~ Misc. Ideas ~
Plan a totally green
day for St. Patrick's Day. Use only green writing and coloring
utensils for the entire day. Cover your classroom mirror or
windows with green
plastic wrap. Transform apple juice into green juice by adding a
few drops of food
coloring. Also offer a sampling of green foods such as pickles,
olives, lettuce, Granny Smith apples, and green jelly beans.
Wearing O' the
Explain to your
child that it is customary to wear something green on
St. Patrick's Day. Let her choose a green article of clothing to
put on for
the holiday. Or tie a green ribbon or piece of yarn around her
wrist. When you go
out, encourage her to look for green items others are wearing in
honor of St. Patrick.
Strings Party Decoration
Paste two shamrocks,
different sizes, different shapes,
with green curling ribbon down the middle. Hang.
believe their eyes when they see a leprechaun peeking in their
classroom window! In advance, purchase or make a small puppet
resembles a leprechaun, and find an adult helper. Ask the helper
scatter gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins on your playground just
leprechaun visit. Once the coins are in place, your helper puts
the puppet on
her hand and crouches just below your classroom window. At a
she makes the puppet peek in at the children. Announce to the
class that you've
just seen a leprechaun! Caution the children to sit very still
and be very quiet, so
that they might see the leprechaun, too. After a couple of peeks,
you think the leprechaun is heading for the playground. Encourage
the students to
line up and walk to the playground (while your helper runs in the
They'll be thrilled to find the candy treats awaiting them!
Explain to your
child that there are many stories about the magical little
characters called leprechauns. It is said that they are hard to
spy and very
hard to catch. But if you should catch a leprechaun, they say, he
to show you where his pot of gold is buried. Ask your child to
some ways she might try to catch a leprechaun if she spotted one.
Two weeks ago, a
leprechaun "lost" all his gold in our play spaces, he left us
his pot and a reward notice saying that if we could find all his
gold and refill
his pot by St. Pats Day, he would leave us a reward. The children
having a wonderful time finding the gold (gold spray-painted
items - anything
I could think of - marbles, rocks, buttons, keys, feathers,
spoons etc.). Each
time they find a piece of gold, they place it in the leprechauns
pot and I give
them a "Lucky Shamrock" sticker to put on their cubby name label
how many items we have and how many stickers each child has -
On St. Pats Day, the leprechaun will return at nap time and pick
up his small
pot full of gold - and in return he will leave a large pot (a
Halloween witch's cauldron)
full of a reward. The reward will consist of shamrock shaped
cookies, a pitcher of
lemonade tinted green, festive cups and napkins, and a goodie bag
for each child.
A few days before
St. Pat's Day "Sean" will leave us notes. "I've been watching.
I like the way ... was paying attention, etc. I'll have a
surprise for you on St. Pat's
Day." He even leaves us little chocolate money to estimate. On
the 17th I use
the bottom of my palm and my little finger to make green foot
prints all around
the room. When the children come in they, of course, notice green
foot prints going
across the t.v., the computer monitors, etc. "Well," I say, "just
wait until I talk to that
Sean!" The little rascal. They have fun looking for the prints.
Hidden around the
room are shamrocks with the ABC's printed on them. Sean leaves us
message on the marker board challenging us to find them. We do,
the letter name, sound, and a word that starts with it. Then, at
we come back to the room and there is a note from Sean saying he
a surprise for us. (I back a large cake, the Wilton sheet cake
that takes about
3 mixes. This year I used a chocolate one, tinted a yellow one
green and a
white one purple. I put them in the pan and then used a fork to
swirl the colors.
It turned out very pretty. The other teacher asks her parents to
send in green drinks.)
I use foot prints for my kids to follow. Outside our door the 5th
placed, "Go to the place where you draw pictures." Once there we
another message. We go to 4 places before finding our way back to
cafeteria. The other teachers leaves out shamrocks for her kids to
That way we don't get mixed up. Each child has a name on a
or a shamrock. Back at the cafeteria we find the goodies. Sean
has also forgotten
his bottle of magic leprechaun dust, green colored sugar. I tell
the children if I sprinkle
it on their tongues it will make them run like the wind. You
should see them
at recess running around. They'll come and stick out their
tongues for more.
One day during nap time, I sprinkle gold or green glitter all over
the room and
next to their mats to show that the leprechaun visited. I also
put gold items
outside for the kids to find. I have also written a note from the
The green food coloring in the toilet - the first kid who goes
comes back all
excited that a leprechaun was in and forgot to flush! Also -
having the leprechaun
leave a bowl of "green powder" (pistachio pudding mix) and milk
as a surprise.
For St. Patrick's
Day I do the footprints around the room and rearrange things
(things on the wall turned upside down, toys left out, etc....),
the children the impression that a leprechaun had been there
during the night.
