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“It’s all magic!”

St. Patrick’s Day has become one of my favorite celebrations at preschool.  The idea of these little elvish creatures sneaking into our classroom, leaving trails of glitter and causing mischief, totally captivates children’s imaginations.  It takes but a moment to introduce this magical scenario, and the children just run with it!

With the help of their trusty leprechaun magnifying glasses, children found clues everywhere:  glitter trails and green footprints and golden treasure left in the sensory tub.   Once child exclaimed, “When you look at the glitter through the magnifying glasses it’s actually glowing!”

Further evidence that the leprechauns had come to visit:  they upended furniture in the block room and left a little note…

 

Leprechauns are small, so you have to look for them in every nook and cranny…

 

“We found more clues!  Footprints!”

 

It takes care and patience to sort out leprechaun treasure…

 

Once we knew that leprechauns were afoot, children made leprechaun traps…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and took a scavenger hunt to find the leprechaun’s hidden gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Within all this magic, there were still technical questions to consider.  And children had the explanations…

How do you catch a leprechaun?  The traps need to be green with something shiny inside.

How did the leprechauns mix up the numbers on our calendar board?  They stood on each other’s shoulders to reach the numbers, and the leprechaun on the top shouted directions to the one on the bottom.

How did they move our block room furniture around?  Lots of leprechauns had to gather around it and work together.

How did they escape?  Through a tiny hole in the wall!

Are you a leprechaun, Teacher?

“Well, look how tall I am.  I’m much too big to be a leprechaun.  And leprechauns have green hair!”

No, they decided leprechauns have brown hair, and therefore I was very likely a leprechaun:  “Leprechauns can change size, ya know!”

And here’s my favorite quote of the whole day.  As he was racing about the classroom, peering through his leprechaun magnifying glass and searching for clues, a little boy stopped in his tracks, looked up at me and declared,  “Santa’s magic!  Everything’s magic!!!”

Ah, if we all could spend our days with this feeling!  What a gift to spend time with young people, who help us reconnect with all the joy, enthusiasm, and creativity that a sense of magic infuses in our lives.

And for the record, while I did sprinkle trails of glitter, I did not make any little green footprints…so perhaps the leprechauns are real after all…

 

 

 

How do you catch a leprechaun?

It all started with a glittery, green path outside the front door of our classroom, left by–who else?–leprechauns!  Just that little infusion of imagination and magic, and the kids turned our St. Patrick’s Day activities into a whirlwind of fun!

Children got right to work collecting treasure the leprechauns left in our  sensory table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the treasure found its way into other curious hiding places…like the playdough!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, children fashioned leprechaun houses out of cardboard boxes, styrofoam trays, egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, & tissue paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the crucial finishing touch to every leprechaun house was, of course…GLITTER!!!  

(Check out the blur of those little hands vigorously shaking out the glitter!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children were quite thoughtful and intentional in their leprechaun house design, making sure there were soft places for the leprechauns to sleep and shiny things to lure them home.  Aren’t they inviting little houses?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, children set to work finding any other treasure those sneaky leprechauns might have hidden around the classroom.

In the 3 day class, some children decided to draw maps that would lead to the treasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the 2 day class, a rollicking treasure hunt ensued, with the aid of special leprechaun-spying glasses!  Children gathered (and hid and gathered and hid again) a sack full of leprechaun treasure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a special cooking project, our 3 day class made Dutch babies!  The leprechauns got the last laugh, though: when we pulled the beautifully puffed Dutch babies out of the oven, they were green!! The kids didn’t seem to mind too much…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d like to end this post with some of the children’s words, in response to the question:

How do you catch a leprechaun?

“We make a cage attached to a rope attached to a tree.  When the leprechaun goes under it, it falls on him.  He gets captured.  I would take all his money.”

“Get a leprechaun house and make a treasure map for him.  He goes to his house at night time.  Then you catch him.”

“A cup is hanging on a string and it falls on him when he steps on a clear button.  It traps him.”

“You catch him with a big net.  You bake him and eat him.”

“You tiptoe up to him and then you sneak up to him.  Then you catch him, but quietly.  You keep him in your house in a bird cage so he can fly around.  Then I let him go.”