29 St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids to Explore Irish Culture While Having Fun
Bring the luck of the Irish into your home and make March 17th special with fun activities that will keep your children entertained and teach them about Irish culture and history. Read on to discover the best St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with kids is an excellent way to get them engaged and educated about Irish culture and history. Activities such as making leprechaun traps, baking traditional Irish recipes, or simply wearing green clothes can help younger generations understand the importance of the holiday and reinforce its message of celebrating Irish heritage.
Here is a list of St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids described in this article:
- Craft festive decorations, cards, and gifts
- Decorate your home for the holiday
- Decorate shamrock cookies
- Bake delicious festive treats
- Put together an Irish gift basket
- Dress up in green costumes
- Host an Irish tea party
- Read Irish fairytales
- Watch Irish animated features
- Watch Irish live-action movies
- Have fun with St. Patrick’s Day coloring books
- Use a leprechaun name generator
- Play the rainbow rolling dice game
- Play St. Patrick’s Day bingo
- Play Irish charades
- Set up a leprechaun trap
- Organize a leprechaun scavenger hunt
- Play outdoor Irish games
- Play hurling
- Plant shamrock seeds
- Learn and sing an Irish folk song
- Learn a beginner Irish step dancing routine
- Learn some Gaelic words
- Put on an Irish play or skit
- Learn the holiday’s origins
- Research interesting facts about Irish castles and history
- Take a virtual field trip to Ireland
- Research your Irish ancestry
- Go to a Saint Patrick’s Day parade
Discover more useful information about each St. Patrick’s Day activity for kids. Learn more in the FAQs section.
1. Craft festive decorations, cards, and keepsakes
St. Patrick’s Day is an excellent time for kids to show off their creative side with Irish-inspired crafting activities. DIY projects keep their tiny hands busy and their minds entertained. And you can take this opportunity to teach them more about Ireland and Irish culture. There are plenty of fun craft ideas for kids, from pot-of-gold decorations and festive hats to creating lucky four-leaf clovers with construction paper or fabric. Kids can even make their own leprechauns out of clothespins. These projects will get the entire family into the holiday spirit and make some wonderful keepsakes, too. Check out our collection of St. Patrick’s Day crafts for kids for ideas and tutorial sources.
2. Decorate your home for the holiday
Decking out your home for St. Patrick’s Day is a simple and exciting way to get the whole family in the holiday spirit, even children. There are many ways to get the kids involved. For example, they can help hang up festive decorations such as shamrock garlands and leprechaun string lights. Or they can create artwork with green paint, sparkles, and glitter glue. You can also ask for their help crafting St. Patrick’s Day-themed centerpieces with potted clovers and lucky charms to add a special touch to the dinner table. Check out our selection of March 17th decorations for more inspiration.
3. Decorate shamrock cookies
Decorating shamrock cookies is a classic St. Patrick’s Day activity that will keep your little ones busy. Bake your favorite cookies, use a shamrock cookie cutter to create the signature three-leaf clover shape, and use a piping bag to decorate the cookies with green icing – a combination of standard white icing and green food coloring. Children will have fun with their own creations. Visit Ann Clark for a simple recipe for baking shamrock cookies.
4. Bake delicious festive treats
Baking is a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day activity that parents and children can share and build memories around. Many delicious and easy recipes can be adapted for the holiday, from shamrock-shaped sugar cookies and Irish soda bread to green cupcakes with edible gold coins. Ask your kids for help measuring ingredients, assembling decorations, or even pouring batter into a muffin tin. Check out our selection of St. Patrick’s Day desserts for recipe ideas and sources.
5. Put together an Irish gift basket
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day can be a blast with the kids when you put together a festive Irish gift basket filled with fun items for family and friends. Here’s how to easily put together a St. Patrick’s Day gift basket in three easy steps:
- Get a basket: Use a genuine basket or make one from a cardboard box decorated with green paint and shamrocks.
