I walked into Luca's room the other day to find a long, winding path of blocks that began at the door, went under his bed, and led to a box of tiny LEGO tools. I knew what it was without having to ask. It was Luca's first leprechaun trap of the season.
Each March, in the days leading up to St. Patrick's Day, our home is riddled with leprechaun mischief. We've woken up to find all of the kids' clothes out of their drawers and piled in the corner. Once, the leprechauns switched all of the rugs around in the house. They've turned our milk, toilet water and even our pet chickens green!
On the other hand, they've left us little treats, such as Lucky Charms cereal, nuggets of gold, and silly bands in the shape of shamrocks. Leprechauns are, apparently, unpredictable.
A few years ago, we read a cute book called The Night Before St. Patrick's Day, by Natasha Wing, which supplied us with a few ideas on how to set a trap. Over the years the kids have become quite ingenious in their trap building, using the Mousetrap game, taping signs for a “free balloon ride” to a helium balloon and setting up the train track for a trick ride into a trap. They leave “bait,” such as mint chocolate chip cookies, Irish Soda bread, or shiny foreign coins.
We never know if we will find a big mess (green silly string) or a cute gift, such as a new St. Patrick's Day t-shirt. Either way, we have a good time and look forward to setting the next trap.
How does one set a trap?
Since we have yet to actually catch a leprechaun, we can't be sure. We have tried cutting holes in the top of boxes and covering them with tissues. We've tried ladders leading to an empty container, hoping the leprechauns would climb in and not be able to get out. You see, they always make it INTO our trap but do not seem to stay put.
We tried a hot air balloon ride to see if we could catch them and keep them in the air. The next morning our balloon was indeed floating with something green in it, but it turned out to be a pair of underwear, not a leprechaun.
We have learned that the leprechauns like Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. They like gold (especially coins), jewels and anything green. They do not seem to like anything blue. If they take something of yours, they will likely bring it back if you leave a note. We learned last year that enticing them with a playground does NOT stop the mischief, but leaving treats in the trap will likely lead to a treat in return.
Want to learn more fun tricks? Check out our three e-books that you can download via iTunes. These read-aloud stories chronicle the leprechaun adventures our family has had the last three years. Leprechaun Tricks will help introduce the story and fun to your kids. How to Set a Leprechaun Trap includes a variety of more sophisticated traps and sneakier tricks, such as the time our chickens' toenails were painted red, as well as ideas that could spread the fun to your child's school. Leprechauns in the Garden , shares bold interactive ideas that are sure to bring giggles and excitement for your little ones, such as the gifts the leprechauns left in our garden and the tea party they left in our kitchen. Go to the iTunes store and search for “Aucello" or type the title in the search box.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Michele Aucello and her husband Kevin live in Maunalani Heights with their children Isabella and Luca, some chickens, and the occasional elf and leprechaun. You can reach Michele via email, Facebook, or via her personal blog, Leprechauntricks.com. You can also follow her on Pinterest, where she gets many of her ideas.