Saint Patrick's Day

Erin Go Bragh !

  Celebrated each year on March 17th, Saint Patrick's Day commemorates the religious feast day of St. Patrick, a fifth century Christian missionary. 

Born under the name Maewyn Succat in the year 387, the man we now know as St. Patrick was kidnapped by raiders as a boy  and sold into slavery in Ireland.   There he became a shepherd and endured many hardships and trials that led him to a deep and profound spirituality.  According to tradition he escaped captivity by following the guidance of an angel, then traveled back to his homeland where he entered the church and became a priest. 

After his ordination as a bishop he returned, as a missionary, to Ireland where he impressed the people with his courage, wisdom, and compassion -- setting off a wave of conversion that eventually engulfed the entire island.    St. Patrick's legacy includes numerous legends, most notably his teaching the trinity with a clover leaf and his driving the snakes out of Ireland.

In America, Saint Patrick's day is celebrated with great festivity in those cities with a large Irish population.  There it is embraced by Catholics and non-Catholics alike and is often more a celebration of Irish heritage than a remembrance of good St. Patrick himself.







Have You Seen My Pot of Gold?
Printable Mini book project to cut, color, and read.   You might even turn it into a play.  For K-1.

The Legend of Saint Patrick




St. Patrick's Day Poems

Irish themed poems for kids.

St. Patrick

From the Catholic Encyclopedia.  For educators, or for more advanced young readers.


Tim O'Toole and the Wee Folk
by Gerald McDermott

This lighthearted Irish tale of magic, greed, and revenge from Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Gerald McDermott reminds us that a bit of good luck is never out of reach-as long as you look for the wee folk. When poor and jobless Tim O'Toole discovers a group of wee folk, he knows his bad luck has changed forever. But before he can enjoy the treasures they give him, Tim has to learn an important lesson.




Writing Ideas: 

  • How to Catch a Leprechaun. 

  • What I would do with the money from the pot of gold.

  • Write a limerick.  A limerick is a five line poem that is usually funny and often quite clever.  The first, second and fifth lines all rhyme with each other, while the third and fourth lines rhyme together.

  • Read "Tim O'Toole and the Wee Folk" and write your own short story about a person who finds a fairy or leprechaun (remember the "wee folk" are tricksters).  Does he learn a lesson, play a crafty trick of his own, amaze his neighbors?  Does he end up wealthier, a little wiser, or really embarrassed?  Draw some pictures to illustrate your story.



Printable Saint Patrick's Day Lined Paper

For Kindergarten and pre-k

Leprechaun Writing Paper

Just print, color the leprechaun, and then write your own short story or poem.

Lined Shamrock Shape

Print out this special lined paper in the shape of a shamrock for poems and other short works.

Leprechaun Lined Paper

Lined Paper with Shamrock & Hat Decoration



Songs & Games


5 Little Leprechauns

5 Little Leprechauns
Running out to play
Found a great big rainbow
Blocking their way.

Follow me, cried the first one
Running fast and bold.
And he slid down the rainbow
Toward the pot of gold

(Repeat for next 4 Leprechauns, until all have slid down the rainbow)



Five Little Leprechauns

By Jean Warren


One day out walking,

I happened to see

Five little leprechauns

Coming toward me.


They ran to a house.

They ran through the door.

I managed to catch one.

Then there were four.


Four little leprechauns

Climbed up a tree.

I caught another.

Then there were three.


Three little leprechauns

Hid in a shoe.

I caught another

Then there were two.


Two little leprechauns

Started to run.

I caught another.

Then there was one.


One little leprechaun

Ran to his gold.

He grabbed some coins—

Then stepped out bold.


“Give back my friends,

And I’ll give you this gold.”

So I set them all free.

Now my story is told!


 Printable Flannel Set

Click here for free download!

To make your flannel set: print onto iron on transfer paper, then iron 5 leprechauns and rainbow transfer onto a sheet of white or light green felt, following directions on transfer sheets package.  Cut  out shapes from felt sheet leaving a wide margin around each one.  Embellish buckles with gold glitter fabric paint!   






Play Hot Potato

For school age and older preschool children you can play this game as you would musical chairs:  keep passing the potato and whoever is holding it when the music stops is "out".   For toddlers, make a silly game of pretending the potato is hot and seeing who can pass it really fast.  Vary the game by having them gently toss it to one another.  Note that with toddlers it is not age appropriate to have someone get "out" -- everyone wins by playing.  Also, for preschoolers and young school age, you can also use this as a teaching opportunity:  "What kinds of things are hot?  Can hot things hurt us?  What hot things do we never touch?"  and etc.

