My daughters first grade teacher wanted to make leprechaun traps as a STEM activity the week of St.Patrick’s day. She had asked parents to send in any supplies they might have that could be used for building traps and any extra shoeboxes they had at home. I’m room mom for the class and always have lots of craft supplies, so as the week approached I reached out to see what supplies had been sent and what was missing. She hadn’t received any shoe boxes yet, and I knew I didn’t have 19 laying around at home. It would have been tricky for the kids to make leprechaun traps without some sort of box, so I started brainstorming alternative ideas besides shoeboxes.
I found these Kraft paper tumbler boxes on Amazon that came in packs of 20, which would perfectly as the base for the kids to make their own leprechaun traps. The boxes arrived flat and required assembly, but they were quick and easy to fold and tuck into box shapes.
Once all the boxes were assembled, I discussed it with our teacher and we decided it would be best if I pre-painted the boxes green (this would cut down on a mess in the classroom and she wouldn’t have to plan drying time) and cut a hole in the top of each box (so the kids wouldn’t hurt themselves cutting a hole, or cut too far and break the box).
I laid out trash bags and sat all the boxes on top then painted one side of the box at a time. I painted them with Green acrylic paint which had great coverage and dried quickly. I painted one side of the box on all the boxes and let each side dry for about 10-15 minutes before flipping the boxes and painting the next side.
Before painting the top of the box, I opened the lid and cut an oval in the center of each lid.
After all sides were painted I let the boxes fully dry for about an hour before putting them in a large box to send to school.
Now the kids all had a base to use for their trap. Some of the supplies we put out for them to choose to use when building their traps included:
Toilet Paper and Paper towel rolls
St.Patrick’s day stickers
foam letter stickers
The kids were able to choose their supplies and assemble their own traps.
The kids loved building their own traps and I love seeing them put their engineering skills to use! Of course they were all excited to catch a leprechaun in their traps, so I needed to come up with a way to make leprechauns! I found these cute Embroidered Leprechaun Pocket Pals that I could make on my embroidery machine.
I stitched out a leprechaun for each child’s trap on faux leather embroidery vinyl (you can also use felt) using my Brother Embroidery Machine. I just cut each leprechaun out after I finished stitching them on my embroidery machine. If you don’t have an embroidery machine and would like a leprechaun pocket pal, you can purchase one from my shop here!
On Thursday afternoon (the day before St.Patrick’s Day), the kids sat out their leprechaun traps in the classroom before going home. Their teacher put one leprechaun, and some Chocolate Gold Coins inside each trap.
The kids were soooo excited to check their traps in the morning and loved discovering their traps worked and they had each caught a leprechaun!
**I have included affiliate links to the products I used and can receive a small commission if a purchase is made after you click on a link in this tutorial. All items used in this tutorial were purchased by me and I did not receive anything in exchange.
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