3.05.2012

St. Patrick's Day Leprechaun Mischief, Traps, Lesson plans, and Ideas!

I admit that I love holidays. It's hereditary! Each year, our silly leprechaun wreaks havoc on our house, turning stools upside down, opening cupboards, taking off couch cushions, and anything else he can imagine. It all began when I was 9 years old...


I remember going to school when I was in 3rd grade and finding my classroom completely out of sorts. Desks were upside down. Chairs were hanging from the ceiling. My chair was in the girl's bathroom. Books were out of place, posters upside down, and anything else you could imagine. We were the victims of a very mischievous leprechaun. It was such a fun day! As a mom, I am glad we have a tricky leprechaun just like Mrs. Vance had. We find paper towel rolls strewn across the kitchen,upside down letters/pictures/pillows, couch cushions stacked in a tower, lamp shades upside down, chairs upside down, the ladder to their bunk bed across the room, pictures sideways, toys on top of bookshelves, you name it! The kids always "find" something that is out of place that really I just didn't put away the day before. It makes me laugh.

St. Patrick's day morning,  we awake to chaos in the house due to a leprechaun visitor in the night. My husband and I lay in bed listening to the kids giggle as they discover such mischief! They are always very excited about finding the gold coins that must have slipped out of the leprechaun's pockets.


We also make leprechaun traps the night before.  We have evolved this idea from my older sister and Family Fun and have a lot of fun with it.   Our traps started out very simple... I told my kids that their cousins had made leprechaun traps and before I knew it, they had the whole house set up with traps made of strings and elastics.  They were quite clever, despite the fact I couldn't get around the house!  When the bathroom door opened, their bedroom door closed.  And when another door opened, it knocked over a garbage can to alert them of an intruder. The next year, I simply pulled out containers, tape, treats, yarn, crayons, and set them to work. The kids took green yarn and stretched it across the house with green candy dots alongside to lure the leprechaun.

It led straight into a raisin container wrapped in green paper and covered with crayon-drawn shamrocks. The lid was being held up by a green crayon and the idea was when he went passed the crayon to get the last of the candy, the crayon would fall, the lid would close and he would be trapped.


St. Patrick's Day morning, we woke up to a closed trap, but inside there was no leprechaun, instead it was filled with gold candy and a note that said,

... and in most recent years, we have moved onto our fancier trap...
we got the idea from Family Fun via my creative sister... but fancy or not, we are no good at catching leprechauns!


Some of our other fun St. Patrick's Day fun includes:
  • A breakfast made all of green (green food coloring works great!) OR an easier alternative of Lucky Charms
  • A shamrock hunt - my oldest once printed off green shamrocks, cut them out and hid them all over the house for her younger siblings to find.  
  • Shamrock craft - we did this by taking a full sheet of green construction paper.  I let the kids rip it into small pieces. Then they glued the pieces onto a printed shamrock, created a mosaic effect.  Finally we used green glitter glue to outline the shamrock.  This is a very easy project for preschoolers!

  • Songs/Fingerplays: 
Fingerplays:
A leprechaun is small and green, (Put hand to indicate a short leprechaun)
He hides where he cannot be seen (Cover eyes)
But if you catch one on this day (Shake finger),
He must give his gold away. (jump up and down)

Five Green Shamrocks 
(Print out some of our free printable shamrocks to use for this one)
Five little shamrocks growing outdoors
(Child's name) picked one, and that left four.
Four little shamrocks, green as they can be.
(Childs name) picked one and that left three.

Three little shamrocks, sitting by my shoe, 
(Child's name) picked one, and then there were two. 
Two little shamrocks nodding in the sun,
(Childs name) picked one, and that left one.
One little shamrock for St. Patrick's Day fun.
(Childs name) picked it, and that left none.


Leprechaun songs:
Who is Wearing Green Today?
 (London Bridges Falling Down)
Who is wearing green today, green today, green today? 
Who is wearing green today all day long.
(Child's name) is wearing green today, green today, green today.
(Child's Name) is wearing green today, all day long

I’m A Little Leprechaun
(to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)
I'm a little leprechaun, leprechaun, leprechaun
I'm a little leprechaun, who likes to hide my gold.
I dress in green from head to toe, head to toe, head to toe
I dress in green from head to toe, I wear green all day long
You'll never catch me or my gold, not my gold, not my gold
You'll never catch me or my gold I hide it much too well

Leprechaun 
(to the tune of I’m a Little Teapot)
I'm a little Leprechaun
Quick as can be
I hide my gold
Under a tree
If you see a rainbow
You may find
Where I left
My gold behind

Popsicle Puppet Story:
The Leprechaun Wish
On Sunday I wished to see a leprechaun.
On Monday one winked at me.
On Tuesday one hid from me.
On Wednesday one smiled at me.
On Thursday one marched for me.
On Friday one danced for me.
On Saturday they all disappeared.
I will make a wish again next year!

  • Games: My favorite is  Leprechaun, Leprechaun Where's Your Gold? Have one child sit on a chair with a “pot of gold” (clipart) underneath. They close their eyes and one of the other children is chosen to “steal” it and hide it behind their back. Then everyone sings this chant together:
Leprechaun, Leprechaun where’s your gold?
Somebody stole it, they are bold,
Under the rainbow, Behind a tree
Find your gold as quick as can be!
or
Play “Lucky Leprechaun Says” (like Simon Says)

Other fun preschool games are found here...



Happy Leprechauning! And check out our other St. Patrick's Day ideas including other traps and lesson plans!
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1 comment:

Jeanine H said...

Wow! This is a huge post full of resources!