When the Leprechaun Comes Marching In

Sunday, 19 March 2017

     While March 17th was intended to be about St. Patrick, the leprechaun has now taken center stage and even seems to have upgraded his status to one that rivals Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.  My own kids were even known to call it  "Leprechaun Day," when they were young.
     In the classroom this can be a tricky time for teachers! We want to feed children's interest and imaginations, yet we don't necessarily want to spend all month looking for leprechauns as children gather evidence in the form of lint specs found on the carpet.
    So here are some activities that I have found, that allow me to embrace the fun and magic of the season, while keeping the leprechaun "fever" in check.

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic


     At the beginning of the month, I introduce a seasonally-themed attention getter and line-up song that infuse fun and imagination into our daily routines.

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic
You can find this FREEBIE here:
   
     Green and shiny things are added to centers and are available throughout the month of March. Pretend play naturally arises from the children's work with the materials they find there!
 
St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic
play dough with shiny, loose parts

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic
St. Patty's Day themed sensory table

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic
shades of green to explore in the art center

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic
pots and gold for counting, measuring, and comparing
    
St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic
shamrocks in the science center for observing and drawing

     Penny investigations, using mini pots of "gold," are done in small math groups and used to practice skills such as counting, fair shares, measuring, estimating, predicting, missing addend, and more!  Lucky, the math mascot found on each page, guides children through each investigation by asking "math talk" questions. 
  
St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic
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     Guided drawings of leprechauns using Arthub provides great fine motor practice!  The children add their own details making each one unique! 

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic

They also write about what they would do if they caught a leprechaun. 

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic
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     Sight words are practiced using this fun game where children take turns reading a word in hopes of finding the "pot of gold" that is hidden behind one of the cards.

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic
You can find this FREEBIE here:

     As the big day draws closer, the magic really begins! With one day to go, we find a poem, some cups, and markers in our snack basket.  The poem invites us to decorate the "hats" and leave them overnight.

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic
Find the poem and directions here:

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic

     The next morning, the children are surprised to find these "shrunken hats" sitting atop a little bag of gold.  

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic


     In the afternoon we go hunting for more gold.  Each gold piece is hidden with a 100 grid number card. As children find each card, they bring it to the 100 chart and place it in the matching pocket.

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic

Find the number cards here:

     The gold, which is an assortment of pennies, plastic coins, chocolate coins, and candy go into their bags.  

St. Patrick's Day Fun and Magic

     In the end, rather than stifling their imaginations, I've chosen to fuel them and incorporate the magic of the season into their play and learning.  What works for you when the leprechauns come marching in?

Thanks for stopping by!

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