Leprechaun traps have gained in popularity as kids learn about simple machines and build interesting trap mechanisms to catch the leprechaun for Saint Patrick's day. Legend has it that if you capture one, he will grant you three wishes. However; he is tricksy and will try to get outwit you and get away.
When the kids came home from school talking about Leprechaun traps, I had no idea they were a thing. We did some planning and picked up a couple dowels and a small amount of hardware for hinges and the clasp.
Making leprechaun traps is a simple and fun project to get woodworking with kids. The one that we put together used dowels as bars. Getting the spacing for the holes drilled accurately was the most difficult part. Although it wasn't very difficult. After the positions for the holes were laid out, the drillpress quickly bored out the multiple holes to a consistent depth. A bit more care would be required for a handheld drill as verticle holes are necessary.
Using a jigsaw we cut out shamrocks to hold the handle. This turned out well and was a fun part of the project. A bandsaw, hand coping saw, or a scroll saw would also work out well for cutting out these two parts. Time (and skill!) permitting, I think these would be fun to spend more time on and carve in more details.
Another improvement would be to not have the hinge on the top of the leprechaun trap. While it does make for an easy trapping mechanism, it almost seems more like a carrying case for leprechauns.
It was a great woodworking project to get the kids into the shop and have them help with some of the various design and cutting decisions. The girls helped with the design, assembly, and some of the hand tool work. At the time they were too young to use any of the power tools.
I want to teach them how to work through problems and visualize projects. A simple woodworking project such as this one was a fantastic introduction. I'm hoping to come up with more fun projects to do with them.
If you have any questions about the leprechaun trap, want me to write up plans, or share a story of woodworking with kids, let me know.