With St. Patrick's Day fast approaching it's the time to start thinking about including your children in the yearly celebration of all things Irish. Okay so St Patrick's Day is really much more of an adult thing but trying to make it more kiddish can be fun for the whole family.
What is a "Leprechaun Box"?
Now you are probably sitting there reading this wondering "What is a Leprechaun Box?" Well the story is that on the Eve of St Patrick's Day the Leprechauns move their treasure to a new hiding place, for just that day. If they can find little boxes to put it in they will use them and then hide that new box nearby, sometimes accidentally leaving a trail of shamrocks to it. Now I'm not talking massive treasure troves here, just the little things that the Leprechaun holds dear, maybe some cards, some chocolate or gum coins, maybe a little car or two. Personal treasures.
How do you Make One?
How do you make a Leprechaun box? I'm so glad you asked. What you need is a small box. I usually go with something a mug would fit into. You can buy small gift boxes at most craft stores for under $1, I certainly wouldn't use the more expensive wood or pressed paper mache ones. You will also need some glue, a nice paper assortment and maybe some paints if you would rather use that to cover the box, and some glitter or seasonal confetti.
Making Your Box
Now sit down with your child and have them help you make a box that a Leprechaun would like. We usually have a rainbow on ours, and maybe a pot of gold. A regular round hole punch makes lovely gold coins out of yellow paper. We also like having shamrocks on our box. Also simple to make, all you need is a heart shaped paper punch. Four hearts, pointy tips together, form a shamrock.
Just remember there is no wrong way to do a Leprechaun box, if you want to make it look like a Jack O-Lantern go right ahead. One of the Leprechauns is sure to think that is the perfect box for him or her.
The Night Before
Now when your box is all done and dried set it out on a low surface when you go to bed March 16th. We usually use the coffee table. Leprechauns are short but they will find the box even if you leave it on the table. Now go to bed. Leprechauns are kind of like the Tooth Fairy; they do their best work when we are all asleep.
St. Patrick's Day Surprise
When you get up in the morning your box isn't likely to be where you left it. You're going to have to go looking for it. Don't worry; it won't have traveled very far, since Leprechauns are so tiny their sense of distance isn't so good. Just look around, you might even be lucky enough to find a trail of shamrocks pointing you in the right direction.
Note to Mom or Dad
I usually put some of the seasonal confetti in the Leprechaun box, rather like Pixie Dust. The first few years we did this we did lay a trail of the confetti toward the box, and yes, the vacuum does get that stuff up, but I found my son perfectly happy to collect the shamrock trail for me. (I then bagged it up and saved it for the next year.) This isn't anything you need to go too over board with. My son has been perfectly happy getting some coin candy and a pack of cards in his box. It's the search that really makes it fun. Good luck and "Happy Leprechauning".