St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! I know, I know. Your head is still reeling from all the Valentines Day sugar and hoopla. However, if you have kids in elementary school you know that things are about to get real crafty in your household, whether you like it or not.
When I was little, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green and pinching anybody who dared not wear it. Aside from the occasional “wieners and cabbage” that mom liked to rustle up, wearing green was pretty much the extent of our Irish festivities. Today, kids enjoy all sorts of “pranks” from errant leprechauns, or, parents. To tell you the truth the pressure is a bit intense.
For instance, Growing a Jeweled Rose has a bunch of ways to introduce the “magic” of St. Patrick’s Day to children. That’s right. This holiday needs to be magical. The good news is there are some funny ways to execute this magical scheme. My personal favorite is the Leprechaun feet on the toilet seat! I know my kids would die laughing if they saw this. It’s easy, funny, and may have repercussions you should have seen coming. Pranks like this one take the whole “pinching” tradition to a whole new level.
Now, back to elementary school kids. The new tradition of St. Patrick’s Day is the Leprechaun Trap wherein kids find creative ways to “trap” the naughty leprechaun who undoubtedly come to their classroom to make mischief. There are a number of ways to snare the leprechaun, but I think that a faulty hot-air balloon is the perfect booby-trap!
The thing that makes this Leprechaun Trap extra fun is the LED balloon. Everybody knows leprechauns are sneaky and come out when you least expect them. What better time to sneak out then in the dark? Our LED balloon will entice the greedy leprechaun to snatch the fake gold.
- Styrofoam board
- Wooden skewers, chopsticks, or dowel rods
- Paper cups
- Green LED balloon
I spray-painted my board green and hand painted a little walkway on top. My kids punched out a bunch of circles from random paper we have laying around the house to outline the walkway.
This isn’t a necessary step but it kept them occupied and happy for a solid ten minutes. I call that a win. You can decorate the board however you want with paint, paper, flowers, pompoms, or even legos. The sky is the limit on this one.
We used gold glitter on our cup because life is short and glitter is awesome. Cut the bottom of the cup out so your leprechaun will fall into the trap. My kids pointed out that our trap would be better if there was a bell on the ladder to alert us of leprechaun activity. I have no bells on hand, but you might want to include that extra detail.
The cup is secured with BBQ skewers and hot glue. I should add that you don’t want to use a Styrofoam cup if you’re using hot glue. *ahem.
Our ladder was constructed out of BBQ skewers, matchsticks, and hot glue. Yes, I burnt a finger making a tiny leprechaun ladder. My daughter and I find this thing ridiculously cute and it’s going in the dollhouse after St. Patrick’s Day.
The LED balloon is the star of this project, and will definitely score cool kid points. We had to use a little tape to secure it to our wooden skewers.
My kids were so excited with how this turned out! We had fun making it and can’t wait to show it to their classmates!