Pipe cleaner shamrocks are pretty fast and easy to make. They make a fun St. Patrick’s day craft for kids. You can do them at home, like we did, in a classroom, or for a Sunday school activity. Most people think of green beer, leprechauns, pots of gold, and parties for St. Patrick’s Day. We draw and color shamrocks, and wear them on our clothes. But many people don’t know about the history behind the shamrock and Saint Patrick himself. The story is a wonderful one to share with your kids and I promise that after you do you’ll always insist on a shamrock with three leaves instead of four.
Why the Shamrock is So Important on St. Patrick’s Day
Why should a shamrock have three leaves?
It’s because the original shamrock only had three leaves. There is a very special symbolic reason for this. Saint Patrick, who was born about 385 AD in Great Britain, was kidnapped when he was young and sold into slavery in Ireland. After 6 years he returned home and entered the priesthood. He came to love the people of Ireland and grew in his faith.
Many years later, when Saint Patrick was around 60 years old, he returned to Ireland. He wanted to teach the Irish about Christianity. In Ireland shamrocks are quite common. St. Patrick decided to use the shamrock as a metaphor to explain the Holy Trinity. He told the people of Ireland that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are consubstantial. This means that they are all one God. The Church teaches that Christ is made of the same substance as the Father and the Holy Spirit. So to help the people of Ireland understand this, he took up a shamrock and showed them that each leaf represents each part of the Holy Trinity, and yet they are all attached to the same stem. They are one in being.
Shamrock Activities for Kids
Make Pipe Cleaner Shamrocks
Here’s a free printable St. Patrick’s Day coloring sheet to go along with your pipe cleaner shamrocks: The Shamrock is a Symbol of the Holy Trinity. Just click on the link under the picture of Saint Patrick to download the free PDF.
I hope you enjoyed my pipe cleaner shamrocks tutorial and my free St. Paddy’s Day coloring sheet. I’d love to know if you found them useful. You may also like to see our Map of Irish Sayings Artwork and our popular recipe: Make Shamrock Pancakes for St. Paddy’s Day Using Cookie Cutters.
If you’ve got additional ideas let me know about them, too!