Story and Photos By Amanda Causey Baity
Have you ever tried to catch a leprechaun? We haven’t caught one yet, but we sure do like to try on St. Patrick’s Day. Leprechauns are mischievous magical little guys, so we’ve never actually had a good look at one. It’s our tradition, mine and my son’s, now to build a St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun trap just to see if we have any luck! Designing and building a leprechaun trap is an awesome STEM activity.
Leprechaun Trap Kit Supplies
When gathering your supplies, check out the local dollar store for easy ideas. You can also take a look in the recycling bin, junk drawer or craft drawer if you have one. I set out a few different sized boxes for him to test, including a shoe box, a tissue box and an oatmeal container.
- Leprechaun’s Black Pot
- Fake Gold Coins
- Rainbow Popsicle Sticks
- Shiny Green Craft Tape
- Zip Ties
- Washers and Nuts
- Measuring Tape
- Leprechaun Bait (We will use Skittles®.)
Containers: Set aside a variety of boxes or containers, so you can have an assortment available when it’s time build your leprechaun traps. Good items to collect are shoe boxes, oatmeal canisters, cereal boxes and egg cartons.
Ladder and rainbow materials: Collect small items for building ladders, such as twigs, sticks, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, LEGO® pieces, straws or pipe cleaners. Also, set aside items to make rainbows, such as construction paper, felt, paint, markers, or clay.
Decide on your leprechaun bait: Are you going to go with gold coins, shiny pennies, Skittles®, Lucky Charms® cereal or something else? Determine your trapping mechanism. What will be the trapping mechanism? A gate that closes, a hole to fall into, a stick that breaks, a box that falls or another idea?
Extra Ideas Some fun additions to add to these fun kids’ leprechaun trap ideas would be a tasty leprechaun bait and a special note left by the leprechaun. Even if he can’t be trapped, he might leave a note behind! You can also make a pair of leprechaun binoculars, so you can keep an eye out for him. Don’t blink; you might miss him!
Planning kids’ leprechaun trap ideas is an awesome STEM activity. Kids are designing plans, building creations, using math skills, testing ideas, problem-solving weak points and inventing trapping mechanisms (simple machines). Plus, it’s just an exciting St. Patrick’s Day activity. Everyone wants to try and trap a leprechaun! Adults, too.
Little Leprechaun Beard While you are waiting to capture a leprechaun, get your child involved in this magical craft. Create the perfect St. Patrick’s Day accessory for the cutest little leprechaun in your life.
Supplies: • Orange yarn • Pipe cleaner • Dollar Store hat
Directions: Cut yarn to around four inches long. I used about 40 pieces. You can always trim the beard later if it’s too long. Loop it through the pipe cleaner from one side to the other. Leave about a half inch on each side to hook behind the ears. Loop at the middle point of the yarn. Make the beard as full as you’d like. I chose to go from ear to ear.