St. Patrick’s Day is a super fun holiday that often gets overlooked in the grand scheme of holidays. Each of these activities is pretty low maintenance and the supplies are cheap. I am constantly on the hunt for ways to engage and entertain my boys, but ALSO keep my sanity with three kids under three! The majority of this stuff I got at the Dollar Store or Target. Doing holiday-themed activities with your kiddos does not have to be a big to-do. Keep it simple and fun. Here are 10 super kid-friendly St. Patrick’s Day activities:
1) Digging For Gold
This will be your messiest activity; just remind yourself that messes make memories and your kids will love it! Shaving cream is an incredibly easy clean up; you can rinse the kids and everything off with water. I really think my kids’ favorite part of this was getting to rinse the coins off in the sink. I would recommend only using a few drops of food coloring to dye your shaving cream.
Instructions: Fill a bucket with shaving cream, add a few drops of green food coloring, and mix it up. Once it is mixed to your liking, add the leprechaun coins, mix again, and let your kids go digging for gold!
– green food dye (I got this gigantic bottle on Amazon)
– shaving cream (dye green)
– gold items (spray paint things or buy)
2) Number Hunt
This is another activity with lots of wiggle room. I tend to make these based on what I can find at the Dollar Store or already have at home. I ended up finding green and yellow numbers at the Dollar Store, so we used them.
Instructions: The first step is to dye the rice green because it will need to air out over night. This was very simple and easy. I got two 2-lb. bags of rice from the Dollar Store. Dump the rice into a gallon plastic bag, add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar, and a few drops of food coloring. I started with 10 drops and then added more until I got the color I wanted. Just take some shake breaks to mix it all up, as it dyes very quickly. Then leave the bag open to air out over night. Dump the green rice and numbers into a bucket, mix, and let the kids go hunting. If you want to take it a step further and add some math skills, you can write the numbers on a piece of paper and have the kids match them as they find them.
– numbers spray painted gold
– green food dye
– rice (dyed green)
– optional number match page (draw it)
3) Counting Gold
The teacher in me is always looking for fun, skill-based activities. This is the easiest and most versatile activity because you can make it any theme and it never gets old.
Instructions: Spray paint a bag of lima beans gold, make sure to give them a day to dry. Once you have dry beans, jump in and roll those dice. I found large foam dice at the dollar store. If you have smaller kids, the bigger the dice the better. I would have ordered these if I didn’t find them at the dollar store. This activity works on 1-1 correspondence as those little fingers count each dot on the sides of the dice. After they figure out how many lima beans they need, let them count as they put one bean in each ice cube square.
– ice cube tray or muffin tin
– Lima beans or rocks painted gold (you can even use gold coins or pom poms)
4) Handprint Shamrock
Any handprint activity will require more hands on help from the parents. These aren’t necessarily the most engaging for kids, but they make really cute presents for the grand parents! We usually do a handprint or footprint draft for mothers/fathers day & Christmas gifts!
Instructions: This shamrock is pretty simple, just paint their hands and place them down in the shape of a four leaf clover. You can make it more child directed by asking them how many leafs they want on their clover. Just be prepared to make a 15 handprint clover if so!
5) Sorting Lucky Charms
This was the first time my kids had Lucky Charms, and let me tell you they were not disappointed. Part of me wonders if they will now expect all cereal to have marshmallows. My three-year-old loved this and got smart on me by picking out all the marshmallows first then dumping the cereal into the designated bowl. This activity did not take as long as I would have hoped, but they loved the cereal eating afterwards. My two-year-old had zero invested in sorting, so he took handfuls of them and put them in whichever bowl he wanted.
Instructions: Pour Lucky Charms into a bowl and give each child two bowls to sort the marshmallows and cereal. I put a few pieces in each bowl to get them started on the sorting.
– Lucky Charms cereal
– small containers
6) Fingerprint Rainbow
Another parent-driven activity. I started off by being very controlling on the fingerprint placement, but then remembered its really not as much fun for them if I do that. So let them make their own version of a rainbow. I thought about drawing a line in each color for them to follow with their fingerprints to see if it helped to form an actual rainbow shape, but ended up letting them do their own thing.
Instructions: Help (or let them do it solo) those tiny hands make fingerprint arches for each color of the rainbow. You can draw a pot of gold for the rainbow to end in or even make clouds on each end. The beauty of art is that you make it what you want.
7) Paper Shamrock Collage
This is another great “children take the wheel” activity. It takes some prep work on the parent’s part, but it’s super fun for the kids.
Instructions: Draw a shamrock on a pieces of paper. Cut or tear anything green into manageable sized pieces (I aimed for 1-2 inches). The materials that I used were: scrapbook paper, card stock, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, pom poms, and buttons. I am a crafter so I had most of this on hand, but a quick pop into Michaels or Hobby Lobby should allow you to gather many a green item. Just make sure they are able to be glued. If you have older kids, they can squeeze their glue or use their glue stick on their own. Little ones will need more help. Because I used heavier items like buttons and pom poms I used liquid glue. I would ask the kids where they wanted something and helped them squeeze the glue out. You can also go glue crazy and coat the shamrock in glue first. My kids tend to be on the disaster side of messy and trouble, so I kept the glue in check for this one.
– chunks of green paper
8) Green Food Tasting
Make sure y’all video this one! You will get some excellent faces! Especially if you add things your kids may not have eaten or won’t eat. Somehow my guys were more likely to try the foods they usually snub when we played this game.
Instructions: Fill each spot in the muffin tin with a green food. Make a chart ahead of time listing each food. You can let your kids mark a check or X if they’re able or use stickers if they are not. Give them a chance to taste the foods and decide if they like it or not.
– green foods: grapes, broccoli, Skittles, celery, peppers, kiwi, cucumber, avocado, apple, pear, limes, asparagus, peas, snap peas, dried snap peas, green beans, etc.
– muffin tin to sort foods
– paper (make a grid & let them mark if they like or don’t like the food).
9) Leprechaun Snack Mix
This was an incredibly fun project that my kids enjoyed for days! Note: I went with mint M&Ms because they were green and I did not have to sift through anything. It was a weird add to the mix and my boys did not love the “spicy M&Ms.”
Instructions: Choose the items you want in your mix. Make little bowls of each item and allow your kids to scoop, spoon, or use their little hands to make their snack mix.
– Chex mix
– mini marshmallows
– green M&Ms
– big bowl & little bowls with items separated out
– scoopers (we ended up ditching the scoopers and just using our hands)
10) St. Patrick’s Day “Soup”
We are big fans of a sensory activity in this house!
Instructions: If you have a bigger tub/bucket, this is definitely the better choice here. The bigger the bucket, the less room for major water spillage in my experience. Fill said bucket/tub with water. You can choose to already have made the soup and let the kids play with it or you can allow them to add the items they want. We went with the latter and our soup was a tiny bit full and maybe not super conventional to the Irish.
– green food dye
– gold coins (or anything you choose to add to it)
– ladles, spoons, things to scoop (add old toothbrushes if you have them and let the kids clean their findings).
As with any activity, game, or craft with kids, you need a bucket of patience, a little prep work, and maybe a glass of wine. We really love doing activities like these. I find that it gives my boys an outlet for creativity in a way that is different from their toys. Sometimes these activities take a bit more work than I would like and last a significantly shorter amount of time than I hoped. But all in all they are almost always received well and we have a great time. Just make sure before starting any project with littles that your expectations are low and they may just surprise you!