9 Books for St. Patrick’s Day


St Patrick’s Day is just 2 weeks away, and shamrock’s and green decorations are starting to fill my house. Having grown up in Ireland, this time of year is always such a fun time! Shamrocks, rainbows, gold themed stories and decorations were always part of the tradition. As was going to mass on the morning of St Patrick’s day, with some shamrock or a green, white and orange rosetta, pinned to your jacket, before heading off to see the parade.

We are all a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re starting to look for some Irish inspiration, and thinking about how to add a little bit of leprechaun magic to our day, I have rounded up some books that will help you do just that! You can find these at your local library.


The Night Before St Patrick’s Day

night before st patricks day

Written in the style of ‘The Night before Christmas’ this is the story of two children who spend the night before St Patrick’s day setting traps to catch a leprechaun. With some cute rhymes, this is a story that could be used to spark conversations about catching leprechauns and creating traps. The ending reflects a few well known stories about leprechauns and just how tricky they can be, even when you catch them.

As a side note, in the book the father plays bagpipes on the morning of St Patrick’s day. Bagpipes that you blow in to are more traditionally Scottish. In Ireland the uileann pipes (‘uileann’ means elbow), are more traditional. The bag of the uileann pipes is filled when the player uses their arm to move the bellows that are underneath their arm. An uileann pipes player can sing while playing. Here is a clip of a young 10 year old boy playing the uileann pipes.

Green Shamrocks

green shamrocks

This is a super cute picture book. Rabbit is busy growing shamrocks in a  yellow pot for St Patrick’s day so that he can wear them to the parade. But one morning when he wakes up, his shamrocks are missing. He goes searching for them, hoping that he will find his ;yellow pot of green shamrocks’ before the parade. –he’s getting them ready for St. Patrick’s Day so he can wear them for the parade!

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover

old lady swallowed clover

There was an old lady who liked to swallow lots of things – including a clover! In this St Patrick’s day version of this rhyme, the old lady swallows lots of things (including a clover, a pot and some gold), and when she dances with a leprechaun it makes a ……..perfect rainbow!

Fiona’s Luck

fionas luck

When all the luck in Ireland is locked away by the Leprechaun King, all of Ireland despairs. No on knows why the plants have stopped growing and no on is having any luck. Fiona is the only one who realizes that the leprechauns have taken all of the luck. She sets out to bring back luck to Ireland. This is a really lovely book, that young and older students will enjoy.

Saint Patrick and the Peddler

st patrick and the peddler

This is the story of a poor peddler, a porridge pot, the ghost of Saint Patrick and a journey.  The peddler was generous and kind and shared what little he had with others. When he is visited by the ghost of Saint Patrick, the peddler sets off on a journey. This book has beautiful illustrations throughout of Ireland, and is written as a more traditional story both with the language and with the storyline (with 3 dreams and a journey).

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day

a fine st patrick's day

The towns of Tralee and Tralah hold an annual St Patrick’s Day decorating contest. Every year Tralee is beaten by Tralah, but this year a little girl has a great idea to paint the entire town of Tralee green. They are sure they will win, but when a stranger comes looking for help, they must decide whether to help, or get ready for the competition. This is a sweet book about community and helping others, and what really counts on St Patrick’s Day (or any day).

The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever

the luckiest st patrick's day ever

This is a super cute story about a leprechaun family and their friend who celebrate St Patrick’s Day on their favorite day of the year – March 17th. It’s full of bright and appealing illustrations about the leprechauns as they celebrate with a parade and with family, friends and food! A cute story for little learners.

The Leprechaun’s Gold

the leprechauns gold

This is the story of Old Pat,  who is generous and kind and a great harp player, and Young Tom, who is self-centered and mean harp player. When a Harp Competition is announced by the king, both men set off on a journey together. When Tom realises that Old Pat may win the competition, he breaks a string on his harp. But, when Old Tom helps a leprechaun who is in trouble, a little bit of magic is added to the story. This is a fun story that also highlights how being generous and kind is important. The magic and mischief of the leprechauns is also seen in the story. And if you look really closely with your students you might be able to find all of the clovers that are hidden in the illustrations.

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland

patrick patron saint of ireland

This book tells the story of Saint Patrick. How he was captured from his home in the United Kingdom, lived in slavery in Ireland until he escaped, and eventually returned to Ireland as a missionary. If you are looking for a book to tell the historical story of Saint Patrick, this is a good book for you. It also includes some of the myths about Saint Patrick in the book.

