St. Patrick's Day is a fun holiday, no matter your age. It is definitely much more fun with kids, though! It can also be an excellent time for learning opportunities. Teach the colors of the rainbow, learn about shamrocks and other "green things". Here are our 5 favorite St. Patrick's Day activities; enjoy!
#1- Rainbow Sticky Wall
This activity is one of our all-time favorites! No mess and you can change it up each season. We have created walls for Thanksgiving (feathers) , fall (leaves), Christmas (make a christmas tree), etc. This matching activity is great for practicing color recognition. This hands- on activity also has the potential to keep your kiddo busy for a while! Plus, no need for glue- a huge win in my book!!
Contact paper (This roll is 17.5" x 5 feet)
Markers (to draw the rainbow outline.)
Colored tissue paper cut in squares (all colors of the rainbow) Here's a good multicolor bulk pack.
Optional: little bowls to organize the different paper colors. Not necessary, but it kept things a little more organized for us.
1) Cut out the contact paper whatever size you'd like. A rectangle shape seemed to work best for us, but any size/shape works.
2) Draw a rainbow.
(When we first did this activity, my little one was barely 2 and was just learning his colors. I used different color markers to draw the rainbow, so this activity was a "matching" learning activity. If your child is older and has mastered identifying colors, you could draw the rainbow lines using only a black marker and see if they remember the color order of a rainbow.
3) Next, peel off the back of the contact paper.
4) Use the painters tape to secure the contact paper on an empty wall (Make sure the sticky side of the contact paper is facing outwards)
5) Now's the fun part! Your little one gets to place colored tissue paper on the correct colored line.
#2- Fruit Loop Name Necklace
A fun (and yummy) craft! This activity also provides a learning opportunity- teaching and practicing patterns!
A bowl of Fruit Loops
Green construction paper
Writing utensil (pen, marker, etc)
Since toddlers have a short attention span, I recommend prepping as much of this activity ahead of time. Have the string and green shamrock already cut out. Punch a small hole at the top of the paper shamrock. If your child is learning to write their name, have them write their name on the shamrock!
String the shamrock halfway through the string.
Next, have your child string the fruit loops on each side. This is a great opportunity to work on color patterns!
Leave enough empty string to tie around your child's neck. Make sure that you leave it loose since this necklace will be going over their head to take off.
Last step- eat the extra Fruit Loops ;)
Final Product :)
#3- Shamrock and Coin Scavenger Hunt
My little guy loves a good scavenger hunt.. I mean, who doesn't?! I love scavenger hunts too because they always burn off energy and result in my son being ready for a nap ;) Hooray! If the weather is nice, take the scavenger hunt outside. If not, an indoor hunt is just as fun!
Plastic gold coins (I found some at the Dollar Tree and picked up a few packs. You can't beat $1!!)
Shamrocks (I bought a few packs of glittery fabric Shamrocks from the Dollar Tree and they worked great for this hunt and other activities!) You could also cut out Shamrocks using construction paper or felt. Interested in a pre-made pack? Check this out. This multi pack includes different sizes and shades of green.
A basket, cup (or something else) for your child to collect their findings.
The scavenger hunt is as simple as it sounds. Hide the coins and Shamrocks and have your child find them! Since my son loved the hunt so much, we did a few different rounds. A timed round (where we timed how fast he could find everything) and a round where he hid the materials and I had to find them.
*If you're looking to make this a learning activity, have your child count how many coins and Shamrocks they found.
#4- Rainbow Rice Sensory Bin
Like I've mentioned before, sensory bins are a lifesaver and so versatile. The possibilities are endless! Having a rainbow rice sensory bin is a fun activity all year long, but it definitely came in handy when St. Patrick's Day approached last year! You can also use different materials such as dried beans, noodles, or chick peas. Use food coloring to dye them or leave them as is. Sensory bins are hands-on, and they promote independent and creative play. There's no "wrong" way to play with a sensory bin!
1 cup of uncooked white rice per color
15-20 drops of food coloring, per color (We just did red, yellow, green, blue & purple only because I didn't have orange food coloring;) Do whatever works for you)
Ziplock bags (I used sandwich size)
1/2 tsp. water per color
Clear plastic bin (Any size)
Fun St. Patrick's accessories to include in the bin such as: gold coins, Shamrocks, black plastic pots, scoopers, etc. These were the same materials I used for the scavenger hunts. All purchased at the Dollar Tree!
Making the rainbow rice
Actually dying the rice is the "hardest" part , but once it's done and dry, there's really no other prep.
Put one cup of uncooked rice into each plastic bag.
Mix 1/2 tsp. of water + 15-20 drops of food coloring per color and then shake shake shake until the color is spread evenly. You may need to add more water.
Place the rice out on a piece of parchment paper, aluminum foil, baking sheet, or paper towel and allow to dry.
Repeat the above steps for the other colors
Once completely dry, pour all colors into a small bin.
(Before I mixed the rice all together. It was too pretty not to take a picture!)
#5- Fruit Loop Color Sort
Back to the Fruit Loops! :) They come in handy this time of year. This last suggestion is another excellent hands-on color sorting activity.
Simply draw different colored circles on a piece of paper. Give your child a bowl of Fruit Loops and have them sort through the cereal putting the different colored "loops" in the correct circle. Easy, hardly any prep, and a yummy treat:)
Small Bowl to put the cereal in
A piece of white paper with different colored circles
Looking to make this activity a little bit more challenging? Write different numbers inside the circles. Then, the child is working on color recognition and counting.
Example: The red circle has a 4 so there should be 4 red Fruit loops in the circle.
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