Fun & Games

21 DIY St. Patrick's Day Games & Activities Your Kids Will Love

It’s gonna be a green, er, great day!

Written by Deirdre Kaye
Two toddler boy and girl celebrate the holiday on March 17. Child celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Tradi...
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Top o' the mornin' to ya! St. Patrick's Day is upon us, so it's time to dive headfirst into all things "Irish." For you, that might mean wearing way too much green, telling some inappropriate St. Paddy's Day jokes, and drinking one too many pints of Guinness. Kids love St. Patrick's Day for entirely different reasons, but even they understand that this holiday represents shenanigans. Not wearing green? You're getting pinched. Want a pot of gold? You'll have to hoodwink a leprechaun. Plus, there are literally bright colors and rainbows everywhere! What could be better when you're 3 or 5 (or ten or 35)? Nothing, lass. Nothing is better than St. Paddy's Day. The only thing that could perhaps enhance it is having a whole bunch of St. Patrick's Day games and activities lined up that you can DIY with your family.

After all, the question of how to entertain your little lads and lassies on this bright and beautiful spring day is a valid one. It's not like you can take them day drinking. Believe it or not, fun and innovative ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day without the Jameson do exist. Need some ideas? Say hello to the following St. Patrick's Day activities, a mhuirnín! (That means "darling” in Irish.)

01

Capture the Coin

Think of this as capture the flag — but with a coin. Pick a playing area, and then divide your family into two teams. Place one coin (or chocolate coin, if you dare) in each territory. Once the game begins, each team will try to cross into the other team's territory to steal their coin and make it back to their side without being caught.

02

St. Patrick’s Matching Game

Little kids need help boosting their memories. One great way to do that is with matching games. Why not keep your skill-building games on theme with a St. Patrick's Day matching game? You could quickly whip one up in a pinch using construction paper, colored pencils, and a bit of artistic imagination. Items to match could include leprechauns, rainbows, pots of gold, leprechaun hats, and four-leaf clovers.

03

St. Paddy’s Day Scavenger Hunt

If you're looking for something lazy-easy to do, this could be it. Sure, you could get really into it and hide specific things all over the house for your kiddos to find. Or you could just make a scavenger hunt list pointing your little scavengers to stuff you already have at home. Something green you use when you dream? Your favorite green blanket. A rainbow that erases your troubles? The rainbow eraser you bought your daughter at the book fair. You get the gist; it's all about creative marketing.

04

Pin the Coin in the Pot

This is a pretty easy game to play, too. You can DIY it. But it doesn't require a ton of work if you just buy an already made St. Paddy's Day version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Whoever gets their coin closest to the pot at the end of the rainbow is the winner!

05

The Leprechaun Name Game

Warning: Not all St. Patrick's Day-themed monikers you'll find on the internet turn out to be appropriate for kids. But don't worry; Scary Mommy rounded up over 100 leprechaun names you can choose from for your family members. And while just giggling over these names is fun in and of itself, you can make it even more fun by telling everyone they have to go by their leprechaun name the rest of the day. If you call someone by their real name, you're out!

06

Lucky Charms Puzzle

Guys. This is so simple! Just cut up your Lucky Charms box and let your kiddo reassemble it! The perfect quiet activity during breakfast.

07

Shamrock Tic-Tac-Toe

Want to invest your time and energy in a St. Patrick's Day game you can pull out every year and play with the kiddos? A handmade shamrock tic-tac-toe set is the answer. If you have any woodworking talent, you could literally whip up a board with nine squares along with horseshoe and clover playing pieces. If your talents are, well, not that, you can opt for something simpler. One idea? Find a large square piece of wood and paint your grid on it. Then, gather stones or rocks and paint horseshoes and clovers on those. Voila!

08

St. Paddy’s Day Word Search

Expand little minds and exercise brains with a themed St. Patrick's Day word search. Yes, Etsy offers lots of printables to buy. But who among us remembered to order and print those out ahead of time? Fortunately, you can find plenty of examples online to jot down on a piece of paper (or, if you want to make it more festive, green construction paper).

