March 17 will be here before we know it. It’s time to start thinking about how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the family! The day is an opportunity to highlight Irish heritage and culture. However, anyone can make this day festive and fun with some preparation. While you’d need a lot of luck to pack all 17 of these St. Patrick’s activities into a single day, we think you’ll find a few favorites and create new traditions your little ones will cherish for years.
17 St. Patrick’s Day Activities to Do with Your Kids
1. Make Four Leaf Clover Cakes
You’ve heard of green eggs and ham, but how about clover pancakes? You’ll need some green food dye, your favorite pancake recipe, and a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter to make this festive feast to start your kids’ day off with a smile.
2. Brush Up on Leprechaun-Catching Skills
Gather and read “How to Catch a Leprechaun” by Adam Wallace with your littles for this St. Patrick’s Day activity. Not only is this an adorable story about a mischievous leprechaun trying to avoid being trapped, but you can tell your kids it will come in handy for other special activities you have planned for the rest of the day. We promise their listening ears will perk up when they know there’s more fun in store.
3. Go Green
You don’t need to splurge on fancy new St. Patrick’s attire if it’s not in the budget. You can make a game of who can “go the greenest” in your family with clothing your kids own. The wackier and crazier the looks, the better! To complete their perfect look, you can even hide silly and inexpensive accessories in your children’s drawers, like shiny green beaded necklaces or leprechaun headbands. (Extra points to the kid whose room doesn’t look like a tornado blew through it at the end of the contest.)
4. Make Irish Soda Bread
Irish soda bread is a staple on the dinner table at every traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal. Whether you are Team Raisin or not, this is a fun, hands-on activity to get your kids involved in. You can help them grow their confidence in the kitchen and have some fun when it’s time to round the dough. Don’t forget to explain to your little ones the reason behind cutting a cross on top of the bread. It’s an old Irish superstition that families believe would let the fairies out and protect the household.
5. Learn an Irish Jig
Get moving by learning an Irish jig with your little ones! You can find a video on YouTube and clear a space in your living room to dance around. Shoulder and back positioning are essential in traditional Irish dance movements, so you’ll also sneak in posture lessons. Practice together and film the finished dance to share with family or friends who live far away. You’re sure to spread some cheer and be the life of the party.
6. Count Your Blessings
Using a traced image and some green construction paper, cut out some shamrocks ahead of time and lay them out on a table with markers for your little ones. If your kids are old enough to practice their writing skills, let them explain why your family is blessed. Otherwise, you can ask your kids what they feel lucky for. You can help them by writing their message before letting them decorate it. Tape the shamrocks all over the house and keep them up all weekend as a gratitude reminder.
7. Go on a Leprechaun Hunt
It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without a leprechaun hunt. Buy a festive plush leprechaun toy and hide him somewhere sneaky. Write out clues around the house using construction or craft paper. Watch your kids have a blast peeking behind couch cushions and under blankets until they find their magical friend. You can even give your kids a toy net or a special green blanket to throw over the leprechaun once they make their big discovery.
8. Search for a Pot of Gold
Get some fresh air and head into the backyard or the park to play. Once the kids have gotten some energy out and are winding down, let them know there is a secret pot of gold they must find. Use a basket you already have, or purchase a simple black cauldron. Then, fill it with gold coins, goodies, snacks, juice, or water. Your little ones will be happy to find some treats after working up an appetite, playing, and searching for gold.
9. Count Coins
Speaking of gold, you can sneak in a St. Patrick’s Day math lesson using some coins to test your kiddo’s adding and subtracting skills. Buy some inexpensive St. Patrick’s Day-themed plastic coins online, or opt for the chocolate gold foil-covered kind and have a sweet reward at the end of a successful math equation.
10. Go to a St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Whether your family lives in a big city or a small town, there’s bound to be a parade within driving distance. Pack the kids up and head to the nearest parade so you can enjoy some fresh air and festive music and meet up with family and friends to celebrate together.
11. Gobble Green Drinks
While green beer is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of St. Patrick’s Day and drinking, get creative and whip up some healthy, kid-friendly green goodies. Whether you have a green smoothie recipe in mind or want to indulge in some green fruit juice or limeade, you can make this treat extra special with a festive cup. Or you can decorate a regular glass with themed stickers.
12. Play St. Patrick’s Day Trivia
Even though Ireland is sometimes called the Emerald Isle, did you know the color people associated initially with St. Patrick was blue? Green was incorporated into festivities in the 18th century and has stuck to the holiday ever since. Brush up on Irish culture and history by creating a list of trivia questions on a whiteboard or even in your notes on your smartphone. This activity is a fun way to engage your kids with a little bit of friendly festive competition and learn something new.1
13. Plan a Four-Leaf Clover Search
On a childhood walk with my aunt, she encouraged me to stop and hunt for four-leaf clovers. I will never forget how shocked and delighted I was to discover one! I ended up framing it and proudly offered it up at a show-and-tell. This rare variation of the common three-leaf clover is traditionally believed to bring good luck to those who find it. You never know; your little one might surprise you. But even if they don’t, you’re almost guaranteed to steal 10 minutes of peace to enjoy a hot cup of coffee from start to finish. And we think that’s pretty lucky.
14. Plant Shamrocks
Fear not if the four-leaf clover finding doesn’t go according to plan. To alleviate any disappointed little faces and clear up any pouts, grab your gardening supplies and have some fun letting your little one play in the dirt. Plant a few shamrock plants in your yard or a small indoor planter. In warm climates, shamrock plants can stay outdoors all year long, but they are happier indoors for colder conditions, so plant accordingly.
15. Make St. Patrick’s Day Rice Cereal Treats
Whether you’re a kid or a grown-up, rice cereal treats are always a good idea. One way to elevate this classic treat for this St. Patrick’s Day activity and add some festive fun is to use green food coloring and sprinkle in everyone’s favorite sugary cereal element: Lucky Charms marshmallows. Put your kids to work pouring out a giant bowl of Lucky Charms and sorting out the marshmallows from the cereal to set aside for your recipe, and enjoy this sticky sweet treat together.
16. Make Rainbow Decorations
A fun art activity will surely capture your kids’ imaginations, and you only need a few materials you probably already have. For this St. Patrick’s Day activity, grab white paper plates, scissors, markers, cotton balls, glue, and a ribbon to hang your decoration. Form your rainbow arch by cutting the paper plate in half and cutting away the semi-circle. You can lightly trace seven lines in pencil so your kids can fill in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet before securing some cotton balls at either end of the rainbow with glue. Tie the rainbow on your string and hang it alongside your blessed shamrocks.
17. Don Matching Lucky PJs
The perfect end to a special day, celebrate in style as a family by rocking cute matching St. Patrick’s Day pajamas. You can snap a quick family photo, gather for a game night, or snuggle together for an Irish movie. Since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, you don’t need to rush your bedtime routine, and the whole family is sure to get a magical night of sleep in lucky matching sets.
In need of some more inspiration? Check out 20 of the Cutest St. Patrick’s Day Products here. No matter how you spend your day, your kids will love being together and making family memories. Whether you plan to celebrate by whipping up a sweet treat in the kitchen, jamming out to some Gaelic music, working on your Irish step dancing in the living room, getting creative with some crafts, or heading into the great outdoors – we hope your day is filled with magic and love.