This past weekend, my daughter announced that we needed to start working on our leprechaun trap for Saint Patrick’s Day…and buy a box of Lucky Charms so when we trap him, he’ll feel at home with a nice breakfast treat.
But to begin, I have a confession – I had never really planned to start Saint Patrick’s Day traditions with my kiddos. Although I love the holiday, I usually put up a couple of cute decorations around the house, buy the kids some adorable green T-shirts to wear at school and call it a day.
That is until my oldest was in kindergarten last year. And was introduced to the concept of leprechaun traps…in fact, it was a school project for all of the kinders. And that’s when the questions started…
“Mom, why doesn’t a leprechaun visit our house each year? Why doesn’t he turn our toilet bowl green? (Ummmm, time out. Excuse me?!) What kind of treats is he going to leave for us…real gold???”
Whoa there, cowgirl! Let’s take a breath. Green potties? Real gold???
First, I explained that just like our Elf on the Shelf, Jingles, that leprechauns are all different too…and get into different types of mischief at different houses …and may not even visit some houses. (Unfortunately, my daughter was SO adamant about a leprechaun visit that I wasn’t getting out of this.). It was time to put together some new Saint Patrick’s Day traditions – stat.
St. Patrick’s Day Traditions for Kids
1. Don’t Get Pinched!
First and foremost, I make sure each kiddo has a new green-themed T-shirt or outfit to wear to school. I usually raid Target, Walmart or The Children’s Place, and find pretty cute stuff. It’s always fun to get something new as a kid, and it helps them get into the spirit of the holiday.
2. Leprechaun Traps
Yep, we are now a family that has a leprechaun trap each year (because apparently, it really is a thing nowadays!). Actually, it’s a pretty fun project to do, especially if you like crafting with your kids. I kind of fudged it, and started with a Saint Patty’s Day felt hat I found at Michael’s craft store…and just cut a small piece of the top off. Then I let my daughter figure out a way to “trap” the leprechaun – you can use small toys around the hours, stickers, pipe cleaners, etc.. There’s really not a right or wrong way to make a trap – and if you Google it, there are hundreds of ideas! Jen actually wrote a great blog all about easy-to-build leprechaun traps!
Here’s a picture of our trap last year…
We left our “trap” on the kitchen table the night before Saint Patrick’s Day. And wouldn’t you know…a leprechaun actually found his way to our house, walked all over the table, leaving tiny green footprints (I used a super small green frosting tube from the cake decorating section, dabbed some on each of my pinkie fingers, and made “footprints” all over the table.
Unfortunately, our trap didn’t quite work, because the leprechaun was gone before the kids woke up. But, he did leave them one chocolate gold coin each.
And no, he did NOT turn our toilet bowl green. I had to draw the line somewhere…and that was it!
3. Make Gold Coins
I get out lots of yellow contraction paper and have the kids draw all sizes of circles (to represent gold coins). Then, I have them cut all of the “coins” out. We left these around the trap as bait.
This is also a stealthy way to practice fine motor skills!
4. Special Breakfast
Speaking of Lucky Charms, yes, I totally let my kids enjoy a nice big bowl of sugary, marshmallow goodness for breakfast on Saint Patrick’s Day. Teachers = you’re welcome (cringe). I swear, every other day out of the year I make them eat something healthy before school (okay….most days).
5. Cutsie Crafts
Now that my kids have moved onto leprechaun traps, that tends to take up most of our crafting time. But, there are SO many adorable craft ideas out there for Saint Patrick’s Day, especially for littles. Here are a few super cute ones I found on Pinterest.
Do you have any fun Saint Patrick’s Day traditions to share? Do you do anything special for this holiday? If so, please share below!