My mom has been a second grade teacher for years (and as she is one of my most loyal readers, I will not divulge how long 😉 But let’s just say way before leprechaun traps showed up on Pinterest and Instagram – heck, before there even was a Pinterest or an Instagram (sorry, Mom) – her second graders were making ‘em.
Every March, she’d start to compile shiny gold buttons, discarded toilet paper and paper towel tubes, shoe boxes, bits of fabric and mountains of glitter. She’d ask her class to do the same. Pretty soon they’d have a mish mash of craft supplies to make 20+ traps to snare wily leprechauns.
When they left school on the day before St. Patrick’s Day, the kids would leave their traps on their desk. And apparently, a very oblivious leprechaun would not only tiptoe through their classroom, trip a bunch of traps and leave chaos in his wake, but he’d also make a clean getaway.
Though I worried my kids might be too young to get it, I decided to give it a go this year. I was impressed by the creativity.
I explained the concept to my 4-year-old and asked her to think of some ways we could trap a leprechaun. Her answer? A house that doesn’t have a door, so he’d have to climb up and fall through a hole in the roof. Works for me! (The baby’s role in all of this was taking a really good nap, so that we could finish our trap.)
Then I tasked her with drawing out her idea (STEM lesson? Check. Fine motor skill practice? Check.). She added 3 windows, a rainbow on the front and a sparkly arrow pointing to the roof, because duh, leprechauns like gold, shiny things. A swing and a slide (thankfully traced and swiped from an existing Peppa Pig toy set, since Momma wasn’t about to make them) would also help draw the leprechaun in. With blueprints in hand, we scoured the house to find our supplies.
I am by no means, an expert crafter. But it didn’t matter. This project was so much fun. I usually like a set of directions, instead of fumbling with an open-ended idea, so if you want to recreate our trap, here’s the list. But if you’d rather go off in your own direction, that works too. Share a picture of your design in the comments below!
- 2 cardboard boxes – one empty box of baby wipes, and another just used for its flaps to create a pitched roof)
- green construction paper
- tape – a lot of it
- Tape: First I taped the flaps of the box shut, so we’d have an easier time wrapping it. I had my daughter secure the single pieces of cardboard together with masking tape at the top, to form a roof. She then insisted that she needed 11 more pieces of tape to make it just right. Not 10, not 12. But exactly 11, as she told me.
2. Trace and cut: While she taped, I traced three rectangles on the front of the box and cut them out for windows.
3. Wrap: I then wrapped the box with green paper
4. Cut again: I went back over the window areas with scissors to remove the excess paper. Then I cut a square into the top layer of the box, where our leprechaun could fall in. There was still a piece of cardboard attached, making a trap door of sorts.
5. Bedazzle: After the trap was assembled, my daughter bedazzled the thing with markers and a boatload of glitter. There is no such as a “little bit of glitter” in our house. It is all or nothing.
6. Dry and wait: We let the thing dry, and then placed the roof on top. The night before St. Patrick’s Day we have a plan to arrange the trap, swing and slide in the kitchen to lure our unsuspecting leprechaun.
And what exactly will my daughters wake up to on St. Patrick’s Day? I have a few surprises up my sleeve. But that’s another post. Check back later this week for ideas on how to trip the leprechaun trap.
If you want to make a leprechaun trap this year, start saving cardboard boxes and odds and ends, and then let your kids’ imaginations take over. And don’t forget – share pictures of your traps in the comments section below.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!