Last year, near the end of March, Ian asked me if there was a "green holiday." I think he was still tired out after all the pinks and reds of Valentine's Day. "There is St. Patrick's Day," I said, "but I'll need to check the calendar to find out when that is." Clearly we are not an Irish or a Catholic family, or a family that indulges in a green beer if the holiday is right. As it turned out, we had missed St. Patrick's Day by about a week, so Ian made me PROMISE to "do the Green Day next year."
Yesterday was March 1, and we began our preparations for this new (to us) green holiday. The first step was a little Social Studies unit on St. Patrick's Day. We read about who St. Patrick was and why he was important to Ireland. We also read some background material on the traditional St. Patrick's Day symbols like the shamrock and the leprechaun. Our first activity was to make Leprechaun Traps.
The story goes that the Irish fairies would dance all day and wear out their shoes. So, the leprechauns would stay up all night, while the fairies were sleeping, and repairing the dancing shoes. The fairies would pay the leprechauns with gold. The leprechauns got very rich, thanks to this arrangement, but their gold was never enough. One way to get more gold was to find the pot filled with gold at the end of each rainbow.
To set a Leprechaun Trap, you use some sort of box that will hold the leprechaun once he is caught. You decorate the box with rainbows, so the leprechaun thinks that there is a pot of gold just waiting.
You also bait the trap. Foil-covered chocolate coins are the best, but we only had mini candy bars.
The leprechaun goes for the bait and then falls into the trap.
If you catch a leprechaun you can hold him for ransom, since he is very rich. At our house, if you don't catch a leprechaun you get to eat the bait. I'll be eating lots of bait, just so ya know.
Stay tuned for other St. Patrick's Day projects and fun.