Most of us know St. Patrick’s Day as a fun and whimsical holiday involving mischievous leprechauns, rainbows, shamrocks, and, of course, lots of green! However, it is also a day to celebrate the life and times of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Here are 36 creative St. Patrick’s Day activities and lessons involving ways to incorporate aspects of the March 17 holiday into the different core subject areas (including art and music!).
Our Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Activities
1. Do a magic milk experiment to create rainbow swirls
Create a chemical reaction using just milk, food coloring, a cotton ball, and dish soap. Your kids will be mesmerized by the swirling rainbow!
Learn more: Magic Milk Experiment at We Are Teachers
2. Read a St. Patrick’s Day–themed book
Check out this amazing list of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day–related books. Your students will love learning about Ireland, St. Patrick, and, of course, taking adventures with those mischievous leprechauns!
Learn more: Books To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at We Are Teachers
3. Make a leprechaun corner bookmark
While there’s something to be said for well-worn spines and dog-eared corners, teach your students to care for their books by using a bookmark to save their place. This little leprechaun is the perfect reading companion and is quite simple to make, thanks to this awesome video tutorial.
Learn more: Leprechaun Bookmark at Red Ted Art
4. Learn about leprechauns
Dealing with leprechauns can be a tricky proposition. Learn all about these “fairy tricksters” that are often seen guarding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Learn more: Leprechauns at Live Science
5. Make music with rainbow shakers
If you don’t mind St. Patrick’s Day activities that require you to do some prep work, the end result for this one is worth it. First, ask parents to send in empty paper towel rolls and a few other supplies (foam rolls, rice, and jingle bells) to make into rainbow shakers you can use to play music.
Learn more: Rainbow shaker activity at Happy Mothering
6. Send your students on a scavenger hunt
Get your students up and about and hunting for gold as they try to find the items on this free printable scavenger hunt. You can time the hunt, create groups, or even conduct the activity outdoors. To extend the fun, you might have your students decorate old tissue boxes as treasure chests in which they can store their findings.
Learn more: St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt at Play Party Plan
7. Take a virtual field trip to the Emerald Isle
Explore the beauty of Ireland, from the Giants Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher to mighty museums, historical sites, and much more.
Learn more: Virtual Tours of Ireland at The Irish Road Trip
8. Create acrostic poetry based on Irish history
St. Patrick’s Day is so much more than rainbows and shamrocks (although we do love those too). Read a book on Irish history or watch these videos to introduce students to facts about Ireland. Then distribute acrostic poem templates with words like “leprechaun,” “shamrock,” and “St. Patrick” for your students to complete. They can share with the class when they are done.
Learn more: Acrostic Poem Activity at A Grade Ahead
9. Conduct a hands-on experiment with green slime
A complex chemistry lesson disguised as an ooey-gooey free-for-all? Count us in! Choose from one of four slime recipes, all made from ingredients that can easily be found at your grocery store (although you may need to look elsewhere for St. Paddy’s Day–appropriate glitter, sequins, and other holiday additions). Teach your students about the states of matter as they work, or ask them to record their impressions and observations during one (or more!) of these festive St. Patrick’s Day science lab activities.
Learn more: Slime Recipes at Little Bins for Little Hands
10. Learn how to say colors in Gaelic
Introduce your students to the ancient Gaelic language by learning how to say different colors. Visit the Irish Community Services YouTube channel and learn seasons, days of the week, and animal names.
11. Study the movement of water molecules with a rainbow ring experiment
Demonstrate the movement of water molecules (and create a rainbow) through this clean yet colorful experiment. Ask your students to come up with a hypothesis and record the experimentation process in a notebook, or download a free, printable worksheet at the link below. One of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day activities!
Learn more: Rainbow Ring Activity at Andrea Knight
12. Make rainbows in your classroom—no rain required
Begin the lesson by explaining to your students how rainbows form. One option is to read the story The Rainbow and You aloud to your class. Then, with a prism (or even a glass of water), sunlight, and the right angle, you can create rainbows on the floor, walls, and ceiling of your classroom. Adjust the amount of light and angles to vary the width and size of the rainbows. Have your students record their observations or draw pictures of the rainbows they’ve created.