- Fill the basket with Irish-themed objects: For example, include homebaked shamrock-shaped cookies, gold chocolate coins, small plastic figures of leprechauns, tiny flags of Ireland, or green mittens. Consider including books about Irish mythology or even stories from Irish folklore. If the book’s for an adult, add snacks like Guinness beer glasses and whiskey stones.
- Wrap the basket: Use a clear or green cellophane wrap to pack the basket, tying it with a green or gold bow.
6. Dress up in green costumes
Wearing green outfits and Irish symbols is a fun activity for parents and kids to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day together, especially if they miss Halloween. There are many ways to approach Irish-inspired clothing. Examples of green costumes include a full leprechaun suit complete with a pot of gold, a sparkly shamrock dress, a green and gold superhero outfit, a four-leaf clover jumpsuit, a green velvet suit with gold trimming, or an emerald fairy princess dress. Check out these St. Patrick’s Day costume ideas on Amazon.
7. Host an Irish tea party
An Irish tea party is an event where friends and family get together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with traditional Irish food, decorations, music, and dress, so it’s a wonderful activity for kids. It’s a fantastic way to honor the holiday and make lasting memories with your loved ones. Here are our tips for hosting a successful Irish tea party for kids:
- Prepare the teapot, mugs, a milk jug, and a sugar bowl.
- Brew the tea correctly by boiling fresh, filtered water and seeping tea properly; most green and white teas require 2-4 minutes, while black teas need 5 minutes or more.
- Get a tea warmer to maintain the ideal temperature throughout the party
- Prepare popular Irish treats like scones, apple cake, banana bread, or cupcakes to serve with tea.
- Hang St. Patrick’s Day decorations like shamrocks, bright green tablecloths, or paper rainbows for a festive atmosphere.
- Add music, such as upbeat Irish tunes, to set the mood of the party.
- Invite your guests to dress in their best green attire.
8. Read Irish fairytales
Irish fairytales are a magical and educational way for kids to explore traditional Irish stories and folklore on St. Patrick’s Day. Parents and kids can delve into the expansive realm of Irish mythology and immerse themselves in fantastical adventures with brave heroes, cunning villains, magical creatures, and enchanting locales that have been passed down for centuries. Here are seven popular Irish fairytales, their summaries, and where you can get them from:
- The Children of Lir: This Irish fairytale recounts the tragic story of a family cursed by the Goddess of the Lake, causing them to be transformed into swans for 300 years. Despite their plight, they remain loyal and hope they will someday return to their human form. Download the free PDF or audiobook from Libraries Ireland.
- Oisín in Tír na nÓg: This classic fairytale tells the story of Oisín and Niamh, two star-crossed lovers from different worlds who run away together in search of eternal youth in Tír na nÓg. Along their journey, they encounter many enchanting trials and tribulations until they finally find happiness in each other’s arms. Download the free PDF or audiobook from Libraries Ireland.
- The Salmon of Knowledge: This humorous tale follows Fionn mac Cumhaill as he attempts to catch the mysterious salmon that holds all knowledge in its belly. With help from an unlikely ally, Fionn achieves his goal and becomes wiser than any man before him. Download the free PDF or audiobook from Libraries Ireland.
- The Magic Shoes: This traditional Irish fairytale follows the story of a poor old woman who finds a pair of magical shoes that bring her good luck. Throughout her journey with the shoes, she discovers the power of kindness and generosity as she learns to share them with others in need. Download the free PDF or audiobook from Libraries Ireland.
- The Changeling: This Irish folktale tells the story of a changeling, a fairy child, who is exchanged for a human baby in an attempt to deceive its parents. Through this story, kids learn about the importance of family bonds and the power of love to overcome any obstacle. Download the free PDF or audiobook from Libraries Ireland.
- The King of Ireland’s Son: This Irish fairytale tells the story of a young man who embarks on an adventure to save his beloved princess. Along the way, he discovers the strength and courage that come with staying true to oneself and standing up in the face of danger. Download the free PDF or audiobook from Libraries Ireland.
