Leprechaun Trap:: A St. Patrick’s Day STEM Activity

Leprechaun Traps:: A St. Patrick's Day STEM ActivityStep aside Elf on the Shelf, there’s a new wee little man in town. He’s pint-sized, has an affinity for the color green, is notoriously hard to catch, and best of all, all the effort and creativity required for this little guy can be pawned off on our children. 

Now that’s what I call a parenting win

Leprechaun Traps:: A St. Patrick's Day STEM ActivityFor those of you unfamiliar with this particular St. Paddy’s Day tradition, I’m talking about one of my favorite holiday activities to do with my littles…building a Leprechaun trap. 

I first stumbled across this idea a few years ago when I was looking for some St. Patrick’s Day books to add to our holiday library. A quick Pinterest search led me to How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace and a whole host of ideas on how to create our own trap. The first year we did it I picked up a cute kit from the Target Dollar Spot that had all the necessary items included {which I highly recommend for anyone short on time but eager to participate in this fun activity}. The kids had a blast decorating their trap and, while we didn’t manage to snag the wee lad, were thrilled with the treats he left behind for their efforts. 

This year I decided to turn the activity into a STEM project for my engineer-in-the-making five-year-old and boy did he love it! We went foraging around the house for odds and ends to create our snare and wound up with an empty formula canister for the base, the plastic closure from a thing of baby wipes for the lid, a toothpick to prop it open, and some popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners to build a ladder. 

While my three-year-old and I focused on the ever important aesthetics, painting and glittering to our hearts content, my oldest diligently pieced together the supplies we’d gathered to create the perfect trap. He even added a ridiculously long string he tied to the ladder, reaching all the way from the living room where we’d set our masterpiece up to his room on the second story. {Please note: it’s a sign of too many months in quarantine and my subsequent lack of firetrucks to give that I allowed this to happen.}

My son has assured me that he’ll stay up all night with string in hand, listening for the little imp to make his way into our snare {a likely story}. All that’s left is to bait the trap with some fake gold and see if we managed to outsmart him with our creation. 

Leprechaun Traps:: A St. Patrick's Day STEM ActivityIf you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with your kids or need a STEM project to keep them busy, I definitely suggest building your own Leprechaun trap. And who knows, maybe the luck of the Irish will be on your side and you’ll manage to snag him this year…


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Lauren M. is a native Houstonian who now lives one street over from the house where she grew up in Sugar Land. After a brief fling with Austin where she received her Bachelors Degree in English Lit from Southwestern University, she returned home to attempt to write the great American novel {or, you know, the next Harry Potter series}. A short while later a friend recruited her for a kickball league where she met a tall, handsome engineer who quite literally swept her off her feet. After tying the knot in 2014, they soon welcomed their first son Raleigh {October 2015}, and little brothers Renner {January 2018} and Rafe {September 2021}. When not chasing around her three crazy Texas tornados and reveling in the boy mom life, Lauren has discovered a newfound passion for photography and Photoshop, creating whimsical family portraits at @andwhetherpigshavewings on Instagram. You can also find her at @polyjuiceandpixiedust .

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