Some kids (and adults) are intimidated when it comes to science and math, to help calm that fear and frustration focus on making it fun. One way I like to add a little more fun to my STEM lessons is to make them hands-on. Another way is to make it relevant. My favorite way to make lessons relevant is to incorporate a current event or holiday.
I like to use these special events as a springboard because kids are usually already excited or at least aware that something is going. That sets the stage to add on layers of learning.
Our next holiday is St. Patrick’s Day and those naughty leprechauns are perfect inventive partners for STEM activities.
St. Patrick’s Day STEM activities.
If you aren’t familiar with STEM, it stands for:
There tends to be a lot of overlap of these topics. To make it easy on myself, we are going to divide it into two major groupings.
- Science, Technology & Engineering
This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure here.
St. Patrick’s Day Science, Technology & Engineering Projects and Activities
The study of light and the components of white light are always a hit with kids young and old. Spend some time making rainbows and discussing the visual spectrum of light. Don’t be intimidated. Grab some water glasses, a few prisms, and a flashlight to start a fun project (this could even grow into a science fair project).
Turn a typical crystal growing experience into a jewel making event. You can use a kit or just the standard borax crystal lab. Instead of pipe cleaners in shapes create a nest or use an eggshell to capture the growing crystals and make a geode. Use LOTS Of food coloring to make the gems have the color you want. Green would be nice.
We LOVE leprechaun traps at my house and we have been doing them for the past 7 years. Each year they get more complicated. I keep upping the challenge for our own Leprechaun Traps and incorporate more science each year (and more design process).
Paper chromatography separates the different pigments in a substance. It can be a marker or loaded with mashed clover or grass. It is good visual of the idea that color is made up of different pigments OR that plants don’t just have a single green color. If you need step-by-step instructions check out my post on leaf chromatography for kids.
I’m going to be honest and say chromatography isn’t always my favorite, but St. Patrick’s Day is a great day to talk about the pigments in our green plants and their function. I suggest splurging on chromatography paper, but you can also use coffee filters. The key is to make the alcohol VERY cold and don’t let the liquid touch your loading point on your paper.
Don’t have any clover? No problem use grass, baby spinach, or even kale. You can even use markers and make a rainbow.
St. Patrick’s Day Math Ideas
Sudoku and Logic Grids (Free Download)
Number bonds are something we are constantly using with out math curriculum.
“I love the idea behind number bonds. The visual that some numbers are bonded together…just neat. I was not taught math this way so I’m a bit jealous (I love math…). But since worksheets are out and hands on is in, I wanted to make real number bonds. I used chenille stems (pipe cleaners) to make small circles. ” – Royal Baloo
Kids love success. Set them up for success in reading and math with these emergent readers.
” 10 emergent readers that focus on one number at a time. There are pictures of gold coins, shamrocks, a hat with buttons on it, and green cupcakes for our little ones to count!” – You’ve Got This Math
Fun ideas to get kids excited about St. Patrick’s Day