- Deirdre and Naoise: This Irish folktale follows two star-crossed lovers who escape the evils of their society to find a happily ever after life. Through this story, children learn the power of true love and that, even in dark times, it is brave to stand up for what we believe in rather than follow social conventions. Download the free PDF or audiobook from Libraries Ireland.
9. Watch Irish animated features
Get your kids into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit by introducing them to Irish fantastic animated features. From leprechauns and magical fairies to stories steeped in Irish folklore, there’s sure to be something that will delight them. Here are suggestions of Irish animated features for kids, including summaries, themes, and where to watch online:
- The Secret of Kells (2009): Set in 9th-century Ireland, this Oscar-nominated fantasy animation follows the story of a young monk who embarks on a quest to finish a legendary medieval book that will save his people from Viking invaders. It explores themes of faith, courage, and inner strength. Watch it on Prime Video or Apple TV+.
- Song of the Sea (2014): This Academy Award-nominated hand-drawn animation is about a young boy and his magical sister set on an adventure to save their home. It explores themes of family, love, loss, and courage in overcoming adversity. Watch it on Prime Video, Rakuten TV, or Google Play.
- Wolfwalkers (2020): This animated feature is about a brave girl who journeys to a forest filled with mythical creatures and discovers a mysterious world of transformation. It delves into themes of friendship, understanding, compassion, and respect for the natural world. Watch it on Apple TV+.
10. Watch Irish live-action movies
Live-action movies are the next best experience to animated features you can share with your kids on St. Patrick’s Day. They provide an opportunity to explore Irish culture and discuss important themes like family, courage, and love. Here are suggestions of Irish live-action movies for kids or families, including summaries, themes, and where to watch online:
- The Quiet Man (1952): This Irish-American classic is about an ex-boxer who returns to his hometown in Ireland and falls in love with the village’s fiery free spirit. Themes of family, courage, and love are explored as the main character learns to appreciate what matters most. Watch it for free on Gloria TV.
- Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959): This fantasy adventure is set in rural Ireland and follows a mischievous old man’s attempts to outwit leprechauns. It explores themes of courage, friendship, and discovering the power within as Darby navigates his way through a magical realm. Watch it on Prime Video or Disney+.
- The Secret of Roan Inish (1994): This mystical and captivating Irish fairytale is about a young girl who unravels the secrets of her family’s past. It has themes of family, legend, faith, and finding one’s true identity. Watch it on Prime Video.
- The Luck of the Irish (2001): This family comedy-drama follows a teenage boy who discovers he’s connected to an ancient, magical world. Themes of secret identities, acceptance, and belonging are explored as the main character learns to accept both his magical and human sides. Watch it on Prime Video or Disney+.
- A Shine of Rainbows (2009): This heartwarming family drama is set in Ireland and follows an orphan taken in by a kind couple who introduce him to the joys of rural life. It explores themes of hope, resilience, and understanding as the young boy embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Watch it on Prime Video.
11. Have fun with St. Patrick’s Day coloring books
St. Patrick’s Day coloring books are a great way to engage children in Irish festivities and help them learn more about the history and culture of Ireland. Through these books, kids can explore the vibrant colors associated with the holiday, such as gold, green, and white, as well as important symbols like shamrocks and leprechauns. Most color books include a range of objects such as castles, famous monuments, traditional clothing styles, landmarks, buildings, and other elements that could be present at a typical Irish celebration.
12. Use a leprechaun name generator
A leprechaun name generator is a hilarious activity for parents and kids on St. Patrick’s Day that creates unique and clever Irish-inspired monikers based on your name. For example, download the leprechaun name printable from My Kids Time or use the leprechaun name generator online service from NameRobot Fun and follow the instructions. Call each other by your leprechaun name throughout St. Patrick’s Day, and try not to break character. You can also make name tags for everyone.
