What better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your young kids than to read some Irish folklore and stories? It’s a great way for your children to learn about different cultures and how folklore began for many different areas and peoples. Some folklore can be a little scary and intense for some younger children, however, but below is a list of great Irish folklore topics that have books catered to the younger crowd.

Fairies & Giants

There is no shortage of fairies in most cultures, and that includes Ireland! There are a great selection of books and read-along stories centered around fairies and their magical charm. Many folklore tales began as a means for people to explain the shifting Earth and how things were the way they were. One such example is the ethereal light of the will o’ the wisp that is said to lure travelers away from the beaten path. The actual cause of the light is flammable gas that’s produced over the marshes, but these stories serve a fun and creative way for children to learn no matter the reality. There are a few giants in Irish folklore that children would love to read about, including Finn McCool, a warrior-giant who isn’t the brightest but has a big heart. 


Said to be male fairies or goblins, leprechauns are small, agile men who are said to guard hidden treasures, most notably the pot of gold. They are said to be extremely hard to catch, and you must keep your eye on them at all times. Leprechauns are a staple of Irish mythology and folklore, and there are many stories for children of all ages to give your kids a tale of Irish mischief and plenty of shenanigans. 


Mostly found in Norse and Celtic mythology, selkies are creatures that can change into both seals and humans. Like a classic mermaid tale, these creatures can turn back and forth, and most tales are about them falling in love with regular humans, or needing help on an adventure. They are heart-warming stories that your children will love for years to come. 

No matter the age of your child, there’s bound to be a few Irish folklore tales that will pique their interest and gain their appreciation. There’s even the tale of St. Patrick himself, who is said to have gotten rid of all the snakes in Ireland. Happy reading!  

Katie Kyzivat