To still the doubts of our few doubting Thomas', there is also a
tape left behind
with a message from the leprechaun (make sure the voice is one
do not hear around school). That usually convinces the
4 Class Pet
In my pre-k (4's &
5's), I have hamster/gerbil
bedding in my sensory table (it's green!).
Observe picture of a
leprechaun or use a puppet for this discussion. The
Irish love folktales about imaginary fairies. The most famous of
folk" are leprechauns, who are shoe makers for all other fairies.
leprechaun looks like a tiny old man. He is tricky and
mischievous. If you
catch one, he is forced to reveal the location of his pot of gold
if you look
him steadily in the eye. Once you relax your gaze, the leprechaun
escape! Pretend to be this imaginary fairy.
St. Pat's Fun
At my pre school,
we start the day off with a Flannel board story that I wrote.
You can find it
HERE. Then a little Irish
dance that is very simple.
You put one hand in the air over your head with the wrist bent,
the other on your hip, then tap your toe 3 times, then your heel,
then the same with the other foot. Turn around three times, then
in a circle prance around the room 3 times, then make a sweeping
bow at the end. After our dance we will have a story/game.
After the stories & game we will make derby hats out of the craft
I use a couple different green colors, dark for the hat lighter
for the band.
I also make a couple of shamrocks for them to put on the hat as
well as gold
trim & gold glitter paint. I staple a 1 1/2-inch band on both
sides to hold it on their heads.
While the children are busy making their hats, those mischievous
pay a visit to school, green crayons, are found around the room,
they have tied green
yarn around some of the chairs and all the green toys are
We have fun looking for the Leprechauns while we clean up the
mess. We return
to find that they have been in the workroom, & gotten into the
green paint and left
little green shoeprints on the table (use a Ken doll shoe dipped
in paint). They
have even managed to work their magic on our snack. We will have
cookies and as each child waits for their cup to be filled with
milk......the minute the
milk goes into the cup it turns green. (A drop of green food
coloring in their cup)
During closing time we will sing 10 little Leprechauns,
count our coins and do our dance one last time.
Day Bit of History
St. Patrick, the
patron saint of Ireland and the Irish, was born about 385
A.D. in Northern Wales. He studied religion in Europe to become a
bishop. He then brought Christianity to the Irish by teaching in
29 years. According to early Irish tradition, he died on March 17,
The anniversary of his death is celebrated as SAINT PATRICK'S DAY.
The first official celebration of St. Patrick's Day in the United
occurred in Morristown, New Jersey, in 1780. It was authorized by
Washington. Today St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by the Irish as
many Americans with parades, parties, wearing of green, Irish
Songs and jigs.
In Ireland, St.
Patrick's Day is celebrated by wearing a sprig of shamrock and
attending religious services. Afterward it becomes a festive
celebration. In America,
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated with parades, parties, wearing
of green, Irish songs
and jigs. Greet children with traditional Irish greeting, "Top of
The story of
The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of
was born in Wales about AD 385. His given name was Maewyn.
When he was 16, he was sold into slavery to Ireland where he was a
shepherd for 6 years.
While in captivity he studied and turned to religion. He escaped
slavery and later returned
to Ireland as a missionary, determined to convert Ireland to
He used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.
Patrick was quite successful at winning converts. And this fact
upset the Celtic Druids.
Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He
traveled throughout Ireland,
establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up
schools and churches
which would aid him in his conversion of the Irish country to
His mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. After that time,
Patrick retired to County Down.
He died on March 17 in AD 461. That day has been commemorated as
St. Patrick's Day ever since.
Much Irish folklore surrounds St. Patrick's Day. Not much of it is
Some of this lore includes the belief that Patrick raised people
from the dead. He also
is said to have given a sermon from a hilltop that drove all the
snakes from Ireland. Though
originally a Catholic holy day, St. Patrick's Day has evolved
into more of a secular holiday.
One traditional symbol of the day is the shamrock. And this stems
from a more bona fide
Irish tale that tells how Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock
to explain the Trinity. He used it in
his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit could all exist as separate
elements of the same entity. His followers adopted the custom of
wearing a shamrock on his feast day.
The holiday, March 17th, is marked by parades in cities across the
The largest of these, held since 1762, is in New York City, and
draws more than one million
spectators each year. In Ireland, it is a religious holiday
similar to Christmas and Easter.
Concepts to be Taught
St. Patrick's Day is
celebrated on March 17.
People wear green on this day in memory of Ireland.
One symbol of St. Patrick's Day is the shamrock
which is used as the floral emblem by the Irish.
Display a map of
Ireland and discuss:
Ireland is an island. People who come from Ireland or whose
ancestors came from
Ireland are called Irish. An emerald is a precious stone which
is green. Ireland is
often called the "Emerald Isle" because it is so green with
vegetation. The color
green symbolizes Ireland and the Irish. Many Irish immigrated or
to the United States which is why this holiday is celebrated
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Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!