10 St Patrick's Day Activities For Kids
10 St Patrick's Day Activities For Kids
Have fun exploring this huge list of ten fun, unique, and inexpensive St Patrick's Day activities for kids.
When it comes to kids and St Patrick's Day, we often think of the color green, rainbows, leprechauns, and that illusive pot of gold. We also think of getting pinched when we are not wearing green, ouch! We took all those fun concepts (except the pinching part), folded them into super cool science based activities, and sprinkled in our very own Excavating Adventures love of excavations, discovery, and digging to create these activities to enjoy in and around St Patrick's Day.
So roll up your sleeves and get ready to have some fun as we dive into 10 St Patrick's Day activities for kids.
Activity #1: DIY Hunt for Gold
This super simple and awesome activity involves making some really cool little dig blocks. You then wrap the blocks in gold foil to make them look like a leprechaun's lost loot. You can then either give them out as fun little party favors, or you can do like we like to do at Excavating Adventures and hide them out in the yard for a fun St Patrick's Day gold hunt.
Watch this super quick video to learn how to quickly make the little dig blocks for the DIY Hunt for Gold Excavating Adventure:
Supplies needed for DIY Hunt for Gold
You need small containers in which to pour the excavations. For this tutorial, I will use a mini cupcake container I have left over from some Valentine's Day treats I had bought at the grocery store. You can also use egg cartons, small condiment cups, small paper cups, or pretty much anything that will allow you enough space to pour a small excavation.
Plaster of Paris
Gold foil candy wrappers. You can buy these online or just use regular aluminum foil. I prefer the gold foil for this activity because it makes the dig blocks look like gold for our St Patrick's Day activity. If you happen to have gold spray paint, you could also paint the dig blocks to create a cool gold look.
Items to put in the excavations. I like adding quarters or even silver dollars to the digs. You could also add plastic gold coins just for fun. Just be aware that you will need to add a little layer of plaster in the mold first and then press the plastic gold coin into the mixture and let it dry for a few minutes. This will keep the plastic coins from floating to the surface of the plaster and sand mixture before it fully dries. You could also add pyrite or any St Patrick's Day themed trinkets or toys.
Directions for DIY Hunt for Gold
- Add the coins to the mold. In this example, I will simple place a coin in each compartment of the plastic mini cupcake container.
- Dry mix three parts sand with one part plaster. This is a general recipe and does not have to be specific. Just try not to add too much plaster as this will cause the dig blocks to be hard and difficult for kids to excavate. Have no fear if this should happen, you can use a little water to soften the dig block and it will still excavate easily.
- Keep adding small amounts of water to the sand and plaster mixture until you get a consistency similar to pancake batter.
- Now, simply pour the mixture over the coins making sure to fill each compartment.
- Place the excavations in front of a fan overnight to allow them to dry.
- Once they excavations have dried, carefully pop them out of the mold making sure they do not crumble or break.
- Wrap each dig block in a piece of gold candy wrapper foil.
- Hide them around your house or yard and let the kids have a blast hunting for gold!
- Once the gold blocks have been discovered, provide the children with tools to excavate the blocks. Popsicle sticks and other stiff items work well to scrape away and dig into the blocks. You can also provide small hammers, brushes, and other tools for the children to use. Most importantly, make sure the participants have eye protection to avoid dust and debris getting into their eyes.
Did you know Excavating Adventures gives away ten of thousands of FREE rocks, minerals, fossils, and dig kits every year? Join the Dig Zone today and get your free goodies today!
Activity #2: Pot of Gold Digs
I absolutely love this activity because it just looks so cool! I go crazy every year at the dollar store when St Patrick's Day comes around because of one specific item... the little black plastic cauldrons! They come in a bag of five for a dollar and I use these cool little black pots for so many awesome things. And since we are talking about St. Patrick's Day activities, I'm going to show you how to use them to make awesome little pots of gold dig kits.
Watch this super quick video to learn how to quickly make these easy and awesome excavations we call Pot of Gold Digs:
Supplies needed for Pot of Gold Digs
The little black plastic pots I mentioned above. Don't worry if you can't find them at your local dollar store, you can easily order them online (they just cost a little more unfortunately). Just make sure to have one for each child that will be participating in this activity.
Plaster of Paris
Just like the Hunt for Gold activity, we will need something to hide in the dig kits to make it exciting and interesting for the kids. I like to use real coins for this activity, but kids go crazy for assorted rocks and minerals as well. You can buy mixed assortments of rocks and minerals online, but you can often find amazing rocks for free around a nearby stream, driveway, park, or pretty much anywhere there are exposed rocks. Just pick up some rocks that catch your eye and add them to the dig. Once they are discovered by the kids they become instant treasures!
