Monday, March 13, 2023
We have had a fun 2 weeks creating and searching for St. Patrick’s Day excitement for you and your Littles to enjoy together! We hope you saw our last St. Patrick’s Day blog post, Shamrock Fun with our Littles, for some fun activities as well as additional ideas we’ve shared on Facebook and Instagram.
Today Laurie will share a favorite St. Patrick’s Day activity that both she and Laura have done with their kindergarten students over the years. In fact, neither of us can wait until our own Littles are old enough to thoroughly enjoy this activity… While it can be adapted to do with most Littles, older ones will definitely be able to take their imagination and creativity to a higher level as they try to solve this most mischievous problem!
One of the things I’ve loved most about St. Patrick’s Day,
as a mom and as a teacher,
is the wonder and excitement Littles have about those tricky little guys
we call leprechauns!
Littles always enjoy hearing about others who have been “naughty” because they, of course, try soooo hard to do what is expected of them! There is a certain thrill in seeing someone else who is doing what they secretly wish to do - play tricks and make a mess of everything! St. Patrick’s Day provides a great opportunity to expand on this and let those leprechauns do their thing!
I would begin setting the stage for this idea of tricky leprechauns by reading The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing - usually the day before St. Patrick’s Day. This story is based on the same meter of The Night Before Christmas. Here is a brief description of the story:
It's the night before St. Patrick's Day, and Tim and Maureen are wide awake setting traps to catch a leprechaun! When they wake the next morning to the sound of their dad playing the bagpipes and the smell of their mom cooking green eggs, they're shocked to find that they've actually caught a leprechaun. But will they be able to find his pot of gold?
This story should give your Little the idea of trying to catch their own leprechaun. (I love the pictures of various traps in the book!)
Then I would let the Littles do the next part on their own! What can they build a trap with? What would entice the leprechauns to investigate the trap? Where is the best place to put the trap? How will they keep the leprechaun from escaping??
If you have school-age Littles, I would really encourage them to draw/write a plan before they start building their traps. This is an important step in doing STEM based projects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
I found this sheet on Little Bins for Little Hands. I signed up with my email to receive it. She has great ideas and support for STEM. However you do not need anything this fancy to develop a good plan - plain paper and a pencil works great!
Encourage your Little to search the house looking for materials - blocks, Legos, boxes, paper, kitchen containers, furniture, pillows, toys, blankets, etc. Yes, it can get messy, but those brain cells are growing with each idea your Little is coming up with!
Now, it’s time for bed and waiting to see how the trap works….
This can be the hard part. As a mom, I would “trip” the trap and leave something for my Littles from the leprechauns. You could leave a sparkly note, money, Lucky Charms cereal, chocolate coins.
As a teacher I took a different approach. I LOVED sitting in my rocking chair on St. Patrick’s Day, watching these eager students scurry around the room, finding items to make a strong, durable trap. They might work alone or with a partner.
We would leave the room for Specials (phy-ed or music perhaps) or lunch, and I would announce to my students I had a meeting to go to (so they couldn’t say that I did the next part). I would then go back into my room and destroy all the traps and leave a note that said “Ha, Ha, good try - you can’t catch me! Now your room’s a mess.” with just enough gold glitter thrown around to drive the custodians crazy! The kids would walk in and stare - going round and round the room.
Eventually someone would see the note, and they would get very indignant and announce, “they can’t do this to our room, we’ll show them!” and then proceed to clean up the entire room, working together as a community. This was probably the best lesson I/the leprechauns could teach my students! The funny thing is that every time there was a mess in our room after that, the kids would solemnly shake their heads, say “it was the leprechauns” and then clean it up!
We’d love to see the traps your Littles come up with!
Leave a description and/or a picture in the comments or send it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s one more easy idea to add to your fun - Leprechaun Lookers to help find those pesky guys!!
You simply take 2 cardboard tubes, decorate and glue together, and you have a pair of magic binoculars! These would be fun for all ages - infants up to school age!
That’s it for now!!
Good luck in your hunt for the perfect trap!
We leave you with these words of wisdom…..