St. Patrick’s Day Craft for Older Kids
I had been racking my brain trying to come up with a fun, age-appropriate, educational activity that could be used in the upper grades for St. Patricks Day. When I finally started thinking about Lucky Charms… my mind finally started to roll.
When I stumbled across the Lucky Chinese Coin and found it could be used to make a bracelet, I knew I had a winner. The only issue is that every tutorial I watched required you to use a flame to finish the edges or adhere ends to prevent them from coming unraveled. This works great when you’re working on your own, but I intended this project to be done in the classroom, which meant flames with the students were out.
This bracelet is a bit of a makeshift for me, but I couldn’t be more pleased with the simplicity of the process or the final design. It looks intricate and complicated, but I can confidently recommend this project to 4th graders and up. (3rd graders continue to surprise me though so let me know if you’re in a younger grade and have success.
I think the thing I was most pleased with however was the cost of supplies. Often, I’ve turned away from different projects when I consider the overall cost. This was not one of those. Your entire grade level could create one of these beauties for less than 20$ total in supplies! Best part, you buy it once and have enough cord to go around for years to come!
Below I will list the supplies and vendors that I used. They are affiliate links, but I would recommend sticking to them, especially when it comes to the coins. Other vendors had random reviews that the coins were too small and bent easily. For the purpose of the bracelet, you need a strong and sturdy metal. The coins I purchased were perfect! I swayed off the traditional lucky Chinese Coin bracelet path by choosing a green cord instead of a red one. I liked the idea of making something green each kid could wear come St. Patrick’s Day as a bit of pinch protection. You will learn in my Luck of the Irish and The Luckiest Charms of All Activity that green is known to symbolize wealth, health, and prosperity so I thought it was the perfect choice for a DIY Lucky Charm.
- Chinese Coin
- Masking Tape, Washi Tape, Painter’s Tape… Any of these will work great!
- Straws These Smoothie straws work great, a wider opening makes it easier to slip the cord through.
The video will be the most helpful tutorial I can offer you. My cute friend Alissa McDonald over with the Teacher Hustle University @Teacherbynaptime tried this with her 5th graders and suggested making a bracelet on your own first, and then as a class watching the video through. Then watch the video and stopping at each step. You can also have students that have mastered a step go around and help the other students before moving on.
- Cut two strands of cord approximately 14 inches, easier to err on the side of longer.
Quick Tip to be Fast and Efficient: take a piece of cardboard approximately 7-8 inches. Wrap the cord around the square of cardboard then cut through one end of the strands. This will leave you with a grade level worth of strands measuring at approximately the right size in little to no time. YOU’RE. WELCOME.
- Thread one of the strands through the center of the coin. Pull the thread through until the strands are the same length and the coin is in the center.
- Loop the thread towards you and over the other half of the strand. Loop the end over the strands, around, and up through the loop. ***Watch the video for clarification.
- Slide the loop to the coin to secure the coin. Repeat the same steps for the other strand, securing the coin.
- Trim off any excess cord so both halves are again the same length.
- Tape the ends of your halves together. This will simplify the upcoming steps.
- Cut a piece of straw approximately 2 inches
- Cut an additional piece of cord approximately 14 inches long
- Overlap your two taped halves with the piece of straw. **See video for clarification.
- Take your separate piece of cord and hold it in place with your thumb, using the other end of the cord, wrap it around itself, the straw, and the two taped halves.
- Loop around 5 times
- Take the end of the cord you’ve looped with and thread it through the straw, pulling through.
- Slide the straw off of the cord.
- Take both ends of the new cord and pull tight
- Knot the ends of the new cord as close to the bracelet as you can, cut off any excess. Use glue or a lighter to secure the knot if your cord is slippery to prevent the knots from coming undone.
- Remove the tape from your other ends and secure with a knot to prevent the strands from slipping through the loops.
- Adjust to the size of your wrist and enjoy!!
Don’t forget! *** I have a wonderful reading comprehension and crossword puzzle that I made to go along with this activity.
The reading is all about different lucky charms around the world and across cultures. It was absolutely fascinating to me. The reading also delves deeper into the Chinese Coin, it’s history, and what it is believed to bring in the luck department. The Crossword is free, however, the answers will be most easily found in the Luckiest Charms Reading Comprehension Packet. It’s absolutely an option to treat the crosswords as a web-quest and have the students seek out the answers themselves! These activities really work in conjunction together and with this craft to create a really fun, effective, and complete project!
This reading comprehension passage and question is available for free here. This reading passage takes students on a brief overview of 7 of the most iconic lucky charms and traditions associated with the Irish Culture. Students will also learn about the not so lucky history of the Irish people.
This activity, like the bracelet, can technically be completed at any time during the year, however, they lend so well to St. Patrick’s Day. This is a reading comprehension passage that allows students to explore and learn about lucky charms from all over the world. It really is such a fun read. If you plan to do the Lucky Charm Bracelet activity with your class, I highly recommend downloading this reading comprehension passage and reflection. The reading gives you great historical context and background to some of the most well-known, and not so well-known lucky charms around the world. It is especially fun to find out that for a coin to be really lucky… it needs a hole in it… “Oh hello, there Chinese coin!”
If you do any of these in your classroom, PLEASE take pictures and tag me, share to the Facebook Group, or Instagram, or simply comment below! I can’t wait to connect, there is nothing better than seeing my products in your classroom!
Can’t wait, THANKS!
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