View Full Version : Leprechaun Traps

03-16-2014, 04:06 PM
.Dh is Irish, so this is a tradition from his side. We started when dd was around three, and they get more complicated every year. She and ds have been constructing their trap for two weeks. It is a standard pit trap, with a very homey, green themed cabin and a playground (pit is at the bottom of the slide, bwahaha). New this year is a moat, with a birch bark canoe for crossing. Also, a toilet. He's being served an impressive miniature buffet of real, tiny foods.

Do you do these? If so, describe or post a photo!

03-16-2014, 04:44 PM
We do. We keep ours rather simple. Last year was a box trap, we use Ferro Rochi <sp?> as our gold. The leprechaun leaves a little treat for the boy. We bought our same gold again this year so they are going to get it together after the boy finishes cleaning his room. They are excited. The entire recycle bin is their trap making supplies.

03-16-2014, 05:19 PM
haha dont take this personally, but St Patty's day was one of the nails in the coffin for public school. They had a whole day of the teachers pulling tricks on them, coordinating with each other and the librarian. My son came home believing that leprechauns were real. I was kinda pissed, esp since they only did science about a dozen times ALL YEAR. Why couldnt they put that much effort in to . . . uh . . education?

03-16-2014, 06:21 PM
haha dont take this personally, but St Patty's day was one of the nails in the coffin for public school. They had a whole day of the teachers pulling tricks on them, coordinating with each other and the librarian. My son came home believing that leprechauns were real. I was kinda pissed, esp since they only did science about a dozen times ALL YEAR. Why couldnt they put that much effort in to . . . uh . . education?

We have fun with here, but I agree completely. The dedicate a whole week to almost every holiday. I would not mind that if they used it to teach but it seems to distract away from any real work. Then they want us parents to bring in treats, ie sugar, to give the kids. We will only be able to do this another year or two. He is already asking to see the leprechaun. Next year we will have to explain it is just a silly thing we do. We also eat a traditional meal and tomorrow we are watching a documentary on snakes. We have been reading books about Ireland, St. Patrick, and snakes. I try to not make it all about the kid stuff but I figure he will only be little this once. BTW, no offense taken.

03-16-2014, 07:20 PM
No worries, Cara. Dd is past the point of believing. Ds is an unknown. He may be a born skeptic, like me. He has no interest in make-believe, unless it involves planes that talk and fight, then talk and collaborate in fighting cars. Helicopters are ok too.

Science twice a month?? Leprechaun trap designing and building can be science :) For us, they are a break from science.

03-16-2014, 07:24 PM
I had never heard of this until very recently and I assumed it was a new made up tradition for the people with young children who really like to celebrate every holiday (which, hey, I'm not knocking... my kids were that age too once). But it's like a real thing? Adults who are adults now did this as children?

ETA: I just asked dh, whose family is part Irish, about this and he was like, "I wouldn't buy that. Sounds like a scam." Ha ha. No, it's something people make to trap the leprechaun with their kids for fun. Dh is like, "Anti-leprechaun racists." Ha. He says he had never heard of such a thing as a kid. Then he asks if there's a leprechaun on the shelf to watch the children creepily. Eek, like the leprechaun from that horror movie! Then he says, "We're not eating corned beef and cabbage tomorrow, so maybe I'll buy us a box of Lucky Charms." So at least I got a funny conversation out of this.

03-16-2014, 07:39 PM
They didnt make traps, I dont think, but the teachers turned the water green in the toilets and made messes while the kids were out of the room and said it was the leprechauns and there may have also been some fake gold coins? I dont remember.

03-16-2014, 07:59 PM
I too had never heard of it until we moved to NC. I am thankful that I don't have to ruin something else for my kids like Santa, the Easter bunny, or the Tooth Fairy.

I just asked my daughter if she knew was a leprechaun was and she told me an elaborate story her PS friend told her about gold coins with some "factual" info from Charmed about where they live and how to get there (by way of a rainbow and their favorite color is green). As far as I know they don't associate all that with St. Patrick's Day.

To me it's a time to celebrate our Irish history while listening to Irish music. And make stew. No traps or tricks. We might read the Magic Treehouse book or watch The Secret of Roan Inish or something Irishy.

03-17-2014, 12:07 PM
Oooh, The Secret of Roan Inish! I love that!!

AnonyMs - your poor Leprechauns must be blue instead of green, considering your northerliness. (Why didn't spellcheck catch "northerliness"? Is that a word?)

Any Leprechauns around here would be sleeping under a three foot blanket of snow. Bleh.

03-17-2014, 01:28 PM
Our leprechauns are more sympathetic than research (courtesy of the Spiderwick Chronicles and Goblins!) would suggest. They bring chocolate coins and seed packets - just in time to start garden planning. A touch o' green.

