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St. Patrick's Day Activities for Physical Education: 10 Fun St. Patrick's Day PE Games and Lesson Ideas

Incorporating St. Patrick's Day games and activities into PE classes can be an excellent way to celebrate the holiday and bring some joy to students in a physically active and educational way. By incorporating these activities into a PE program, both students and teachers reap the benefits. Not only do students get to be physically active while having fun, they also learn about interesting holiday traditions! Exploring physical activities that are related to this Irish holiday can be a highly beneficial approach for getting your students interested, engaged and motivated in their learning.


10 Fun St. Patrick's Day Activities and  Lesson Ideas for Physical Education Classes

Pics by Rose PE @RoseRays_PE and Crestview PE @CviewPE


In this article, I will delve into the benefits of introducing St. Patrick's Day physical education activities and games to your program, while providing you with helpful tips on how to set up these tasks in order to maximize their impact within your lessons. I will also be showcasing ten engaging movement experiences with a fun St. Patrick's Day twist that you can use in your PE lessons this March. Hopefully this article will bring the LUCK of the Irish into your PE classes!


Why include St. Patrick's Day Activities in your PE curriculum?


Incorporating St. Patrick's Day gym activities, stations and games into a physical education class can have many positive benefits for both teachers and students. For example, it can provide an exciting way to celebrate the holiday while also introducing students to traditional Irish culture and customs in a fun and engaging way. By doing so, it can help to spark student interest in the subject and encourage them to explore it further.


Pics by Lines PE @LINES_PE


Additionally, activities such as these can also help to develop physical literacy skills such as agility, coordination and balance while promoting active participation. By including St Patrick's Day themed activities into your physical education lessons, students can have fun while improving their physical fitness. This will make it a more enjoyable learning experience for them!


Finally, these activities can also help to create a special sense of camaraderie within the class as students work together and support each other in order to complete their tasks or play a fun game. All in all, including St Patrick's Day physical education activities can be a great way to get your students engaged and excited about physical education!


Are St. Patrick's Day PE Activities Standards Based?

To help your students meet the requirements of SHAPE America Standard 5, which states that The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction*, you can engage them in some fun and interactive St. Patrick's Day-inspired movement activities. Read on to learn more about these exciting stations and activities!


SHAPE America Standard 5- St. Patrick's Day Activities

Pic by Crestview PE @CviewPE

 

10 Tips for organizing St. Patrick's Day PE station activities


1. Plan ahead - think about what you want your students to do and how they will do it.

2. Think of fun ways to make the activities enjoyable - add some Irish music, props (pot of gold, rainbow noodles, blarney stones, etc.) or even a good luck charm! This works best with younger kids.


3. Choose activities that focus on physical literacy skills such as coordination, agility, balance, and manipulative skills so students can learn while having fun too!

Video by Coach Kem @TheCoach_K


4. Make sure each activity is appropriate for all ages, abilities and genders in the class.


5. Keep track of time so everyone has enough time to complete their stations before moving onto the next one.


6. Encourage teamwork – this could be by working together at a station or helping each other out during an activity!

7 . Provide clear instructions for each station before starting – this will help keep everyone on task and make sure they understand what they need to do!

Video by Mrs. Dwar @DwarPhysEd


8 . Take breaks in between activities if needed – give students some time to catch their breath before starting another task!


9 . Give positive feedback throughout the lesson – this will encourage your students to keep going even when things get difficult!


10 . Have fun with it! – the most important part of any physical education class is that everyone has fun while learning something new.

Pics by Margaret Elementary PE @margaretelempe

 

10 Engaging St. Patrick's Day PE Activities

1- Shamrock Fitness (Warm-Up)


Overview

Students perform a variety of locomotor movements and fitness-based exercises using shamrock cut-outs as task cards.


Set-Up

  • Design and laminate shamrock cards that display illustrated exercises, reps, or duration of exercise for students to use.

  • To create a vivid Irish landscape, arrange the shamrock exercise cards face down in the center of your playing area.

  • Place 6 – 12 cones around the gym or field perimeter and group the students into small-group, even clusters, behind each cone to start Shamrock Fitness.

St. Patrick's Day Fitness- Shamrock Fitness (Warm-Up)

Activity

  1. On a teacher signal (preferably Irish dancing music- hit the play icon), the first student in line runs (or uses a teacher-directed locomotor movement) to a card, flips it over, and performs the exercise listed, using the designated number of repetitions.

  2. The student perform the exercise out in the center of the room/field & then returns to their line.

  3. After returning, the student then tags the hand of the next student in his/her line and that student moves out to find a new shamrock task card in the middle and performs the exercise for the designated number for repetitions or set time.

  4. The process continues for a teacher-designated, set time such as 5 or 10 minutes

  5. Modification - A student collects a shamrock and returns it to the entire group for all to perform at the same time. Then next person returns the shamrock and retrieves a new one.

