To explore St. Patrick’s day I put potato flakes (instant potatoes) in the sensory table with many green items (spoons, mini shovels, cars…) but on the last day of the team I add water and they get to experiment with mashed potatoes (could add green food coloring if you wish)
Cut the bottom off of a potato so that it will stand up on its own. Then cut the top of the potato out and hollow it out about one inch deep. Have the children paint the potatoes green and decorate with a face (beads, pipe cleaners, etc.) Fill the hollowed out top of the potato with soil and grass seeds. Water them. After they grow you will have a leprechaun with green grass hair.
We have done this for several years now and the children love it.
My birthday is on St. Pat’s Day so I tell the children I know several leprechauns personally. My best friend is Sean. Since we are such good friends he likes to play jokes on my class.
A few days before St. Pat’s Day “Sean” will leave us notes. “I’ve been watching. I like the way … was paying attention, etc. I’ll have a surprise for you on St. Pat’s Day.” He even leaves us little chocolate money to estimate.
On the 17th I use the bottom of my palm and my little finger to make green footprints all around the room. When the children come in they, of course, notice green footprints going across the t.v., the computer monitors, etc. “Well,” I say, “just wait until I talk to that Sean!” The little rascal. They have fun looking for the prints.
Hidden around the room are shamrocks with the ABC’s printed on them. Sean leaves us a message on the marker board challenging us to find them. We do, saying the letter name, sound, and a word that starts with it.
Then, at after recess, we come back to the room and there is a note from Sean saying he has hidden a surprise for us. (I back a large cake, the Wilton sheet cake that takes about 3 mixes. This year I used a chocolate one, tinted a yellow one green and a white one purple. I put them in the pan and then used a fork to swirl the colors. It turned out very pretty. The other teacher asks her parents to send in green drinks.)
I use footprints for my kids to follow. Outside our door the 5th graders have placed, “Go to the place where you draw pictures.” Once there we have another message. We go to 4 places before finding our way back to the cafeteria. The other teachers leave out shamrocks for her kids to follow. That way we don’t get mixed up. Each child has a name on a footprint or a shamrock.
Back in the cafeteria, we find the goodies. Sean has also forgotten his bottle of magic leprechaun dust, green colored sugar. I tell the children if I sprinkle it on their tongues it will make them run like the wind. You should see them at recess running around. They’ll come and stick out their tongues for more.
Grow leprechaun hair! Let each child plant grass seed in a clear plastic cup. They can also draw a face on a small round piece of paper and glue to the front. We do this the week before st. pat.’s day and tell them that by st. pat.’ s day their leprechauns will be growing green hair!
Shamrock Puppy: Have the children trace a shamrock out of heavy green paper and cut it out. Turn the shamrock so the stem is up. Have the students draw eyes with crayons or markers. Glue a red tongue at the bottom. Glue a small dog biscuit shaped like a bone on the stem!
Needed: old terry cloth towel lettuce seeds spray bottle for water shallow pan or tray sunny window Cut out the shape of a shamrock from the terry cloth. Dampen the cloth. Spread out in a shallow pan. Sprinkle lettuce seeds over Shamrock. Gently pat seeds. Set in a sunny window. Spray with water morning and evening. In 10 days you should have a green shamrock. Lettuce seedlings can be transplanted to yield eatable lettuce!
The children love squishy bags. I fill Ziploc quart-size food storage bags with inexpensive green hair gel and add St. Patty’s Day confetti and gold glitter. Try to “burp” the bag to remove most of the air. I then insert the bag into another bag seal side down. “Burp” this bag as well. The children have a great sensory experience with no mess! It’s very colorful too and can be adapted to other holidays or for the study of colors.
Talk to children about the legend of leprechauns. Have children trace shamrock pattern onto green construction paper and cut out. Have them dictate to you how they would catch a leprechaun. Write on the shamrock. Have children decorate with green items, or put glue around edges and sprinkle glitter on them. Share children’s ideas. Makes a cute bulletin board.
Cut 1-inch strips of green and yellow construction paper. Children make chains using an AB pattern. Hang from the ceiling.
Children trace shamrock, minus the stem, on green construction paper and cut out. Use black paper and cut out a hat. Glue on the shamrock. Glue scrap of green on the hat. Add white strips of paper for arms and legs. Draw on a face. Hang from the ceiling among the green/yellow chains. Looks real festive.