St. Patrick’s Day Crafts For Preschoolers: Thrift Store Edition


St. Patrick’s Day takes place on the same day every year on March 17. This year, the holiday falls on a Tuesday. We love a good holiday to use as an excuse to make decorations, do a fun craft, and show our festive spirit. Especially with young kids, St. Patrick’s Day is about the endless possibilities of green food coloring, all the leprechaun crafts, and maybe a run through McDonald’s for a Shamrock Shake.

Celebrating Irish culture is what St. Patrick’s Day is all about. Oddly enough, most of the traditions we partake in today were created in the United States.

Why do we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day?

Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green, but have you ever wondered why? Chances are your kids will be asking you this question. The tradition of wearing green on St. Patricks’ Day came about because when Irish immigrants came to live in America, they did not want to be seen by leprechauns. According to Irish folklore, the leprechaun was something of a trickster and not one to get caught up with (leprechauns were known to pinch anyone they could see).

One way to avoid these fairy creatures was to wear green, a color that their eyes could not detect. So, Irish immigrants believed that they would not be seen by leprechauns if they wore green. This is also why you might get pinched (by a human, not a leprechaun) if you’re not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.

What are some ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with kids?

This holiday is a great way to teach kids about celebrating other cultures. Introducing them to ancient stories like the one about the leprechauns is a fun way to get their attention.

Trying new foods is also a delicious way to celebrate. Corned beef and cabbage is a popular Irish-American dish served on St. Patrick’s Day. Though this is another tradition that originated in America, it is still considered an Irish dish. Irish immigrants would use corned beef as an alternative to the traditional bacon that they used in their home country. Perhaps when accompanied by a unique story, your kids are more likely to gobble up a bowl…maybe.

Crafts, games, and decorations are always an easy and fun way to celebrate any holiday, but St. Patrick’s Day is especially fun because of the green color association and all the other symbols. The three-leaf clover, or shamrock, is a popular symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. According to Irish legend, the shamrock was used to explain the Holy Trinity to non-believers.

Why shop at a thrift store for craft supplies?

There are all kinds of easy crafts and decorations you can make using the color green and the symbols of St. Patrick’s Day. Have you ever noticed how a trip to the craft store can really add up? Doing fun crafts at home is not always an inexpensive activity. This is one reason why shopping at a thrift store for some of your craft supplies is the way to go.

While you may need to purchase things like paints, glue, and other art supplies at a craft store, you can find most of your other supplies at your local Goodwill. Plus, it’s a more creative shopping experience. Imagine walking in the kitchen aisle and asking your kids if they can spot anything that could be made into a leprechaun hat. They get to use their problem solving and creativity skills while shopping, and you save money on some of your larger craft supplies. It’s a win-win.

St. Patricks Day Crafts, Games, and Decorations

Check out these ideas for inspiration to get your little ones in the spirit of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Fabric Wreath. Find a tutorial, like this one, for a step-by-step outline on how to create a fabric wreath. Then head to the thrift store to pick out a variety of fabrics and linens. Tablecloths, towels, or even bedding would work for this craft.
  • Leprechaun Hat. Print out or pull up a picture of a leprechaun hat. Show it to your kids and bring it with you to Goodwill. See what you can find that you can repurpose into a leprechaun hat. Some ideas include a small flower pot turned upside down, cardboard boxes that you can cut and shape, and Tupperware.
  • Pot o’ Gold Rainbow Tablecloth. This keepsake craft is a fun one for preschoolers. All you need to find is a white tablecloth or table runner. Then it’s time to break out the paints and get those little hands ready. You can help make a pot of gold using construction paper. Then your kids get to create a handprint rainbow coming out of the pot. You might get a little messy, but that’s the fun of it!
  • Green Scavenger Hunt. Preschoolers and young kids love practicing their colors. You can do a green scavenger hunt virtually anywhere, but doing it at a thrift store is especially fun and challenging. You can either make a list of items to find ahead of time or simply head to your local Goodwill and see how many green things your kids can find.
  • DIY Green T-Shirt. If you want to create a St. Patrick’s Day shirt for your kids to wear but you don’t want to use one of their own shirts, head to Goodwill! All you need is a white or green shirt, some art supplies, and a lot of imagination. Let your kids make their own shamrock using a heart-shaped stencil or add some green handprints for an adorable design they’ll be proud to wear.
  • Treat Tray. If you’re one to set out festive candies or treats for special holidays, creating a St. Patrick’s Day treat tray is a fun craft for you. Using a recycled cutting board or wood butcher block thrift store find, simply paint “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” on the tray. Your kids can help by adding polka dots or sponge stamps to the design. Just add green candy and you’ve got a fun craft and decoration all in one!
  • Pot of Gold Sensory Game. This Montessori-inspired game can be played with one child or a group of kids. Fill a “pot of gold” with a variety of objects that have different shapes and surfaces. Add some Rolos candies in there as the “gold.” Each child has to put their hand in the pot without looking. They have to find one item and guess what it is by describing what it feels like. You can find tons of baskets and boxes to use as your pot vessel at Goodwill.

Ready to go on the hunt for craft supplies? Find a Goodwill location near you!

St. Patrick's Day Crafts

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