With St Patrick’s Day just around the corner, we have collected together the perfect mix of activities to both entertain and educate your pre-schooler. All of these activities have a huge amount of learning potential, as you work with your pre-schooler to develop their early understanding of STEM concepts and STEM vocabulary. I can’t lie – some of these activities are so much fun you’ll want to do them again by yourself!
1. Potato Leprechauns
This is so much more than a craft activity! Using scissors to cut and smaller items to decorate will help your child develop their fine and gross motor skills, and you can chat about objects which are heavier/lighter or the same. Fabulous for developing those early concepts about weight.
Learn more: Arts Helping Children
2. Pot of Gold
This is a great pre-school activity to develop their counting and language skills as they count out coins and decide who has more or less. You can add challenge for your pre-schooler by showing them a digit card and asking them to count out that number of coins.
Learn more: Buggy and Buddy
3. Shamrock Matching
Kids love matching games! They are also great for helping them make links between different concepts (like matching the digit to the amount of coins). Write digits on one set of shamrock pictures, and help your pre-schooler match the correct number of coins.
Learn more: Teaching 2 and 3 year Olds
4. Pots o’Gold sensory bin
This is a really easy set-up for your pre-schooler, and it’s amazing for getting them to start developing their measurement and pouring skills, and related language, especially if you include scoops and containers of different types.
Learn more: Stay At Home Educator
5. Rainbow Slime
Kids love slime! What better way to get them looking at the different ways that molecules can bind together than by making rainbow slime. You can further extend their learning by looking at how the colours mix together.
Learn more: Left Brain Craft Brain
6. Build a Shamrock Circuit
This fabulous activity from Steamsational will help introduce your pre-schooler to the idea of circuits and electricity, as they work with simple equipment to make a shamrock light up.
Learn more: Steamsational
7. Marshmallow Shamrock
Instead of using veg, try printing out shamrocks using marshmallows. Vary the size and shape of the marshmallows to spark a great maths conversation, or challenge your pre-schooler to make a string of large to small shamrocks.
Learn more: The Pinterested Parent
8. Shamrock Necklace
Grab the free printable from stayingclosetohome.com. Your pre-schooler can decorate the shamrock as they wish (maybe get them to write their names?), hole punch it and thread it onto some cord or thread to create a beautiful, tasty bracelet. Great for practising fine motor control as they thread the fruit loops.
Learn more: Staying Close to Home
9. Shamrock Collage
Using different types of materials for this activity, such as cellophane and craft paper, will get your pre-schooler thinking about how light passes through different materials. This is also great for creating a light-catcher, and seeing how the colours show up on the floor as the light passes through.
Learn more: Twinkl
10. Sneaky Leprechaun
This is a great way of helping your pre-schooler to practise colours, counting and critical thinking skills in a very sneaky way! Grab 6 cups in different colours, and a gold coin. Your pre-schooler hides their eyes as you hide the coin, and they have to work out which colour cup the gold coin is under.
Learn more: The Many Little Joys
11. Chalk Pastel Art
Help your little one start to understand colour mixing, cause and effect. Not only that, but it’s a great year-round activity and can be extended by using a greater range of colours and tools, to help develop investigative skills.
Learn more: Projects With Kids
12. Alphabet Sensory Bin
Another great activity to help your pre-schooler develop their knowledge of pouring, scooping, weights and measures. Add in some simple balance scales to help your pre-schooler start to understand concepts such as balancing, heavier and lighter.
Learn more: The Many Little Joys
13. Saltdough Shamrocks
Making saltdough shamrocks is a great STEM activity, especially if you get your pre-schooler to help make the saltdough! Once the saltdough has been made, use shamrock cutters of different sizes to cut out the shamrocks. You can compare by weight and size, or order from largest to smallest.
Learn more: Rainy Day Mum
14. Shamrock Treats
This is a really simple recipe for rice treats that you can make with your pre-schooler, and it’s even better if they can help you to make them – they can practice their maths vocabulary and develop their understanding of reversible and irreversible changes.
Learn more: No Time for Flash Cards
15. Electric Dough
Electric dough is a great STEM activity on all levels, especially if you get your pre-schooler to help make the playdough. Help them to learn more about how electricity moves through some materials but not through others with this great sensory activity.
Learn more: Children's Museum
16. Rainbow Soap
Get messy and get clean at the same time?! This activity helps your pre-schooler to understand what happens when you mix primary colours together, and what can happen when you shine a torch through the different colour bubbles.
Learn more: Fun at Home with Kids
17. Lucky Charm Catapults
Your pre-schooler will learn about cause and effect, forces and motion with this fabulously fun activity from www.joyintheworks.com. You can extend their learning by using lucky charms of different sizes and weights to see if the outcome changes.
Learn more: Joy in the Works
18. Dry Ice Rocket
This is an amazing activity for the whole family! Making a dry ice rocket will help your pre-schooler develop their awareness about pressure, states of matter and chemical reactions. It’s a great question prompting activity too – will the different colours all act in the same way?
Learn more: Science Kiddo
19. A Skittles Rainbow
A classic experiment which pre-schoolers always love! What will happen to the colours in the Skittles, when the Skittles are left in different liquids? A great way of helping your pre-schooler develop their investigative skills, especially around prediction and testing.
Learn more: Science Kiddo
20. A Walking Rainbow
This great activity from www.steampoweredfamily.com helps little ones to develop an awareness of capillary action, or that the coloured water is travelling through the paper towels. The question is, do all colours move at the same rate?!
Learn more: Steam Powered Family