Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I’m not usually a huge fan of St. Patrick’s day, but a few months ago I read the Adventure’s in Odyssey book Challenge on the Hill of Fire (great book and GREAT series for preteen readers). The book was about Patrick the Bishop, a man who was diligently trying to share the good news of Jesus with the people of Ireland. Patrick was a man of courage and prayer. After I read this book, I was inspired to learn more about the man who spurred on this green-colored holiday.
Digging around on youtube led to the discovery of this amazing video about the History of St. Patrick’s Day. The video is produced by the same people as “What’s in the Bible?” (Phil Vischer and crew), so you know it’s a great watch. Check it out below!
My 3 year old daughter watched it three times in a row, which I was pretty amazed at! We also did a few more St. Patrick’s Day activities. These are aimed at preschool level (ages 3-5), but could probably be adaptable for a bit older kids as well.
History of St. Patrick
After watching the video, we talked about how Patrick was a little like Daniel from the Bible. Both men were committed to prayer and both suffered persecution because of their faith. Both men were strangers in a foreign land, abducted and taken against their will. In the end, God was glorified because of their faith. We just talked about similarities, but if you have older kids, you could have them read the story of Daniel from a Children’s Bible and then chart out similarities and differences.
The Shamrock and the Trinity
You could also talk about how the Shamrock is like the Trinity (Patrick taught the people of Ireland about that). My bunch (ages 4 and under) are a little young for the Trinity concept, but it served as a good introduction. If you have older kids, you could even do a Scripture study to find characteristics of each person in the Trinity. The Standard Rainbow Study Bible is a great resource for that. Here are a few Shamrock Trinity crafts as well:
This fun poster is from Happy Home Fairy. She does a great job sharing some history about Patrick as well, so be sure to check out her “Wee Bit of History” post!
Memory Verse Mayhem
We did a little scissor practice by cutting out green paper chains.
These would make great decorations for your classroom (we’re using ours to count the days before our big move) or you could use them to write the memory verse on. Just write one word per paper strip and then send the lovely decoration home with the kids!
You could also use a Shamrock Necklace pattern to make a memory verse garland. Again, just write one word on each shamrock and hang with pride!
Rainbows and the Genesis Connection
Of course, rainbows are a big part of St. Patrick’s day — though I’m not sure how that connection came about. Either way, this is the perfect time to talk to the kids about the first rainbow that ever appeared and why (Genesis 9). I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding a fun rainbow craft to do with the kids, but I of course, lean towards all things glitter!
Be sure to read the story with the kids out of good Children’s Bible like The Preschooler’s Bible or the Action Bible.
The Leprechaun’s Treasure
Leprechaun’s spend quite a bit of time trying to keep their treasure away from others. This might be a great jumping off point to talk about how a love of treasure ended up being a real stumbling point for some people in the Bible.
The rich young ruler would rather hang onto his treasure than have eternal life (Luke 18)
Judas was enticed to betray Jesus for 30 silver coins (Matthew 26)
Belshazzar showed his disrespect for God by taking the goblets from the temple (Daniel 5)
Treasure can also be a real blessing, when we treasure the right thing! Here’s a few verses that speak to that end:
You could conclude the treasure talk by hiding gold coins around the room and playing a little game of coin hide and seek. We had a bunch of gold coins left over from our Rome VBS, so this was a perfect activity for us!
What About You?
Are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with the kids? Share your ideas in the comments!