Design a Leprechaun Trap: Picture Book STEAM Challenge

My daughter still talks about the time the “leprechauns” came to her preschool classroom and left their footprints everywhere, and that was years ago! There’s no doubt it’s fun to imagine leprechauns at this time of year, so it was tons of fun to read How to Trap a Leprechaun to learn that we can get our wish is we catch one of the lucky little guys! Designing a leprechaun trap is a seasonal STEAM project that requires a bit of creativity. After all, if the Leprechauns we’re catching don’t really exist what rules are there?

The leprechaun traps STEM challenge is seasonal way to practice building things and learning from design mistakes. Inspired by the book How to Trap a Leprechaun.

Materials for the Leprechaun Trap STEAM Challenge

As usual, I bring my entire slew of recycled materials for the leprechaun trap day. In addition, I bring some festive decorations as well, since this project lends itself well to artistic decorations (that’s the A part of STEAM!).

  • popsicle sticks
  • masking tape and duct tape
  • cotton-tip swabs
  • clothes pins
  • cardboard boxes (plus a box cutter for an adult to help kids cut it)
  • bowls and cups
  • wooden skewers
  • coffee filters
  • raffia, string, and ribbon
  • straws
  • gold coins, gold colored ribbon
  • shamrock or gold stickers
  • markers in a rainbow of colors
  • anything else that strikes me as leprchaun-y
  • Note: We are not allowed to use glitter in our location, but if you are daring enough to do it, bring it on!

Inspired by How to Trap a Leprechaun

How to Trap a Leprechaun by Sue Fliess is an easy-to-read aloud rhyming story about why and how to trap a leprechaun. (Hint: You want to get him to grant you wishes!!)  Check out the adorable book trailer to hear a little of the rhyming and see the colorful illustrations in this book.

The end of the book even has tips and tricks for getting your students to design their own leprechaun traps! The whole book is well worth the read if you are doing leprechaun traps in your class.

Making Our Leprechaun Traps

I’ve found that in the two years we’ve done this STEAM Challenge, the kids just delight in it. There is something about “trapping a leprechaun” that gets people thinking ahead of time. Kids come in with their own shoe boxes started already, and some kids wanted ideas so I collected some favorites and shared the Leprechaun Traps Pinterest board.

There were lots of disagreements. Can leprechauns jump really high? Can they tell real gold from fake gold? I love how simply by participating in a project like this, we were also creating our own interpretation of the fairy tale!

Here’s a pin with some of our favorite ones! Pin it for later so you remember! Don’t forget to also check out the Leprechaun Traps Pinterest board!

The leprechaun traps STEM challenge is seasonal way to practice building things and learning from design mistakes. Inspired by the book How to Trap a Leprechaun.

Want more STEAM? Check out my overview of my co-op STEAM Challenges class.

Storybook Science

Want to see more Storybook Science ideas? Click over to Inspiration Laboratories for the fourth year of the annual Storybook Science series!

Related Articles:

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Sign up to get Hands-On Learning Ideas in your inbox!

Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!