Family-Friendly Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

In my small hometown in Northern Massachusetts, our St. Patrick’s Day parades were always a sea of green. I remember them fondly—green hats, gold coins filled with chocolate, and music filling the streets. It was an immigrant city, and during the heyday of factory mills, many Irish immigrants lived in town and worked in the factories. Given the city’s history, it’s no surprise that the parade was so huge!

St. Patrick’s Day has become a celebration of Irish heritage and the impact Irish immigrants have made on our wonderfully diverse country. When Irish immigrants came to the United States, they brought their traditions, including the Catholic celebration of Saint Patrick.

Check out some resources that can help you educate your little learners about the holiday and fill them with Irish spirit!

Learn about the history of Saint Patrick. While there are many legends about Saint Patrick, history shows that he was an enslaved person who escaped and helped spread Catholicism in Ireland. Here are some ways that young historians can learn more about Saint Patrick and the holiday that honors his life.


First-Second Grades

Third-Fifth Grades

  • Review the history of the holiday with older learners using the worksheet St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts. After reading the informational text about St. Patrick’s Day, your learner can practice creating a cut-out Celtic knot.

Enjoy the beauty of Ireland. The country is known for its beautiful cliffs, plentiful sheep, and lush greenery. Look for books about Ireland or search online for pictures.

This activity is appropriate for all grade levels.

  • Familiarize your child with the Irish countryside before having them paint a landscape using the Paint Ireland activity.

Embrace the Irish love of shamrocks. What started as a religious symbol used by Saint Patrick has become a national symbol of Ireland. The shamrock is featured prominently both throughout the island and internationally as an icon representing Irish culture.


  • Focus on the little details and the legends behind Saint Patrick with this S is for Shamrock worksheet. It’s a great way to practice the sh or s sound, too!
  • Continue to practice with the letter S with the Trace St.Patrick’s Day Numbers! worksheet.

First-Second Grades

  • Your artist can get creative with these St. Patrick’s Day Cards. Once they are finished, your child can write something nice to a friend.

Third-Fifth Grades

  • Up the challenge with this game about the Blarney Stone from Ireland, which uses cards with famous Irish symbols, like the shamrock. Ask players to use the worksheet Blarney! to print out cards and test their ability to see the truth or blarney (the lie) their opponents show during the game.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by hosting a party. Whether you plan to attend a parade or not, you can always plan a party at home. Here are some age-appropriate activities that will help your little one plan and host a gathering for family and friends.

These activities are appropriate for all grade levels. Young learners may need assistance from an adult.

  • Invite your friends with cards that have limericks to get your guests into a party mood. The How to Write a Limerick worksheet has some great ideas to help your learners write their own invitations.
  • Spruce up your home to set the ambiance for the party. Use some of the activities listed above and this shamrock-filled banner from the St. Patrick’s Day Decor activity.
  • Traditional lamb stew will add a lovely aroma to the party. Use the Irish Lamb Stew recipe and help your cooks-in-training show some hospitality.
  • Bake a traditional Irish soda bread to compliment the hearty soup.
  • Play a game of St. Patrick’s Day Trivia. Make the game easier for little learners by posing the questions true or false or giving two options for the answer.

    “May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.
    And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.” –Irish Blessing

By Jennifer Sobalvarro, who has experience teaching in 3rd and 5th grade classrooms as well as ELL instruction.

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