St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Your School and Classroom
There are so many fun ideas for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at school while teaching your students about Ireland. A visit to Ireland is a feast for all your senses and these ideas cover many of them.
The Sounds of Ireland – Bagpipes, a Brogue, and an Irish Poem
As the children approach school, or come into the classroom – play the sounds of the bagpipes. For our celebration we were lucky enough to have one of the school’s own alumni, a boy named Patrick, play the bagpipes. The Irish flag hung in the school’s foyer.
Start the day with a greeting in Gaelic and an Irish Brogue. Our morning announcements featured Irish poet Connie Roberts who read an Irish poem.
The Landscape of Ireland – Rugged Coasts, Green Fields, Castles
The landscape of Ireland is one of its greatest features. Consider setting up a “Walking Tour of Ireland” by filling your school or classroom with photos of the beautiful landscapes.
Our classes took turns taking a tour and looking at the photos and reading and learning about what was pictured. Other things that were visually represented included the painted doors of Dublin and different sports in Ireland (soccer, hurley, etc.).
Items from Ireland
Ask the children to bring in any items from Ireland they might have. Children can take turns telling the class about the items they brought in.
We had a cabinet filled with items – sweaters, tea pots, crystal vases and glasses, caps, shillelaghs, etc.
Sheep dotting Fields of Green
Ireland is said to have “40 Shades of Green.” Many of the fields of Green are sprinkled with sheep, uniquely painted to show ownership.
Prior to the day, students were given an outline of a sheep to cut out and decorate anyway they liked. The instructions with the sheep stated,
“Decorate a sheep for International Day – Ireland. Use any material (cotton balls, pipe cleaners, paint, etc.). Be creative! Farmers often mark their sheep with a colored dot, so they know which sheep is theirs. How will you mark your sheep? Fun Fact: There are approximately 8 million sheep in Ireland!”
Homemade Cardboard Blarney Castle
The tours culminated in visiting our Blarney Castle which we had built out of appliance boxes. The kids visited and learned about receiving the “gift of gab.”
Irish Step Dancing
Children will enjoy watching traditional Irish Step Dancing. YouTube is filled with videos you can show. Children will especially enjoy seeing kids their age perform and seeing the elaborate costumes and wigs.
We were lucky enough (pre-pandemic of course) to enjoy a performance by Schade Academy of Irish Dance, a local Irish step dancing school. The dancers were fabulous, even the very, very youngest. Their traditional Irish step dancing outfits were beautiful!
Afternoon Tea – Serve a “cuppa”
“The Irish now drink more tea per capita than any other nation in the world – between six and seven cups a day.” Source: The Irish Times. Serve some tea with scones with jam or other baked goods.
We visited the classrooms and served tea. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to serve hot tea but the children got the idea.
Art Activities for St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day coloring sheets and book
There are many creative projects for the kids to work on. Coloring pages are a great way to show children the symbols, landscape, and even mythical stories of Ireland. The kids can create their own books!
How to Draw a Leprechaun Tutorial
This step by step easy tutorial will have kids drawing their own leprechauns in no time!
Fields of Green Watercolor Painting Tutorial
For older kids I’ve created a painting tutorial that allows them to paint in many shades of green!
These printable art activities are available in my Etsy shop at: www.etsy.com/shop/EileenMcKennaArt
I’d love to hear the creative ways you celebrated St. Patrick’s day in school!