Holidays in kindergarten are the best! They provide a day of excitement and joy for students and teachers alike. One of my favorite holidays to celebrate in kindergarten was St. Patrick’s Day! The night before St. Patrick’s Day, I would go to bed full of anticipation for the following day of fun and learning that was going to take place in my kindergarten classroom. That said, planning for a fun filled day of learning was a lot of work. Thus, to save you some time and energy (and we all know you will need that extra energy to get you through the day), we have created this blog. In it, we share some great ideas to help make St. Patrick’s Day extra fun and memorable for your kids. We have also included fun St. Patrick’s Day for kids printable resources, and FREE teacher approved videos.
Larry the Leprechaun Visits the Classroom
In kindergarten, no St. Patrick’s Day is complete without a tricky leprechaun. So, a week or two before the holiday, we would tell our kindergarteners about a troublesome little leprechaun named Larry. Larry the Leprechaun visited our classrooms every year and played tricks on us. In an effort to stop Larry from wreaking havoc on the kindergarten classrooms, we would task our kindergarteners with making leprechaun traps.
Of course, all our traps were humane. If we caught the leprechaun, we promised to send him back to Ireland, so he could be with his family. After we had shared our troublesome story, our kids would take it and run with it! The next few weeks were filled with anecdotes from our kinders about how Larry had stolen the lost pair of scissors, spilled the paint on the table, or knocked down the trash can. Larry was blamed for anything odd or out of place in our classrooms. Our kids were excited and couldn’t wait for St. Patrick’s Day!
Surprise in the Classroom
On the morning of St. Patrick’s Day, all the kinder teachers would arrive extra early to prepare our classrooms for the exciting day that would ensue. With our classroom doors shut, we wrote a note on the board in our finest leprechaun print. The note generally read, Top of the morning to you kinders! My name is Larry and I have come to play some tricks. Every year you try and catch me, but I am too quick and too smart to be caught. Good luck trying though. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Love, Larry the Leprechaun.
Then, we would hide all the green markers and crayons, knock over a few chairs, paint tiny green footprints all over the classroom, sprinkle the desks with green confetti (glitter works too), and set out a few gold nuggets (pyrite/fools gold). Be sure you know how many you set out, so that you get them all back. You can also spray paint a few rocks with gold paint. You can purchase the pyrite on amazon. Everything else you need for this fun filled day, you can find at the dollar tree. *Teacher tip: Work with your teammates to prepare each other’s classrooms. This way, you can honestly say you did not mess up your own classroom.
Once our classrooms looked like they had been ransacked by a tiny leprechaun, we left our rooms, locked our doors, and went to the office to chug an extra cup of coffee. When the bell rang, we entered the classroom with our wide-eyed kindergarteners and gasped in disbelief when we saw the mess. And so, the wild and crazy day began
Gold Nuggets and Leprechaun Traps
For morning meeting, we would collect all the gold nuggets and discuss what we were going to do with our newfound wealth. Once we had generated a few ideas, we would vote on how to spend the money. Some years, my kids would choose to give the money away to those in need. Other years, they would vote on taking a field trip to Disney Land. After we decided how to spend our money, I would make a big show of hiding the gold to keep it safe, until we could take it to the bank.
Then, our students got to share their leprechaun traps. Each child would show the class how their trap worked and how they made it. After each child finished sharing, we set them up around the classroom. Occasionally a trap would spring, and we would know that Larry was nearby. After sharing our traps, and reading a cute book or watching a video filled with fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day for kids, it was time for lunch. If we had extra time, we might make a cute leprechaun puppet (see below for our cute puppet).
While the kids were at lunch, we would again lock our doors, set off a few traps, and leave a note from Larry on the white board. The note went something like this, Dear Kindergarteners, I can’t find my gold! I lost it in your classroom this morning and now it is gone! Help please! Love, Larry the Leprechaun.