13. Play the rainbow rolling dice game
Rolling a rainbow is an easy yet exciting game for preschoolers on St. Patrick’s Day. Grab six colorful dice and start rolling away. The game’s goal is simple: be the first to roll six colors in the order of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple). The winner claims a prize: a pot of gold. It’s perfect for entertaining the little ones while teaching them basic color recognition skills. If you don’t have colorful dice, use standard ones and create a sheet to associate numbers with colors. As for the prize, craft a pot of gold using a mini black pot or a tiny cauldron, toilet paper rolls, colorful markers, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, glue, scissors, and chocolate gold coins or other candies. Visit Not Quite Susie to get the instructions for this pot-of-gold project.
14. Play St. Patrick’s Day bingo
Have fun with your kids by adding a twist to the classical bingo game and giving it a St. Patrick’s Day theme. Print or draw bingo cards and grab markers, coins, or other tokens to mark off squares when called out. Choose numbers by having players draw randomly from a pot or picking them yourself; select words and phrases related to St. Patrick’s Day, such as shamrocks, four-leaf clovers, leprechauns, or Irish flags. After starting the game, call out the numbers one at a time and have everyone mark their card with the corresponding token if they got it right. The first person to get five in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) yells BINGO and wins. Be sure to include a prize, whether a pot of gold chocolate coins or something else. Go to Crazy Little Projects to download a free printable template for St. Patrick’s Day bingo.
15. Play Irish charades
Irish charades are a fun and engaging St. Patrick’s Day activity for kids that will get them moving and thinking. Irish charades are classical charades with an Irish theme. Divide the group into two teams and have each team brainstorm ideas for Irish-themed charades. Some classic examples are Irish dancers, shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold, four-leaf clovers, St. Patrick’s Day parades, rainbow flags, luck, gold coins, horseshoes, hats, harps, and cabbage. Choose an actor from each team to take turns performing a charade chosen by the guessers. They must act out their charade without using any words, while the other team members try to guess the depiction. The rounds may be timed, depending on everyone’s preferences. Each correct guess earns a point for the team, and the team with the most points at the end of all rounds wins. Be sure to include a prize for kids, such as a pot of gold coins.
16. Set up a leprechaun trap
A leprechaun trap is a fun and creative way for kids to catch the elusive Irish leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day. The goal is to set the trap the night before the holiday. When kids wake up in the morning, they will check the trap for gold coins or other treasures, which indicates they have caught a leprechaun. Parents can help their kids build a simple or elaborate leprechaun trap, wait until the young ones go to bed, and place gold chocolate coins or other candies in the leprechaun trap overnight. Check out The Best Ideas for Kids for awesome leprechaun trap projects.
17. Organize a leprechaun scavenger hunt
A leprechaun scavenger hunt is an exciting activity for kids on St. Patrick’s Day that encourages problem-solving skills and imagination. The goal is to find the leprechaun’s hidden treasure by following clues. Follow these three easy steps to set up a leprechaun scavenger hunt:
- Design clues: Start by writing clues, one at a time, in order of difficulty. They should be challenging but solvable in a reasonable time. Here are some examples of clues that rhyme:
- Where the rainbow ends, your luck begins. Look for a clue in a bright spot.
- Underneath a three-leaf clover, you’ll find a secret to uncover.
- Through the meadow and across the plains, your next clue awaits with no complaints.
- It’s time to search high and low. Look for your next clue on top of a tree bough.
- You may have to look up high. It’s hiding under a bright starry sky.
- The end is near and the prize awaits, so don’t forget to look beneath the gate.
- Set up locations: Choose hiding spots that make sense with each clue; places that are likely to be overlooked or forgotten are great starting points. For example, Where the rainbow ends, your luck begins. Look for a clue in a bright spot pairs well with a lamp.
- Create a prize: The prize is the goal of the game, so it’s the most important part. Pick a prize that the participants will value, such as a pot of gold chocolate coins.
18. Play outdoor Irish games
Playing outdoor Irish games is an exciting St. Patrick’s Day activity that gets kids off their screens and out into nature. Make an entire event by inviting your family and friends to participate. Here are examples of Irish games for all ages:
- Potato sack racing: Participants get into potato sacks and race each other by hopping their way across the finish line. Consider adding obstacles such as cones or chairs for an extra challenge.