I hope this post has given you some St. Patrick’s Day book-spiration for your storytime and class library. What other books do you read for St Patrick’s Day?

If you’d like a FREE St Patrick’s Day resource, click on the picture below to download my free mini book, the story of St Patrick and the snakes and a wordserch!




The Christmas Addition Machine

I just love this time of year. Everywhere you look people are full of the holiday spirit. Ever since I was a small child this has been my favorite of the year! The lights around the neighborhood and in the main streets of the city just made it look so magical .

Have some Christmas fun with your students , with this FREEBIE Christmas Addition Machine. This is a fun and hands-on way for your students to explore number bonds up to 10.


Click HERE to download this activity.

In this ‘Christmas Addition Machine’ game, your students explore number bonds from 1-10, by using the ten frame and recording their answers on the Addition Machine and the recording sheet.

To play:

  1. Students pick an Addition Machine Card. blog pic 1

2. They use the Ten Frame to find a number bond that makes 5.

blog pic 23. Finally students fill in the numbers in the Addition Machine, and record it on their recording sheet.

Christmas Addition Machine Christmas Addition Machine - Recording Sheet


I hope you have some addition fun with your class with this game! If you are looking for more addition fun you can check out Making 10 for Christmas HERE.



The Power of Nursery Rhymes

The Power Of Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes are a fantastic tool in the early years classroom. They give children exposure to rhyme and rhythm, and teach phonemic awareness in a fun and repetitive way. The Guardian paper in the UK polled 2,500 people and asked them what their all time favorite nursery rhymes were. The top ten nursery rhymes included: Hickory Dickory Dock, Little Miss Muffet, Incey Wincey Spider (Itsy Bitsy Spider), Baa Baa Black Sheep, Jack and Jill, Twinkle Twinkle and Humpty Dumpty. These nursery rhymes have been shared with young children by their parents for hundreds of years. What makes nursery rhymes such appealing rhymes for young children and why are they such a good learning tool in the early years?


As young children grow as language learners they become aware that some words sound the same even if they are spelt differently. Through nursery rhymes children are exposed to fun and memorable rhymes and word families like diddle/fiddle, stream/dream and dock/clock. Not all of the rhymes in the nursery rhymes make sense like ‘hickory dickory dock’ or ‘hey diddle diddle’, but I think this adds to the fun of nursery rhymes, and inspires the young creative mind to think of limitless rhyming words. From a very young age children can begin joining in with nursery rhymes. Even very young children can begin joining in the rhyming fun by finishing sentences ‘Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you ______?’


Rhythm and Phonics

I remember very clearly singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ with my daughter when she was a baby. To begin with she always sang ‘star’ at the end of every sentence, but even in the early days, her sense of rhythmic patterns and the structure of language were beginning to develop.  Nursery rhymes are full of fun rhythm which make it easy for children to join in and follow. Exposing children to this rich culture of words and rhythm in language is a fantastically enriching experience for them. The best thing is that nursery rhymes are so much fun, children don’t even realise they are learning such important elements as assonance, alliteration, rhythm, etc.


Fun with the printed text

Even before children can read they can have exposure to how a books work and engage with text on a page. As simple as looking at a page of a poem that is read by an adult, or ‘reading’ a book by themselves as they turn the pages and observe the pages filled with both text, and also visual prompts,  illustrations or key words in the rhyme.mini books small2

There are several products in my store which you might find useful as you explore Nursery Rhymes with your class.

Nursery Rhyme Bundleshop3

5 Things to know for St Patrick’s Day!

Having grown up in Ireland, St Patrick’s Day is still a day that fills me with great excitement! St. Patrick’s Day was always a holiday and a guaranteed day off school or work, a trip to see the parade and wearing green was always a must! Even now the anticipation of the arrival of Paddy’s Day, fills me with that giddy excitement of that younger excited schoolgirl.

first pic
5 Things to Know for St Patrick’s Day


St Patrick wasn't Irish, he was born in Britain. St Patrick wasn’t born in Ireland. That’s right! Ireland’s most famous and celebrated saint, St Patrick, wasn’t actually born in Ireland, in fact he was kidnapped by pirates and brought to Ireland where he was sold as a slave! Historians aren’t exactly sure where he came from, but they believe it is either Wales or England.

St Patrick is the Patron Saint of IrelandWhen Saint Patrick was brought to Ireland, he was sold to a farmer who put him to work minding his animals. Saint Patrick lived and worked with the animals. After several years he managed to escape by stowing away on a boat which set sail to France. While he was in France, he trained to become a priest. After many years he began having dreams about the people of Ireland calling to him to come back to them. He returned to Ireland as a missionary and is now Ireland’s patron saint.