09

Leprechaun Footprints

Technically, this activity is more for you to do the night before St. Paddy's Day as your kids sleep. They'll wake up in the morning, find tiny leprechaun footprints in the house, and they'll know St. Paddy visited them! But it would also make a fun little painting activity to do with your little ones. Just grab some green paint and let everyone use the side of their fists to stamp out festive feet.

10

Rainbow Dice Game

Remember those random dice you found in your junk drawer, part of some board game long forgotten? Here's your chance to put them to good use! And, really, you only need one. First, find permanent markers in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Then, color each side of your dice in a different color. Once that's done, you're ready to play.

The rules are simple: Each kid gets four pieces of candy. You'll place a pile of candy in the center of the table. Everyone takes turns rolling the dice, with the following outcomes — 1, pick one piece of candy from the center; 2, pick two pieces; 3, skip a turn; 4, put one piece of candy back; 5, take one from someone else; 6, take two from someone else.

11

Four-Leaf Clover Lacing

When your kiddo is too little to tackle letters and numbers, you can still work on their fine motor skills. This lacing game is super easy to DIY. All you need to do is cut four-leaf clovers out of cardboard, color them green (some people like to also add a spray of gold), and then poke holes in whatever pattern you decide. Your kids can then use yarn to thread through the holes and create shamrock art.

12

Snake Round-Up

Any chance you know the story of St. Patrick? People claim he chased the snakes from Ireland. For this game, you'll want to invest in (or dig out) a bunch of toy snakes. Hide them all over the house or yard and let your kiddos go to town trying to find them.

13

Shamrock Color Swirl

Kids freakin' love finger paint. As a mama, though, you freakin' hate the mess it makes. This shamrock color swirl activity keeps the blue and yellow finger paints safely sealed away in a bag. Bonus: It helps teach color mixing.

14

Pot of Gold Coin Toss

Remember all those mini cauldrons you bought for Halloween? Dig them out, set them in a triangle on the floor, and give each cauldron a point value. Your kiddos can stand a few feet away and toss their gold coins into the cauldrons, turning them into pots of gold and scoring points in the process.

15

Green-Themed Sensory Bin

Sensory bins are often messy, but toddlers adore them. So, ya know, what are you gonna do? At least this green-themed sensory bin is pretty easy to put together. You'll just need different sensory elements that you can dye green — think rice, noodles, beans, etc.

16

Leprechaun Hat Toss

Pair up your children and let them race against each other to see who can toss a leprechaun hat (c'mon, you know you have at least one lying around somewhere) onto their teammate’s head the fastest or in the fewest number of tries.

17

St. Patrick’s Day Word Scramble

Sometimes our kids need a bit of a challenge to have fun. A word scramble is definitely that. Make a list of all the St. Paddy's Day-themed words you can think of: Irish, shamrock, lucky, gold, leprechaun, charm, rainbow... the list goes on. Write them down on pieces of paper with the letters all scrambled up. Make sure you leave a blank space beside each scrambled word for your kids to write the answers.

18

Gold Treasure Hunt

Don't just hand over the chocolate coins; first, make your little leprechauns work off some excess energy. Treat your gold coins like an Easter Egg hunt and make your kiddos earn that extra sugar.

19

Another Leprechaun Hat Toss

OK, so we apparently love a chance to toss something at someone's head. This time, it's ping-pong balls. The target? Someone in your family wearing a leprechaun hat with a bowl taped to its top. You can buy this game as a kit online, but the DIY aspect makes it even more fun (and funnier) if you ask us.

20

Shamrock Hunt

They've searched for snakes and coins; why not search for shamrocks and four-leaf clovers, too? We suggest using them for decoration, and then you can use the hunt to help you clean up after the festivities. *insert maniacal evil mama laugh here*

21

St. Patrick’s Day Coloring Pages

If all else fails, break out the crayons and coloring pages to keep your kiddos entertained. This works exceptionally well if you're nursing a teensy hangover from your grownup St. Patrick's Day shenanigans (no judgment) and need some quiet time. Scary Mommy has your back with free St. Patrick's Day printables for your kids' coloring pleasure.

See? Tons of stuff you can do with your kids at home on St. Patrick’s Day — even if you waited until the very last minute and missed your window to order supplies. You just need some creativity and a little luck to pull off these fun St. Patrick’s Day games and activities.