Have a Shamrock Hunt

This is an old favorite for preschoolers.  Cut out lots of shamrock shapes from construction paper or tag board and let the children take turns, with one child hiding the shamrocks while the others wait inside.  Then the "shamrock hunters" run outside (or in the next room) to find all the shamrocks.  Some of the kids will want to play this several times.  

HINT:  It helps to have an adult hide the shamrocks the first time -- this gets the game off to an exciting start and models possible/appropriate hiding places.  Don't forget to adjust the difficulty level for the age group.  Toddlers will need the shamrocks placed in plain sight while older ones enjoy more challenge.  You will want to set the boundaries before the games begins to make sure the children use gentle behavior and don't hunt/hide in inappropriate places.


Saint Patrick's Day Songs & Poems


We Love Potatoes

Play Greg and Steve's classic song "We Love Potatoes", from We All Live Together vol.5  


Leprechaun Tic Tac Toe

Play online Tic Tac Toe against the leprechaun in this animated online game!


St. Patrick's Day Jokes

"Why did the Leprechaun cross the road?" and more silly stuff from Kids Domain.


St. Patrick's Day CrossWord Puzzle

Online CrossWord for kids.



Dress the Leprechaun!

Simple online game for preschoolers.


5 Little Shamrocks Fingerplay

Includes Shamrock templates to print onto cardstock.  Can use paper shamrocks, tapes onto straws or with Velcro for the flannel board -- or use as a patterns to cut shamrocks out of green felt.

One green shamrock, in the morning dew, 
Another one sprouted, 
and then there were two.

Two green shamrocks, growing beneath a tree; 
Another one sprouted,
and then there were three. 

Three green shamrocks, by the cottage door; 
Another one sprouted, 
and then there were four.

Four green shamrocks, near a beehive 
Another one sprouted, 
and then there were five.

Five little shamrocks, bright and emerald green, 
Think of all the luck 
these shamrocks will bring.




Color Mixing

A fun science related activity for young preschoolers!   In this simple activity for each child  you will squirt a dollop of shaving cream on a table, or other easy to clean surface that is hard and smooth, such as a baking tray.  Add in a few drops of yellow food coloring and a few drops of blue food coloring.  (Ideally you would let the children do this themselves with small eyedroppers, but only if staining of clothing and floors is not an issue.) Now let the children play with the shaving cream and mix the colors! 

Be sure to let the children play as long as they like with the shaving cream, experimenting with poking, slathering, and making all manner of squiggly shapes in the cream.  You can play along side them and promote conversation about how the shaving cream feels, smells, and responds.  This is a great activity for open ended art play, as they can draw and sculpt in endless experimentation.  But it's also a great way to build vocabulary and brain development.  In fact, we know that talking about sensory activities the children are engaged in actually helps build synapses that connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain!


Rainbow Science

March is a great time to learn about rainbows as the weather is often unsettled, shift from sudden showers to bring rain -- excellent rainbow weather.   Plus we can tie in the legend of the leprechaun's pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for added fun.  For rainbow science, think about color mixing, using prisms to refract light

Rainbow Experiment

(4-7 year olds)
About Rainbows

Interesting info about the hows and whys of rainbows.
 For middle school and up.


Make A Leprechaun Trap

Explore such basic physics principles as force, motion, simple machines, and levers while trying to build your own leprechaun trap.  Adapt this for younger children by letting imagination run wild -- and by setting actual mechanical principles aside (i.e. the traps may not work, but they'll still be fun and inventive).


No Snakes in Ireland?

Talk about the legend that claims St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland and the fact that zoologists say there were never snakes in Ireland -- or New Zealand, Iceland, or Greenland.  (Read: "Why Ireland Has No Snakes" to find out why.)  Use this as an opportunity also to talk about snake physiology and behaviors (adapt for age group).  Discuss different types and show pictures.   Ask students if they've seen any snakes and what they think about them.  "Are they just bad guys, or do they actually have a helping job in nature?   Would it be better if there were no snakes, any where in the world?"

Point out that many snakes are nonpoisonous and that they have a necessary role in nature -- keeping down the number of rodents and other small creatures.  This keeps frogs, mice, rabbits from becoming so over populous that they don't have enough food to go around and end up starving to death in large numbers.  It also helps farmers by cutting down on animals that eat their crops.  If there were no snakes, some other creature would have to do their job.  Snakes are also preyed upon by other animals, such as the mongoose.   Also emphasize the grace of the snake.  Have younger students practice moving like a snake.  Perhaps do a bit of yoga with the "cobra position".   (Further reading: " Yoga", from the Children's Health Encyclopedia.)


Chris Mattison.

 Captivating, glossy photographs charm students to read and research more than 60 types of snakes, ranging from adders to yellow anacondas.