My freebie is available at my TpT Store
This is part of my St Patrick’s Day Freebie. Click to download from TpT.

Ireland has a female patron saintIreland has a female Patron Saint too. In fact Ireland has three patron saints – Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and Saint Columba. Saint Patrick is by far the most famous. The female patron saint of Ireland is Saint Brigid. She has her own feast day on February 1st and she even has her own cross. Saint Brigid was a nun and there is a story that tells how she went to visit the King of Leinster (one of the 4 provinces of Ireland) for some land to build a convent. When the king refused, she asked would he let her have however much land her cloak she was wearing would cover. Then king wanted to get rid of Brigid, and so he agreed. When Saint Brigid began to lay her cloak out, the corners of the cloak continued to stretch until it covered huge parts of the land. The king began to panic when he saw this and promised Saint Brigid a nice plot of land for her convent.

There are no snakes in Ireland - St Patrick banished them It’s true! There really are no snakes in Ireland! The legend says that St Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland by driving them off a cliff and into the sea. There is a story about the last snake in Ireland. There was a snake who did not want to be banished. St Patrick tricked the snake into climbing into a box, and then threw the box into the sea. This, the legend goes, is why there are no snakes in Ireland. It is because of this legend that St Patrick is often pictured with snakes by his feet.

This is part of my St Patrick’s Day Freebie. Click to download from TpT.

Shamrocks have 3 heart Shaped LeavesA shamrock has 3 heart shaped leaves. It really is very simple to draw a shamrock once you know this. It might seem simple, but if you ever find yourself needing to draw a quick shamrock for an activity, this little observation can be a lifesaver. Trust me!

This is part of my St Patrick’s Day Freebie. Click to download from TpT.

One thing I really enjoying for St Patrick’s Day is making Potato Print pictures. It’s simple and is lots of hands on fun!

All you need is:

  •  A potato, A knife (to cut the potato), Paper, Green Paint & a container for the paint

1. Cut the potato in half. Carve a heart shape into the top of the potato and cut away the potato until it looks like thisMake a potato print for St Patrick's Day


2. Using the heart shaped potato print, create shamrocks by placing 3 heart shaped prints beside each other. I love little finger prints, I just think they look so cute and encourage hands on play with the paint. So, using finger tips you could add a stem to the shamrock.

Potato Printing Shamrocks for St Patrick's DayPotato Printing Shamrocks for St Patrick's Day

If you are looking for more st Patrick’s Day ideas check out:

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Graphics © Krista Wallden (Creative Clips)


A year on TpT ……some things I’ve learned

This week I hit my TpT-versary – one year since I started my Teachers pay Teachers Store! I have learned a lot in the past year, both about myself and about how the world of online stores and marketing your materials works. I have so much still to learn, but I thought I’d pause to look back and reflect on the past year. I have had so much fun and I’ve discovered just how much I enjoy making teaching materials. It’s something that I can lose track of time doing.

Here are some lessons that I have learned that might help you on your TpT adventure if you are thinking of starting, or have recently started, a store.

