I think I traumatized one of my kindergarteners with my lesson plan on how to make a leprechaun trap.
Even 10 years later, his mother and I recount how she had to convince him leprechauns were not real, but he swore that they came to school and messed up our classroom. I'm so sorry, Dude! Just trying to do some engaging hands-on learning with the kiddos.
So be warned, that it might be a good idea to tell your child that maybe after all, it was you who tripped the trap after all.
Before making the trap, you'll going to want to have a plan. What materials will you want to use? What object might lure a leprechaun into your trap?
This project involves so much learning from science to STEM to writing. In the first steps, kids will plan and prepare to build their leprechaun trap using my FREE How I'll Make My Leprechaun Trap printable.
How to make my leprechaun trap.pdfDownload PDF • 1.39MB
Download the printable and you're ready to make an easy leprechaun trap in minutes. If you don't have all the supplies listed on the left hand side, tell your child/students what you do have. You might want to show them the materials but not let them use them just yet.
Using the printable, have them draw a plan of what their trap will look like. What will they use to lure the leprechaun into the trap? Hopefully, something shiny!
For older kids who can already write, have them label their leprechaun trap plans so that the reader will know what materials they plan to use for which parts.
Ask your child/students, how will the leprechaun know to come to the trap. Will there be any signage to entice them to come inside?
Now let's build it!
While watching the kids build their leprechaun traps you might feel inclined to jump in and say, "Oh what about this? It would be cool if we..." but I encourage you to stop yourself and let this experiment be completely child led.
In the planning stages, we have provided the questions to provoke problem solving and the materials to inspire. This is the kids' part to be the engineers! Giving our children full creative freedom is hard, but it means that what they create is 100% their own.
Whenever I feel the urge to place value on my children's creation or make suggestions, I try to use the technique called "Say what you see." I just narrate what is happening. So instead of saying, "I love that little door you made," I might say, "You made a door out of paper." Sometimes I just try to step away and see what they'll come up with completely on their own!
These easy to make leprechaun traps will surely bring some excitement to your home or classroom. So now what do you do with them on St. Patrick's day?
The day before St. Patrick's day, I have the kids lay their traps wherever they think the leprechauns will be searching for gold and shiny goods. I make sure that they have their lure inside the trap.
Once I'm alone, I go and snag the gold coins/lures out of each trap.
This is the kicker, the piece de resistance, that probably really made my little student frightened: the footprints. Are you unsure of how to make little leprechaun footprints around your trap?
Easy! Get some green paint. Make a fist and paint the bottom side of your fist before gently stamping it across the surface of your choosing. Then dip your pointing finger in the green paint and create little toes over the foot print. Tada, adorable leprechaun footprints, and they couldn't have been made by an adults large feet!
So yeah, it's a good prank, but if your child or students are iffy on the subject, show them how you did it!!!
The kids will flip when they see the leprechauns have sprung their traps without being caught. This is usually when I leave a little note from the leprechauns saying something like, "You almost got me!" or "Try again next year!"
Measuring is a practical skill that kids use all the time. They help measure volume when pouring ingredients to bake a cake. They measure quantity when checking who got more of that delicious snack Mom brought out. They measure when comparing height to see who made the tallest tower. Kids are measuring all the time, but to delve a bit deeper into understanding measuring I created this activity that gets them moving, learning, and thinking in new ways. Measuring is in and of itself, a hands-on concept.
When introducing measurement with child, they usually have no understanding of centimetres and inches. The concept of standardized units is very abstract. That's why in preschool and kindergarten we introduce units of measurement that kids can really wrap their minds around. Usually those are regular household objects and toys. The must-do for measuring is that kids must use one specific object, so it's length stays consistent all the way through. Once kids understand that they must measure with a unit that is consistently the same size, you can begin to introduce inches and other standardized measurement tools.
To play "Measuring Me," you'll need blue tape and access to items around the home that are (mostly) uniform in length. Some ideas are shoes, blocks, markers, crayons, envelopes, etc. If you need some blue tape, click the pic to grab some. We use this for projects and activities on the daily and may receive a commission if you purchase through this link.
One big take away for this activity is that when measuring you must start lining items up at one end of the tape and continue till the end. The second big take away is to get an accurate measurement you must use items that are one size.
This is a tricky concept at first but if you were to explain to another person that you were 14 markers and buttons long, they would have no idea what you mean? If you said you were 17 markers long though, they might have a clearer picture. As kids grasp measuring more and more, we introduce inches and feet or centimetres and meters.
Preschoolers and kindergartners are building their understanding of math concepts through this hands-on activity. You'll be touching on so many concepts. Besides measuring with nonstandard units, you'll also be making predictions, counting, comparing more and less, and of course, keeping your little ones engaged in hands-on learning.