Directions for Pot of Gold Digs
- Set out a black pot for each child and add the items you want them to discover. Be creative and make it exciting and fun!
- Just like above, dry mix three parts sand with one part Plaster of Paris.
- Add water until you get a nice smooth consistency that will pour easily.
- Now simply fill each pot, making sure to cover the items.
- This step is optional but you can add some gold glitter to the surface of the excavation while it is still wet to make it look super cool!
- Allow the Pot of Gold Digs to dry for a night or two in front of a fan.
- Pass out safety glasses, excavation tools, and let the kids dig in and enjoy the Pot of Gold Digs! If you are having a party or get together, the children can even use the pots to carry their treasures home.
Activity #3: Pot of Gold Dessert Digs
We love excavations and St Patrick's Day themed stuff so much we found a way to combine both things into something we can excavate and eat! This is another awesome activity that is a lot of fun, looks great, but also acts as a fun snack or dessert to include in your event.
Watch this super quick video to learn how to quickly make these easy and awesome excavations we call Pot of Gold Dessert Digs:
Supplies needed for Pot of Gold Dessert Digs
I hope you bought a bunch of those little black kettles like I did because we are going to need them again... I told you I love those things. Just wait until Halloween, I use them for everything! You will need one little black plastic pots for each child.
Edible gold spray. This is another thing I really love. You can paint things gold and have so much fun using them in edible excavation activities. This stuff can be a little hard to find in stores and a bit expensive online. Luckily it goes a long ways so I feel it is worth it. No worries though if you cannot find it or don't want to spend the money. It just adds a little extra themed fun.
Ziplock freezer bags
Wax or parchment paper
Small plastic spoon shovels. And here is yet another little item I LOVE! You can buy these online very inexpensively and they work great for edible excavations. But don't worry if you do not have these, a regular spoon works just fine and the kids will still enjoy the activity and treat.
Directions for Pot of Gold Dessert Digs
- Place the M&Ms on the parchment paper.
- Spray them with the edible gold spray.
- Once they’re dry, flip them over and spray the other side. You now have awesome little bits of yummy edible gold!
- Remove the cream filling from the Oreos and place the cookies in the ziplock bag.
- Seal the bag and use the kitchen mallet to crush the cookies into little crumbs.
- Now simply add the crushed cookies and some gold M&Ms to the little black pots and you have awesome Pot of Gold Dessert Digs. Just make sure to distribute the gold M&Ms throughout the crushed Oreos, and the kids will have a blast searching and discovering the delicious little treasures.
Activity #4: Magic Gold Coins Sensory Experience
I'm going to suggest you watch the video for this one to get the full effect, and believe me when I say this one really wows the kids. This activity will not only make gold coins appear right into front of their eyes, but the coins will seemingly levitate as well! Don't believe me, watch the video and get ready to be the coolest parent at the party when you pull this one off!
Watch this super quick video to learn how to add magic and a whole lot of fun to your next St Patrick's Day event:
Supplies needed for Magic Gold Coins Sensory Experience
A large clear container. It has to be clear for this illusion to work. I like to use large plastic pretzel containers or a large cheese ball container. Be sure to take off the labels. Goo Gone works well to clean up any adhesive left on the container.
Clear water beads (also known as Orbeez). Water beads are tiny little spheres that are made of a Super Absorbent Polymer that when left in water grow many times their original size. The water beads have to be clear for this illusion to work.
Plastic gold coins. I found bags of thirty gold coins at the dollar store for a buck.
Cloth material or bandana to use for a blindfold.
Directions for Magic Gold Coins Sensory Experience
This activity has three distinct parts so you get a lot of bang for your buck out of this activity.
First, we are going to make a super cool sensory experience and have the kids reach in blindfolded. You are going to love their reactions!
To set this up, add a very generous amount of water beads to the large clear plastic container and let them soak overnight. You will have to estimate how many water beads to add. Luckily they are reasonably inexpensive so be generous. You are going to want the clear plastic container nearly full to the rim with fully grown water beads.
Once the water beads have fully grown, drain off the water and push the gold coins down into the water beads. The gold coins will stay suspended where you place them so be sure to put them at different levels.
Now, blindfold your child and have them reach down into the water beads to retrieve what they find. Expect a lot of strange reactions that are super fun to watch!
After you have fun with this activity for a while, place the gold coins back into the water beads at different levels. You may notice that you cannot see the gold coins when you look through the side of the container. Gather your audience and slowly pour a pitcher of water into the container with the water beads. The gold coins will "magically" appear and seem to float at strange levels in the container. This demonstration always gets a lot of "wows!" from children... and even some adults!