- Horseshoes: Players with 4-5 horseshoes each take turns throwing the horseshoes toward iron stakes in the ground. Scoring happens when one of the horseshoes lands within 6 in (15 cm) of the stake. Points are awarded depending on how close it is to the stake – two points for a ringer, one point if it’s within 6 in (15 cm), and nothing if it misses completely. The player with the highest score wins.
- Tug-of-war: This game requires two teams and a large rope. Each team takes one end of the rope and attempts to pull the other team across a line while the other team tries to resist. The winning team is the one that manages to pull their opponents across the line.
- Cammóg (stick pulling): This game requires two teams with at least four people each. Each person holds a wooden stick with one end attached to the ground by digging it in or tying it down. The goal is for each team to try and pull the other team’s sticks from the ground.
19. Play hurling
Hurling is a traditional Irish sport that can be a lot of fun for kids on St. Patrick’s Day. Two teams face each other at opposite ends of a playing field. Each team is given an equal number of sticks (called hurleys) and a sliotar (ball). The goal is to score points by hitting the sliotar between opponents’ goalposts. To do this, players must use their hurleys to either hit or pass the ball. When playing with kids, it’s important to take safety precautions by having everyone wear helmets and shin guards.
20. Plant shamrock seeds
Planting shamrock seeds is an easy yet rewarding activity that will keep your little ones busy all afternoon on St. Patrick’s Day. Purchase shamrock seedlings online or from a local garden store, fill individual pots with soil, have your kids add in the seeds, water them thoroughly, and watch as their leaf clovers start to blossom. Children will get a chance to nurture a plant from start to finish, play with gardening tools, and learn about the importance of plants in nature.
21. Learn and sing an Irish folk song
Learning and singing an Irish folk song is a great way to get into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day with your kids. There are many traditional songs from which you can choose, such as Wild Mountain Thyme, Whiskey in the Jar, The Parting Glass, Danny Boy, Roddy McCorley, Molly Malone, The Wearing of the Green, I’ll Tell Me Ma, and The Foggy Dew. Pick a song, listen to it with your children, look up the lyrics, and practice until everyone can sing along with little effort.
22. Learn a beginner Irish step dancing routine
Introduce your children to Irish step dancing on St. Patrick’s Day by learning a beginner routine together. Check out this YouTube video guide that breaks down Irish step dancing into management chunks. Kids can practice each section until they feel comfortable performing the whole routing. Make it a family event by getting everyone to join in. When everyone’s ready, put on some lively Irish music and have a dance-off.
23. Learn some Gaelic words
Learning basic Gaelic words is a fun and educational activity for kids on St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s not difficult as it seems. The best way to start is by listening to native speakers and repeating what they say. You can also watch videos, read books, or use online resources such as Irish dictionaries and language courses. Many online courses provide lessons in basic conversational Gaelic, such as Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, Memrise, or Learn Gaelic.
24. Put on an Irish play or skit
An Irish play or skit is an excellent way to encourage children to learn about Ireland’s vibrant culture and history on St. Patrick’s Day. It provides a unique opportunity for young people to engage with the culture firsthand and to understand the importance of honoring Irish traditions. Performances can be adapted to fit any age level and often include traditional music, dancing, storytelling, and other creative elements that help bring the story to life. Follow these four steps to put on an Irish play or skit for St. Patrick’s Day:
- Brainstorm ideas: Many websites offer scripts and skits as a Google search away. For example, Drama Start Books has a free 5-minute play script about an Irish legend called The King and the Donkey’s Ears. Alternatively, make your own skit, such as a mischievous leprechaun trying to avoid capture or an adaptation of a classic Irish folktale like Briar Rabbit.
- Come up with props and costumes: For instance, include pots of gold, shamrocks, leprechaun hats, and green clothing.
- Get kids practicing their lines: Assign roles to each child and get them to practice their lines together. Make cue cards to help them remember their lines and how to act or move during the performance.
- Set up the stage and have the kids perform: Encourage everyone watching to cheer on their favorite actors and applaud when they finish the performance.
