I have always had a leprechaun visit to my kindergarten classroom. My kids consider it the luck o' the Irish! A few years ago, I had a savage and deadly idea to keep the manky hallions and sleevens away from our classroom and instead attract a grand gas of a lad. We got jammy! Stall the ball. Sound like I'm talking a load of blarney? Let me give it a lash.…
Translation: “I had a BRILLIANT and FANTASTIC idea to keep the DIRTY RASCALS and UNDERHANDED FOLKS away from our classroom and instead attract a FINE, FUNNY lad. We got LUCKY! Hold the phone. Sound like I'm talking a load of rubbish?”
Now, clearly, I think I'm more Irish than I am. I have several true friends Irish friends who actually live in Ireland, and I expect them to comment below on how badly I used some Irish phrases! When the movie, “BRAVE” came out, I was THRILLED that a Disney character kinda, sorta looked like the sort of princess I would have wanted to be. I like to think I know a lot about Ireland, but to be honest, my hair color, love for all the lucky things, and middle name are about as close as I get to Irish. (Any guesses as to what my middle name is??)
Actually, once J.W. and I were walking down Beale St. in Memphis, and a fluthered eejit (very, very drunk foolish fella) pointed at me and yelled, “IRISHHHHH! IIIIRRRRIIIISSHHHHHHH!!!” J.W. thought that was hilarious. Every once in a while, he'll yell it at me – usually just after I've had my hair touched up. 😉 But I digress. Back to the leprechaun visits!
What I was sharing above about keeping the ‘manky hallions‘ away is very, very true. The reason behind it, however, is not what you think.
In 2021, the year of the virtual madness, we were VERY focused on all the social-emotional things. When I read a story about how to trap a leprechaun, some of my kids did NOT like that. One of them said, “I think I know why leprechauns act out and play tricks on people. They are not feeling like anyone treats them with kindness. I think maybe we shouldn't try to TRAP them, but WELCOME them. I think they are misunderstood.”
Umm….Mic drop for the five-year-old.
So, what did we do? Made welcome signs and treated them with kindness, that's what. And you wanna know how that leprechaun visit went?
It went AWESOME.
We weren't tricked at all! The chairs weren't turned over, and the room wasn't filled with green crepe paper or balloons. And yes, this type of shenanigan was typical of past leprechaun visits. Those particular leprechauns were acting the maggot! (getting rowdy, creating mischief) 😉
Last year, my kindergarteners REALLY got into the idea of a leprechaun visit. They actually became quite obsessed – due to the legendary ‘kind' visit from the year before. They started building little villages out on the playground, and as you can see from the pictures, a mini-Stonehenge.
I decided to add a little bit of kindergarten magic to it. Just like Bonnie Raitt sang, “Let's give 'em somethin' to talk about…” I “planted” some shamrocks in a few VERY random places, and decided to see how long it would take them to discover. Spoiler alert: NOT LONG. 😉
St. Patrick's Day usually falls during the week of our spring break, so I did this the day before we left. The shrieks and giggles were pure magic and joy to my ears. It's the stuff that kindergarten is made of! I highly suggest this little trick to up the fun on your leprechaun visit!
Leprechaun visit ideas
As you can see in the picture below, no leprechaun visit is complete without at least a wee bit ‘o mischief – even if you decide to treat them with kindness and NOT trap them! So…green glitter and food coloring in the Jacks (toilet) is always a nice touch!
Also – you MUST add footprints, gold coins, and tiny handprints all around where your little friend has been. My work wife and I get quite the kick out of weaving their pathway through the door, up the wall, around the cubbies, over tables, and yes, by the toilet. My kids last year were CONVINCED that they used the toilets as a slip and slide to go from room to room. 😉
We leave plastic coins around each of their table spots, and each child gets a ‘piece of the rainbow' or a rainbow-striped candy stick. We explain this in the letter – which I'll get to in just a bit.
Oh! Get a green washable marker and leave a little note from your leprechaun! We named ours BLARNEY McFIDDLE. Feel free to use this name or come up with your own! (In fact…if you come up with a doozy, PLEASE share in the comments!)
IDEAS FOR LEPRECHAUN VISITS
Let's do a quick recap on the things that can make your leprechaun visit one that your kids will remember:
- Shamrock confetti: This is great to sprinkle just a few shamrocks ahead of time on the playground or in the classroom to get them talking, dreaming, creating, and imagining
- Gold/Green coins: I love to give each child 5 or so coins on their table/desk
- Rainbow Stick: I love to give each child 1 of these on their table/desk
- Leprechaun footprints: These decals are super easy to apply – and clean up
Now, how do you explain away the fact that the candy, coins, and footprints aren't REALLY a bit of the rainbow, the coins aren't real gold, and the footprints are “plastic”? EASY. With a letter from the leprechaun explaining away how the ‘LUCKY CHARMERY” fades back into “EARTHLY MATTER”. 😉
Scroll on down and read away!
letter from a leprechaun
I print this out after shrinking it down to be about a 4 x 6. I then roll it up and put it somewhere not TOO obvious but obvious enough that they will find it during a routine moment in the morning. If you scroll back up to the top, in one of the pictures you'll see our little gnome hiding behind a tiny sculpture of Mt. Rushmore holding it.
I realize how ridiculous that sentence is, only now that I type it out. But my kindergarten classroom is a place where ANYTHING can happen, and the more magical it can be, the better. They are only five-year-olds once, and they grow up WAY too soon these days. I say let them dream a little!
letter from leprechaun free printable
If you are wanting to try out a leprechaun visit – I have a little freebie for you! Just click on the picture or the link below to get a template to make your own letter from YOUR leprechaun. And…if you want to borrow Blarney McFiddle – I'm sure we could work that out. 😉
Write a letter to leprechaun
What's that? You want to try WELCOMING a leprechaun instead of TRAPPING one? Well – It's your lucky day! I've got the writing paper you need! FREE TO YOU. Click the picture or the link below, and you'll get 5 writing prompts and 4 writing pages that will lead you perfectly to all the luck you'll need!
All the Irish phrases, likely improperly used, were found here.
If you are looking for more fun in kindergarten – try reading this!