Posted: Mar 13, 2013 10:00 AM
Did your kids love Elf on the Shelf during the holidays? Bring a bit of magic to your St. Patrick’s Day with the antics of the leprechauns in your house.

So, how naughty was your Elf on the Shelf this past holiday season? That little guy spends a whole month playing tricks on your kids, so a little part of you was probably happy to see him go. St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner, and those little leprechauns only have one night to act up. We have some fun ideas for your kids to try and outsmart the little green guys.

Leprechaun fun- Leprechaun trapLeprechaun traps

The problem with leprechauns is that you never see them. Unlike your Elf on the Shelf, once the leprechauns are finished with their tricks and mischief, they are gone. The only way your kids will see one is if they can build the perfect trap.

Leprechauns are easily lured by gold or chocolate. You can use gold painted rocks to fool them, tokens from the video arcade or even gold foil-wrapped chocolates. Let your kids be creative with their traps — there is no wrong way to build one. Egg cartons, strawberry baskets, toilet paper tubes and any type of box are all great starting points for your trap. The trap should be green, glittery or shiny in order to draw attention and lure the leprechaun in. Bonus points for a trap that will fall on top of the leprechaun when he tries to get the goods — making it difficult for him to escape.

Leprechaun fun- capturing footprints

Capture those footprints

Sometimes the only sure way to know that leprechauns came through your home are the footprints. Many leprechauns leave glittery green footprints all over the place, but some are too sneaky for that. Leave a light dusting of flour on your countertop or kitchen table and see what your kids find the next morning.

Creating chaos

Leprechauns are known for being a bit messy and destructive. They will toss couch cushions on the floor, overturn dining room chairs, put things away in the wrong places — think shoes in the pantry, cereal in the backpacks — and just generally cause chaos when they visit. Check the toilets for green water and the milk carton for green milk. Kids love looking all over the house to find all the silly things the leprechauns have done.

Leprechaun fun- leaving gold coins

What do they leave?

Leprechauns may be a mischievous bunch, but they do leave surprises behind. They love to leave gold foil-wrapped coins or other candy (like Twix or Rolos) in gold wrappers. Sometimes they leave golden dollar coins, or video arcade tokens strewn in a line leading down the hallway.

The fun thing about these traditions is that you can add a little something each year, or modify things that didn't go so well in prior years. Keep the kids guessing and have fun with it — they are only little once.

More family fun

Favorite games for family fun
Having fun with classical music
Indoor games for hours of entertainment