Learn more: Making Rainbows at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
13. Make shamrock pencil toppers
Why not spend St. Patrick’s Day spreading a little love? Make these darling shamrock pencil toppers out of construction paper, then attach them to St. Patrick’s Day–themed pencils along with a sweet message.
Learn more: St. Patrick’s Day Clover Pencils DIY at Oh Happy Day
14. Count your coins with a penny float experiment
You don’t need gold coins to bring a little magic into science class—ordinary pennies will do! Using small plastic pots from your favorite craft store (plastic cups or aluminum foil will also do the trick), a container of water, and a couple of dollars in pennies, your students can learn about mass, volume, weight, and other measurements while feeling like leprechauns.
Learn more: Gold coin float at Little Bins for Little Hands
15. Spin Irish yarns with these story starters
Use St. Patrick’s Day as an excuse for students to use their imagination. Have them describe what they would do if they found a pot of gold, or if they caught a leprechaun. Then, create a cute pot-o’-gold border to create your luckiest writing bulletin board yet.
Learn more: St. Patrick’s Day writing activity at Apples & ABCs
16. Make a shamrock stamper out of a bell pepper
Young students will get a kick out of using fresh produce to make art! Try this bell pepper shamrock, or try your hand with Ireland’s most famous vegetable, the potato.
Learn more: Bell Pepper Shamrock Stamps at Craftaholics Anonymous
17. Think critically about how to catch a leprechaun
Critical thinking? Check. Creativity? Check. Glitter? Check. Ask your students to devise a clever plan to catch a leprechaun by practicing sequence writing and the imperative voice. What materials do they need? What would their trap look like? Have them present their ideas to the class and follow up with a class discussion about the best leprechaun-trapping tactics. Take this one step further by splitting your class into groups of three or four students and have them build the traps they imagined.
Learn more: Leprechaun Trap Ideas for STEM at Little Bins for Little Hands
18. Shade shamrocks to practice synonyms, antonyms, and homophones
In English class, the answers are rarely black-and-white, so why not make them green (and red and orange)? Teach your students about synonyms, antonyms, and homophones with this shading-shamrock worksheet. Alternatively, prepare shamrock cutouts and have your students write words on one side of the shamrock, with the accompanying synonym, antonym, or homophone on the other.
Learn more: St. Patrick’s Synonym, Antonym, Homophone Practice at Everything Education
19. Make the Irish flag with crayons
Using a blow dryer, help students melt green, white, and orange crayon fragments onto white card stock backed by a piece of cardboard. Let it cure overnight, then top with a coat of Mod Podge and attach a large craft stick.
Learn more: Irish flag activity via Carrots Are Orange
20. Go green by turning old milk jugs into planters
You don’t need to sport a top hat and coat to go green this St. Patrick’s Day. Teach your students the importance of conservation and recycling by having them plant herbs or flowers in old plastic milk jugs. If possible, do this project outside to celebrate the warmer weather and ask your students what plants need to grow and remain healthy. Encourage them to make a list of small actions they can do every day to protect the planet.
Learn more: DIY Upcycled Milk Jug Planters at Cupcakes & Cutlery
21. Assemble a shamrock shaker
Help your students put together a shaker made from two sturdy paper plates and an assortment of jingly items inside. Put on some rousing Irish music and let them play along.
Learn more: Shamrock Shaker at Carrots Are Orange
22. Make a Lucky Charms bar graph
With this easy-to-prep activity, your students can practice counting and graphing while enjoying a sweet treat. For a class of 15 to 20 students, two boxes of Lucky Charms cereal will suffice. Then you just need a measuring cup, crayons, and a simple graph drawn on paper. Have your students count and record the number of marshmallows they find. Then have them share the results with the class. You can also easily turn this activity into a lesson on fractions or probability.
