Saturday, March 9, 2013

St. Patrick’s Day Activities


Pot of Gold Hunt


A Leprechaun has left their treasure for you to find. Follow the clues and see if you can find it. 

This is a super fun activity that promotes reading, cultural learning, teamwork and detective skills. It’s also a great activity to write about afterward. This can be done around the house, or at school. I’ll outline how to do both. 

Supplies:
  • Die cut shamrocks to write the clues on.
  • Some sort of treasure box and treasure. Obviously this should be whatever you feel is appropriate. I’ve found a green plastic pot and gold covered chocolate pieces at Party City. Oriental Trading also has really cute stuff.  Consider shamrock pencils, erasers, necklaces, etc.
  • Green and gold glitter--because everything is more fun with glitter.
At School
  • Plan early! You need to write out the clues, get them hidden, purchase the prizes and get the right people involved.
  • Get permission from your school officials since your class will be in the hallways and very excited--and it's getting close to testing time. A good way to get approval is to ask them to participate. Most principals and office support love being involved and don't often get to see all the little ones in the office. 
  • Get as many school personnel involved as you can. Find out who has planning time at the time you’re doing, ask the nurse, librarian, secretary--whoever you can find. 
  • **TIP** If possible find a parent or assistant to take half the class while you take the other half. This means making 2 sets of clues. (Use the same clues, just let one group go 5 minutes ahead of the other group.) Maybe a light green and a dark green set. Smaller groups allow more kids to have a voice in figuring out the clues.

  1. Introduce the kids to St. Patrick’s Day by reading them a story such as Clever Tom and the Leprechaun: An Old Irish Story by Linda Shute (I usually do this the day before the treasure hunt because once they see the first clue the next day they’ll be too excited to sit for a story.)
  2. Write the clues and stash them around the school. I try to have one clue for each kid, or one clue for a pair of kids so they each get a chance to read. See clue samples below. You might want to write the name of the kid who’s supposed to read it on the back. The more organized this is, the less chaos there will be. 
  3. Sprinkle gold and green glitter not the floor in the classroom. You could do glittery footprints or a trail leading up to the first clue.
  4. The next day when the kids walk in the room the fun begins!
At Home
  1. Introduce the kids to St. Patrick’s Day by reading them a story such as  The Leprechaun's Gold by Henry Cole. or Clever Tom and the Leprechaun: An Old Irish Story by Linda Shute.
  2. Write clues on Shamrocks and hide them around the house.
  3. Hide a special St. Patrick’s Day treasure at the end of the trail of clues. 
  4. Sprinkle the first clue with a trail of green and gold glitter, or glitter footprints.
  5. Encourage your child to try and read the clues and lead you around the house searching for the next clue.  

Leprechaun feet by thecraftingchicks.com
Leprechaun footprints by forkidsentertainment.com
**I would definitely add green and gold glitter to the footprints.** 

Sample clues: 
(This is a set I used for my classroom. Clues can easily be adjusted to a home, daycare, etc.)
  • Clue #1 Top O’ the Morning kids! I had fun playing at your school last night. But I lost my pot of gold. If you find it and promise to share you can keep my treasure. I was looking for a book about St. Patrick. Where do you think I went? (This clue is in the classroom.)
  • Clue #2 I read lots and lots of books in the library! It made me hungry for a snack. (This clue is left with the librarian.)
  • Clue #3 Mmmmm. I love green food the best. After my snack I I needed some healthy exercise. (This clue is left in the cafeteria.)
  • Clue #4 I wanted to call home to Ireland to see how my leprechaun friends were doing. (This clue is left in the gym or with the coach.)
  • Clue #5 Next, I wanted to talk to the big boss and see how you were behaving. (This clue is left with the school secretary.)
  • Clue #6 After going all around your school, I took a break in the nicest classroom I could find. It had a lion poster and 20 desks and round, red rug. (Describe the children’s classroom to lead them back there. This clue is left with the principal.) They can hunt all over the room for the “pot of gold.
**Don't forget to have the kids write or draw about what happened afterward! 
Personal experiences produce the best writings.**



More St. Patrick's Day Activities:

Rainbows and Hats by Coupons Are Great
Lots of Cute St. Patrick's Day Activities by Housing a Forest
12 At-Home St. Patrick's Day Activities by LearnWithPlayAtHome.com
Leprechaun Legends by Crayola. This activity is geared toward 3rd-5th grade but has some great opening questions.

St. Patrick's Day is a great time to teach or re-teach about rainbows and prisms.
Review ROYGBIV, and have the kids make rainbows with markers, crayons, pipe cleaners or torn paper.


St. Patrick's Day Writing Prompts:

  • Write about the day you saw a leprechaun. How did you catch him? What did he say to you?
  • What would you do if you found a pot of gold?
  • What is a rainbow and why do we see them?
  • What did you learn about St. Patrick's Day?
  • Pretend you found a four-leaf clover. Write about all the lucky things that happened to you.
  • Make a list of all the green things you can think of. Write a story about some of these green things. 
  • Pretend you just found out your family is really a bunch of leprechauns. Write a story about what you wear, where you work and what you do together.
  • Write about all the ways in which you're lucky. Include your family, your talents, your skills, etc.
  • Write a letter to a leprechaun. (Ask him for his gold.)


Videos of St. Patrick's Day Songs and Stories








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