St. Patrick’s Day falls on March 17 every year. Get kids excited for the Irish celebration with these seven clever games and activities. 

Observed on March 17 annually, St. Patrick's Day was originally founded to honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Now the holiday has expanded overseas as a global celebration of Irish culture. It's often associated with shamrocks, leprechauns, the color green, and traditional Irish cuisine (corned beef and cabbage, anyone?) 

In America, many families observe St. Patrick's Day by attending festive parades and visiting kid-friendly pubs—while decked out in green clothing, of course! Unfortunately, though, the COVID-19 pandemic might've put a damper on your plans this year. If you're looking for safe ways to spend the holiday with those in your "pandemic bubble," check out these fun St. Patrick's Day games and activities for all ages. 

girl holding colorful string making funny face
Credit: Priscilla Gragg

Rainbow Road

What do leprechauns leave in their wake? Rainbows, naturally! Lay a colorful obstacle course for your kids to follow—courtesy of your tiny leprechaun friend—by weaving yarn around trees and in between fences, suggests Jo Dotson, from the blog Chica and Jo. Each colored string should lead to a mini pot of prizes. This St. Patrick's Day game works especially well for young kids and toddlers.

Leprechaun Treasure Hunt

Put on a St. Paddy's Day scavenger hunt for lost leprechaun loot! To make gold "nuggets," cover plain rocks with gold paint and immediately sprinkle with gold glitter, suggests Trisha Haas, from the blog Momdot. Once treasures dry, hide them around your house and yard.

Shamrock Seats

This St. Patrick's Day game follows the same rules as "Musical Chairs," but when the music stops, kids must scramble to cardboard cut-outs of shamrocks. Bonus points if you play traditional Irish tunes during the game!

Gold Coin Toss

Split the children into teams, and have them take turns tossing a certain number of plastic gold coins into a green bucket. (For example, each team tosses 15 coins). The team with the most successful shots wins the game.

Race of the Lucky Charms

What's the best part of Lucky Charms cereal? The marshmallows! Fill large bowls with Lucky Charms, then see who can sort out the marshmallows fastest. To make the game harder, necessitate the use of a tool like a spoon or chopsticks.

Pin the Hat on the Leprechaun

Take your classic "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" and give it a St. Patrick's Day twist! Here are some ideas: pin the hat on the leprechaun, pin the four-leaf clover to the stem, pin a kiss on the Blarney Stone, and pin a pot of gold to the end of a rainbow. The possibilities are endless—and they can also serve as a history lesson about the Irish holiday.

St. Patrick's Day Sensory Bin

Trying to provide St. Patrick's Day entertainment for a toddler? Fill a bin with sensory objects (rice, noodles, cereal, etc.) dyed green with food coloring. Hide some plastic gold coins in the bin, and send your little one on a sensory treasure hunt.