St. Patrick’s Day is that March holiday that lifts us out of a late-winter slump and reminds parents everywhere that—if you’re up for it!—there is room for a little magic and fun between December and summer break. So, throw on a green shirt and consider trying one of these fun St. Patrick’s Day traditions with your kids!

Together with your kids, celebrate in a whir of green, gold, and rainbows with some of our favorite snacks, tricks, and magical moments for St. Patrick’s Day with children.

You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your kids, but it’s a nice idea to read a few books about the holiday and its history before you celebrate. You’ll also want to teach them about leprechauns, those magical and mischievous little creatures responsible for manning the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Magical St. Patrick’s Day Traditions for Kids

 St Patrick's Day activity that involves using paint and car windshield wipers to make a windshield rainbow

Photo: Helmut Smit

You don’t have to go all out with your St. Patrick’s Day traditions to spark your child’s imagination and sense of awe! Let the littles wonder if they’ve been visited by a silly leprechaun who leaves treats, glitter, or an air of whimsy in his wake with these simple ways to pull off some St. Patty’s Day magic for the kids.

Get the car rainbow ready.

A rainbow on the windshield is one of those parent DIYs that looks complicated, but is actually super easy. And the way your kids will freak with glee when they see it pulled it off is worth it. Borrowed from Dutch artist Helmut Smits, you essentially place little globs of washable paint in rainbow order on the base of the windshield and then turn it on once the kids get in the car, painting a rainbow across the glass. (Of course, you’ll want to build in some time to clean it up before you have to rush off to your destination!) 

Lay out gold coins.

The night before, have your children lay out a handful of gold plastic coins or even pennies for the leprechaun. Overnight, replace them with gold chocolate coins and maybe another little surprise or a cute note from the guest of honor. 

Get your glitter on.

It’s going to take some heavy-duty vacuuming, but what part of parenting young children doesn’t? Sprinkle some gold glitter in the hallways, on countertops, or anywhere your kids will notice it and delight in the thought of who might have left it behind.

Make leprechaun prints.

This takes a bit more effort but is such a cute idea: Draw little leprechaun footprints inside and/or out, using a washable marker on tile floors and chalk on the driveway. 

Throw a little St. Patty's Day party.

Set up green balloons and streamers in rainbow order, sprinkle gold coins around, and serve green, gold-dusted, or rainbow-colored snacks. This is a great way to celebrate the end of a school day and make the holiday feel special. 

Give green kisses.

While your kids are still asleep in the early morning, lay a green lipstick smooch on their cheeks. They’ll wake up thinking they were kissed by a leprechaun in their sleep!

St. Patrick’s Day Tricks for Kids

Toilet water dyed green for a fun St. Patrick's Day tradition 

Photo: Kelsey Nixon

Sneaky little leprechauns make mischief in the silliest ways. A little harmless fun and some early April’s Fools Day-inspired pranks will brighten their morning with lots of giggles. 

Turn the toilet water green.

Put a few drops of green food coloring into the toilets to turn the water green. You could even add water-soluble glitter makeup to kick it up a notch. When the kids go to use the bathrooms in the morning, they’ll get a kick out of the emerald hue.

Turn your faucet water green.

A bit more involved than the toilet project, but worth it for the wonder it will yield. This easy science experiment will be fun for the whole family.  

Make St. Patrick's Day mischief.

Confuse and amuse your littles by rearranging the furniture, or switching their clothing drawers’ contents, and so on. In the morning the house will look topsy-turvy, throwing them for a hilarious loop. 

Swap out some lightbulbs.

Change a few lightbulbs from their standard white or yellow to green bulbs for a leprechaun-induced glow that will have them scratching their heads.   

"Tattoo" your tots.

While they are sleeping soundly, use a super-saturated wet sponge to apply a few well-placed temporary tattoos they’ll notice right away when they wake up. That sneaky leprechaun! 

Make green St. Patrick's Day swaps.

Everyday items that they’ll use in the morning, like their shoelaces or toothbrushes, can be changed out overnight into green versions to showcase the handiwork of those naughty leprechauns.

St. Patrick’s Day Treats for Kids

A St. Patrick's Day treat for kids: A green Rice Krispie treat made with lucky Charms. 

Photo: Classy Clutter

Every holiday is more fun and special when seasonal foods are involved. From a very lucky breakfast to a green and rainbow-y afterschool snack, we’ve got the cutest and most delicious ways to treat your brood this St. Patricks’ Day…some of which only require very minimal effort!

Have a green morning.

Just a couple drops of green food coloring in your kiddo’s eggs or oatmeal, and/or a bag of green bagels from your local deli are all it takes to make a leprechaun-inspired breakfast to fuel them with luck and magic all day long.

Stack up a St. Patrick's Day surprise.

Make green pancakes and serve them with whipped cream and a rainbow of chopped fruit or add rainbow sprinkles on top. If you have the energy, separate the mix into six small sections to dye in ROYGBIV colors, serving the pancakes in an actual rainbow to blow their minds. Rainbow pancakes make a great St. Patty’s Day breakfast, dinner, or after-school snack!

Tell your kids you’re “cereal”-sly lucky.

Pair Lucky Charms cereal with green-dyed milk and a note saying how “cereal”-sly lucky you are to be their parent. Pretty sure that breakfast (or snack!) will be a core memory one day. 

Make rainbow Rice Krispie treats.

These St. Patricks’ Day treats are easier to make than you might think so tasty, you maybe tempted to gobble them up yourself! You’ve been warned!

Go for green snacks.

Prepare a green afternoon snack board loaded up with grapes, apple slices, cucumbers, avocados and more. 

St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids

Rainbow glitter shamrock slime for St. Patrick's Day

Photo: Growing a Jeweled Rose 

One of the best ways to connect with your kids is to do something together. Consider baking a St. Patrick’s Day treat, doing some coloring sheets together, or try one of these fun activities: 

Make a leprechaun trap.

This can be super elaborate or as simple as a laundry basket turned on its side and decorated with streamers from the dollar store. Scour Pinterest for ideas to get you started and set them up the night before.

DIY some rainbow shamrock slime.

Making slime is actually pretty easy; it’s the cleanup that kind of stinks. Prepare an area of the kitchen or an outdoor spot if weather permits, and whip up a batch of this rainbow treasure slime on St. Patrick’s Day. The kids will have just as much fun making it as they do playing with it later —guaranteed. 

Pot and seed clovers.

The best way to find luck is to make it yourself. Tend to a miniature garden of good fortune when you and the kiddos plant clover seeds this March 17th. 

Make rainbow water.

You can do this ahead yourself to delight them on the day of, but rainbow water is also an easy enough project for them to help with. Essentially, you freeze up a batch of ice cubes that are each a different color of the rainbow, place them in a clear drinking cup or glass, and add water. Sprinkle edible glitter on top for extra dazzle. 

Plan a St. Patrick's Day scavenger hunt.

Hide items like St. Patricks’ Day hats and glasses, green or gold beaded necklaces, gold chocolate coins, and so on around the house. Create a little key to what they are looking for and let them run loose on their hunt. It’s a great way to add a small gifting element to this mid-March holiday and encourage kids to burn off some energy… while you enjoy a St. Patty’s Day beer! (Or a glass of that snazzy rainbow water).




About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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