A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to live in Ireland for a period of time. Having that first-hand knowledge comes in handy at this time of year. When I was a classroom teacher, I always made a big deal about St. Patrick’s Day. I used it as an opportunity to introduce the children to the country of Ireland and a little information about the Irish culture. Playing on the spoof of the leprechaun made the activities fun and adventurous. We would go on a Leprechaun Hunt or leave little goodies out for the little guy. In later years, I have seen my grandchildren build leprechaun traps to try to catch the perpetrator who was turning their milk green in the fridge.
I have always looked upon the tall tales of leprechauns as a folktale and true fantasy stemming from the Irish culture. Studies have been done that indicate that children build great foundations from folktales. In fact, folktales and fairytales provide an example of complete fantasy for young children. With virtual reality appearing in games and movies, it is difficult for young children to differentiate between fact and fiction. Folktales provide an opportunity for children to experience something that is complete fantasy. Folktales have no pretence of being real.
So, set up your leprechaun traps and see what happens to the young children around you!