how to trap a leprechaun without losing your sanity

This doesn’t go on in the NYC school system, as far as I am aware, but apparently, St. Paddy’s Day has infiltrated the school curriculum in other parts of the country. Brenna Jennings is here to school you on how (and how not) to trap a leprechaun.

We’re finally done reeling from the flurry of Valentine’s Day parties, heart-shaped allergy-safe classroom snacks and hand crafted Valentine’s Day cards—either because we forgot all about it until the local drug store was pillaged clean or because we’re genuinely into that sort of thing, in which case, THANKS A LOT for setting that particular bar.

According to my local drug store, you can expect St. Paddy’s to take over your life sometime in the next twelve minutes (with Easter following closely on its heels), which means for elementary school kids everywhere, it’s time to build a leprechaun trap.

Editor’s Note: A Leprechaun trap? Is this really a thing now??? 


Photo source: The Suburban Soapbox

The first year I heard about leprechaun traps, my 5-year-old brought hers home from school, where all the kids had used the same materials and painted the traps to their messy little hearts’ content. I didn’t have to lift a finger, not even to google “What the hell is a leprechaun trap?”

But things escalated quickly, and the next year I was required to run to the craft store for pipe cleaners and hot glue.


Photo Source: SVG Cuts

Moms who were formerly my allies were dyeing their toilet water green and stamping tiny footprints across their kitchen counters, spending hours researching “best leprechaun traps” on Pinterest and YouTube.


Photo Source: The Gala Gals

I don’t know when the Leprechaun Trap Ritual got here, but I suppose it’s unfair to ask Ireland to take this delightful bit of lore back and just let us keep Liam Neeson.

Since there’s seemingly no way around incorporating this labor-intensive tradition into what used to be a quiet, pleasant month where parents could enjoy dark Irish beers in peace, let me give you some guidelines that will help manage your time, your kids’ expectations, and that one parent who’s singlehandedly keeping Michael’s in business.


Photo Source: Pinterest

With these tips, you’re on your way to celebrating the joy of St. Paddy’s with your grade-schooler while keeping your sanity intact. Hopefully.

5 Tips to Building a Stress-free Leprechaun Trap

1. If it’s not already in your house, it’s not part of your trap. Period. Yes, Sophie can use the empty toilet paper roll to build a fun slide for her leprechaun. No, she may not overnight a Bedazzler from eBay.

2.  Limit yourself to one video DIY lasting 5 minutes or less. Trust me, YouTube is a hellscape of craft videos leading to more craft videos, leading to more craft videos, until inevitably, you accidentally stumble upon someone’s disturbing leprechaun fetish.

3. Any Pinterest how-tos that suggest you put actual moss and dirt on your household surfaces should be aggressively disregarded.

4. Restrict your involvement in building the trap to only those steps that could cause injury to children, furniture or pets. X-acto knives are not for people who can’t safely toast their own Pop Tarts. Better yet, if your kid’s trap design requires an X-acto knife, tell her to build a different trap.

5. Do post a pic or two of the finished project to your social media account of choice. Do not post a 42-photo essay on Tumblr with bonus video on YouTube and director’s commentary on Snapchat. Not even your child is interested in seeing all that.



Photo Source: All Things Fulfilling

I think childhood should be full of wonder and creativity just as much as the next mom, but I also think it’s in everyone’s best interest that we maintain our perspective around the ever-escalating holiday frenzy it’s so easy to buy into. See also: Birthday Elf on the Shelf. 

Enjoy this holiday, with or without a leprechaun trap. If you want to put real time and effort into something, see if Pinterest has any ideas for catching Liam Neeson.


Read more from Brenna Jennings on Suburban Snapshots.