Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Catch a Leprechaun!

St. Patrick's day is right around the corner.  Do you know what that means?  It means that leprechauns will be out on St. Patrick's eve playing their practical jokes on unsuspecting children.  If you're skilled at building a leprechaun trap you just may get lucky and receive a token payment for his release!

No, I haven't been nipping at the bottle of Peppermint Schnapps!  I can't really remember the origin of our tradition, but one of our favorite family memories was building a trap every year to catch that mischevious leprechaun.

There are a couple important components to the event.  The first important component to the event is building the trap.  Getting creative helps build the anticipation and provides a fun activity for the family.  The second, and potentially most important to the kids, is the payment the leprechaun always pays to be released from the trap.

There are multiple ways to build a trap, remember decorating and/or disguising the trap is important so that the leprechaun is lured in and realizes to late that it's a trap!  Keep in mind that leprechauns are delicate creatures so your trap should not kill or maim the leprechaun.  Here are some trap ideas for you:
  • Box trap using a shoebox propped up with a stick, pencil, etc.
  • "Snare" the leprechaun using a cleverly hidden piece of rope that will pull him up in the air
  • A can trap that would lure him to "climb the hill" which would then collapse leaving him trapped in the opening
  • A dropped net trap, once the leprechaun hits the "x" he's covered by a blanket or net (the net could also be used with the snare trap to pull him up in the air)
Don't forget you'll need bait to lure the leprechaun into the trap.  Since shoemaking is their livelihood, something related to shoes may help.  Also, leprechauns are drawn to gold so sometimes that may lure them in.  Have the kids do some research on leprechauns and help decide what bait to use.

Now, the most important part of the trap......the fee to escape!  Our kids LOVE to read so typically, our leprechaun would leave books for each of the kids.  Movies, CD's, a video game and gold chocolate coins in a pot also make good payment.  Once in a while the kids were surprised with the leprechaun turning to "stone" and still being in the trap the next morning.  The fee doesn't really need to be a high value item, the kids will be thrilled that they actually caught a leprechaun and got something out of him.

You better get crackin on those traps, you only have a little over a week.  Make sure your leprechaun isn't lurking around spying on you while you are making it!

Do you have any fun St. Patrick's day traditions?


  1. Oh, this is just too cute an idea! I love your cleverness!

  2. This sounds like so much fun!! My boys would love to do this!!

  3. Where are you?! Missing your writing!

    1. Thank you! I've missed writing :( Between business trips, vacation and other responsibilities I've been having trouble finding time to write. Now that a lot of those stressful things are behind me I should be able to get back to my normal schedule :) Thanks for hanging in there.