We are Leprechauners in our family. I mean, of course we are! We do Elf On The Shelf, the Switch Witch, Easter Bunny, and Santa. I believe in make believe and love the fun of embracing these traditions with my boys.
For a few years the boys would just wake up to a pile of green fruit and vegetables at the kitchen table on St Patrick’s Day. Then, as they got older, we started adding some silly trickery to the March 17th celebrations.
Last year we went as far as to actually sit at the kitchen table and completely manufacture a myth about leprechauns. We worked out the entire backstory for the mythology of Leprechauning on St Patrick’s Day.
Our St Patrick’s Day Story
Leprechauns live in the forest where they are friends with the animals and look after the flowers. Over the winter, they hibernate in our garage because it is too cold outside. On March 17, their alarm clocks go off and they wake up. After a winter of slumber, they make messes in the kitchen as they look for snacks. After a long sleep, they have to go to the bathroom, and it just so happens a leprechaun’s pee is green.
Leprechauns love rainbows because rainbows feed the flowers. It’s a leprechaun’s job each spring to plant every single flower in the world. Since we plant flowers around our house, the leprechauns say thank you for letting them sleep in the garage by leaving some gold coins and seed packets before heading out for the spring.
I love that backstory.
And, because I am that parent, we’re going a step further this year by building a trap to try and catch a leprechaun. My son already loves capturing beetles, crickets, and worms, and observing them before letting them go; the idea of capturing one of these bearded beings has him amped.
How to catch a leprechaun:
First up, get the book, Twas The Night Before St Patrick’s Day. It plays out very much like you would expect, with a fun “Where’s Waldo?” sort of element that sees leprechauns hiding on each page the kids can find.
At the end of the book, there are a variety of leprechaun traps, simple and elaborate, you can try with your kids.
Of course Pinterest is filled with ideas of traps to catch a leprechaun:
The Crafting Chicks suggest a simple shoe box trap with a pot of gold as bait, held up by a stick.
Not Martha‘s Leprechaun Cake Trap is genius. You make a rainbow cake, put a trap in the middle, and cover it with pretzels.
Play with Words made one using an old toilet paper roll and rainbow pipe cleaners.
Just as we manufactured the myth about the backstory for St Patrick’s Day and why we have leprechauns running around the house, you can create your own story, too. Ask your kids how to catch a leprechaun and build a trap based on whatever they think might work. Maybe it’s with LEGOs. Maybe a Rainbow Loom trap?
Of course, the leprechauns always find a way to sneak out from the traps, but the crafting imagination for the kids is tons of fun.
Image via AngryJulieMonday on Flickr