 This richly formatted book features each snake in detailed entries with informative, readable text. Glossary, Index, Snake Directory.

 Illustrated with photographs. 192pp. 


Potato Science

Introduced to the Irish in 1590, after European explorers brought them from the New World, potatoes soon became an important staple food for the Irish.  By the time the potato famine hit, in 1845, the Irish diet consisted chiefly of potatoes and buttermilk. 

Talk about the nutrition of the potato and what it gives our body, as well as the different ways it is prepared.  Don't forget to mention how harmful fat creeps in -- a 4 ounce potato has 75 calories, but 4 ounces of fries provide 250 calories!  Let kids get hands on with cooking and eating.   Try such dishes as baked potatoes, boiled red potatoes with butter, hash brown potatoes (hit Costco for a large bag that can be baked up in the oven), cheesy potato soup, mashed potatoes, potato bread, potato chips, or potato fries.


You can also talk about -- and try -- potato growing.  After all, in Ireland potatoes were traditionally planted around the time of St. Patrick's Day!  Don't worry about ordering potato seeds!  All you need are some old, raw potatoes with plenty of eyes.  Click here to learn more.   See the Earth's Kids Gardening page for more about gardening for kids!


For more fun, try the potato powered clock below!



Potato Clock

Two Potato Clock runs on potatoes, fruit, plants, soft drinks, even beer. Bi-metal probes convert natural ingredients to low voltage. Just connect wire to power source. Powers a ˝" high LED clock. 5 ˝" x 9" x 2 ˝".

Order from



Plant a Rainbow of Your own

March is the perfect time for starting  seedlings indoors in a warm, sunny window sill.  Purchase a collection of flower seed packets, in a rainbow of colors.   Read "Planting a Rainbow" by Lois Ehlert, to excite the children about the beautiful rainbow of colors that flowers have when blooming.  The book will also inspire seed selection!  

Give children small containers (we love to save and wash the plastic bowls and trays from fast food meals for this).   Moisten the potting soil so it is damp and clumpy but not "soupy".  Allow them to fill containers with potting soil.  (Please note that organic potting soil may contain bacteria and so is not advisable for use with small children in the daycare or preschool setting, unfortunately.)

Then let them select  seeds they would like to use.  You may want to drop a few seed in their hands, as small children may dump most of the packet making it hard to have enough to go around.  Show them how to poke a hole in the potting soil and drop the seedlings in.  In larger containers they can draw a deep line in the soil and then sprinkle their seeds in this planting row.   Cover the containers with plastic wrap and place in the warm window sill.  Remove plastic when seeds sprout.  Water as needed to keep soil from becoming overly dry.  When seedlings are a few inches high, children may transplant to a flower pot or, window box, or garden plot.    See the Earth's Kids Gardening page for more about gardening for kids!


St. Patrick's Day Preschool Science Ideas






Help the Leprechaun Pick the Right Coins

 Paper coins to cut out and use with worksheet card.   Can you make the coins add up to the right amounts?

Lucky Charms Graphing

Print out the charts and open a box of Lucky Charms cereal for this math activity.  Fun way to practice sorting and graphing skills.

Shamrock Subtraction

Double digit subtraction problems.  Solve the problems to come up with the letters that solve the riddle!

Math Worksheets for grades 1-4

Addition, subtraction, and multiplication for different grades levels.

Play The Pot O' Gold Math Game

Practice adding and subtraction with coins.



History/Social Studies


The History of Saint Patrick's Day (video)

Presented by the History Channel, this free online video provides a brief but informative overview of the life of St. Patrick and his significance to the Irish people.   Their web page also features a brief text overview as well as history of the holiday.

About Ireland

An introduction from St. Patrick's   Also offers a page of Irish History and one about Irish Culture


The Great Irish Potato Famine

Potato Famine -- Info from The History Place (for eductors)

Take this animated tour to learn about the Potato Famine



Map of Ireland

A map with major cities and regions.  Students get practice in following instructions while coloring the map to highlight certain features.


Listen To Irish Music

A lovely selection of Irish Music to listen to online.




Arts & Crafts


Make a Pony Bead Leprechaun

Great for older kids! Includes complete instructions with picture diagram.

Make Your Own Shamrock Box

All you need is some thick cardstock paper, your printer, and a willingness to follow directions.  Insert a piece of cardstock paper in your printer, print the decorative template onto your paper (you will need to right click on the image and select "print"), and then follow the instructions to fold it into a 3 dimensional box.

Leprechaun Trap

(See in Science, above)

Make Your Own "Mr. Potato Head" with growing "hair"!

