A Leprechaun Trap For St. Patrick’s Day

As the country went into its first lockdown in March 2020, this Ontario family found comfort in a special St. Patrick's Day celebration.

As many of us remember, last March heralded a difficult time not only for Canadians but the world. Our household began the daunting task of home-schooling as well as giving our kids, Charlotte and Oliver, cautionary talks on how to stay safe in this unusual time. We did not let it get our spirits down, though. The kids were able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at their school right before the shut down by wearing green and making “leprechaun traps.” My husband, Keith, also decided to use the day itself to turn the gloom of quarantine into a fun event.

Large chocolate looniePHOTO: AMY MARTIN

In preparation, we had the kids set up a “leprechaun trap” in the living room the night before, leaving a big chocolate loonie as bait to lure in any roaming little green men. The trap worked—to an extent. A little green fellow did happen by our house, even taking a bite of the coin, but managed to escape the trap—leaving a note for the kids with clues for them to follow so that they could try to catch him:

Fiddle dee dee,
you can’t catch me.
If it’s treasure you’re after,
you must run faster.
Put on your shoes,
and follow my clues.

The first clue sent us outside into the cold March day. We went running to an old road, now empty of houses and street signs, where our daughter, Charlotte, first learned to ride her bike. We searched around and found a second clue taped to a tree:

Swinging is lots of fun,
but there is only one park,
where it can be done.

Children searching for clues outside.PHOTO: AMY MARTIN

Oliver is a big fan of playgrounds and knows all the ones in our area, and there is, in fact, only one that has a swing set, so off we went at a run to try to catch up to our little leprechaun friend. The kids went to the swings instantly, where they found their next clue:

People study here,
what they need to learn,
whatever you borrow,
you must return.

We pondered a moment before Charlotte looked across the street to the library and determined that we had to go there. She was right and found our next clue:

Different vehicles make different sounds,
beep beep, vroom vroom,
but this vehicle makes a boom boom.

Child finding chocolate looniesPHOTO: AMY MARTIN

Living on a military base it is not hard to figure out what vehicle would make that sound and the kids knew just where to look. Worthington Park is a popular walking route for us as the kids love to check out all the various tanks displayed there. We looked over several of them before we found our next clue attached to one of them:

At the end of the rainbow,
is where you must go,
if none is in sight,
try the…?

This one took some thought. What rhymed with rainbow? We walked around the park, pointing out various things to see if they matched the rhythm of the clue. We came to the top of a hill and looked across the way and spied a gazebo; rainbow, gazebo…with renewed energy, the kids were off running again!

Next, check 12 more great ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at home.

Originally Published in Our Canada