 

Station and Relay Activities


2- Pot of Gold


Overview

Students toss beanbags or yarn balls into a stationary pot of gold from a variety of distances.


Set-Up

  • Set up some “toss lines” and some pots, buckets, containers or boxes to toss the gold into.

  • Provide a variety of distances to toss from.

  • Place 3 beanbags (each represents a gold coin) out on each toss line.

St. Patrick's Day Stations- Pot of Gold Toss

Activity

  1. Students form short lines and take turns tossing into the pot o gold.

  2. Every student is granted three throws from any of the available distance toss lines.

  3. After 3 shots, they gather up the gold and bring it to the next person in line.

  4. For added fun, points can be assigned for each distance area and students can keep up with their personal or group scores.


3- Leap Over the Blarney Stones


Overview

Students nimbly bound and leap over a line of varying heights of hurdles.


Set-Up

  • Set up an obstacle course line of hurdles, using cones/pool noodles or folded mats.

  • Mark a starting line using tape or a poly spot.

St. Patrick's Day Stations- Leap Over the Blarney Stones

Activity

  1. Students form short lines and prepare to take turns running through the blarney stone course.

  2. The first person in line sprints and leaps over each of the hurdles (blarney stones).

  3. After running around a finish line area, the participant runs straight back to the start line and tags the hand of the next person in line.

  4. For added fun, students can time each other or time the entire group.


4- Dribble the Potato


Overview

Students foot dribble a potato (football) through a maze of cones .


Set-Up

  • Set up a start line and a straight line row or circle of of cones.

  • Place a football at each start line in front of the cones.

St. Patrick's Day Stations- Dribble the Potato

Activity

  1. Students form short lines and prepare to take turns dribbling through the potato dribble course.

  2. The first person in line dribbles a football with their feet, zigzagging around each cone towards an end marker.

  3. After dribbling around the end marker, the participant dribbles straight back to the start line and passes the football to the next person in line.

  4. For added fun, students can time each other or time the entire group.


5- Jump the Lilly Pads


Overview

Students jump 2 feet to 2 feet through a lilly pad course.


Set-Up

  • Set up a "Irish swamp" with several lilly pads (poly spot markers) .

  • Mark a starting line with tape or a use a traffic cone.

St. Patrick's Day Stations- Jump the Lilly Pads

Activity

  1. Students form short lines and prepare to take turns jumping through the lilly pad course.

  2. The first person in line jumps - 2 feet to 2 feet from one lilly pad to the next.

  3. After getting to the finish line area, the participant runs straight back to the start line and tags the hand of the next person in line.

  4. For added fun, students can time each other or time the entire group.


6- Leprechaun Shuttle Run


Overview

Students alternate performing a shuttle run, whereby they sprint back and forth retrieving two items.


Set-Up

  • Place 2 bean bags or small balls (pretend they are potatoes) on a line about 30 feet from a start line.

  • Place a few shuttle run courses side-by-side.

St. Patrick's Day Stations- Leprechaun Shuttle Run

Activity

  1. Students form short lines and wait for their turn.

  2. They start the race by running down to pick up one potato and then run it back and drop it off at the start line.

  3. They then run back and pick up the second potato and run it past the start line to finish the race.

  4. For added fun, students can time each other or race against others in a course that is set up next to them.


7- Carry the Shamrocks Relay


Overview

Students carry shamrocks on a platter or plate down as they travel around an end cone and back.


Set-Up

  • Cut out some paper shamrock shapes or use small bean bags as the shamrocks.

  • Place the shamrocks and a platter/plate near a starting line.

St. Patrick's Day Stations- Carry the Shamrocks Relay

Activity

  1. Students form short lines and prepare to take carry the shamrocks through a course.

  2. The first person in line travels down and around an end cone and back performing various teacher-designated locomotor movements.

  3. After traveling around the end marker, the participant heads straight back to the start line and passes the plate to the next person in line.

  4. Each time they make a trip, they have to add another shamrock on the plate.

  5. If any shamrocks fall, the student must stop moving forward and place it/them back on the tray or plate before resuming their motion.

  6. For added fun, students can time each other or time the entire group.


8- Hoop Maze


Overview

Students take turns running and jumping through a maze of hula hoops.


Set-Up

  • Create a start line using a cone or poly spot.

  • Lay out several hula hoops in a row out in front of the line.

St. Patrick's Day Stations- Hoop Maze

Activity

  1. Students form short lines and the first one line prepares to run through a hula hoop course.

  2. The other students at the station make a line of hoops by standing and holding them out in front of them.

  3. The first person in line travels down and jumps through each of the hoops towards an end line.

  4. After traveling around the end marker, the participant runs straight back to the start line and then takes another students place holding one of the hoop.

