Learning About Rainbows with Roy G Biv the Leprechaun!

I love the colors and decorations of St. Patrick’s Day. The bright greens and golds and all of the rainbows are so bright and cheery after the dull grays of the winter months. The mischievous leprechauns and all of the colorful decorations for the holiday lend themselves to some great opportunities for learning fun!

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The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow was written by Sean Callahan and illustrated by Nancy Cote. It tells the story of a little girl named Colleen who helps a leprechaun named Roy G Biv, who has lost his rainbow. Colleen gives him lots of her favorite things to help him get his rainbow back, but in order to complete the rainbow and save St. Patrick’s Day, she must give up her prized whistle. Will Colleen give up her favorite gift from her grandfather to save the day? This story is a sweet tale of sharing with a festive holiday twist. It introduces children to some of the traditions behind St. Patrick’s Day, while teaching them about colors, and the benefits of helping others. The bright and colorful illustrations are sure to delight young readers. There are so many fun learning activities that can be inspired by this book!

Rainbow Hop – This is a fun and simple activity that you can do with young children who are practicing shapes and colors. I cut simple shapes out of construction paper in the colors of the rainbow, and placed them around the room. As I called out the shape/color or both, my daughter had to run from shape to shape. She had so much fun pointing out the shapes and telling me the names of them. You could also use these shapes to hide around the room (tricky leprechauns are known to hide things!) and encourage kids to find the shape or color you are looking for.

Search for the Leprechaun’s gold!


Gold Coin Search 
– This is a fun sensory game that young children can enjoy. I filled a bowl with shaving cream and tinted it green with food coloring. I then tossed a bunch of “Leprechaun Gold” into the bowl and stirred it up. My daughter loved digging through the shaving cream to dig out the coins. I gave her a spoon and she had fun scooping them into another bucket.

Gold Coin Painting – Using an empty cardboard box, we used plastic gold coins to paint shamrock shapes. Cut shamrock shapes out of paper and tape them to the inside of a cardboard box. Tape them lightly, as you want to be able to peel them off the sides later without ripping. Masking tape worked well for this. Pour some green paint into the box and onto the shamrocks. Dump some gold coins into the box and tape the top shut. Give the box to your kids and let them shake and dance to their heart’s content. Put on some St. Patrick’s Day music and dance a jig! Once you are all danced out, open the box and peel your shamrocks off the sides. They should be nicely painted! My daughter really liked shaking the box, while I really liked how little mess there was!

Watch a rainbow appear before your eyes!

Walking Rainbow – This is a fun science experiment which kids of all ages can enjoy. This experiment shows kids how colors mix to make new colors, and how water molecules move. Start by filling 3 short bowls (I used ramekins like these), and placing them in a circle with 3 more empty bowls placed between them. Squirt a few drops of red food coloring into one of the full bowls, yellow into the second and blue into the third.

Roll a paper towel up into a long ribbon and dip one end into the red bowl and the other end into the empty bowl next to it. Then place another paper towel ribbon between the empty bowl and the yellow bowl. Keep going until all of the bowls have two paper towels dipped into them. It will take a little time, but the water from the full bowls will start making it’s way across the paper towels and into the empty bowls, so you will have a full rainbow of colors!

Practice letters and numbers with free printable shamrocks!

A finished shamrock

Shamrock Match – This is a fun activity for practicing letter matching, math facts or number recognition. I created a printable shamrock shape for you to use (available through the link below), so it is easy to set up. Print out several of the shamrock pages and mark each leaf according to what skill you are practicing. For number recognition, you could mark the numeral on one leaf, the number word on a second leaf and the same number of dots on the third leaf. Kids would then have to sift through the labeled leaves to find the correct 3 leaves to complete their shamrocks. For letter recognition, you could mark the leaves with the capital letter, the lower case letter and a word that begins with that letter. For math facts, you can write a solution on the stem and math facts on the leaves (The stem can say 4, the leaves can say 3+1, 2×2, 5-1, etc).


There are so many fun ways to incorporate St. Patrick’s Day into your learning activities! Get inspired by the bright colors and the tricky leprechauns. Do you have a favorite St. Patrick’s Day book in your family? Do you have any fun games you play together? Share in the comments!


93 Comments

  • shan walker

    March 6, 2017 at 8:10 am Reply

    Great ideas here. Such a fun holiday for littles.