25. Learn the holiday’s origins
Teaching children about the origins of St. Patrick’s Day is an educational experience since the holiday has religious and cultural significance. For example, explain how Saint Patrick was Ireland’s patron saint, who was born in Britain and traveled to Ireland to spread Christianity in the 5th century. He used shamrocks to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity and performed many miracles during his ministry there, such as banishing snakes from Ireland. March 17th has been celebrated for centuries and is a time for people to remember and honor St. Patrick’s legacy through parades, music, dancing, feasting, and drinking green beer in honor of Ireland’s national color. Check out Britannica for more info.
26. Research interesting facts about Irish castles and history
Exploring Irish castles and history is a great way for kids to learn more about the culture and traditions of Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. From medieval fortresses to modern manors, Irish castles are steeped in history and legend, making them an exciting destination for young travelers. Research famous castles online, such as Dublin Castle, Kilkenny Castle, or Blarney Castle to find interesting facts. Use these facts to get kids excited about exploring Ireland’s rich past, whether they are interested in warriors, kings, battles, or ancient artifacts.
27. Take a virtual field trip to Ireland
A virtual field trip to Ireland is a great way to introduce kids to the country’s history and culture on St. Patrick’s Day. With the help of online resources such as Google Earth or YouTube videos, you can take your children on an interactive journey through the Emerald Isle. From exploring castles and cathedrals to learning about traditional Irish music and dance, this activity will surely be educational and entertaining. Here are some cool ways to take a virtual tour of Ireland:
- Watch an amazing Ireland aerial tour
- Take a brief 360 tour of Ireland
- Visit The Irish Immigration Museum
- Learn about the Rock of Cashel
- Visit Ross Castle & Killarney
- Explore Dromoland Castle
- Check out Inisfallen Island
28. Research your Irish ancestry
Exploring Irish roots can be an exciting and rewarding experience for parents and kids on St. Patrick’s Day. You will learn about your family history, discover where your ancestors came from, and perhaps connect with distant relatives. To start researching your Irish ancestry, begin by gathering as much information as possible about your immediate family, including names, dates, places of birth, and migration. Next, search for records like census data, birth certificates, and newspaper articles that may provide clues. Contact other family members who may be able to give you useful information or point you in the right direction. Finally, explore online resources and archive collections, such as Irish Genealogy, which offer access to a wealth of records from the 16th century to the present day.
29. Go to a Saint Patrick’s Day parade
If you’re lucky enough to live near one, attending a Saint Patrick’s Day parade is an exciting way for kids to experience Irish culture firsthand. From colorful floats and marching bands to festive costumes and dancing groups, there’s something for everyone at these lively events. Parents and children can spend quality time together while learning more about Irish traditions.
Learn more useful information about St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids.
What are some outdoor activities that kids can do on St. Patrick’s Day?
Kids can go on a scavenger hunt looking for hidden gold (chocolate coins), have a potato sack race, or play a game of hot potato using a stuffed shamrock toy.
What are some educational St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids?
Kids can learn about the history of St. Patrick’s Day and Irish culture by reading books, watching videos, or doing research online. They can also practice their writing skills by creating a story or poem about leprechauns or Ireland.
How can I make St. Patrick’s Day fun for younger kids?
Younger kids may enjoy simple activities like coloring pages with St. Patrick’s Day themes or making a sensory bin with green rice and plastic gold coins. You can also read books about St. Patrick’s Day or play games like “Pin the Hat on the Leprechaun.”
How can I incorporate STEM into St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids?
Kids can use STEM skills to build a leprechaun trap using materials like cardboard boxes, string, and popsicle sticks. They can also experiment with mixing different colors to create shades of green using food coloring and water.
St. Patrick’s Day is an important celebration for those with Irish heritage and roots. But it can also be a great opportunity to share cultural history with younger generations. From crafts, recipes, and wearing green clothing to parades and special events, there are many ways to get involved in the day and honor the values of Ireland’s patron saint.
Getting kids involved in festive activities is a great way to keep them busy while planning a St. Patrick’s Day party.