Contact your local Irish dance school. Many would be quite capable to volunteer to do a short presentation of Irish music and dance.
We explain to the children that the leprechaun loves to leave clues that he has been here and his favorite color is green!
One of our preschoolers suggested that we try to catch him. So we started brainstorming how we could catch a Leprechaun! It is amazing how some of our best ideas come from 3 or 4-year-olds! We have done this now for three years!
We bring in a rabbit cage and line with green paper. We have children go on a green hunt and put items into the cage. Dinosaurs for him to play with! Crayons in case he writes us a note! Playdough, cars to drive! So cute to hear the reasons the children put what they find in the cage! We paint pictures, have green play dough, somehow the snacks turn green! And of course, we share our snacks with the leprechaun and each morning he leaves us some clue that he has been here! A small hat, jacket (Ken’s clothes!) gold dust. Endless ideas! And of course at the end, the pot of gold! Have fun!
I usually have my 1st graders hunt for a clover. After they collect one I place it on half of a strip of wide clear tape and fold over the other half of the tape to seal the clover. This allows the students to feel they will be lucky having a clover with them all day long. This also begins our creative writing assignment on lucky items, the symbolism of the 3leaf clover, etc. This builds enthusiasm in the writing assignment. 😉
Teacher reports she spied some leprechauns upon entering her classroom. Those jolly little fellows like playing games and left clues for the children to follow. Be creative; could be riddles written on shamrocks, or a plain shamrock trail leading to little black pots filled w/ a small sandwich bag of corn pops cereal – one pot for each student. A special low-sugar treat for your little Sherlock Shamrock’s. I even like the idea from a previous poster about the tag board magnifying glasses covered w/ green saran wrap. 🙂
This is a several day project.
1. Send a note home to the parents that they should make a “Leprechaun Trap” to catch any Leprechaun’s that might come into the room the night before your holiday celebration. They send it back to school with the child.
2. Have the children put out the trap the night before. You go through your room taking things off the shelves and making it look a mess.
3. The next morning before the kids see the room you tell them that the Leprechaun’s got very mad that you set out traps to try to catch them so they messed up the entire room. Make it part of your lesson plans to have the children put things back where they belong.
Thank you Mr. Martin for this wonderful idea!
Cut out shamrock shape out of finger-paint paper. Add drops of yellow and blue paint. Let the children finger-paint until colors become green. Add accordion arms and legs out of yellow construction paper. Add googly eyes. Make a hole at the top of the shamrock and tie a string through. Now you can hang up your shamrock friend.
I draw or photocopy many shamrocks on a piece of white paper and let the children finger-paint on it with the new green ketchup.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day Teachers
An idea for enhancing science is to have each child plant their own green beans. This will promote the color green and the children will love watching their beans grow. All you need is a paper cup, soil and green bean seeds. But don’t forget to give them plenty of water and sunlight. A conclusion to this activity can be reading the magic story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Have Fun!
Before the kids arrive to school, make a little mess in the room. For example in your circle time area you can sprinkle glitter, turn over a chair, and torn pieces of green paper. When the kids arrive tell them that a leprechaun visited the class. Tell the kids the leprechaun left treats some where in the school and they have to help find them. Have clues posted in different areas of the school and leave the treats in a special area. Read the different clues to the kids giving them a hint where the treats may be. Once the kids have guessed all the clues that will lead them to the treats. Our class normally spray paint rocks gold and have them in a pot and we have cookies and stickers for the big treat. The kids really get excited when they see the pot of gold. Each child should get a piece of gold to take home.
St. Patrick’s Day science
Explain the myth about leprechauns hiding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Then fill a glass full of water and put it in the sun, or take a crystal and put it in the sun and talk about the order of the colors, and how water or crystal separate light into different colors because light has all the colors the same as black.
Talk about rainbows and leprechauns sometime in the week. Then tell the children you are going to make rainbow ice. Let the kids drop primary food coloring colors into the ice cube tray; showing them how colors combine to make new colors. Then freeze the ice and let the children look at them. Next, let the ice melt in some cooking oil making rainbow swirls that fall to the bottom, and explain water and oil don’t mix.
A great idea for St. Patrick’s Day in the sensory table: add several bags of split peas (hard ones) to your water table to discover the color green! Add your bowls, spoons, pots, and pans to the fun of making split pea soup!