Complete Early Childhood St. Patrick’s Day Activities


There’s so many fun and festive activities for St. Patrick’s Day in preschool and all areas of early childhood. Check out all our favorite activities to create the perfect lesson plan for you.

cut out shamrocks

St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Early Childhood

March 17th is right around the corner, so break out the shamrocks, rainbows, and everything green! We’ve put together a full list of math, literacy, science, and art activities, plus more. Come along for our festive celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. 

Literacy Activities 

To start the week (or more!) of fun activities for St. Patrick’s day, I always start with a book. Many young children have never heard of St. Patrick’s Day, leprechauns, green shamrocks, or pots of gold until they read a book about it. 

green four-leaf clover outline

Wonderful St. Patrick’s Day Books

Honestly, St. Patrick’s Day is one holiday that doesn’t have as many children’s books, but there are some good options for all the little learners out there. None of these are affiliate links, we actually just like reading them.

Begin By Reading

One of my favorite ways to start the week of St. Patrick’s Day is by reading a good book, so I know my children are all aware what this holiday is about. As we read, I keep asking questions about what color is for this holiday, what a leprechaun is, and what other things (like clovers) they keep seeing in books. 

Fun Game

Right after reading a book about leprechauns is the perfect time to start our first game- a leprechaun hunt! Before reading the book, hide some little leprechauns around the room for them to find. I printed out pictures of leprechauns, but you can also find little leprechaun dolls. 

If you don’t want to use leprechauns, hide some four-leaf clovers or pots of gold around the room to find. For an extra treat, you can even hide those chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil around. 

St. Patrick’s Day Math Activities 

For this simple shamrock math activity, you’ll need to cut out ten shamrocks on green construction paper. Here’s the free shamrock outline we used. We laminated ours to use again, but that’s optional. 

On five of the shamrocks, write the numbers one to five. On the other five, draw dots corresponding with one to five.  

green shamrocks with numbers and dots


Math skills in early childhood should first focus on counting in order and number identification. If your child is still working on their numbers, first master counting to ten in the correct order. Then, use just the number shamrock cut-outs to work on number identification. 

One-to-One Correspondence 

Once your child has mastered number identification, you can move on to one-to-one correspondence. This means that as your child counts objects, they assign one, and only one, number to each item in the correct numerical order. For example, if there’s three dots on a page, they would count “one, two, three” while pointing to each dot in turn. 

Now, practice this math skill with the dot shamrock cut-outs you made. Encourage your child to physically point to each dot as they count. They may need to see you do it a few times to fully get it. 

Math Matching

Lastly, you can use the shamrocks for a math matching game. Help your child match the number shamrocks to the shamrocks with the same number of dots on them. 

Science Activity for St. Patrick’s Day 

For young children, science looks a little different than how we as adults think of science. But in early childhood, science is all about asking questions and cause-and-effect. And this science activity is all about the color green! 

Science experiments in early childhood should focus around a single, simple question such as “What will happen if…” or “How can we…”. Try to focus on a single cause-and-effect question. 

What You’ll Need

  • Clear plastic cups
  • Food coloring (you’ll use yellow and blue, but I have other colors to talk about what not to use)
  • Water
  • Plastic pipettes

Making the Color Green

For our fun St. Patrick’s Day science project, we asked the question “How do we make the color green?”. Emphasize this question with your child using lots of color words and letting them know you only have blue, yellow, and red – not green.

Set up at least three cups with water. We filled them between one third and halfway full. For young children, you may want to place the cups on a plastic tray to contain any spills. Then, add a few drops of blue food coloring to one cup and a few drops of yellow to another. 

OPTIONAL: For older children, you can set up even more colors for trial and error of making the color green. If you do, make sure they have multiple cups of clear water, so they don’t have to keep mixing in the same one. 

child mixing blue and yellow water to make green


Next, have your child pipette a few droppers of yellow water into the plain water cup. Then, add one dropper of blue water to make green! Children will have so much fun as they continue to mix the colors and make different shades of green. 

If your child has never used a pipette, practice sucking up and transferring to an empty cup using regular, plain water first. This pinching activity is a great way to build fine motor skills and coordination. 

Shamrock Art Project

Our favorite St. Patrick’s Day crafts involve festive colors and shapes, like this simple shamrock craft! This one can be done using the traditional green or all the colors of the rainbow.

green and yellow water color shamrocks

The best part about this St. Patrick’s Day craft is that there’s really no way to mess it up. That makes it perfect for even the littlest hands! But kids of all ages will enjoy making this fun craft. 

Check out the full instructions and variations here. 

Sensory Play for St. Patrick’s Day 

Create this simple and engaging green themed sensory bin for a festive way to play while building fine motor skills. Let your child search for gold coins, find hidden little leprechauns, or just practice pouring with little pots of gold. As a preschool teacher, I always include at least one form of messy play in my lesson plans. 

Find the full instructions here! You can also start with our how-to guide if your child is just starting with sensory bins as a great way to teach them how to use the bins and minimize the mess. 

little boy scooping green rice into black pot

More Sensory Activities

If you don’t want to make the sensory bin, or you want more hands-on activities, try play dough! Grab some green play dough and fun add in items like plastic gold coins, pots of gold, and shamrock shape cookie cutters in different sizes. Your local dollar store or Hobby Lobby usually has tons of options that are pretty affordable. 

We love using play dough as a learning tool because children love it. But there’s also tons of benefits you can read about here!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Wether you do one or all of these activities, we hope this helps you have a fun St. Patrick’s Day. The easy way to have a fun holiday is to do what works for you without stressing about doing it all! 

If you need a pdf of a free shamrock shape outline, check it out here.

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