    The How-to Guru

    • Vicki

      March 6, 2017 at 1:31 pm Reply

      Thank you! I agree it is such a fun holiday!

  • Meredith

    March 6, 2017 at 9:04 am Reply

    This book sounds adorable!!!! I love the leprechaun gold coin search, that is such a good idea! I can’t wait until my daughter is into that stage of being able to do these cool activities instead of wanting to eat everything 😀

    • Vicki

      March 6, 2017 at 1:31 pm Reply

      Haha, oh my daughter still has moments like that. I’m not sure when that stage ends!

  • Stephanie

    March 6, 2017 at 9:10 am Reply

    What a perfect book to bring in Saint Patty’s day with! I love the shaving cream activity, my kids would have a blast with that!

    • Vicki

      March 6, 2017 at 1:32 pm Reply

      My daughter loved it! Even I had fun playing with it, haha.

  • Dataman55

    March 6, 2017 at 12:27 pm Reply

    Great article. You make me want to read the book. I was especially fascinated to read about watching the rainbow appear. It looks like magic. And i’m sure it would be magic to a little one. Thanks.

    • Vicki

      March 6, 2017 at 1:33 pm Reply

      Thank you! My daughter loved watching the colors move through the paper towels!

  • Meg | The Many Little Joys

    March 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm Reply

    How fun! We just started learning about Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day today at my house, and I just happened to reserve this book at the library as well (I knew nothing about it except the title sounded cute). Hopefully it comes soon, and we can get busy doing some of these activities in the meantime.

    • Vicki

      March 6, 2017 at 2:25 pm Reply

      That is awesome! It is a very cute book. I hope you have fun with it!

  • Rabia @ The Liebers

    March 6, 2017 at 2:25 pm Reply

    Such cute ideas. My preschoolers used to build a Leprechaun trap and fill with with all the green things they could find. Then while they were napping, I’d trip the trap and leave some chocolate in it for them. They were always sad that the Leprechaun escaped, but the chocolate helped. 🙂

    • Vicki

      March 6, 2017 at 3:01 pm Reply

      Aw, that is adorable! I will have to try that with my daughter!

  • JeeYoung

    March 6, 2017 at 2:31 pm Reply

    What a festive book! I love St. Paddy’s because of all the rainbow themed activities and treats!

    • Vicki

      March 6, 2017 at 3:01 pm Reply

      Me too! So many happy colors after the gray of winter!

  • Bethany

    March 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm Reply

    Definitely going to do the walking rainbow with my daughter this year!! Great ideas and great post!!

    • Vicki

      March 6, 2017 at 9:09 pm Reply

      Thank you! I hope you have a lot of fun with it!

  • Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries

    March 6, 2017 at 10:07 pm Reply

    I love the walking rainbow idea – so clever!!

    • Vicki

      March 6, 2017 at 11:17 pm Reply

      Thank you!

  • Elizabeth Brico

    March 6, 2017 at 11:17 pm Reply

    Rainbow is one of the newest words in my littlest one’s word explosion. She will LOVE this book and the activities!

    • Vicki

      March 6, 2017 at 11:19 pm Reply

      I’m so glad! I hope she enjoys them!

  • Kirsty

    March 7, 2017 at 6:06 am Reply

    Cute book, awesome ideas!!!

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 1:21 pm Reply

      Thank you!

  • Kathy

    March 7, 2017 at 7:37 am Reply

    What a wonderful picture book. I’m particularly inspired by these St. Patrick’s Day themed activities. The searching for gold looks amazing. So does creating the rainbow.

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 1:20 pm Reply

      Thank you! We had a lot of fun with them.

  • Jasmine Hewitt

    March 7, 2017 at 8:10 am Reply

    the rainbow craft is so cool. my nieces and nephews would love that

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 1:19 pm Reply

      We had a lot of fun with it! I hope they enjoy it!

  • Bethany

    March 7, 2017 at 9:49 am Reply

    Such great ideas! I always struggle with how to celebrate St. Patricks Day with my kids! But this post is so helpful!

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 1:18 pm Reply

      Thank you! I hope you have fun celebrating now!

  • Catia H

    March 7, 2017 at 10:25 am Reply

    Super cute ideas! It’s our first St. Patrick’s day with a toddler -so these will come in handy!

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 1:18 pm Reply

      Mine too! My daughter really enjoyed these. I hope yours does too!

  • candy

    March 7, 2017 at 11:06 am Reply

    We just got back from the library with books on St. Patrick Day for the grandkids. These different games sound like a ton of fun to do. Afternoon planning time.

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 1:17 pm Reply

      I’m so glad! I hope you have a lot of fun with them!

  • Stephanie @ Lattes Lilacs & Lullabies

    March 7, 2017 at 11:15 am Reply

    Love these cute ideas. St Patrick’s Day is my birthday, so I’m a bit partial to it. Thanks for sharing these super cute ideas. ?

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 1:16 pm Reply

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy them!

  • Carrie Ford-Coates

    March 7, 2017 at 1:21 pm Reply

    What great ideas incorporating play with the story. I am going to try the rainbow hop game with my daughter!

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 1:25 pm Reply

      Thank you! I hope you have as much fun with it as we are! My daughter pulls the shapes out at least once a day to play with them.

  • Lindsey

    March 7, 2017 at 2:43 pm Reply

    You are so creative! Thank you for sharing your talents and ideas with the rest of us!

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 3:04 pm Reply

      Thank you!

  • Kristen

    March 7, 2017 at 3:14 pm Reply

    These are some fun activities to do! So going to do the rainbow experiment with my girls for the homeschooling!

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 4:30 pm Reply

      Thank you! I hope they like it!

  • Kate

    March 7, 2017 at 5:20 pm Reply

    We’ve never read this book before- I’m definitely going to have to check it out!

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 6:30 pm Reply

      I hope you enjoy it! It’s a cute story!

  • Angela Kim

    March 7, 2017 at 6:25 pm Reply

    You are so creative and I love these activities! I can’t wait to try these when Baby D gets bigger.

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 6:31 pm Reply

      Thank you! I hope you have fun with them someday!

  • Dani Adams

    March 7, 2017 at 6:57 pm Reply

    Wonderful activities paired with lovely stories. I am so glad you posted this. Great ideas for the little’s.

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 9:51 pm Reply

      Thank you!

  • Jalisa

    March 7, 2017 at 8:54 pm Reply

    That gold coin painting is a great craft for the little ones. My three year old would love it.

    • Vicki

      March 7, 2017 at 9:49 pm Reply

      My daughter had a lot of fun with it! I hope you try it!

  • Amanda

    March 7, 2017 at 10:33 pm Reply

    This really brings out the kindergarten teacher in me. I miss teaching that age. I’ll pin this to use with my daughter when her attention span gets longer than 1 minute!

    • Vicki

      March 8, 2017 at 12:09 am Reply

      I miss teaching in the elementary schools, so my daughter gets the focus of that!

  • Savannah

    March 7, 2017 at 11:43 pm Reply

    This is sooo fun!! My son would absolutely LOOOVE the rainbow hop and the coin search! I’m always looking for fun activities to do with him, and this is such a perfect way to get in the holiday mood. Thanks for sharing <3

    • Vicki

      March 8, 2017 at 12:10 am Reply

      I hope he has fun with them! My daughter really enjoyed both of them.

  • […] Learning About Rainbows with Roy G Biv the Leprechaun! – Babies to Bookworms […]

  • Danielle

    March 8, 2017 at 7:17 am Reply

    Now I need to go do all of these activities!! I love the walking rainbow one! 🙂

    • Vicki

      March 8, 2017 at 12:47 pm Reply

      I hope you have a lot of fun with them! My daughter loved the walking rainbow!

  • Anna nuttall

    March 8, 2017 at 11:19 am Reply

    What a fun activities and I should do this with my niece who is two. xx

    • Vicki

      March 8, 2017 at 12:47 pm Reply

      I hope she enjoys them! My daughter is almost two and she loved them!

  • Amanda

    March 8, 2017 at 11:40 am Reply

    I absolutely love the diversity of all these St. Patrick’s Day activities you shared! Question–where did you buy the gold coins?

    • Vicki

      March 8, 2017 at 12:48 pm Reply

      I bought mine at a local craft store. There is a link above to get them on Amazon as well!

  • Jessica - A Modern Mom's Life

    March 8, 2017 at 12:57 pm Reply

    Lovely ideas – and for all ages! My kids would love the colour mixing one and likely the shamrock painting inside the box. St Patrick’s day is also my husbands birthday so we enjoy celebrating every year! 😀
    ~Jess

    • Vicki

      March 8, 2017 at 1:20 pm Reply

      Aw, that’s a fun birthday! I hope you enjoy doing some of these projects together!

  • J. Ivy Boyter

    March 8, 2017 at 1:13 pm Reply

    I really like the paper towel walking rainbow! How easy!

    • Vicki

      March 8, 2017 at 1:24 pm Reply

      It was really easy to set up and clean up!

  • Melissa Robinson

    March 8, 2017 at 1:20 pm Reply

    These are totally some fun activities and I love that they are tactile/sensory-oriented. I have a friend who will enjoy these! Thanks for sharing!

    • Vicki

      March 8, 2017 at 9:15 pm Reply

      I’m so glad! Thank you for reading!

  • Debby

    March 8, 2017 at 3:58 pm Reply

    This is a great post with LOTS of options for kids activities. My personal favorite is the science experiment where kids get to understand the process and still see the pretty rainbow!

    • Vicki

      March 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm Reply

      Thanks! My daughter really liked that one!

  • Lu

    March 8, 2017 at 5:50 pm Reply

    Awesome games/activities for kids 🙂

    • Vicki

      March 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm Reply

      Thank you!

  • Eryn Lynum

    March 8, 2017 at 6:26 pm Reply

    What a fun idea! My boys love rainbows, they would definitely enjoy this activity!

    • Vicki

      March 8, 2017 at 9:14 pm Reply

      Thank you! I hope they enjoy it!

  • Rochelle

    March 9, 2017 at 9:11 am Reply

    All great activities – I should do some of these with my youngest today!

    • Vicki

      March 9, 2017 at 12:52 pm Reply

      We had a lot of fun with them! I hope you do too!

  • Charissa | thenotsobusymom

    March 9, 2017 at 9:17 am Reply

    As always, a great book and creative activities! Thanks, Vicki!

    • Vicki

      March 9, 2017 at 12:52 pm Reply

      Thank you!

  • Angela Fry

    March 9, 2017 at 9:53 am Reply

    I want to do the walking rainbow with my kiddos. Thanks for reminding me. Maybe we’ll do it today!

    • Vicki

      March 9, 2017 at 12:54 pm Reply

      I hope they have a lot of fun with it! My daughter loved watching the colors change.

  • Shann Eva

    March 9, 2017 at 3:15 pm Reply

    Such great ideas! I’ve been looking for some fun things to do on St. Patty’s Day, so these are awesome. I especially love the one with the paper towels.

    • Vicki

      March 9, 2017 at 3:52 pm Reply

      I hope you have a lot of fun with them! My daughter really liked that one!

  • Fi Morrison

    March 9, 2017 at 9:21 pm Reply

    What great play ideas! I particularly love the walking rainbow activity – I’ll have to try that with my year 2’s when I return to work as part of teaching about colour theory/the colour wheel. 🙂
    #humpdayhype

    • Vicki

      March 9, 2017 at 9:48 pm Reply

      It’s a lot of fun! I hope you have fun with it!

  • tineke - workingmommyabroad

    March 10, 2017 at 4:16 am Reply

    Such fun activities!

    • Vicki

      March 10, 2017 at 1:16 pm Reply

      Thank you!

  • Patricia

    March 10, 2017 at 4:17 am Reply

    Ahhh ROY G BIV brings back so many memories!! This is super cute!!

    • Vicki

      March 10, 2017 at 1:19 pm Reply

      Haha, I loved his name. It brought back memories for me too!

  • Jennifer Corter

    March 10, 2017 at 8:49 am Reply

    This is awesome! I think my little guy would love that book and definitely those activities!

    • Vicki

      March 10, 2017 at 1:22 pm Reply

      I hope you have fun with them! My daughter really enjoyed the activities.

  • All Things Big and Small

    March 10, 2017 at 9:56 am Reply

    I love all of these ideas! I needed some inspiration for ways to celebrate with my kids next week! Thanks so much!

    • Vicki

      March 10, 2017 at 1:23 pm Reply

      I’m so glad! I hope you have a lot of fun celebrating!

  • Mamaguru

    March 12, 2017 at 5:34 pm Reply

    That color mixing activity is a classic! I can’t believe I forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder and the great book!

    • Vicki

      March 12, 2017 at 8:38 pm Reply

      I’m glad to help! My daughter had a lot of fun with that one!

  • Innana

    March 14, 2017 at 9:03 pm Reply

    Oh my gosh this is so creative! what a fun activity you planned, good job Mama!

    • Vicki

      March 14, 2017 at 9:32 pm Reply

      Thank you! We had a lot of fun!

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