St. Patrick’s Day: Those Tricky Leprechauns!


When my family moved to Vermont in 2011, we found ourselves at home sending our children to Heartworks Preschool in Shelburne. One of the well-loved traditions that Heartworks celebrates is St. Patrick’s Day and delighting in the tricky things leprechauns do at night. At school, children work diligently on building “leprechaun traps” out of blocks, marbles, dominoes, math manipulatives, etc. When the children arrive at school the next day, not only are the traps but the classroom, also,  has been completely wrecked by those tricky little buggers. Totally, no holds barred, TRASHED.

When my children and I arrived for our first St. Patty’s “morning after” we were blown away by the magic and humor in it all! The leprechauns had left magical little green footprints all over the entire school!

(Head to Creative Habitat in South Burlington for your own little footprint maker!)  The best part? It was up to the children to clean everything up. Oh did they love it!


Seeing the reactions on the little faces prompted me to begin our own St. Patrick’s Day traditions. In addition to the extensive creative traps, I googled and came up with some simple ideas to give our own St. Patrick’s Day a little extra sparkle!


[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”16″ size_format=”px”]St. Patrick’s Day Ideas[/typography]

* Place a few drops of green food coloring in the back tank of the toilet. When your child flushes, the water comes in green!

* Trails of little green footprints leading to piles of golden nuggets (gold painted rocks/pebbles) and some St. Patrick’s Day treats: (yes, that is a green Peep with its head bitten off) My kids cherish the golden nuggets still and  keep them safe in treasure boxes.


* Place a few drops of green food coloring in the milk. (Or, if you’re a little put-off by the thought of using green milk for days,  limit the dying to a cup full.)


* Hang teddy from the chandelier and put a diaper on dolly’s head.


* Hunt down green items in the house and make little trails and piles using them. (Matchbox cars, game pieces, crayons, pipe cleaners, clothing, balls, stuffed animals, etc.)


* Knock over chairs, hang undies off of the pot rack, etc. The mayhem does not have to be intricate.


*Don’t forget the leprechaun traps! Let those blooming imaginations go wild!

*No St. Patrick’s Day is complete without making a green treat together. Our favorite is a green version of the old standby Rice Krispie Treats. Add some green food coloring and a shamrock cookie cutter and voila! An easy recipe that you can prepare and enjoy together. For a healthier version, visit Health Living Market for some brown rice cereal and all-natural green food coloring.

Green rice krispie



*Cuddle up with an Irish book. The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne is waiting for you to stop by and pick up on of their many St. Patrick’s Day children’s books. Our family favorite is ‘St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning’ by Eve Bunting. 


[typography font=”Delius Swash Caps” size=”16″ size_format=”px”]What about you? How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a family?[/typography]



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Tricia Van Vliet
Although I am a Jersey girl at heart, Shelburne, VT is where my family has planted our roots. I’m a mama to three: Sean, Fee, and Maggie. I work in special education by day and can be found reading, running or eating cheesecake after the kids are asleep. (Sadly, I have yet to discover a way to combine all three of my favorite hobbies.) I love food, eclectic fashion, morning coffee in my favorite mustache mug, and am passionate about all things local and Vermont. Although I have yet to learn how to ski, I'm your girl if you need some gas pumped.


  1. Trisha you are so very creative I wish we had young children at the same time I would steal all your ideas….LOL! I never really did anything to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and I am so sorry I didn’t think of some of this stuff it would have been so much fun. But, even though Josh may be a little old to believe in leprechans leaving footprints, I think I will do some fun things that will provide a little St. Patrick’s Day surprise. I think I will start with the food coloring in the toilet tank and some green milk….LOL! Thanks again for another great post!


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