8 Nature Inspired St Patrick’s Day Activities

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Have you been on the lookout for some good St Patrick’s Day activities? You’ve come to the right place! (If I may be so bold. 😄 )

I have to admit that in the past I’ve been less than enthused about St. Patty’s day. And what I mean by that is I pretty much ignored it altogether. But then I had second thoughts.

After all, green is my favorite color and Ireland seems like a pretty snazzy place. Once I actually started thinking about some St Patrick’s Day activities, I realized that the holiday easily lends itself to some awesome nature inspired ways to celebrate with your kids!

So if you’re like me and you’ve been aboard the “meh” train regarding St Patty’s Day, try out these 8 nature inspired ways to celebrate!

1. Leprechaun Gold Treasure Hunt

The fabled gold treasure of leprechauns is at the center of all good St Patty’s Day lore, so one of our St Patrick’s Day activities has to be a treasure hunt! It’s also a great way to get the kids outdoors for this holiday! (I mean, you could do it inside too… I won’t judge 😜) The structure of this is very similar to our pirate treasure hunt, except with a leprechaun theme instead!

I filled up our plastic black cauldron from Halloween with gold coins and hid it out in our yard. Feel free to add any sort of candy that has a gold wrapper onto the pile! (Reeses, Rollos, Hershey’s nuggets, etc.) Then I made a series of clues that led my little guy from spot to spot in the yard until he finally discovered the gold treasure!

2. DIY Green and Gold Nature Confetti

Get in the spirit with some green and gold nature confetti! We ended up using this confetti for a lot of our other St Patrick’s Day activities later. For the green confetti, you can use any green leaves you have access to! We ended up using some eucalyptus from the store since we won’t have any green thing outside for a while still.

Just get some fun hole punches like this star shaped one or this larger circle punch and get to work with your little ones! My son loves the hole punch, so he had fun with this activity! For the gold nature confetti, we mixed dried calendula flowers and this biodegradable gold glitter.

We used this confetti for the nature shamrocks (see #4), sprinkled throughout the yard as leprechaun “sign” for the gold treasure hunt (see #1), and as an add-in for our DIY green play dough (see #6)!

3. Evergreen Identification

St Patrick's Day activities- Evergreen identification printable with cone, needle, and bark samples laid out

I wanted one of our St Patrick’s Day activities to involve nature study, and evergreen identification fit the green theme perfectly! It would be a great homeschool science activity for the week of St Patty’s. Make sure to grab this free printable to use as a guide. Then head outside with the kiddos to a nearby hiking trail, around the neighborhood, or even in your own yard.

Find as many evergreen trees as you can and collect samples from each of the needles, cones, and bark. Make sure to keep the samples from each tree separate to help you identify them later. After the hike, bring your samples in and lay the out on the printable. Use a tree field guide like this one to help you identify each tree!

4. Nature Shamrock Craft

St Patrick’s Day activities have to involve some pretty nature crafts, so we made these shamrocks with our green and gold nature confetti from above plus a few more nature bits that we collected from outside. For this craft, you need:

  • cardboard cut into the shape of a shamrock
  • mod podge or elmer’s glue
  • small pieces of evergreen
  • green nature confetti (see #3)
  • anything else green from nature!
  • gold nature confetti (see #3)
  1. Spread a decently thick layer of mod podge onto your cardboard shamrocks. (Don’t worry, it’ll dry clear.)
  2. Sprinkle nature pretties on top and let dry.
  3. Use them to decorate your home or for any other St Patrick’s Day activities! We used ours as clues during our gold treasure hunt! (See activity #1 above.)

5. Green Nature Scavenger Hunt

My little dude got into the spirit of brainstorming St Patrick’s Day activities and came up with this one all on his own! And the ideas is just as simple as it sounds! Grab a bag, head outdoors, and see how many green things you can find! Then bring your findings home and make a green nature collage out of them!

6. DIY Green Play Dough

This homemade green play dough with fun nature add-ins is one of the St Patrick’s Day activities that toddlers can do as well (with supervision)! My 18-month-old had a ton of fun playing with play dough for the first time! Here’s the recipe we used:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • green food coloring
  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Cook over low/medium heat, stirring. 
  3. Continue stirring until the mixture is thickened and begins to gather around the spoon.
  4. Remove the dough onto wax paper or a plate to cool.

7. Nature Rainbow Craft

We’ve done this nature rainbow craft a ton of times, and it also happens to make sense as one of our St Patrick’s Day activities! Ya know, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and all that stuff. This nature rainbow printable is available in our spring nature activity pack, or you can just make your own!

All you need is a variety of flower petals, leaves, and other nature pretties in as many different colors as you can find! Then, just glue or use double sided tape to make a rainbow out of the pieces!

8. Build Leprechaun Traps

This is one of the St Patrick’s Day activities that I was most excited about because I knew my 5-year-old boy (who’s always building things) would have a ton of fun with this one! I saw a lot of cool ideas, but I wanted ours to have a more natural feel so that it would really blend into our yard. Leprechauns are clever, ya know? We wanted to use real moss and leaves and whatnot to really fool the little tricksters! Here are the materials we used for ours:

  • Old shoe box
  • Exacto knife
  • Moss/lichens
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Hot glue
  • Small pebbles
  • Twigs
  • Gold coins
  • Medium wood slab
  • Cotton balls
  • Homemade rainbow (painted with watercolors onto a paper plate)
  • “Free Gold” sign (made with twig and small rectangular piece of cardstock
Here’s the trap door that we carved right in front of the gold pile and covered with pebbles and moss to disguise it!
  1. Sketch out your path and trap doors on top of the shoe box.
  2. Carve out the trap doors.
  3. Glue pebbles onto the path.
  4. Glue moss in place around the path. Do this on your trap doors as well to disguise them!
  5. Make your ladder by hot gluing twig rungs onto 2 taller twigs.
  6. Place wood slab directly behind trap doors and pile with gold.
  7. Paint or make your own rainbow and glue it on along with cotton ball clouds at the base.
  8. Let everything dry.

The night before St Patrick’s Day, set your leprechaun trap out! We also left a trail of leprechauns’ favorite foods, which (according to Alexa) includes nuts, mushrooms, wildflowers, whiskey, and dandelion tea. 😂 In the morning, open it up and see if you caught anything! After the kids went to bed, I took the gold coins and food away (leaving behind some crumbs) and added little footprints inside the box to make it look like a leprechaun had visited but escaped our trap!

If you want some other options, check this post out for even more fun leprechaun trap ideas!

Whew! I don’t know about you, but with all these St Patrick’s Day activities, we had enough festivities to keep us busy for a whole week! I hope you and your family enjoy some of these as much as we did! Lot’s ‘o luck to ya, and I hope you find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or maybe even catch a leprechaun or two! 🌈 ☘️ 🌈 ☘️ 🌈 ☘️

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