 Your potato will stand longwise, so it is tall and narrow  (not short and wide).  Slice enough off the bottom off the potato so it will stand upright.  Next slice a little off the top of the potato; then scoop out a hollow out of the top.  You'll create a small reservoir that's about two inches deep.   Before planting in your potato you'll want to decorate it with a potato face.  Remember the reservoir will be the top (the hair will grow from here).

To create a face, use craft eyes with "brads" hot glued to the back. (See products at right.)  Other face parts could be cut out of vegetable pieces (carrot for nose, etc.) and stuck on with toothpicks.  We like to use thick craft glue (such as Tacky Glue) and glue on a button nose or craft pom pom.  And a yarn mouth!  Remember, for children, let the activity be open-ended!  There is no wrong way to decorate the face if they enjoy the wacky end result.

Now fill your potato head planter with moistened vermiculite (available at your garden supply store).  Then plant grass seeds in the vermiculite.  Cover the top with a small square of plastic wrap.  Place your planter in a warm sunny window to sprout.  Once it sprouts, remove the plastic wrap.

Water the grass when the vermiculite becomes dry.   Your head will grow a healthy head of "hair" that will thrive as long as it gets water and light.  For extra  fun, get out some small scissors when the "hair" gets long and give it a trim!  Don't forget to take pictures so you can remember how it grew, and compare the different stages.  You could even write down the day you planted on the calendar and see how long the process takes.  Get out a ruler and measure the growth!


Potato People

Cut out a large potato shape for the body/head of the little man (think of the Mr. Potato Head doll).  You can use construction paper, but you can get great results using a piece of sandpaper.  (Be sure not to use your best scissors!)  

Cut two long strips of green construction paper for legs, two thinner and shorter shapes for arms, plus two little hand shapes and two little boot shapes.   Fold the paper strips over at the end, then fold again the opposite direction.  Continue until you've made each strip into little accordion folded shaped "springs". 

Glue or tape the paper strips onto the back bottom of the man.  Glue the boots on the other end.  Repeat with arms and hands, joining arms to sides of the potato.    Then let the kids glue on eye, draw a mouth, etc.  Very cute.  A little green bowler hat is a fun addition.


Clover headbands

Cut a 2 inch wide strip of green construction paper for the headband (you may need to tape to strips end to end, if using the smaller sized paper).  Fit headband to individual child to fit, and then tape ends securely.  Cut two large shamrocks out of remaining scraps and tape or staple them onto the headband.  Children can decorate headbands with stickers, markers, glitter, etc.   Be sure to write their names on the inside if this is a group project!


Leprechaun Paper Bag Puppets

Print patterns for 4 different leprechaun puppets!  Just print, color, and cut out the pieces, and then glue them onto small lunch bag size paper bags. 

St. Patrick's Day Preschool Projects from Activity Idea Place     updated!

Preschool Art Ideas from Preschool


PRINTABLES        updated!

Saint Patricks' Day Coloring Pages

Saint Patrick's Day Name Card #1  and Name Card #2

Cute Leprechaun

Girl Dancing with Leprechauns     Leprechaun with Flute  
Girl Leprechaun Playing Harp






St. Patrick's Day Cookie Pops

Great Irish Recipes

Choose Beer Potato Soup or Corned Beef and Cabbage with Horseradish, and then whip up some Potato Bread, Chocolate Stout Silk Pie, and some Irish Coffee.  From

St. Patrick's Day Green Foods Lesson Plan/Snack

Read what this teacher and first grade class did for their St. Paddy's Day snack!  Might be a good meal to accompany Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs & Ham.  


Cheesy Potato Soup

Easy, cheesy... kid pleasing.


Shamrock Biscuits

If  your kids like homemade biscuits, they'll love this festive holiday version!  All you need is a box of Bisquick baking mix (low fat works great), plus milk, shamrock shaped cookie cutters, and green food coloring.  Follow the directions on the box -- adding the food coloring to the milk, for even distribution, before adding the Bisquick.   Then roll out the dough on a floured surface, wax paper, or pastry paper.  Cut with the shamrock cutters and bake according to Bisquick directions.  Bakes up in about 5-9 minutes, and they look great!


Sourdough Potato Bread





More Saint Patrick's Day Learning & Fun



St. Patrick's Day Preschool Learning activities from ChildFun    

Coloring and Activity sheets from Teaching Heart

More Learning Activities from ABC Teach

St. Patrick's Day Lesson Ideas from Scholastic








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St. Patrick's Day
by Gail Gibbons


Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
Tomie De Paola










A family film






Something special
for circle time!

 Classroom Decoratives




Learn colors with
 bean bag tossing.


Paint with dot mark in a rainbow of colors.


A science center
 "must have"!









Crafts for
St. Patrick's Day


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