We're making seed bombs with ds today. We figure that will be a sufficient amount of planning for his first solo garden. And the general surrounding areas.

03-17-2015, 12:21 AM
Loathe them or love them? We love them, and are back at it again this year. The kids modified and decorated a marten cage trap. It is all set up, and we're just waiting for them to reach REM before leaving the gold and seeds (and powdered sugar footprints). Dd10 is a huge supporter of perpetuating the tradition for ds3. Ds3 is convinced leprechauns are just green Santas... his expectations may need to be regulated a bit.

03-17-2015, 01:45 AM
A dad at the drugstore in line ahead of me was explaining the Leprechaun trap to the cashier... it was new for both of them too. I seem to remember being presented with a for-fun worksheet on how to trap a leprechaun a few years ago from DS charter school.... but we have never gotten around to making one.
We have enough trouble with the cat catching lizards - dont really want to deal with a caught leprechaun, tbh. ;)

03-17-2015, 01:46 AM

All you naysayers....BOO! A hex upon your house. You deserve to have your milk curdled and your chickens eggless!

Why take a sticky shite on any tradition that inspires imagination play? It's LEGENDARY to chase leprechauns, for feck's sake!

One of me best mates....an Irishman (a real one...from feckin' Cork, not some American Plastic Paddy gobshite) is one of the most playfully sinister tricksters who ever stuffed his gob with potatoes and Lucky Charms.

A nice Catholic Atheist boy...who could out-talk an auctioneer on crack, whilst miraculously ALSO consuming enough stout to be pissing paralytic drunk, all the while swearing to Jaysus he's as stone sober as the last time he left rehab......could tell you that kids love this shite. It's good craic, FFS! It's a crumb of magical thinking in an ocean of dark realities. Leprechauns are hope, and therapy, and a chance to confuse their wee minds and give back a taste of the torment they've so richly earned!


I love St. Pats. Even before my favorite Irish person...even before his gorgeous stories and crass humor and his melodic accent that I could listen to forever like rain....I loved St. Pats.

The year my Dad first got Hodgkin's lymphoma, he came up with the best story.

I really liked rocks, pet rocks were still a thing, and my grandma painted me this lovely smooth rock for St. Pat's Day....green of course. Dad was just supposed to take home for me.

But instead, he told me this wonderful story of catching a Leprechaun, and how excited he was to get the three wishes...and how the Leprechaun tricked him, and threw a rock at him instead and got away.

I, of course, didn't believe him.

But Dad told me to check his pocket....he still had the rock.

Very skeptically....I checked his pocket...and found the rock AND some spearmint leaf jelly beans (that he'd undoubtedly pocketed on the way out of grandma's house without a thought)

I think I was five or so. I declared that it was a magic rock....that laid jelly beans. And I showed everyone the proof.

Because I was the baby, my brothers were in on the fantasy.....and everyone encouraged me to put the rock under my pillow. It just happened spontaneously....everyone liked the idea and ran with it. It gave us something whimsical and joyful to do together at a time in our lives that was stressful and hard. It made everyone smile, particularly my dad.

Every few hours....that rock would "lay" green candy. Three or four jelly beans. A stick of green wrapped gum. A couple of green apple Now and Laters. Green M&Ms. And many many other green snacks...including a green banana and a can of spinach! (unbeknownst to me, the non-green candy was being given to my brothers in exchange for their silence and sneaky candy-planting services)

The crux....was that my rock only "laid candy" on St. Patrick's Day...when the leprechaun was under contract to return to the area.

I kept that rock like a sacred treasure...and put it under my pillow every year on St. Pat's.

When Elle was little...I gave the rock to her, and kept up the legend, complete with a wonderful story of my now deceased dad.

It's on my bookcase right now.

Long Live Leprechauns....real and imagined.

Yeats: "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." :)

03-17-2015, 12:25 PM
Happy St. Pat's! It was a grand discovery. The wiener dogs we are dog-sitting licked up most of the powdered sugar footprints, but all good. Guessing the little green guy's plan of action became an open-ended activity. Ds spent almost an hour imagining his trail... "First, he climbed this ladder. Then, he tried to reach the coins through here. Then, he bonked his head on the rainbow and decided he needed a quad. He got the doll quad...." Or, maybe it happened THIS way... LOL! So fun.

My fil sent us all bright green hoodies with the family crest on them this year. The kids are wearing ridiculous bobble headbands. We may od on green food dye. Best of all... Planting seeds today :) Hoorah, spring! Which leads directly into our ridiculously elaborate fairy garden. We fully embrace the imaginary folk year-round. The little lovies need a haven in this cold, cruel world, and we are that haven.

I do occasionally miss the r-rated celebrations of my youth, but this g-rated version is great fun too.