Learn more: Lucky Charms Graph St. Patrick’s Day Activities at How To Homeschool My Child
23. Build Lucky Charms catapults
This fun St. Patrick’s Day STEM activity will teach students about a simple machine of physics using craft sticks, rubber bands, and plastic spoons. To make it even more fun, create a few pot-of-gold targets for them to aim at.
Learn more: Lucky Charms Catapults at Joy in the Works
24. Look for luck with a four-leaf-clover hunt
What better excuse to get outside on an almost-spring day than going on a four-leaf-clover hunt? If you’ve got a grassy area by your school’s playground, take your students outside to first assemble this tiny book of clover facts before searching for a four-leaf clover of their own.
Learn more: Clover Hunt at Green Grubs Garden Club
25. Write St. Paddy’s day limericks
Watch this teacher explain how to write a limerick and then have students write their own. This activity is great for upper elementary school and middle school students alike. Plus check out these limericks to share in the classroom.
26. Rainbow sight word writing
Create a St. Patrick’s Day rainbow writing activity with a tray, a rainbow of colored paper taped onto the tray, and enough salt to cover the rainbow. Give students a list of sight words mixed with St. Patrick’s Day words (gold, green, luck) to write.
Learn more: Rainbow sight word printing at Nurture Store
27. Learn an Irish step dance
If you’re looking for active St. Patrick’s Day activities, show your students a video clip or two of professional Irish step dancers before breaking down the steps with an easy-to-follow tutorial. This is a great activity for gym class or any time you notice your students getting a bit restless. The steps may be complicated, but your students will enjoy being on their feet and listening to traditional Irish music.
28. Play a game of St. Patrick’s Day Bingo
Who doesn’t like playing bingo? This St. Patrick’s Day–themed bingo set comes with 24 different cards and plenty of shamrock space markers. Instead of calling out bingo, have your students call out Shamrock! when they get five in a row!
Buy it: St. Patrick’s Day Bingo at Amazon
29. Make rainbow flip books
These fun flip books will have your students chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This link has everything you need to make these fun St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids come alive.
Learn more: Make Rainbow Flip Books for St. Patrick’s Day at We Are Teachers
30. Create a rainbow bulletin board
Find the gold at the end of the rainbow with this beautiful and colorful bulletin board idea. Hopefully, this will attract some naughty leprechauns to boot! Check out all of our bulletin boards for March!
Learn more: Rainbow Bulletin Boards To Brighten Your Classroom at We Are Teachers
31. Get creative with St. Patrick’s Day journal prompts
This list of 13 St. Patrick’s Day–related journal prompts will have your students’ pencils moving in no time!
Learn more: St. Patrick’s Day Writing Prompts at Journal Buddies
32. Shamrock sensory bin
Put shamrocks, gold coins, green pom-poms, and green confetti into a bin with tongs or cups to scoop for a fun March sensory bin.
Learn more: St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin at Carrots Are Orange
33. Gold coin hide-and-seek
Hide gold coins around your classroom or another space, like the playground. Students collect gold coins in cups. When they are finished, they can count their coins, chart and compare how many coins each student collected, or use gold coins for math manipulatives.
Learn more: Pot of gold activity at Buggy and Buddy
34. Gold coin 10-frames
Another fun way to use gold coins is to have students complete math problems using 10-frames with a set of gold coins.
Learn more: Gold Coin Activities at Teaching Mama
35. Roll a rainbow
To play this game, students roll a di and move their game piece along a hundreds chart. Make it more interesting by adding rules about what happens if you land on a square with the rainbow—slide down or climb up.
Learn more: St. Patrick’s Day 100s Chart Game at Creative Family Fun
36. Make a rainbow STEM activity
Use pipe cleaners in every color of the rainbow and borax to grow a rainbow. This activity is a great addition to a St. Patrick’s Day sculpture.
Learn more: Grow a Crystal Rainbow at STEAM Powered Family