A real hands on approach to learning about Saint Patrick’s Day for young children is to give them some fun crafts and activities. This is a really wonderful way to learn and discover more about Ireland, the Irish culture and all of its folklore and its mythology with the super lucky leprechauns and their famous and prized pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Having a variety of easy to make and do crafts, especially ones that you’re not going to end up having to complete yourself, is a real bonus. These are ideal activities for adults who care for children as well as both educators and teachers to use. They are easy and fun to do, quick to make and educational at the same time.
1: Fruit Cereal Rainbow
A Good Craft for Children to Learn Colors
According to Irish legends, leprechauns love to hide their gold at the end of a rainbow. So why not have some fun with a quick and easy rainbow craft which is a great way for small children and preschoolers to discover the different colors too.
This is a very easy and fun St. Patrick’s Day craft which involves making a fruit cereal rainbow. All you need is some paper or card, some white glue and some colored cereal such as Froot Loops or Fruity Cheerios which come in handy rainbow colors.
Draw out a basic rainbow shape on a piece of card or paper. If you have lots of round cooking bowls in different sizes, you can use these to draw around from the smallest to the largest to make a rainbow pattern. You can even look for and print off a rainbow template online if you are unable to draw this out yourself.
Pour the cereal into a plastic bowl or on a tray where children can easily grab what they need. For children who are unable to recognize their colors yet, you can separate the cereal into individual bowls or tubs. You or the child (depending on the age and ability) can put a line of glue around the top edge of the rainbow. On this line the child will place the red cereal. Then you will add another line of glue for the orange cereal. And you can then repeat the process for the remaining colors of yellow, green, blue and purple.
2: A Leprechaun Paper Plate Craft
Kids Can Discover More on Shapes, Colors and Textures
A paper plate craft is so inexpensive to make and is ideal as a group activity when you have a lot of children you need to do a themed activity with. It’s easy too. You can make it with or without a template. With young kids, you could make the project in two halves: 1) make the faces and the curly orange beard and 2) make the hats and then stick the two pieces together. That’s two arts sessions to make this single item.
This paper plate craft for St. Patrick's Day shows you how to make a leprechaun face with a hat. It’s easy to do and the result is one that children will enjoy sticking up on the wall.
3: Pot of Gold Craft
Very Easy to Make and Great for Counting Games
A pot of gold craft is easy for all young children to make. You will need a small yogurt or fruit cup, card in yellow and gold colors, scissors and some black paint.
Paint a clean yogurt cup. An adult can use black spray paint which might take a couple of coats or you can mix some black paint with white glue and get children to paint the pot. Most kids will enjoy the messy painting. A good way for kids to paint a pot is to place the pot over one hand and use their other hand to brush on the paint.
Next, get the child to practice drawing circles on the card either by freehand or by using a stencil. You could also print or draw circles on to the card yourself. Kids can hone their cutting technique by using age appropriate scissors to cut around the circles. Use these as pretend gold to fill the pots up with. You could play some counting games with the finished pots of gold.
Another option is to buy some ready-made black paper cups for your pot. You can cut a long strip of black paper out and glue, tape or staple this strip over the top of each cup to make a little handle. Children could decorate these with their own designs by drawing shamrocks, Irish flags or crosses on paper and then sticking them on to their ready-made cup. These would look good filled up with treats!
4: Green Rice or Pasta Shamrock
A Very Easy Craft and Ideal for Younger Children
This is What a Shamrock Looks Like. It has 3 Leaves. Image is from Pixabay.
Another super easy craft for little ones is a green rice or dried pasta shamrock. For this activity you will need: some green colored rice or green pasta shapes, a shamrock template, some white liquid glue and construction paper or card stock.
Draw or print a 3 leaved shamrock on the paper. Squirt out some white glue inside the shamrock and allow your little one to spread it out with their glue brush or spatula. Sprinkle the colored rice or pasta on top of the glue, and let the child spread it all over the shamrock design, making sure it gets covered well. Press down on the rice or pasta a little to stick it and shake off any excess.
5: St. Patrick's and Irish Perler Bead Designs
Great for Improving on Hand and Eye Coordination Skills
Perler beads make great crafts for helping children to improve on their fine motor skills plus are also great for learning to differentiate between colors too. For younger children, there are always bigger sets of beads that you can use which are easier for them to pick up and pop into the right place on the pegboard.
My Irish themed Perler bead page has several different patterns and designs that you can enjoy making for your St. Patty’s Day crafts. There is rainbow design which is really fun and colorful and children can choose the rainbow colors that they want.
6: Make a Funny Leprechaun Beard
Kids Can Make and Wear a Fun Orange Beard
This occasion wouldn’t be the same without seeing a leprechaun. An easy way to transform children into leprechauns would be to make them their own beard. For the beard you will need 3 pieces of construction paper: 2 orange and 1 base color such as white, scissors, yarn, glue, a pencil and hole punch.
Take the base color and place it near the child’s chin to get an idea of the size you need to make a beard. Draw a long beard shape down the page of paper or card and cut this out: you can include a hole for the child’s mouth if you like too.
Get the child to cut or tear the orange paper into long strips and then roll each one around the pencil very tightly so each one curls. Glue the orange paper curls on the beard starting from the bottom. Let it all dry.
Make some holes at the top of the beard and run yarn or elastic through for the ties. All you need to do now is tie the beard on your child to transform them into a little lucky and magical leprechaun.
Enjoy Your St. Patrick's Day Crafting
There are lots of themes which are ideal for this occasion including leprechauns, rainbows, lucky 4 leaf clovers, shamrocks, crosses, pots of gold and more. The activities do not need to be educational but it is a great opportunity for children to learn while they are also having fun.
You can adapt many of the ideas I have outlined. For instance, the pasta shamrock craft could be adapted to work with making the green, orange and white Irish flag. This way, facts about Ireland and the Irish culture can tie in with what you are making.
Image Credits: The introductory image is in the Public Domain from Pixabay and has been altered by the author. All other images belong to the author of this article, Marie Williams Johnstone, unless specified otherwise.