St. Patrick’s Day for Preschoolers.

I. “L” IS FOR LEPRECHAUN

Start by coloring the “L is for leprechaun” coloring page. As your child colors, talk about other “l” words associated with leprechauns, including “lucky”, “little”, etc. Answer your child’s questions about the legendary leprechauns, though make sure you answer in a way that reflects the legendary nature of the leprechaun. For example, don’t say “leprechauns are so and so”. Instead, try, “I’ve heard that leprechauns…” or “Legend has it that leprechauns…”

Max is learning about leprechauns both visually, verbally, and musically. You can read the poem, “The Leprechaun” below with your child as he colors.

II. IMAGINATIVE PLAY- FIVE LITTLE SHAMROCKS

Download “The Five Green Shamrocks” song and coloring page for this activity from DLTK. You will need a felt or flannel board, sandpaper, and crayons or watercolors. If you prefer fingerplay over felt board, cruise on over to this message board where Carol shares a great version of this tune for fingerplay:

1 green shamrock, in the morning dew,

Another one sprouted, and then there were two.

2 green shamrocks, growing beneath a tree;

Another one sprouted and then there were three.

3 green shamrocks, by the cottage door;

Another one sprouted,

And then there were four.

4 green shamrocks, near a beehive

Another one sprouted,

And then there were five.

5 little shamrocks, bright and emerald green,

Think of all the luck these shamrocks will bring.

Sing a few more songs about leprechauns- “Lepechauns Are Dancing” and the “Have You Seen a Leprechaun” song.

III. EXPLORING COLORS- EVERYTHING IS GREEN

Walk around the house on a hunt for green things. Go room by room and ask your child to tell you what is green as you walk. Alternately, if you have an errand to run, your child can play this game with you anywhere from the grocery store to the lumber yard.

Cook some green food for lunch– salad, pasta with pesto sauce, broccoli, spinach, etc. Ask your child what green foods he favors. Here is an example of how Max and I talked about green in the context of St. Patrick’s Day while snacking on a green Granny Smith apple this morning:

IV. THE LEGEND OF LEPRECHAUNS ACTIVITY AND STORYTELLING EXERCISE

Prepare your child for the Pot of Gold Activity by recounting the following:

Now suggest creating your very own pot of gold to put outside tonight. Assemble the following materials:

  1. An old basket or plastic plant pot, cleaned (I helped Max wash the old plant pot so he could get a little cleaning practice)
  2. Glue and scissors
  3. Green construction paper or tissue paper
  4. Craft odds and ends that your child might enjoy using to decorate his pot
  5. A shamrock made from three hearts cut out of green paper

Cover your pot with glue and green paper, then begin decorating. Listen to music or talk about where you might hide your pot as you work. When you are finished, let the glue dry and go outside to find a good place for the pot in a green area. Help your child leave the pot in this location in the evening. Don’t forget to re-locate and fill the pot with pennies, mardi gras beads, gold hershey’s kisses, and whatever else is “gold” to your little imp overnight. The next morning, remind your child that you must look for the pot to see if the leprechaun tricked you.

LATER

Just so kids don’t have ALL the fun- and because someone has to stay up and play leprechaun- I suggest parents indulge in a little St. Patrick’s Day celebration of their own. First, read the legend of Tir Na N-og together, and then waste time doing absolutely nothing except listening to Tir-Na N-og by Van Morrison. If this sounds too sentimental, then you can listen to Shel Silverstein’s “The Unicorn Song” and make serious literary critiques of the lyrics.

Back to kids- because they don’t really go away, do they? If you’d like to extend the St. Patrick’s Day study into an Ireland study, you can add these elements to your preschoolers homeschool plan:

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