Break out the shamrocks and the green outfits. It’s time to be on the lookout for leprechauns and their pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.
St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching, and this holiday presents a great opportunity to celebrate with your wee ones as you commemorate the lively Irish culture and the hero who, according to legend, drove the snakes from the Emerald Isle. Nonetheless, you might wonder what to do with your kids on this day.
So, take a look at these St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids and start planning the festivities.
Tracing and decorating shamrocks
As you come up with ideas of what to do with your kids on St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll find some cute craft projects that include the toddlers. For 2- to 3-year-olds who are developing those fine motor skills, you can make a stencil for them to trace their own shamrocks. This fun activity makes artwork accessible and fun for little ones who (let’s be honest) are still at the scribbling and paper-crumpling phase.
To make a stencil, you can draw the shape of a shamrock on cardboard and cut it out with an X-Acto knife.
From there, you’ll need to provide crayons, paper, and a bit of instruction on tracing. Your child can draw faces or simply color the shamrock. This activity might also pique the interest of older children who’ll want to join in the fun with glue, glitter, or stickers.
Creating a shamrock hat
Along with the decorative shamrocks, your kids will love a charming little hat that’s so easy to assemble. All you need is a paper plate folded in half. Then, you’ll cut the inner circle of the plate, leaving the outer edge for the brim and some of the inner part for the shamrock.
To create the shamrock part, you’ll need to keep the plate folded in half. Then, cut the center flap into the shape of a shamrock. (If needed, you can trace the shape before cutting.) Then, carefully unfold the plate, and you have a hat. The final step is to let your little artists color their hat green.
Luring a leprechaun and staging a visit
Just as a visit from the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus builds up the holiday anticipation, you can also come up with some fun ideas for luring a leprechaun into your home.
One of many St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids is making a tiny box of doughnuts. You and your children can use cardstock and clear plastic wrap to create the doughnut boxes decorated with shamrocks, rainbows, gold coins, or any other St. Patrick’s symbol. For the doughnuts, you will need a ring-shaped cereal like Cheerios, cake frosting, and sprinkles. Young children and toddlers will enjoy dipping and decorating the “mini doughnuts” and all of the excitement at the thought of the leprechauns dropping in on St. Patrick’s morning.
For the visit itself, you can follow any of these silly (but harmless) ideas:
- Mix up the furniture cushions
- Leave half-full coffee cups with half-eaten doughnuts on the kitchen table
- Use a baby’s or doll’s shoe, plus green, washable paint to place footprints leading up to the doughnuts and a treasure of trinkets or snacks
- Use food coloring in creative ways like dyeing the milk green
- Place green ribbons on the pets
- Leave behind some toys, gold coins, or chocolates wrapped in gold foil
Legend has it that leprechauns were known for their mischief, so almost anything goes with these harmless pranks. Of course, don’t forget to leave an empty box of doughnuts.
Baking Irish soda bread
St. Paddy’s Day wouldn’t be the same without traditional Irish soda bread. All you need are just four ingredients:
- Baking soda
Plus, some folks add sugar, raisins, or caraway seeds, but one way to get your little ones involved is by helping them measure the ingredients (always an educational activity) or having them stir everything together. Topped with a lot of butter, this favorite goes well with another Irish traditional meal — corned beef and cabbage.
Whipping up some Irish pancakes
Of course, when thinking of what to do with your kids on St. Patrick’s Day, consider making a special breakfast like Irish pancakes.
Irish pancakes may be thinner than their American counterparts, but they are just perfect for packing on favorite toppings. Your wee ones will enjoy building their own breakfast by choosing fruits or berries along with whipped cream, caramel, syrup, or jam. Basically, you’ll take the same recipe for pancakes, but the slight variation involves a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a twist of lemon.
Following the rainbow road
If the weather allows, you can take your St. Paddy’s adventure outside, and this game, called the Rainbow Road, is such a blast for the whole family. You will need six rolls of yarn (each one a different color), some plastic small pots or bowls, small prizes or “gold” coins, and a whole lot of imagination.
First, you will take each color of yarn and unravel it around the yard to create six different obstacle courses. Each one will lead to a small pot of “gold” or any other age-appropriate prize. When constructing the obstacle course, consider employing the help of your tweens or teens, unless they also wish to participate in the hunt for gold.
As you can see, there are many St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids — and even for the grown-ups to enjoy. So, tell a few tales or break out into a jig and a song with the whole family and have some fun.
- 8 simple ways kids can help the planet on Earth Day (and beyond)
- Day care party ideas to help your toddler celebrate their birthday
- 6 amazing superhero flicks to stream with your kids
- 3 shows you can binge with your kids (that you’ll all enjoy)
- How to throw a great graduation party in your backyard