Friday, March 18, 2011

Leprechaun Hats

Technically these aren't baking (I mean, you can't actually eat them) and I know St. Patrick's Day is over, but these are too adorable and I love them too much not to share! I mean, look how cute...

Before I explain how to make them, I just need to give you the set-up for this whole project...

In first grade, we celebrate holidays big-time. I just think it's hilarious to get the kids all hyped up about things like Groundhog Day, St. Patrick's Day, all these random holidays. And they LOVE it, too. This St. Patrick's day project is one of my favorites; I get excited about it every year. So here's how it works...

On the day before St. Patrick's day I read the kids a cute little leprechaun book and we talk about how tiny they are and how if you catch them, they will give you a pot of gold. Then I tell them that we are going to make leprechaun traps and see if we can catch one in our classroom. The trap is a styrofoam cup that they color with a green permanent marker. Then they make a little bit of gold out of yellow construction paper to entice the leprechaun into their trap. The last step is to write a letter to convince the leprechaun to come inside.

They were super serious about these letters and traps. They made me call them "party fun houses" instead of traps. They really took their time setting up the traps and placing them just so on their desks. I mean, look how cute their letters and traps are...

At the end of the day I gather up all of the gold and letters (and toss them in the trash in the classroom across the hall). Then I take the cups home to turn them into hats. Three easy steps:
  1. Turn the oven on the lowest temperature.
  2. Put the cups upside down on some cookie sheets.
  3. Bake them until they shrink down into little hats!

Adorable! I worry a little bit about being in the house with the smell of baking styrofoam, but they are so cute and fun, that I just can't help it.

The next day, I put one of the hats with a little gold coin on each kiddo's desk and a note from the leprechauns on the board.

When they come in, the kids are so excited about what the leprechauns left behind, and I get to enjoy how sweet and gullible they are. They really believe that the leprechuans came and they either ran away so fast that their hats fell off or that somehow the leprechauns were able to shrink the traps down to make hats.

I can only imagine their conversations at home at the end of the day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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