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Mar 11, 2022 7 min read

Five Activities to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Your Child Care Center

Courtney McGann By: Courtney McGann

Leaping leprechauns—St. Patrick’s Day is almost here! Are you ready to celebrate the day at your child care center?

In this article, we’ll give you a quick history lesson on the origins of this Irish holiday. Then we’ll share five fun activities you can do with your daycare kids.

Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th every year — but do you know why?

In the fifth century, St. Patrick, a Roman citizen, was enslaved and taken to Ireland. When his custody ended, he became a priest and went back to the Emerald Isle. He was then able to convert many druids to Christianity, which is why the church established a feast day in 1631.

Since then, a bunch of different traditions have sprung up. For example, we wear green to commemorate the Irish rebellion in 1798. 

Teaching the kids in your care about the history of St. Patrick’s Day is a great way to celebrate. Let’s talk about a few other ways you can celebrate this holiday.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With These Five Classroom Activities

Let’s discuss St. Patrick’s Day-themed activities you can do with your daycare kids. Whether you’re looking for outdoorsy excursions or cute crafts, we’ve got you covered.

1. Make St. Patrick’s Day Slime

Do you know what kids love? Slime! Watch Nickelodeon for five minutes and you’ll know this is true. So why not make your own for St. Patrick’s Day?

Gather your daycare kids together and ask them what color slime they want to make. Green, gold and rainbow are popular options for this Irish holiday. Then follow the recipes below to make your own batch of slimy goodness. We promise, it’s super easy.

Saline Solution Slime

  • Mix ½ cup of water with ½ cup of glue
  • Stir in your chosen colors and glitters.
  • Add in ¼ to ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • Stir in ¼ teaspoon of saline solution
  • Knead your slime, then let it sit for 3 minutes

Pro Tip: To make your slime fluffy, add in two to three cups of shaving cream.

Liquid Starch Slime

  • Mix ½ cup of water with ½ cup of glue
  • Stir in your chosen colors and glitters.
  • Pour in ¼ cup of liquid starch and stir
  • Knead your slime, then let it sit for 3 minutes

Pro Tip: Put a few drops of liquid starch on your hands before picking up your slime.

The best part about homemade slime is that it doubles as a science experiment!

2. Go on Gold Coin Treasure Hunt

Every leprechaun loves gold coins and your daycare kids will, too — especially if they’re filled with chocolatey deliciousness on the inside.

You could just give your coins away. Better yet, you could plan a fun scavenger hunt for your kids and make them follow clues to find the treasure.

The key to a successful treasure hunt is age-appropriate clues. You wouldn’t want to give 4-year olds a complex riddle to solve. Find a balance between challenging and fun.

One of the reasons we love this St. Patrick’s Day activity is because it’s educational. A well-planned treasure hunt will help kids develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Pro Tip: If you care for older children, turn your treasure hunt into a competition. Divide your kids into small groups. Then see which group can decipher your clues and find the treasure the fastest. Then reward this group with a prize, such as extra gold coins.

3. Build a Leprechaun Trap

Leprechauns are pesky little buggers. We suggest catching a few before they have time to cause mischief around your daycare. 

Break out the Legos, raid your craft drawer or head to the local dollar store for supplies. Then give them to your daycare kids and ask them to design their very own leprechaun traps. They’ll have a blast and you’ll enjoy seeing what they come up with.

Leprechaun traps encourage critical thinking, problem solving and creativity.

If your daycare kids are too young to design their own leprechaun traps, simply find a leprechaun trap design online and follow the directions. Check out these trap ideas..

Pro Tip: Don’t forget the leprechaun bait. Your trap isn’t complete until you’ve stuffed it with gold coins, Skittles, shamrock cookies, Lucky Charms or anything else you want. When you’re done building, let your kids eat the bait for an extra tasty time.

4. Make St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by unleashing your daycare kids’ creativity. Here are a few ideas for you: 

Beaded Shamrocks

St. Patrick’s Day and shamrocks go together like macaroni and cheese. This beaded shamrock craft is super cute and easy to make. Just follow these directions:

  • Head to the store and purchase green pipe cleaners and colored beads
  • Twist two pipe cleaners together, then string a few beads onto the pipe cleaners
  • Fold the pipe cleaner in half, then form the curved end into a heart
  • Twist the bottom of the heart to help the pipe cleaners hold their shape
  • Fold the two ends of the pipe cleaner to the middle and twist their bases into place
  • Craft the two new loops into heart shapes. You now have a full shamrock!
  • Grab another pipe cleaner to use as a stem for your beaded shamrock craft

Tissue Paper Rainbows

If there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you need to start making rainbows.  This tissue paper craft is the best way to make them with your daycare kids:

  • Purchase an 18×24 canvas, bleeding tissue paper, glue and paint brushes
  • Spray water on your canvas, then add bits of tissue paper to it in rainbow order
  • Re-spray the tissue paper after it’s been added to the canvas to ensure saturation
  • Let the tissue paper dry, then remove it from the canvas and admire your work

If your finished canvas isn’t as bright and vibrant as you were hoping it would be, do this:

  • Mix white glue with warm water to create a mod podge-style adhesive
  • Rearrange the dried bits of tissue paper back on the canvas according to their colors
  • As you place the tissue paper on the canvas, cover it with a light coat of your glue
  • Let the canvas dry, then display your creation for all to see

5. Read a St. Patrick’s Day Book

Turn your daily reading time into a holiday celebration by purchasing a few of these books and reading them to your daycare kids.

 Here are a few of our favorite titles:

Daily reading helps kids learn to listen, develop language skills, expand their vocabularies, express their creativity and more. Support these things while celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!

Make This St. Patrick’s Day Awesome and Include Parents in the Fun!

There’s more to St. Patrick’s Day than wearing green clothes. With a little preparation, you can turn this Irish holiday into a day of fun for your child care center!

And make sure parents can see what great activities you’re doing throughout the day with their kids with Procare’s Parent Engagement tool!  

You can keep parents involved by showing them their children’s day-to-day activities, sharing milestones in real time and helping them reinforce what is taught in the classroom by providing insight into their early childhood education curriculum and learning objectives.

You can share daily activities, videos, photos and newsletters with parents. Plus, you can use the app for easy, two-way communication and keep parents engaged with calendars to promote upcoming events!

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Courtney McGann

Courtney McGann is a Demand Generation Specialist at Procare Solutions, where she works with the team to nurture client relationships and bring in interested potential advocates by providing engaging content and sharing child care industry news, trends and best practices. She is also a new mom who appreciates the child care providers in her life.

Courtney McGann