The Frugal OT Series: Little Leprechaun

March’s Dollar Tree Activity of the Month: Little Leprechaun

As a child, I marveled at the tale of the leprechaun. According to Irish legend, a leprechaun is a type of fairy that is short in stature, usually bearded, and wears a green suit and hat. They are shoemakers who live in the forest. Leprechauns are thought to be tricky little fellows who are delighted by mischief. The story states that every leprechaun has his very own pot of gold that he hides in the Irish countryside. He must give his fortune to anyone clever enough to capture him. He’s not easy to catch though. As legend has it, the leprechaun is very sneaky and can vanish in the wink of an eye. This fun craft pays homage to the Irish legend. A great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while working on fine motor skills. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local Dollar Tree.

Skills Addressed:

  • bilateral coordination
  • eye-hand coordination
  • spatial relations
  • grasping skills (pincer and 3-jaw chuck or tripod)
  • visual scanning and tracking skills
  • executive functioning skills (focus attention, remember multi-step directions, initiate and follow through with the task)

Dollar Tree Supplies Needed:

orange pom poms

large craft sticks

google eyes

green paint

black ribbon

orange pipe cleaners

Staples Needed:

scissors

tape

Dollar Tree Supplies Needed
Staples Needed

How To Make Little Leprechauns:

It is always helpful to present the child with a model so that they can see what you expect them to do.

  • Align 5 craft sticks vertically.
  • Glue another craft stick over the top of them horizontally. This will be the brim of the hat (I did this ahead of time to allow time to dry).
  • Paint the brim of the hat (horizontal craft stick) and the tops of the 5 craft sticks green.
  • Glue two googly eyes under the hat being sure to leave enough room for the brows.
  • Cut a pipe cleaner into equal parts. Mold them into the shape of an eyebrow and glue one above each eye.
  • Draw a nose and mouth.
  • Cut a piece of black ribbon and wrap it above the brim of the hat. Glue the ribbon to the back of the hat.
  • Cut out a small rectangle using yellow paper and glue it onto the middle of the ribbon to make a buckle.
  • Make the beard by gluing two pom poms on the end of each stick.

Viola! You have a leprechaun!

Little Leprechaun

How To Offer the “Just Right” Challenge:

Grade Down (Make it Easier)

For younger or less skilled children:

  • Eliminate the cutting demands by using a gold bead or another form of embellishment to make the buckle.
  • Draw lines on the pipe cleaner indicating where to cut it to make even parts.
  • Place dots of glue where the googly eyes should be placed.
  • Draw the face in pencil and have them trace over it with a marker.
Grade Up (Make it Harder):

For older or more skilled children:

  • Strengthen fine motor skills by using orange tissue paper or construction paper instead of pom poms. Have the child tear the paper and crumble it into small pieces. Glue the crumpled paper onto the bottom of the sticks to make the beard.
  • Draw more elaborate facial features.  

Little Leprechaun

Looking for more St. Patty’s Day Fun?

This activity pulls a few Dollar Tree Finds from the archives Frugal OT March 2021 Lil’ Pot of Gold. You’ll need gold coins and cute little pots. See below:

Dollar Tree Supplies Needed

In this activity, children are tasked with helping the leprechaun collect his gold. They’ll be delighted to become an appointed steward of the leprechaun’s treasure! The following skills are addressed in this activity:

  • in-hand manipulation skills: Translation is the ability to move objects from the palm of one’s hand to the fingertips and from the fingertips to the palm. By ages 6 to 7, children are typically able to manipulate and secure multiple small objects within their hands. 
  • eye-hand coordination
  • visual scanning and tracking skills
  • left to right progression

Check out this activity in action in the video below:

Help the Leprechaun Collect His Gold

Would you like to do this activity with your kiddos? You can download the free PDF by clicking the button below.

As always, have fun!

Disclaimer: 

The Fun Strokes blog is designed for educational and informational use only for teachers, therapists, and parents. It is not intended as medical advice or therapeutic treatment that would be provided in an individualized treatment plan. If you suspect a child has delays, please consult an occupational therapist.

Published by Linda Craig Dennis

Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Author and Creator of Fun Strokes Pre-writing Program

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