Catching a leprechaun can be oh so fun, but you've got to use your imagination . . . not to mention everything else under the sun. Beware however because those little old fairies can be tough and bold. They know if you catch them they'll have to grant you three wishes and lead you to their pot of gold.
Elementary My Dear . . .
One of my favorite memories with my children was when they would come home from elementary school with a special homework assignment. I enjoyed the hours spent with my little ones, helping them build or put together several projects. I've kept a number of them. A couple still hang in their rooms, while others are packed neatly away in the garage.
One memorable assignment was the St. Patrick's Day leprechaun trap. The first year I made a trap with my oldest child we read all about the little elfin. We learned how they spent their days making shoes and storing their earnings in a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The second time I made a trap with my youngest we strategized about what would attract a little green fairy, and then we talked about what our three wishes would be if we caught one.
Creating a trap to catch leprechauns was a grade school assignment that gave me lots of quality time with my little ones. First came the planning, then we had to go out and get our materials, and the final stage was to build our trap. During those times, we used our imaginations, talked a lot, and laughed even more.
I guess you could say that we caught a leprechaun because those memories are worth more than a pot of gold!
Three Wishes and a Pot of Gold
These busy little creatures are shoemakers, and they make footwear for the entire fairy kingdom; that’s how they earn so much money. A fairy will pay generously for a well-made pair of fairy shoes, and hardworking leprechauns know there's a great deal of money to be made in the shoe business. Most leprechauns have more than one pot of gold, but they will never tell that to anyone.
But why should you catch a little green elfin? The answer is quite simple. If he is caught, he must grant you three wishes and lead you to his pot of gold. That is unless you know that he has more than one pot, and your wish is for him to lead you to all his gold. That’s why leprechauns don’t tell anyone they have more than one pot of gold!
These five fun fellows all dressed in green are the top catches in the hunt for leprechauns. Imagine your child's face when he/she opens up the trap to find one of these cute little guys. You can bet your child's first wish will be "Can I keep him?!"
Have fun with this project and tell your child they have the option of either keeping the doll or a pot of gold. I bet they'll choose the doll because they will fall in love with it the moment they find it. After all, everyone knows love is worth more than gold! So you can tell that to your child if he/she has a difficult time deciding. Once your child knows the doll is worth more, the decision will be easy!
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"Lucky" the Leprechaun
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Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers - The Last Leprechaun
Time to Get Creative
Once your child knows a little about what the assignment is all about, you can talk about and help your child plan how to make their trap. The best thing about this assignment is that there is no wrong way to do it, but there are certain things you want to include in your leprechaun trap.
First, rainbows are always attractive to the little guys. Not only do they love them but that’s where they place their most cherished possession, their pot(s) of gold! Speaking of gold, that is another temptation for leprechauns. But, you don’t have to use real gold to catch one; you can trick the little guys by using chocolate coins wrapped in gold-colored foil. By the time the leprechaun discovers it’s a trick, it will be too late.
Another popular item to include in your trap is a four leaf clover. The little guys in green believe that four leaf clovers bring good luck. And good luck means more gold!
Build and They Will Come . . . Well, Maybe
Okay, you’ve done your research, made your plans and purchased your materials; it’s time to build your leprechaun trap. The first rule is there are no rules! My suggestion is that you start with a base. I’ve used things such as a fast-food multiple beverage holder, a shoe box and an 8×10 square piece of cardboard. You can cover or paint your base in green or use rainbow colors to make it look inviting.
Once you have your base, it’s time to build upon it. Placing colorful flowers, four leaf clovers, faux gold coins, rainbows, and pictures of other happy leprechauns will help to attract the little guys. We used colorful pipe cleaners to make rainbows, and in one of the traps we added cotton balls to resemble clouds. When your child begins to build, allow him to get creative and paste or tape whatever they want. Remember, it’s their project, and you’re just there to give your child a little guidance and a lot of moral support!
One last thing, play along with the assignment. When your child gets his or her project back from school, place it somewhere in your home or yard and try to catch a leprechaun. After a day or two, put one of the fun toy characters featured above in your child’s trap. Imagine the surprise and fun your child will have and the memories you will create.
Trapping Leprechauns - It's Elementary Work
Why would an elementary school teacher give his or her class an assignment to create a leprechaun trap? Why not? There are a number of positive elements about this assignment. This project encourages children to use their imagination and creativity to build something from scratch. Plus, there is no wrong way to complete the assignment, so each and every child can be proud of their finished design.
Trapping leprechauns may be elementary work, but it’s also a smart way for kids to use their intellect and imagination. Making a leprechaun trap is a positive and fun assignment. In addition to grade school, students in middle and high school should be encouraged to complete the "green" project.
Imagine the number of older kids who would love a chance to use their artistic talents on a school assignment. Something like this may encourage more kids to think outside the box and use their imagination in other situations. Who knows, we might just see more folks like Walt Disney, J.K. Rowling, and Dr. Seuss.
So, why should kids complete this assignment? Well, in addition to having fun and working on a positive and imaginative project, they just may catch a leprechaun!
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