St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas with Purpose
The real story of Saint Patrick is far more than good luck and leprechauns! Extraordinary legends surround the life of this remarkable missionary who preached the Gospel in Ireland during the fourth century. Captured by pirates as a teen and sold as a slave in Ireland, Patrick found comfort and courage in God’s love and forgiveness. He was so transformed by God’s grace that after escaping from slavery, he returned to Ireland as a missionary. Though marked by incredible hardship, St. Patrick’s story provides children with an epic example of the transforming power of God’s undeserved love and forgiveness.
Wouldn’t it be super handy if there were a fantastic resource available to help you share this remarkable story with kids? Perhaps something that included pictures, Gospel truths, a memory verse, printable resources, and lots of fun game and activity ideas? It just so happens that Kids Enjoying Jesus has precisely such a resource. You can download “The Story of Saint Patrick“ absolutely FREE on our Resources page today! The digital leader’s guide includes a variety of games and activities to help you plan a fun St. Patrick’s Day celebration. You can also use this story to challenge and inspire children any time of the year! (I used my own kids as guinea pigs and told them the story in January. They loved it and didn’t seem to mind at all that it was out of season. But we still have our Christmas lights up, so perhaps my kids are genetically unqualified to make judgement calls on seasonal resources.)
Here’s a sample of some of the game ideas from this FREE party kit:
Shamrock Scripture Search Underline verses about God’s love in your Bible ahead of time and use a paper shamrock to bookmark each verse. Have children take turns choosing a bookmark and carefully opening your Bible to read the verse. After they read the verse, add up all the numbers in the scripture reference to discover how many points they win for their team. [Ex. 1 John 4:10 is worth 15 points because 1+4+10=15] Verse suggestions could include 1 John 4:10, Romans 8:39, John 3:16, Ephesians 3:19, Jeremiah 31:3, and Ephesians 5:2
Pot of Gold Use brightly colored paper to label four corners of the room each as a different color of the rainbow (red, yellow, green, and violet.) Show a picture of a pot of gold with rainbow colors on it and explain that Irish fairy tales include stories of leprechauns guarding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Tell the kids you will be the leprechaun guarding the gold and they have to try to stay away from the part of the rainbow you are guarding. Turn the pot of gold picture so the children can’t see and discretely point at one of the rainbow colors. Count to ten out loud (or play music) while each child chooses a corner and then reveal which color you chose ahead of time. All children standing in the corner that corresponds to that color are caught by the leprechaun and must sit down. Continue playing until most children have been eliminated then congratulate the winners and play again!
Variation: Instead of having children be eliminated from the game when they get caught, you may desire to choose another option that will keep them engaged. For instance, you could have them freeze in place for only one round of the game or do a silly action such as hopping on one foot for the next round.
St. Patrick Pictures Write objects or characters related to St. Patrick’s Day on small pieces of paper and put them in a container ahead of time. After telling the story of St. Patrick, have the children take turns pulling papers from the container and drawing whatever is written on them while other children try to guess what they are drawing. If a child does not want to draw something, he may choose a leader to draw it for him. Objects the children could draw for St. Patrick Pictures could include: The beach, pirates, a boat, sheep, a shepherd, a Bible, a cross, a clover, a rainbow, or a pot of gold.
For free printable lesson visuals, a PowerPoint, sample script, game pieces, and more; download “The Story of St. Patrick.”