Celebrate St Patrick’s Day on 17 March and all that is Irish. St Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland and we’ve compiled a whole heap of fun St Patrick’s Day outdoor activities and games to get into the spirit of the Emerald Isle. Enjoy the craic, join in with the blarney and feel the luck of the Irish on St Patrick’s Day! To be sure to be sure!
Leprechaun Obstacle Course
Create an obstacle course, depositing shamrocks throughout. Children must either avoid the shamrocks or capture them, depending on your instructions at the starting line.
Blow up four or five balloons (green of course). They must never touch the floor! You may give children more difficult instructions such as not touching the balloons with their hands, or blowing on them, etc.
Trace, cut out, and glue shamrock shapes on the floor. Children must hop on the shamrocks. Ask them to hop on one foot, hop backwards, forward, sideways, etc.
Select one child to be the leprechaun. Whenever he touches a child, the child must stand still, like a statue. Another child must give him a hug to free him. This game is packed with hugs!
You’ll need tennis balls and five baking trays. Place baking trays on the floor, numbered 1-5. Give each child five bounces to land in the baking trays. Add up the total numbers to see who wins.
Top of the Mornin’
1. Children stand in a circle around a blind-folded child–who is the “leprechaun”.
2. The leprechaun holds a paper-towel tube (that can be previously covered in green construction paper) and SLOWY turns.
3. The tube is in a stretched out arm pointing to the circle of children… Play Irish music and when the music stops the leprechaun stops.
4. The child standing opposite the pointed tube goes to the leprechaun and says, “A Top of the morning to you,” INTO the TUBE. (Have children change their voices if they are able to.)
5. The leprechaun has 3 chances to guess who the voice belongs to.
6. If the leprechaun is correct–the child saying “Top of the Mornin” is the new leprechaun.
St. Patrick’s Day Relay Race
♣ Cut out a large number of SHAMROCKS; write a different instruction on each one for a relay race — such as: skip, crawl, crab walk, hop, walk backwards, etc.
♣ Duplicate the words for the number of Teams you will have playing. (Example: Three teams equal three sets of instruction words.
♣ Divide the children into groups (if not even, have one child go twice)
♣ Put the SHAMROCKS at the end of the room in a pile for each team.
♣ On go, the first player on each team runs up to the pile and takes a SHAMROCK. They do what the Shamrock shape instructs.
6. When the first players get back– the next players run to the shamrocks–and play continues…Return the shamrocks to the bottom of the pile until ALL have had a turn.
♣ Draw a leprechaun in the start box
♣ A pot of gold in the end box
♣ A rainbow from one end to the other
♣ Have children toss a gold coin on the course to play.
♣ Need 10 or more players, aged 8 and up, played indoors and outdoors.
♣ Players form two equal teams, each taking one half of a gymnasium or a large field. One team begins with a medium sized ball (eg: football), with the object of moving the ball over the opposing teams End, which is simply the rear boundary of that teams half.
♣ The defending team may tag an approachable player, whereupon that player must stop and immediately pass the ball, or give the ball up. The ball may be passed or run with, but it may not be kicked.
Leprechaun Leprechaun, Where’s Your Shamrock? (a version of Doggy, Doggy where’s your Bone?)
♣ One child, who is the leprechaun, sits in the middle of the circle with their eyes closed. One of the children in the circle hides a paper shamrock shape behind their back – the group together says:
“Leprechaun, Leprechaun where’s your shamrock? Somebody has it in their Pocket! Guess who?
Maybe you… Maybe a monkey from the zoo.
Come on Leprechaun where’s your shamrock?”
♣ The Leprechaun opens his/her eyes and has three guesses to who is holding the shamrock behind their back. Whether a right or wrong guess…the child with the shamrock is the next leprechaun.
Clover, Clover, Leprechaun (a version of Duck, Duck, Goose)
♣ Children need to sit in a circle
♣ One child stands up and walks clock-wise around the circle and gently taps each child on the head saying ‘clover’ ‘clover’, they then randomly selects a child by saying ‘leprechaun’ when they touch their head
♣ The child who has their head touched must quickly stand up and chase the nominated child to beat them back to their spot in the circle
Run Little Leprechaun
♣ Have the children sit in a circle
♣ Play music as the children pass around a shamrock made out of paper or a leprechaun plush toy.
♣ When the music stops, the child holding the shamrock / leprechaun also stops.
♣ The children yell – “run little leprechaun” and the child gets up and runs around the circle once then sits back down
Hunt for Green
♣ Give each child a clipboard with paper and pen and a bucket
♣ Send them outdoors to search for everything green
♣ Get them to either put it in the bucket or write down what they have seen
Leprechaun Relay Race
♣ You will need
- Irish music
- Tape/CD/MP3 player
Before the game, collect a list of different Irish dance steps. Divide participants into two teams of even number. Then split each team in two and have each half stand at opposite ends of the room. Demonstrate a couple of the dance moves. Then start the game by calling out a dance move and change them as often as you like. Have the kids complete the dance moves while running from one end to the other and tagging the next opponent.