  1. Making materials is harder that I thought it would be but I LOVE it! I can’t say that I ever thought about just how much I enjoyed making materials before starting my TpT store. I’ve always enjoyed curriculum design, I have always enjoyed hands on projects … but designing materials that other teachers would find useful, and that are quality products, is a whole different thing. I think that’s because the last time I really thought about creating a complete product with full layout, instructions and teacher directions, was probably in college. I mean, it’s not like you ever really fully write out clear directions for yourself when you are creating materials for your classroom. You have a purpose for creating it, and you make it to fit that need. Even if you share it with your team, you are most likely going to talk about why you are sharing it, rather than writing down all of the directions. Creating a complete product takes a while, but when it’s complete you feel a great sense of satisfaction.
  2.  Ideas can come at the strangest times….so now I always carry a notebook with me! Sometimes something happens which helps me make a connection, or inspires an idea, when I’m in the strangest of places. Like in the grocery store comparing cereal boxes and you might notice how much math there is on the side of the box. I have also discovered that for me, late at night, when everyone else is asleep (and when I should be sleeping myself), my mind goes into creative hyper drive and I can spend much longer than I think working on an idea. I’m trying to be good about that now – too many 1-2am nights, with an early start, are not good.
  3.  Making a quality product takes time. Sometimes it can take quite a while to make a product. Take your time. The ideas will come. Sometimes leaving it for a couple of days gives me a fresh perspective, and it helps me to make the changes or add the final details that just weren’t coming. Producing a quality product is worth taking the time for.
  4. Make attractive product covers and use clip art. This will help you make a quality product.  Have a look at any of the bestselling products, and one thing that stands out is just how appealing they are to look at. With attractive covers and well-designed pages, they are great examples of just how important the design of your product is. Every week TpT highlights 10 freebies in their newsletter – this is also a great way to see quality products. There are lots of clipart stores on TpT, and also on other websites, that sell clipart to TpT sellers. They also have some free clipart too, so it’s a great place to start when you’re getting setting up your online store.
  5.  Upgrading to Premium Membership makes such a difference! When I first joined I decided not to sign up for Premium Membership until I had earned the money to pay for it. Then I sold a few products and realized the earnings on a $1.50 product, after the TpT commission and transaction fee, was SO tiny it was disheartening.  I looked on the forums and saw so many threads about whether or not to upgrade – each of them with comments from experienced sellers saying they wished they’d upgraded sooner. I upgraded after a week and it was a great decision! You see a return on your investment so much quicker than if you wait to earn it with basic membership. Look at the math: On a $1 product with basic membership you pay 40% to TpT AND a 30cent transaction fee on each sale – Profit 30cent. On a $1 product with Premium membership you pay 15% commission and NO transaction fee. Profit 85 cent. Taking the leap and believing in myself that I could earn back the $60 investment was SO worth it! I promise I have not been encouraged to say this – this is just my personal experience.
  6. Social Media: Social media is really important when you’re promoting your store. It took me a while to figure out Pinterest and to start pinning. But once I did I quickly noticed a difference in the traffic to my store. There are SO many products on TpT that promotion is important, especially as you establish your store. Pinterest is a great way to start. One thing that I have noticed, both as a pinner, and also as a follower, is that pages and pages of product covers are really not appealing for followers to look at. A wide variety of product pages and interesting teaching ideas or tips, or even non related teaching topics like recipes, will be far more appealing to followers. I try to keep the balance of at least 3:1 for non-related product pins to products. You can also vary your pins for the same product so that you followers don’t see the same pin multiple times. And then when you have got to grips with Pinterest there is always, Facebook, Twitter, blogging…
  7. Get the app! TpT has a handy little app that makes a ‘Ca-Ching’ every time you make a sale. It is so much fun to hear the ca-ching during the day.  There were some bugs recently with the app but that seems to be fixed now. So if you open up a store, download the app and let the ca-chings begin!
  8. Blogging: I have been told that Blogging is essential for spreading your words and ideas . I have just started this blog. I’ll let you know how it goes……

Making materials can be harder than you think, but it’s really rewarding – jump in and give it a try. You might pleasantly surprised!


Math fun for Valentine’s Day

The season of love is upon us, when the kids start talking about all things cupid. My first grader came home from school the other day and announced that he was marrying ‘K’ in his class, and that she also wants to marry him, and showed me several pages of drawings covered in love hearts that ‘R’ had given him. He also explained that Cupid was very crafty, and that if he hit you with his bow you would fall in love. He didn’t seem too concerned about this possibility though! His drawing from school that day showed the inevitable, with crafty cupid in action, firing his arrows at him as he slept.

As the run up to Valentine’s day is well under way, I thought I’d share my FREE Valentine’s game, to encourage your students to have fun exploring the 10 frame, counting on and addition!


The game comes with a ten frame, illustrated number strips from 1 – 5, and a recording sheet.

(**Before playing the game, cut up the number strips and for best results laminate the strips before using).

Number Ttrips

How to play:
1) The player rolls the die. They cover the number of spaces on the ten frame that they have rolled on the die, by using the number strips. (e.g. if they roll a 4 they cover 4 squares with the 4 strip). I have included 2 die which include numbers from 1 – 9.

2) The player then solves ‘How many more to make 10 Valentines Pictures?’ by counting the remaining squares to see how many are left.

e.g. Player rolls 4. They cover 4 spaces on the ten frame. Player then counts on to figure out ‘how many more do I need to make 10’?

3) The player then records this number sentence on their recording sheet.Slide3making103making1022


This will encourage your students to count on to 10 and explore number bonds that make 10, in a fun and engaging way. It will also encourage conversation in your class about number work.

The freebie is available in my TpT store or you can download it directly here