Irish harps are a classic icon of St. Patrick’s Day symbolism. This simple craft can be altered as a St. Patrick’s Day activity for all ages and can be used as a school lesson, at home, or as an activity as St. Patrick’s Day children’s parties.
For this craft activity you may either use a shape temple and cut out an Irish harp from poster board, or use a paper plate.
A great Irish harp template to print and cut out is available here: http://www.thebestkidsbooksite.com/crafttemp/harp.pdf.
Cut the template out and use it as a pattern on yellow construction paper or poster board. Remember to cut out the center of the template as well, so you have the outline of an Irish harp.
If you are using a paper plate (which is a better option for younger children) simply cut out the inner circle, leaving the round paper rim. It will be a circular harp, but younger children will not miss the difference of the authentic Irish harp shape.
Next, use a hole punch to place a row of holes at the top and bottom of the harp. Leave enough room between each hole and the edges so the hole do not tear open. Cut each child a length of gold elastic cord, which is available at most craft stores. They will probably need about three feet of the elastic cord, depending on how large of a harp you want to make. Staple the end of the cord next to the first hole on the back of the harp template.
Show the children how to finish their St. Patrick’s Day craft by lacing the length of elastic cord through the first hole, down to the bottom of the harp and through a hole, back to the top and so on. Let the kids have fun with their St. Patrick’s Day lacing project until the Irish harp if completely strung.
For older children, challenge them to try to lace the harp so the string is tight enough to snap. With younger children, tighten their lacing after they have completed the project. Staple the last end in place to hold the tension and cut off the remaining elastic cord.
Provide glitter, Irish stickers of shamrocks and leprechauns, gold metallic stickers in stars and coins, and markers for the kids to finish decorating their Irish harp crafts.
Now your children have Irish harps they can play as they pretend to be leprechauns.