Updated: Jun 21
When my oldest son was in Kindergarten we made a leprechaun trap because it was a class assignment. We have been making them every year since (he's in third grade now) because the kids has so much fun. The first trap we made, my dad helped with. When the Leprechaun takes the bait, a cup drops down. Detailed instructions can be found at Family Activities for St. Patrick's Day. The next year, we doing distance learning and we really only had time to make a very simple trap. You can find that how-to at Easy Leprechaun Trap. Last year, my middle son was in Kindergarten so we had to do it up big. We made the largest trap we have ever made. It wasn't hard at all, but I think it was pretty impressive. Here's a picture of my lucky dude bringing his project to school.
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Here's What We Used
Foam board - I think ours was about 18inches long and 12 inches across. TIP- buy your board AFTER you find your hat. Then you can judge what size foam board you need.
Wooden dowels - I think our were approximately 12 inches long. You can cut yours to size after you find the hat you are going to use. It needs to be several inches taller than the hat. You can paint the dowels. I wrapped ours in gold glitter vinyl I had on hand. (If you don't have a means to cut your dowels you can take them to Home Depot or Lowes and they will cut them for your or you can grab a few assorted sizes.)
Large popsicle sticks - (9 to 10 should do the trick.)
Paint in rainbow colors + brushes.
Leprechaun hat. Any that you can cut a hole in the top of should work.
Paper, felt or foam sheet to glue under the hat.
Artificial grass. The amount of grass that we had did not cover the entire board. This worked out because I was able to easily poke the dowels into the foam without cutting the grass. I happened to have this on hand from a golf themed party. You could always paint or cover in green paper if you prefer.
Rainbow Paper. We used a 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper.
Shamrock decor and gold coins. We got the ones in the picture from Hobby Lobby.
Hot glue, tape and a few finishing nails.
Scissors, black marker.
Order of Operations
1.Paint popsicles sticks and decorate dowels however you wish. We did 6 steps to the ladder. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. You can buy colored
sticks if that's easier!
2. Attach grass to the foam board. Use whatever glue will work with the foam board and the type of grass you have. I think I used hot glue. You can leave an inch or two at the end of the board to stick the dowels into if you like or you can cut slots in your grass for the ladder.
3. Glue paper, foam or felt to the bottom of the hat. We don't want that leprechaun
escaping through any tiny holes or slots between the hat and the grass. Cut a slit in the top of the hat. You can put gold coins on top for bait and to disguise the hole later.
4. Place your hat and dowels where you think they should go to make an appropriate slide. Roll up the paper and check the distance between the top of the dowels and the top of the hat.) We held the roll together with tape. You can always cut the dowels or the paper to make everything fit in correctly.
5. Once you have everything in place, you can glue the popsicles sticks to the dowels and attach the dowels to the board. Attach the hat. (If the brim of your hat is perfectly flat you may be able to skip this step. If its curvy, you might even have to use finishing nails to attach it to grass, like we did. Glue the rolled up paper, to the top of the ladder. you may also want to attach to the hat on the other end.
6. Decorate. My Kinder Dragon made a sign with leftover popsicle sticks.
Now, I know what your next question is. Did we catch a leprechaun? No, we didn't. But the kids weren't too bummed because he left us golden coin Oreos!
Here's a video on how to get them gold...Yes, I literally just sprayed vanilla gold food coloring spray on vanilla "Golden Oreos." TIP: Do not eat until they are dry. They do make non aerosol if you prefer. Of course, we've used chocolate coins before as well!
If this sounds really fun to you, but you don't have the time to put this together this year, I have linked some kits below!
P.S. (If you haven't read it yet, make sure to read How to Catch a Leprechaun.)
Happy St. Patrick's Day