Leprechauns are up to all their old tricks now that St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner. They love to pop in for an unexpected visit, leaving their mark wherever they go.
I love how American teachers and parents embrace our favorite Irish holiday, welcoming these little Irish pranksters into their classrooms and homes for some Paddy's Day fun.
When my little girl was in kindergarten she arrived home just before St. Patrick's Day exuding pure leprechaun glee. She couldn't wait to tell me about the shenanigans of their very own classroom leprechaun.
"He hid all the green markers," she exclaimed.
"Then he left a shamrock on our tables after lunch."
"Our leprechaun left footprints all over our desks," added her equally enthusiastic brother, in a tone saying "our leprechaun is better than yours".
Then all four of my kids looked at me questioningly:
"Do you think leprechauns will visit our house this year?"
Let me confess - my heart sank. My ever practical Irish side thought of all the "work" involved in teaming up with leprechauns.
I grew up in Ireland at a time when St. Patrick's Day meant going to Mass, wearing a rosette on my coat, saying a few prayers, singing Hail Glorious Saint Patrick, and gorging on sweets.
I just wanted to tell my kids, there wasn't a chance of leprechauns setting foot in our house.
But I saw the longing looks in my kids' fun-loving eyes, and I knew I needed to welcome the leprechauns into our home, even if this meant facing a little inevitable havoc.
After a quick internet search to find out more about these St. Patrick's Day leprechaun high jinks, I soon discovered my fellow Americans really embrace magical capers and tomfoolery. I decided I'm game to join in some leprechaun malarkey, spoofs and escapades.
And so this year, I thought I might share the leprechaun antics witnessed in our house over the years in the run-up to St. Patrick's Day.
1.Footprints, Footprints Everywhere
Leprechauns leave footprints or shamrocks all over our house.
Try as I might to hide those green markers every year, he finds them and leaves his mark in the craziest of places.
Flour has been spilled on my counter top with little footprints running through the white field of "snow".
Chalk footprints are sometimes seen on the side walk outside our front door.
And sometimes, our little mischievous fellow leaves a trail of gold foil rolos on our stairs, or around our coffee table.
2.Leprechaun Toilet Fun
Leprechauns have turned our toilet water green. He must start messing with green food coloring, adding a few drops to the toilet water.
And the toilet paper is a whole other story. You can find shamrocks drawn on it, or it can be sealed closed with a leprechaun sticker.
Green soap and hand washes have appeared overnight. He even put up a fresh set of green towels one year, with a note - "Only green towels on St. Patrick's Day."
3. Leprechaun Kitchen Tricks
One St. Patrick's Day we woke up to find our kitchen cabinets wide open with little notes pinned on the doors.
I have heard tell of leprechauns spilling silverware out of drawers. Some of these crazy guys turn cups and saucepans upside down, and leave half-empty glasses of green milk on counter tops.
And be careful if you are partial to Lucky Charms. They're not past stealing all the charms out of your favorite cereal box.
They only like green Apple Jacks, and have even been known to thread them into a lucky green bracelet.
I think I'd like a jelly bean bracelet in green, white and orange this year.
4. Furniture Shenanigans
The little pranksters who show up at our house often turn our chairs and other furniture upside down.
Luckily our little rascal has only wreaked his havoc with small chairs and things that are easy to turn right way round.
I have him warned not to touch a big piece of furniture. My kids laugh when I start shouting out to unseen leprechauns. But who knows what that little trickster could get up to this year, if I don't give him a good warning.
5. Fun With Shoes On St. Patrick's Day
Leprechauns love to leave chocolate coins in shoes around our house.
Gold foil covered chocolate kisses also work great for shoe surprises.
We have found the laces in our sneakers have been changed to none other than green shoe laces.
6. A Little Doggy Fun For St. Pat's:
Leprechauns have been known to put green bandanas on family dogs, or any pet that stands still long enough to be adorned in green.
The loony leprechaun who visits our house has even tied a shamrock scarf around our sheepdog.
And remember, leprechauns love to dress anything and everything up in Irish green. Dolls and teddy bears are all fair game, and not just cats and dogs. You'd need a little leprechaun magic to dress up a cat.
7. Leprechaun Blockades
Leprechauns use crepe paper to block the way out of bedroom doors.
What a surprise my little one's got when they woke up one Paddy's Day morning to find there was a paper ribbon barricading their path.
8. Balloon Tricks for St. Patrick's Day
Our little Irish man leaves green balloons on our living room floor.
Sometimes he gets very careless and puts dimes inside the balloons. He needs to be more careful with his treasure.
9. Notes and Jokes From Little Irish Leprechauns
Our little fellow loves to leave little pieces of paper lying around the house with leprechaun jokes or taunting notes printed on them.
Here are three of my favorite kid-friendly leprechaun jokes. Some jokes are way over my kids heats, but I'm happy to say my kids got these jokes even when they were pretty young.
Q: Why do people wear shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day?
A: Regular rocks are too heavy.
Q: What type of bow cannot be tied?
A: A rain-bow!
Q: Where can you always find gold?
A: In the dictionary!
Leprechauns leave "You Can't Catch Me Notes" all over our house.
Our leprechaun has some favorite places for leaving his calling card.
He has scribbled his message on the inside of the shower curtain.
The dry erase board on the side of the fridge is another spot he likes - that's my favorite one. Sometimes he uses a WASHABLE marker and writes on shower curtains and other plastic surfaces. Other times he just leaves his "You Can't Catch Me" message on little shamrock shaped notes.
10. Leprechaun Traps
Now leprechauns can be lured by golden coins, especially the chocolate variety.
Let your imagination run free as you create a special trap to try to capture your very own leprechaun as they dart around the globe on Saint Patrick's Day.
Grab a shoe box, or a cereal box, or anything container you think might lure a leprechaun, and add a little Irish magic and a few golden coins and wait and see if your leprechaun might leave some marks behind.
And here's a little leprechaun you just might trap. Let me introduce you to Silly McGilly.
And finally if anyone is interested in exploring more leprechaun prank ideas, why not check out the Silly McGilly website.
Silly is a plush leprechaun toy you can place in your window to let the leprechauns know you are game for some Irish fun. Here's a review of Silly McGilly and all of his shenanigans.
Free Printables To Help With Your Leprechaun Fun
If you need a little help creating some leprechaun fun, I've got you covered.
Here's a selection of printable jokes that you can print, and cut up to leave around the house.
Simply click here or on the image above and you'll be taken to a PDF file, which you are welcome to save, print and share.
Next up is a sheet with some leprechaun feet and boots. Just print and cut to spread some leprechaun tracks around the place.
Click here or on the image to find this printable file.
And finally, here are a few hats and little leprchauns, which may be a little helpful for crafts or leprechaun pranks.
Click here or on the image to find the file.
And so, there you have it, a little round up of leprechaun fun. Here's a cute leprechaun book mark that you might like to make.
I hope you all have a little leprechaun craic this weekend. But be warned! The leprechauns are in the mood for pinching.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
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