Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Destination: Leprechaun Land!

image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee/
St. Patrick's Day is only a few weeks away, and if you have school-aged children, chances are they've heard rumors about mischievous leprechauns wreaking havoc trying to find gold and avoid "traps" in your house the night before St. Patrick's Day!  It's ton of fun (if you don't mind a bit of clean-up the next day!) and can help make the day truly magical!

Each year in our house, we create a new leprechaun trap designed to dazzle leprechauns and lure them in!  One of our favorite lures is fake gold coins (or Monopoly money), though I have spoken with several families who swear by Lucky Charms cereal or gelt chocolate coins!  Once the trap is set, the children go off to bed, because everyone knows leprechauns don't come if you're awake!

Once the kids are asleep, the "leprechauns" sneak into the house and, upon discovering that the loot is fake, trash the place!  Typically, we find over-turned furniture, toilet paper strung about the house, green "pee" in the potty, green hard-boiled eggs in the fridge (and a kitchen full of dirty dishes!), little footprints in the dust on our tables and even fresh little notes making fun of how they outwitted our attempt to capture them!  Once in a while, we get a nice leprechaun who leaves behind a small shamrock plant or other shamrock shaped goody, but not always. 

One year we tried to catch the leprechauns on film - we got some hilarious shots of little legs and one guy mooning the camera... it was a huge hit! That's what really makes it magical; trying to come up with clever tricks and then watching your child's face when you all get outwitted!  It's an inexpensive, fun way to get into the spirit and to share some laughs with your children.  So, give it a shot this year and see what kind of mischief those leprechauns cook up!

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