An Important Character Building Lesson
Once our kinders returned from lunch, we would facilitate a class discussion on what we should do with the gold now that we knew it belonged to Larry. We would talk about what it would feel like to lose something special or important, and that even though we found the gold, it wasn’t really ours. Most years, and without much persuasion, our kids felt bad for Larry and wanted to return the gold, even though it meant cancelling our trip to Disney Land. Other years, this took a bit more convincing. So, before our kids went to specials (PE, music, art), which was at the end of the day, we decided to write a class note to Larry apologizing for taking his gold. Then, while our kinders were at Specials, we teachers were back at it. We took the gold and replaced it with some fun St. Paddy’s Day themed pencils (from the dollar tree of course) or some green frosted cookies, and wrote a thank you note from Larry the Leprechaun on the board. The note often read, Thank you so much for giving my gold back! I need it to fly back home and be with my family. I left you all a little treat. Much gratitude and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Larry the Leprechaun.
When the dismissal bell finally rang, our students went home, albeit without a leprechaun in their trap, but with smiles on their faces and great stories to tell their families. We teachers went home exhausted.
St. Patrick's Day Activities for Elementary Students
We at 4 Kinder Teachers have created a great resource to make your St. Patrick’s Day for kids special! Our St. Patrick’s Day for Kindergarten product includes:
- Digital / Google Slides Presentation with information about St. Patrick’s Day as well as a digital copy of the Where is the Leprechaun? easy reader.
- St. Patrick’s Day themed Writing Templates
- Leprechaun Puppet Craft
- Leprechaun Trap Letter to Parents
- Student printable copies of Where is the Leprechaun? easy reader
St. Patrick's Day Videos for Kids
Here are some teacher approved St. Patrick’s Day Videos for you to enhance your teaching. We have included a short summary and length of each video. You will find St. Patrick’s Day informational videos, movement videos, and counting videos.
St. Patrick’s Day | Kids Fun Learning (2:59): This video is cute, short and kid-friendly. In this video, Larry the Leprechaun talks about some different ways we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
PBS LEARNING MEDIA | St. Patrick’s Day | PBS KIDS (1:32): This is a short kid-friendly introduction of why and how we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, as well as who St. Patrick was.
St. Patrick’s Day Facts for Kids (9:39): This video is a little long, but it is full of fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day and it is kid-friendly.
St. Patrick’s Day Songs ☘️ Boom Chicka Boom ☘️ Best Kid’s Songs ☘️ Kids Songs The Learning Station (4:02): Get your kids up and moving with this fun and adorable listen and repeat St. Paddy’s Day themed song.
Dance Dance Leprechaun Dance | Saint Patrick’s Day Song for Kids | The Kiboomers (1:54): Have your students follow along as they dance like a leprechaun.
G-R-E-E-N St Patrick’s Day | Song Lyrics Video for Kids | The Kiboomers (2:33): Have your students practice spelling the word Green to the tune of Bingo.
Counting with a Leprechaun! (St. Patrick’s Day counting song for kids) (3:14): Count gold with a leprechaun by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day | Counting Song | Skip Count | Jack Hartmann (3:18): Another fun skip counting song. Count gold coins by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s.
St. Patrick's Day Children's Books
You probably already have a great collection of St. Patrick’s Day children’s books, but if you are looking for a few more, here are some of our recommendations. If you would like to purchase any of these wonderful books, the image is linked to amazon. We have also included online read alouds. This page contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we will get a small comission with no additional cost to you.
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day – Read Aloud Picture Book | Brightly Storytime (4:47): We love all of Natasha Wing’s The Night Before…. Series. This one is no less great! Read this rhyming story about a family celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
HOW TO CATCH A LEPRECHAUN Book Read Aloud | St Patrick’s Day Books for Kids | Kids Books Read Aloud (3:46): This story is great if your kids are trying to catch a leprechaun. It’s about a tricky leprechaun who makes a mess and avoids all the traps made to catch him.
The Story of the Leprechaun – By Katherine Tegen | Children’s St. Patrick Day Books Read Aloud (4:28): This is an adorable story about a leprechaun who tricks a man who is after his gold. It is perfect for a kindergarten book discussion. It offers a short fun story, perfect for retells and text dependent questions.