for stopping by and for the great ideas!

  3. OH MY GOODNESS! This is such an awesome post, my friend! If it's okay, I'd like to link to it on teach mama today--

    thank you!!

  4. Thanks so much for adding the Shamrock Crystals to your list! Love that there are so many great ideas all in one stop.

  5. @teachmama Yes! Go right ahead. Glad you liked it!

  6. Oh thank you for including me in this great post of St. Patrick's Day magic!



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