How To Catch A Leprechaun: St. Patrick’s Day Fun

St. Patrick’s Day is such a fun holiday. There are no gifts, no expectations, just a little silliness and a lot of fun. It was always a memorable holiday in my house as a child, partly because I am (half) Irish and partly because my mom lived for these types of themed holidays. I always knew when I woke up on March 17th there would be signs of a mischievous little leprechaun in the house. And I was obsessed with trying to capture one.

Leprechauns are a mythical fairy from Irish folklore dating back hundreds of years.

They are small men with orange hair, an orange beard, a green suit and hat. Legend has it, they are shoemakers by trade, but also mischievous little fellows who enjoy playing tricks on those around them.

So why would I want to capture one?

Well, because every leprechaun has a pot of gold hidden and must give his treasure away to anyone who captures him.

I have carried a lot of these holiday traditions over into my own house, and one thing my kids look forward to every year is making a leprechaun trap (or house). This is the easiest craft project and all the supplies can be picked up for around $5 or less at the craft store. (I also always cruise the Dollar Spot at Target for random themed trinkets.)

Start with an unfinished birdhouse or box, some green craft paint, glitter (if you dare) and some sponge brushes. I set out a plastic table cover and let my kids work on this without much direction. Once they are happy with them, we put aside to dry. The night before St. Patrick’s day, we set them out somewhere we think a leprechaun might see them. In order to entice the leprechaun to come in the house and fall asleep (so we can catch him), we put out some “gold” and make a cozy resting spot (cotton balls).

When the kids wake up in the morning, they always race to their leprechaun house to see if he’s still asleep.

Unfortunately we have not caught one yet, but we have had lots of leprechaun magic to show that he was there.

This is where you come in and make the magic happen. Here are my easy go-to ideas for leprechaun mischief in the house. This is a little like Elf on the Shelf, but it’s just a one time thing…not 24 days of ‘magic’. And I try to keep it simple.

  • Lucky Charms cereal – our leprechaun always leaves out this for breakfast. Pro tip: don’t wait until March 16th to buy this, trust me on this one. Pick up a box and hide it somewhere until the 17th.
  • Tint the milk green – just a few drops of food coloring in the milk.
  • Sprinkle a little green glitter around the houses. My kids will believe a leprechaun was there if he left a trail of green sparkles.
  • Leave chocolate gold coins near the houses. The leprechaun might not leave real gold, but to an 8 and 5 year old, chocolate gold is just as exciting.
  • Leave a silly, rhyming note from the leprechaun.


May the luck of the Irish be with you this St. Patrick’s Day!



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