Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Fun Tradition for a Fun Holiday

So, even if you prefer pasta to potatoes and the closest you get to being Irish involves listening to a U2 cd or an occasional sip of Guinness, the rule on St. Patrick’s Day is that everyone is Irish for a day. Your only obligation in adopting another heritage for a day is to wear green, tell a lot of jokes and stories, and learn how to give a proper toast (corned beef and cabbage are optional).

My own children happen to bear a wonderful Italian last name but, truth be told, they look more like little leprechauns than the bambinos their namesakes imply. No matter what your mixed genes have made, however, there is as much fun for kids at home on St. Patrick’s Day, than, say, any shenanigans going on at your local pub. For example…

Leprechaun Trap:

After explaining the lore of leprechauns and their pots of gold, a great way to bring Santa-esque excitement to a less eventful holiday is to make a leprechaun trap. The “trap” is extremely easy to make, and looking for leprechauns is a great way to spend a notoriously rainy or chilly March day.


A shoe box (without the lid)
Aluminum Foil
Tape or Glue and Scissors
Green felt or construction paper; or St. Patrick’s Day themed stickers
A stick or pencil twice as deep as the box (for propping)

1) Create the “trap” by wrapping the shoebox in foil and affixing using tape or glue.

2) Decorate with any St. Patrick decoration (stickers, shamrocks cut from felt or paper)

3) Prop the box up with the stick and leave out in your yard, or some suitable place in your home.

4) Explain to your little one that if you “catch” a leprechaun, you may get his pot of gold, or some other treat he’s holding.

5) Then, in the morning set the “trap” and check it throughout the day. At some point hide some candy, or (even better) chocolate coins inside for your little one to find.

Tip: If naptime is a struggle, use the leprechaun as a gimmick. “He’s most likely to come when you’re sleeping…” You get the idea.

Good luck and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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