A fun St. Patrick’s Day themed activity to search for coins
This St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin idea will have your toddler or preschooler on the hunt for lucky leprechaun gold. This activity can help with fine motor skills and help your little one practice counting. Although it may look like a messy project, it is actually easy to set up and clean up.
While we were prepping for this activity, I wanted to teach my daughter a little more about leprechauns. I realized I didn’t know much about the legend of leprechauns or what they have to do with St. Patrick’s Day.
WHAT ARE LEPRECHAUNS?
Did you know leprechauns are actually fairies? They live in underground caves or hollow trees. According to Irish legend, leprechauns have the job of making or mending shoes for the other fairies. (1)
To know if a leprechaun is near, listen for a tapping sound of the leprechaun banging its hammer.
WHAT DO LEPRECHAUNS HAVE TO DO WITH ST. PATRICK’S DAY AND WHAT’S UP WITH THEIR POTS OF GOLD?
Leprechauns are known to possess pots of gold. They hide their treasures at the end of a rainbow. Since you can’t actually find the end of a rainbow, you’ll need to capture a leprechaun in order to find their gold.
If a human is able to capture a leprechaun, they will be granted three wishes. BUT leprechauns are tricksters and will often deceive humans so you have to be careful!
Looking for some fun St. Patrick’s Day books about leprechauns to read with your kids? These are my favorite leprechaun books for toddlers and preschoolers:
How to Trap a Leprechaun by Sue Fleiss
How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace
SENSORY BIN INSTRUCTIONS
Now here are all the instructions for making your own ‘Find the Leprechaun Gold’ sensory bin for St. Patrick’s Day!
What you need for this St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin:
- 2 large bins (we used 1 large bin and 2 smaller ones)
- dirt or soil
- plastic coins
- scrubbing brush/sponge
How to set up ‘Find The Leprechaun Gold’ sensory bin activity:
Step 1: Add your soil to the bin
Pour soil into one of the large bins. Add a little water to make the dirt a bit muddy in order to hide the coins better and so the dirt will stick on them.
Step 2: Hide the gold coins
Add the gold coins to the bin. Hide them underneath the soil.
Step 3: Fill a bin with soapy water
Fill another bin with warm soapy water and a scrub brush for cleaning off the leprechaun gold. We added a third bin with plain water for the clean coins.
Step 4: Find the leprechaun gold
Search for the leprechaun gold! Uncover the gold coins hiding under the dirt. We combined this sensory bin with a fine motor activity by using tongs to pick up the coins and transfer them into the bin of soapy water.
Step 5: Clean and count the leprechaun gold
Clean your leprechaun gold. Scrub all the dirt off to reveal the shiny gold coins. Put the coins into the bin of plain water. Now you can engage your little one in a fun counting activity by seeing how many coins they’ve collected.
My daughter and I also had a race to see who could find and collect the most gold!
Find the Leprechaun Gold Sensory Play for St. Patrick’s Day
This fun and simple activity can keep your toddler or preschooler occupied for quite a while. Use tongs to lift the gold coins out of the dirt helps work on fine motor skills. Encourage your toddler to practice counting by seeing how many gold coins they can find. At the end of the activity, just scoop the dirt into a container with a lid and save it for another day or another sensory bin project!