Let the kids lead in this creative invitation to make Lego leprechaun traps in March. It’s the perfect addition to your St. Patrick’s Day activities for preschool.
Invite the preschoolers to make their very own leprechaun traps using a favorite preschool toy . . . Lego bricks!
You don’t need that much in the way of supplies. Just a few items, the most important of which is the kids’ imaginations.
I know there are MANY leprechaun trap ideas floating around on the internet. So many! Honestly, it can be a little overwhelming, can’t it?
And so many of those ideas, while amazing, are much more adult-led than child-led. Meaning that the the adults are telling the kids exactly what to do and how to do it. Or, in some cases, it’s really the adults building the leprechaun traps.
Now, I’m all about encouraging adults to be creative! So I see nothing wrong with teachers and parents making their own versions of this St. Patrick’s Day activity. It’s pretty fun, in my opinion.
But I think it’s important to let the KIDS get crafty and creative too! So don’t fall into the trap (ha, see what I did there!?) of thinking that you need to make the kids’ traps for them. Or that the children need to make the traps one specific way or it’s “wrong.”
Keep this activity focused on challenging the children to use their imaginations to make Lego leprechaun traps as they see fit. They will get so much more out of it if you do so!
Lego Leprechaun Traps
We first made these leprechaun traps back in 2013. Wow, that seems like so long ago!
The students that year were really into using Lego bricks to build all kinds of things. My son was preschool-age at the time and a huge fan of the building blocks too. So it was Lego everywhere, all the time!
The kids’ interest in Lego led my co-teacher and I to challenge them to build these easy leprechaun traps. It’s a must-try idea, in my opinion.
Materials for an Easy Leprechaun Trap
I’ve mentioned before that the idea behind this activity is super simple, right? Which means gathering the materials was incredibly easy. And you don’t really need much.
In fact, here is the oh-so-long materials list (can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?):
And that’s it. Really!
That’s all we used during the first round of our Lego leprechaun traps. We’ve made them again and again over the years, both at school and at home. Sometimes we add a few more items to the mix, but not always.
If you’re looking for some additional materials to add to this building invitation, here are some ideas:
- Gold coins (to entice the leprechauns)
- Wooden rainbow stackers (to make the trap feel more homey for the little men)
- Magnifying glasses (to search for trapped leprechauns, of course)
- Rainbow yarn (to pull traps closed)
- Leprechaun toys and figurines (to encourage pretend play)
Prepping the Leprechaun Invitation
Once you have the supplies you want, it times to get everything set up.
Honestly, it doesn’t take much to prep the Lego leprechaun traps invitation.
First, decide where you’d like the kids to create and build. Depending on the year, sometimes the Lego bricks were kept in the block center. And other times, they were stored in the fine motor center.
It really depends on how you have your classroom arranged. Just be sure to choose an area that has enough space for the children to really build and create.
Next, add the materials to the area. We already had Lego bricks so we didn’t have to add in anything. The kids already knew where everything was!
But if you’ve picked up some additional items, make sure they’re with the Lego. And that the children have access to all of the supplies.
How to Make a Leprechaun Trap
Now that the materials are gathered and everything is prepped for the activity, it’s time to bring the kids in!
I suggest started at your whole group area. We tend to call the space our circle time rug, even though it also doubles as the block center area. Whatever you call it, have the kids meet you there.
Read a book about leprechauns and have a chat about those mischievous little creatures. Then ask the children if they want to make some Lego leprechaun traps to ensnare any leprechauns that might visit the classroom.
I also highly recommend talking about what you’d all do with said trapped leprechaun. Otherwise the kids’ imaginations might run away with that topic! We settled on talking to the leprechaun and asking him why he liked playing tricks. A few children also suggested asking where the gold is hidden.
Related: St. Patrick’s Day Songs
Once the idea has been brought up, work with the kids to plan what they’d want their leprechaun traps to look like. Have them hold their ideas in their heads, or share a few with you and the class. You can turn this planning session into a shared or modeled writing experience, taking notes on a piece of chart paper.
After that, have the kids head off for centers. Have the children interested in making Lego leprechaun traps come sit with you for a few minutes. Ask them to take their awesome plans on put the plans on paper. Kids can draw a picture of what they want their traps to look like. Be sure to write down any of the plans they dictate to you!
Then let them go off to build the traps, bringing their plans with them!
Observing the Kids’ Creations
Oh my word, but I’ve had so much fun watching the children make their Lego leprechaun traps!
Not all of the children were interested in making leprechaun traps, and that was fine. However, the majority of the students became really focused on catching “those tricky leprechauns”!
Listening to the kids as they planned and built the traps was definitely the highlight of this activity for me.
My co-teacher and I pretty much stayed out of the way after the planning process. Sometimes it is just so much fun to sit back and observe as children go about their business!
Making plans to build a structure together uses different vocabulary, so the children definitely practiced their language skills as they created!
Some of the snippets of conversation we caught as the traps were built:
- “That tricky leprechaun won’t get through here.”
- “Well, this is a plane that the leprechaun gets into and it gets him!”
- “Look! This is a leprechaun smoosher!”
- “He’ll probably get stuck right here.”
- “But we should build it like a maze to confuse that leprechaun!”
- “No, no! I think the wheels should go here to get him!”
I can tell you that this has been a well-loved activity over the years. Have you ever made Lego leprechaun traps with your students? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!
Even More Leprechaun Traps for Kids
If your students loved making Lego leprechaun traps, they might like these ideas as well!
Each of the activities below could definitely be done by preschoolers. As always, you know your students best! So choose the ideas that your kids would be interested in.
Build a Leprechaun Trap from Homeschool Preschool
Leprechaun Trap from East Coast Mommy
Catching Leprechauns from Creekside Learning
In addition to those ideas, consider setting up an invitation with different materials, such as:
- Cereal boxes
- Shoe boxes
- Yarn or string
- Construction paper
- Play dough
- Pipe cleaners
Remember, this is about letting the kids get creative and see their plans to fruition. The traps don’t need to be perfect or Pinterest-pretty to be amazing.
Preschool Lesson Plans You Should Check Out
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes book suggestions, printable plans, over 30 learning activities (whole group, small group, and centers) related to the theme, and corresponding printables.
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers
This post was originally published on March 14, 2013.