Combining a book and a craft is a great way to nurture a lifelong love of reading.This open-ended invitation to create after reading The Gingerbread Man and the Leprechaun Loose at School was a big hit!
One of my favorite ways to get my kids excited about reading is to keep the story going after we’ve closed up a book. Sometimes that means asking questions about what they think might happen next or what would have happened if one little piece of the story went differently. Other times, it means taking my daughter’s idea and helping her make it come to life.
When Ellie and I were reading The Gingerbread Man and the Leprechaun Loose at School by Laura Murray, Ellie was convinced that she could do a much better job of catching the mischievous little leprechaun. In the story, a leprechaun visits the Gingerbread Man’s school and goes on a mess-making spree. The students and their teacher try to catch him and clean up his mess but with no luck. While everyone else is at lunch, the Gingerbread Man decides to go on a solo mission to track that little prankster down.
After stumbling upon a couple of big messes, the Gingerbread Man finally puts together the perfect idea for a trap. Once he catches the leprechaun, the Gingerbread Man makes him clean up all of his messes before he goes on his way.
Ellie enjoyed the suspense of wondering what mischief the leprechaun would get into next and she enjoyed giving detailed descriptions about how things could be improved (both the leprechaun’s mischief and trying to find that little bugger).
What better way to build off of that enthusiasm than letting her build her own leprechaun trap?
Here’s what you need to create your own leprechaun trap
I’m a huge fan of open-ended craft projects. Giving kids some supplies and seeing what they can come up with on their own always blows my mind. It allows them to use their problem-solving skills and creativity without restriction. Projects with step-by-step instructions might come out a little more picture perfect, but I totally prefer letting them stretch their creative muscles.
For this project, I set out a bunch of different supplies. The most important to Ellie’s creation were a shoe box, a paper towel tube, paint, and construction paper.
You can totally get creative though. We also had pipe cleaners, pom poms, tissue paper, and different decorative tapes available. You could also incorporate LEGOs and cereal boxes and popsicle sticks—the possibilities are endless!
Book and a craft: a leprechaun trap inspired by The Gingerbread Man and the Leprechaun Loose at School
Ellie decided the best way to catch a leprechaun was to lure him up to a pot of gold. She grabbed a mini witch’s cauldron from Halloween and asked me to print out a rainbow she could glue behind it. She created a little tunnel for the leprechaun to climb up to get to the top of the box and then had me help her cut out a hole at the top with an X-Acto knife. She covered the opening with construction paper, explaining that the leprechaun wouldn’t notice it but he would be so heavy he would crash through and get stuck inside the box.
Feeling bad for the mischevious little guy, Ellie also added a cotton ball bed for him inside the trap—that way he’d be comfy until she let him out. I wish I thought to take a picture of it before we glued the lid on (she’s nice, but she’s no fool!). That was a touch I would never have thought of. It really showcases Ellie’s personality and I love it.
I’d love to see what leprechaun traps your kids come up with!
If you try this book and a craft activity with your kids, I’d love to see the results! Take a picture and tag me on Instagram or Facebook @cuddlesandchaos or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to share some with other readers!