  5. For fun, the locomotor movement down and back can be modified.


9- The Irish Golf Challenge


Overview

Students putt a ball into a hula hoop.


Set-Up

  • Set up some “putting lines” and some hula hoops (placed on the ground) to putt into.

  • Provide a golf club, hockey stick, or pool noodle at each station.

  • Provide a variety of distances to putt from.

  • Place 3 soft, indoor golf balls or ping pong balls out on each putt line.

St. Patrick's Day Stations- The Irish Golf Challenge

Activity

  1. Students form short lines and take turns putting into the hula hoop.

  2. Every student is given three putts from any of the available distance putt lines.

  3. After 3 putts, they gather up the golf ball and bring it to the next person in line.

  4. Take the fun to another level by assigning points for each distance area and having students track their individual or group scores.


10- Always After me Lucky Charms!


Overview

Students travel a variety of ways to pick up some lucky charms to place in their group treasure chests.


Set-Up

  • Place several fun small items (Irish-themed if possible) at the end of a course in a box or hula hoop.

  • Mark a starting line using tape or a poly spot.

  • Put a treasure chest/box near the start line.

St. Patrick's Day Stations- Always After me Lucky Charms!

Activity

  1. Students form short lines and prepare to take turns travelling to the lucky charm area.

  2. The first person in line travels (they can skip, gallop, hop, crab walk, scoot on a board, or slide step) down through the woods (a set of cones) and pick up a lucky charm (chocolate gold coins work well) at the end of the course.

  3. After picking up 1 charm, the student runs straight back to the start line, places the charm in the treasure box and tags the hand of the next person in line.

  4. This process continues for a set time or until they accumulate a set number of lucky charms

  5. For added fun, groups can time themselves or race another group beside them.


The St. Patrick's Day station task card visuals depicted above can be found at Cap'n Pete's Power PE site located here

 

Final Thoughts


The St. Patrick's Day holiday provides a great opportunity to bring some fun and festive activities into your physical education classes. Classroom teachers can even use movement-based St. Patrick's Day party games during recess or as a celebration time during a class party. With this article, I hope you've been inspired with some fun and dynamic St. Patrick's Day activities that will engage your students during PE! Using the highlighted ten fitness and station activities, you can incorporate shamrocks, golf clubs, hula hoops, and lucky charms for an engaging St. Patrick’s Day-themed PE lesson that will have students buzzing with excitement!

But don't stop there! Try creating your own St. Patrick's Day PE activities to keep your program fresh and exciting! Whether you are looking for something competitive or cooperative, there is sure to be something here that fits the bill. So go ahead and start planning out your St. Patrick's Day Physical Education class today! Have a great St. Patrick’s Day and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

Pic by Gorham Intermediate School @Gorham_MWCSD


Are there any St. Patrick's Day-themed PE activities that you particularly enjoy using with your classes? Does anyone do any St. Patrick's Day dice games? If so, be sure to let us all know in the comments! Don't forget to share this article with your colleagues and other followers on social media if it has been helpful for you - I'd really appreciate it! Happy reading!

*SHAPE America. (2013). National Standards for K-12 Physical Education. Reston, VA: Author.

 

Need Resources?


Do you need a practical way to get your students moving as soon as they walk into your learning area? Do you need something that incorporates the St. Patrick's Day theme? If so, Cap'n Pete's Power PE has you covered!



Fill in the form below to download this FREE St. Patrick's Day Edition, PE Fitness BLAST:

6-Workout Set, with 6 distinct workout visuals from Cap’n Pete’s St. Patrick's Day Fitness Blast Resource Pack. Just download, print, laminate, and use it for years! Inside this package are 6 fun and exciting PE BLASTS for students in PE classes or for classroom teachers to use during transitional times of the day. The packet is designed to use with a wide range of ages.



 

If you're looking for several PE St. Patrick's Day Games and Activities that are ideal for large, medium or small-sized groups, check out Cap'n Pete's PE St. Patrick's Day Stations and Fitness- 6 Product Super Bundle!



This Super Bundle includes 6 ACTIVE and ENGAGING, large or small group St. Patrick's Day movement and fitness activities that you can use for your physical education classes, school classrooms, or camp situations. The St. Patrick's Day PE Super Bundle is a combination of 6 of Cap’n Pete’s DYNAMIC, fitness and movement-based activity and game sets for teachers to utilize to get students moving in fun and interesting ways, incorporating a St. Patrick's Day theme. Together these 6 products will give you several weeks’ worth of movement activities that you can copy, laminate, and use in your March PE curriculum for years!


You can download them from either of the following platforms: Cap'n Pete's Power PE Website or Teachers Pay Teachers- Cap'n Pete's TPT Store


What Resources are in the PE St. Patrick's Day, 6-Set Super Bundle?




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