Lastly, feel free to color the water beads green and have a little fun just playing and exploring these cool little items. Make sure the container of water beads is full of water and then add a drop or two of green food coloring for some extra St Patrick's Day fun. I actually prefer to use bath coloring tabs as they do not stain hands the way food coloring sometimes does. On this occasion I did not have a green bath tab, but a yellow tab and a blue tab combined perfectly to color my water beads green.
Before moving on, be sure to check out our other fun activities for kids using water beads!
Activity #5: Green Slime Shamrock Search
I love using a lot of fun things to make excavations and sensory searches for younger children, and slime is easily up there in the top ten as one of the best and easiest things to use. And if you haven't noticed, kids love slime!
While you can make your own slime using our Super Simple Slime recipe, to keep this activity as quick and easy as possible we are going to use premade store bought slime. As luck would have it, the dollar store came through again and had green slime for sale.
Check out this image on the only things you need to make a super easy Green Slime Shamrock Search:
Supplies needed for Green Slime Shamrock Search
Premade green slime
Something to hide in the slime. You can use little confetti style shamrocks and encourage your child to see how many they can retrieve from the slime. I found some really cool foam shamrocks that are covered in glitter. These larger items are perfect for young adventurers and the slime ends up very glittery when finished.
Directions for Green Slime Shamrock Search
You can't get any simpler than this activity. Just push some fun shamrocks or pretty much whatever you want down into the slime, hand it to your child, and let them have fun enjoying this amazing Non-Newtonian substance.
Fun Fact: A Non-Newtonian substance is a substance that doesn't obey Newton's viscosity law and can behave like a solid and liquid depending on the stress placed on the substance.
Oobleck is another fun Non-Newtonian substance to explore. You can even learn here how to make an oobleck excavation activity.
Activity #6: Kinetic Sand Gold Coin Search
Here is another super simple activity that is great for younger children. This sensory style activity will send children on an exploration through kinetic sand in search of gold coins.
Check out this image of the only things you need to make the Kinetic Sand Gold Coin Search sensory activity:
Supplies needed for Kinetic Sand Gold Coin Search
A bag of green kinetic sand. I have tried to make my own kinetic sand several times but I have yet to find a recipe that is comparable to the store bought stuff. Once I find a recipe I like, I will definitely write a post about it and add it to the blog!
Plastic gold coins. As with all of our Excavating Adventures activities, feel free to add whatever you want to your excavations, dig kits, and sensory searches. You know your children and what will excite them best so get creative and have fun.
Large tray or bin.
Optional - You may want to include some cookie cutters, small cups and bowls, ladles, spoons, and other kitchen utensils to this setup to add to the fun.
Directions for Kinetic Sand Gold Coin Search
Simply open the kinetic sand, pour it in the tray, hide the plastic gold coins inside and let your child dig in and start exploring. Told you, super easy and a lot of fun. Especially for younger children.
Be sure to seal the kinetic sand up tightly when finished playing as it will dry out.
Activity #7: Skittles Rainbow Search
This is a little Excavating Adventures spin on the normal Skittles Rainbow science experiment. This fun little dessert activity is very fun and entertaining. The kids will get to make a beautiful rainbow while exploring the scientific concept of diffusion. You can also introduce the acronym ROYGBIV. More on those things in a moment...
Enjoy the Skittles Rainbow Search:
Supplies needed for Skittles Rainbow Search
Bag of Skittles
Little black plastic cauldrons
Spoon or little plastic shovels
Ziplock freezer bag. I like to use freezer bags because the crackers can sometime poke little holes in regular baggies and crumbs leak out everywhere.
Directions for Skittles Rainbow Search
This edible excavation activity is very similar to the Pot of Gold Dessert Digs above. Just like in that activity, we’re going to make a an edible "soil" but this time we are going to use graham crackers. I use graham crackers because sometimes the moisture from the cream on the Oreos will mess up the experiment we are going to do once we excavate the Skittles.
Go ahead and setup a cauldron for each participant. Put the graham crackers in the ziplock bag and use the mallet to crush them into crumbs. Fill the cauldron with crumbs and scatter Skittles liberally though the graham cracker dirt.
Let the kids dig in with the little plastic shovel or spoon and discover the Skittles inside. Be sure to add enough of the tasty little candies so they can nibble on some while they work. Instruct the kids to set aside about 24 Skittles for the experiment.
Once the kids have discovered most of the Skittles, have them align the candies around the rim of the plate.
Now gently pour warm water into the center of the plate until the Skittles are about halfway covered.
Make sure the children do not disturb the plate, and within a few moments a beautiful rainbow of colors will creep toward the center of the plate. This process is called diffusion, which is when the dye and sugar moves from an area of more concentration, the ring of candies, to an area of lesser concentration, the center of the plate.
