Circle time is one of my favorite times in my pre-k classroom, and St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate with my kiddos! So, these circle time games are a must-have part of my day during March! They are such a fun way to practice letters, numbers, shapes, and colors while we celebrate the holiday! But, the best part is that the kiddos don’t even realize they’re learning! They always ask to play the games again and again because they are so much fun! Let me show you a few of our favorites!
Shamrock on the Ground
This has to be one of my favorite circle time games ever! “On the Ground” games are so much fun, so I have them for every theme in my classroom! I spread out the shamrocks in the middle of the carpet. We say the chant together. One of my kiddos chooses a shamrock and tells the sound the letter makes. (I’ve got a different chant we use if I want them to work on naming the letters!) If they get it right, the get to keep the shamrock. (By the way… they ALWAYS get to keep the shamrock, even if we have to help them get the right answer!) And, when I want to make it a little harder, I turn the shamrocks upside down so they can’t choose which letter they get!
Leprechaun, Where’s Your Gold?
There are several ways I use this game. First, we play it just like the Shamrock on the ground game. I spread out the pots of gold, we say the chant, and a kiddo chooses one to name the letter or letter sound. When I want to make it a little more challenging, I put all of the cards in the pocket chart. I choose one kiddo to be the “leprechaun.” I turn the pocket chart around backwards so the other kiddos can’t see. (It your pocket chart stand doesn’t move, you can just have them hide their eyes.) The leprechaun hides a gold coin behind one of the letters. The other kiddos get three chances to find it by guessing which letter they think it’s behind. If they don’t find it, the leprechaun gets to tell them where he hid it.
This game is one that my kiddos beg to play, and it’s simple enough that it can easily move into the math center once we’ve played it together a few times! One of our goals in pre-k is to recognize the numbers 0-9, and that’s what this game has the kiddos practicing. I start by putting all of the number cards and the chant card in the pocket chart. I hide the leprechaun behind one of the number cards, we say the chant, and three kiddos get a chance to guess where he is by saying the number on the card. Once they guess, I very dramatically pull that card out to see if the leprechaun is there. They get so excited when they find him, they will laugh and cheer like they just won the lottery!
I Have, Who Has
OK… I’ll just tell you upfront, this game take a LOT of practice before they can play it without me helping them at every turn. But, once they get it down, they love to play! I pass out the cards to the kiddos. (We do this in partners since there are only 11 cards.) The kiddo with the first cars says, “I have the first card. Who has 1?” The other kiddos look at their cards and count the number of gold coins. The one who has 2 says, “I have 2. Who has 3?” And it keeps going until we get to the end. Once they understand how to play, they love to go through the cards more than once to see if we can do it faster!
By this point in the year, most of my kiddos know their shapes. But it is such a fun game to play, I use to review shapes and to give some extra practice to my kiddos who haven’t quite mastered them yet. I pass out the shape cards to the kiddos. We sing the song, and they stand up if I sing the shape on their card. It lets them wiggle some when they stand up and turn around, and they love to listen for their shape! To make this one a little more challenging, I’ll give each kiddo two, or even three, cards at a time!
Leprechaun Positional Words
Positional words are a big deal in pre-k, especially for my language learners. So, I love to sneak it in whenever I can! I use this game two different ways. Sometimes I give each kiddo a leprechaun card and a shamrock card. I choose one of the position words cards, and they place their shamrock on the leprechaun accordingly. But sometimes I let them be the leprechauns, and they use their shamrocks and their own bodies to show me the position words! (If you don’t want to cut out all those shamrocks, you can always use shamrock mini erasers!)
St. Patrick’s Day Circle Time Games on TPT
Now for the best part… all of these circle time games (plus a few more) are available in my TPT store in one big bundle! Just click HERE to go grab your own set!
While you’re visiting my TPT store, you’ll definitely want to check out some of my other St. Patrick’s Day resources!
If you use a Dr. Seuss theme in your classroom, you might want to check out these fun ideas!
I love to hear from you when you use these games in your own classroom! Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite!