This festive and fun St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft uses paint to teach your toddler, small child or kid how yellow and blue combine to make green.
Your child will feel like a real artist when you let them play with paints to make this easy St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft. Painting is so much fun and a great way to teach your children about colors. This craft is a great activity for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary aged kids. They’ll be able to clearly see how blue and yellow combine to make green. They’ll also practice tracing and using scissors. And in the end, they’ll have a beautiful St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft to proudly show off in a frame or on the fridge.
How to Make the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft
What you need:
- Blue washable tempera paint
- Yellow washable tempera paint
- Construction paper
- Paint brushes (Thicker brushes work best, but any paint brushes will do.)
- Paint palette or small containers (Tip: an old egg carton would work great as a paint palette.)
- Small container of water
- Heart shaped template (Tip: We used used a heart shaped cookie cutter, but you could make your own template with thick cardboard.)
- Glue (See instructions to create your own glue sponge.)
1. Put paint in the palette. Pour small amounts of yellow and blue paint in your paint palette. Keep some empty space between the colors in the palette so your child has room to mix paints. I really like the Crayola tempera paints because they’re easy to wash off clothes, hands, tables and floors.
2. Teach your child how to make green paint. Talk to your child about how you can mix two different colors together to form an entirely new color. Use your paintbrush to combine the colors in an empty spot in the palette. While your child is painting in the next step, you can also demonstrate how they can paint blue on top of yellow or vice versa to create green directly on the paper. This was the best part of the whole activity for our three year old when we made the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft. He kept exclaiming “Look Mommy! I’m making green!! I’m making GREEN!!”
3. Paint on the paper. Encourage your child to paint any way he or she wants on a piece of light colored construction paper. We were having so much fun with this activity we decided to paint four pieces of paper to make four shamrocks. The goal is to fill as much of the paper with color as they can, but there really aren’t any rules. With children, it’s more important to let them be creative than it is to have it look a certain way.
4. Let your paintings thoroughly dry. We left ours overnight and came back to finish the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft the next day.
5. Trace hearts on the back of the paintings. Once the paintings are dry, flip them over. Have your child trace four large hearts on the back of the paper with a stencil and pencil. These will become the leaves of the shamrock or four-leaf clover. We used a large heart shaped cookie cutter as our stencil. The cookie cutter worked great for our three year old because he could trace better around the inside of the cookie cutter than he could around the outside. In the end, his traced hearts weren’t perfect, but that just adds to the creative whimsy of the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft.
6. Cut around the traced hearts. If your child is a toddler or not skilled with scissors yet, you may need to do this part of the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft.
While I was cutting around the hearts, I gave our three year old a pair of child safe scissors. I drew some straight lines on the back of the paintings and showed him how to use the scissors. He was able to practice cutting along lines to create the stems for the shamrocks.
7. Glue the hearts on a new piece of paper. Get a fresh piece of construction paper to be the background of the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft. Have your child put glue on the back of a heart. Place the heart on the construction paper with the point towards the center. Continue putting glue on the hearts and adding them to the page. Line up the pointed ends together until you have four hearts on the page to form a shamrock. You’ll see in the picture, my son is using a glue sponge. My cousin who’s an art teacher taught me this great trick. The glue sponge makes it easier for toddlers and little kids to glue small pieces of paper without getting glue everywhere. See our instructions to create your own glue sponge for more information.
8. Add the stems and let the glue dry. Have your child glue the stem from the center of the shamrock between two of the hearts. Allow the paper to dry completely.
9. Display your fine art. You’re now ready to proudly display your St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft! Tack your paintings up on your fridge or a corkboard. We have frames on the wall in our art room where we like to put our paintings. The ones you see on the upper right and lower left in the photo below are just empty black frames that I got at Michaels. There are two small nails in the wall within the frames. Small binder clips hang from the nails to display our art. I got the other two frames at Target a while back. The front of those frames opens so you can easily swap out artwork when you create something new.
There you have it – an easy St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft! It’s simple enough for a toddler to do, yet beautiful enough to be framed. Have you tried a painting project like this with your kids? If so, please comment below and tell us what their favorite part of painting is.
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