You may also want to take a moment to introduce the concept ROYGBIV. This acronym is a handy way to remember the order of the hues that make up a rainbow. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. There is also a super cute song on YouTube you should check out:
Activity #8: Erupting Leprechaun Stones
This activity takes a little more prep than some of the others, but it is well worth it when you see your children enjoying these fun little fizzing excavations.
Watch this super quick video to learn how to make Erupting Leprechaun Stones:
Supplies needed for Erupting Leprechaun Stones
Green food coloring
Tray or plate to dry the stones
Something to put inside the Erupting Leprechaun Stones. Little St Patrick’s Day plastic toys and trinkets are a great choice. You could also use real coins, cool rocks, plastic gold coins, or pretty much anything you think your children will love to discover.
Optional - Gold foil candy wrappers.
Directions for Erupting Leprechaun Stones
Add about a 1/4 teaspoon of water to a bowl and swish it around to moisten the sides of the bowl. It may seem like a minimal amount of water but you will not need much.
Next, mix the baking soda around to absorb the moisture. The baking soda should start to barely clump. If it doesn’t, just add more water a few drops at a time.
Now simply grab a handful of baking soda and firmly squeeze it around the item you would like to hide inside. Try and form the clump so it looks roughly like a stone.
Set the Erupting Leprechaun Stones on a plate to dry for about thirty minutes.
Once dry, wrap each stone in a golf foil candy wrapper.
When you are ready to enjoy this activity, fill a cup with white vinegar and add a drop or two of green food coloring.
Give each child one or more stones, a straw, a cup of green colored vinegar, and a bowl or plate. Instruct them to unwrap and place the stone on the plate. Then demonstrate how to use their thumb to plug one end of the straw to pick up vinegar to drip it onto the Erupting Leprechaun Stone. The stones will immediately begin to bubble and fizz when the vinegar is added, eventually melting away and revealing the items inside.
Pro tip: You can actually pack the baking soda into the little black cauldrons along with the excavation ideas to make an awesome erupting pot of gold activity.
Another pro tip: Pack a bath color tablet in the baking soda for a surprise pop of color once it comes into contact with the vinegar.
Activity #9: Walking Rainbow
This is another classic science experiment we have upgraded with a little extra dash of digging and discovery.
Watch this super quick video to learn how to make a Walking Rainbow Excavating Adventure:
Supplies needed for Walking Rainbow
Color bath tablets
Three to five clear plastic cups
One set of chopsticks for each participant. You could also use popsicle sticks or even spoons for younger kids who may not be comfortable using chopsticks.
Chocolate gold coins or any fun little candy.
Directions for Walking Rainbow
Put the color bath tablets in the bowl. Position the bowl in the center of a table, making sure all the participants can reach it.
Give each participant a set of chopsticks.
Now, instruct them to retrieve one of each color of bath tablet.
For extra fun and to stick with our St. Patrick's Day theme, reward a chocolate gold coin for each bath color tablet retrieved.
Pro tip: Feel free to mix the bath color tablets in with marbles, marshmallows, cotton balls, or some other item that will add to the challenge of finding them.
Once the participants have had fun and collected one of each color tablet, give them each a set of clear plastic cups and some paper towels.
Fill each cup about halfway with water and instruct the participants to drop a color tablet into each cup.
Next, twist the paper towels and put one end into one cup, and the other end into a different cup. Instruct them to try and arch the paper towel. After several minutes, the colors will "walk" up the paper towels and you will have a beautiful rainbow to enjoy.
Activity #10: Rainbow Eruption
Here is another very simple and fun activity that will entertain your little Excavating Adventurers. This fun little St. Patrick's Day activity begins with a search and ends with an experiment.
Watch this super quick video to learn how to make a Rainbow Eruption:
Supplies needed for Rainbow Eruption
Green kinetic sand
Color bath tabs
Cup of water
Empty foam egg carton
Directions for Rainbow Eruption
Dump the kinetic sand in the tray.
Add a dozen or so bath color tabs to the kinetic sand. There will be some of the same colors but it is not a problem for this activity.
Instruct the participant to explore the kinetic sand with their fingers and recover the bath color tablets.
Once the tablets have been recovered, place one in each compartment of the egg cartoon.
Then give the participant a cup of water and a straw. Show them how to plug one end of the straw with their finger to collect water. Then have them fill each compartment with drops of water until they are nearly full. The water will cause the bath color tablets to fizz and bubble and color the water. Kids really enjoy adding the water, watching the color tablets erupt, and mixing the colors during this activity.
That's it! I hope you enjoyed our list of 10 St Patrick's Day Activities for Kids and hopefully you found something you would like to try out. If you do like our activities and experiments, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and signup for our mailing list to be the first to know of new ideas we publish.