Tag Archives: leprechaun science

Leprechaun Science Secrets – The Best Activities for St. Patrick's Day

During the month of March, everything starts to turn green, and not just the grass and trees. It’s leprechaun season. Time to catch a sneaky little devil who hides gold coins while wreaking havoc all over.

For years, we have shared our secret for surprising the kiddos on St. Paddy’s Day morning by turning all of the water green in your house. Just unscrew the screen in the faucet, place a blue and yellow Fizzy Tints True Color Tablet inside and carefully screw it back on. Wiping any drips. Don’t use Easter Egg coloring tablets – they will stain. In the morning, when the kids turn on the water, it will run green. You can also drop a few tablets in the toilet to turn that water green too.

But don’t stop there. Take the kids on a journey to explore all of the Leprechaun secrets. Uncover hidden rainbows, fish for Leprechauns with appearing green worms, use a little green magic to grow Leprechaun eggs and inflate a giant eight-foot long Leprechaun sandwich with only one breath.

If your kids like St. Patrick’s Day, they’ll love this Leprechaun Science kit – and you’ll enjoy the opportunity to conduct each of the activities with your young scientist. This kit comes complete with an activity guide and the scientific explanations behind all of the experiments. The all-in-one kit is only $34.99.

New this year – the Leprechaun-ologists at the Steve Spangler Science Labs have pulled together all of the best St. Patrick’s Day experiments and activities and put them in a downloadable PDF. This 21-page St. Patrick’s Day Science Experiment Guide contains additional experiments not found in the kit. Some experiments require science materials and others use stuff you can find around the house. (Psssst. Here’s another secret. Purchase the pdf and receive a discount for 20% off the Leprechaun Science Kit, if you miss today’s deal.) The PDF is available to download right now for only $5.00.

What does it teach?

The St. Patrick’s Day Science Experiment Guide uses different fields of science to capitalize on the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and make it a scientific learning experience that is fun and engaging.

  • Air movement and Bernoulli’s principle – The Leprechaun Bag
  • Light and refraction – Rainbow Glass and Leprechaun Eggs
  • Plants and movement of water – Color Changing Carnations
  • Polymers and water absorption – Leprechaun Snow and Green Worms
  • Design and fine motor skills – Leprechaun Footprints and Leprechaun Trap
  • Chemistry – Leprechaun Rainbow Milk and Leprechaun Treasure Polish
  • pH (acids and bases) – Magical Leprechaun Cabbage
  • Ultraviolet light and UV-reactive pigment – Rainbow Beads
  • Air movement and vacuums – Leprechaun Breakfast
  • Non-Newtonian fluids – Green Quicksand

Leprechaun Gardening – Shamrock Sprouts from Housing a Forest

When it comes to gardening, Leprechauns have a green thumb. That’s not to say that they really have a green-colored thumb (even though they do). It means that they are really good at growing plants. Leprechauns are so incredible at gardening that they don’t even need soil to grow their plants!

What You’ll Need

  • Sponge (Green would be an excellent choice)
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Seed packet (Lettuce, spinach, or broccoli work great)
  • Spray bottle
  • Water

Let’s Try It!

  1. Use a permanent marker to trace a clover shape on a dry sponge. You get to choose whether you want a standard, three-leaf shamrock, or a lucky, four-leaf clover. If you want to compare the two (you know, for magical properties), trace each shape on a different sponge.
  2. Use a strong pair of scissors to cut the shamrock shape out of the sponge. This step can be difficult, so make sure you are extra careful and have an adult helper on hand… just in case. If the sponge is proving especially tricky to cut, try dampening it.
  3. Once your shamrocks are cut, soak them in water. You want your sponge to be damp, but not dripping. If you need to, you can squeeze off some of the water.
  4. Scatter a packet of seeds on the surface of the shamrock and gently poke them into the holes of the sponge.
  5. Place the seeded shamrock sponge in a sunny window sill. Use a spray bottle filled with water to keep the sponge moist. Depending on the humidity where you live, you’ll need to spray the sponges 1-3 times a day.
  6. Keep track of your sponge shamrocks and observe them often. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire garden of vegetable sprouts on your magical clovers!

St. Patrick’s Secrets

Whoa… those plants are growing without any soil! How in the wide world of Leprechauns are they doing that?!? The secret isn’t actually Leprechaun magic. Plants can grow without actual soil, but they cannot grow without what soil provides: support, nutrients, an even supply of moisture and oxygen around their roots. The plants that you grow on the sponges are just sprouts, or a young shoot of a plant. These tiny plants have all the support they need from the tiny holes within the sponge. The sponge’s porous, water-holding nature provides the plants with the even supply of moisture they require, as well as plenty of oxygen around the roots of the plants. Finally, just like you, plants can’t grow without the nutrients and minerals they need! Thankfully, water provides these young sprouts with all of their nutrient and mineral needs during their young lives.

This activity came to us from Tammy at Housing a Forest. Thank you for letting us share your great St. Patrick’s Day activity!

Leprechaun Visits, Green Water and Lots of Mischief for St. Patrick's Day

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

It’s almost time for leprechauns, shamrocks and green water. Yes, it’s March and time for St. Patrick’s Day. If you are looking for some activities and fun things to do with your kids at home or students in the classroom, we have a few ideas.

Leprechaun Traps:

Start with a plan, maybe even diagram your design, then use Legos, cardboard boxes, popsicle sticks, PVC pipes, gold coins, Lucky Charms and green paint to make it come to life. Here is a trap that Steve made several years ago with his son using PVC pipe, gold water and a plastic cup. They spent a little too much time in Home Depot but their end result came out great.

Leprechaun Secrets: 

Did you know that leprechauns have more than one secret? They know where they have hidden the gold, but they also keep other secrets as well. The leprechaunologists at Steve Spangler Science (yes, we have a few on staff) have discovered the leprechauns’ hidden rainbows, leprechaun beads, leprechaun green worms and leprechaun eggs. Learn more about how to uncover these secrets yourself with our Leprechaun Science Kit at SteveSpanglerScience.com.

Leprechauns also know how to turn the water green at your house. Steve did this as well with his kids a few years ago. It’s as simple as waiting for the kids to go to bed and dropping a few color changing tablets into the toilet tank and faucet screen.

The leprechauns visit our house every year. In February, my daughters start planning their traps and getting excited about the visit on March 17th. They are sure they will catch a leprechaun and steal its gold. Somehow that never happens but the leprechauns wreak havoc in our house. Chairs are turned over, cabinet doors left open, pillows tossed around and the water is green. I turned the milk green one year but the food coloring does something to the milk and none of us could stand it, so I let the leprechauns know that green milk is not ok.

I change the water to green by dropping blue and yellow tablets into the toilet, then unscrewing the screens on the faucets and carefully placing a blue and yellow tablet in each before screwing it back on. You have to be careful because the screen is usually wet, which makes the water drip green into the sink. This trick is old hat in our house, so my girls wake up, run and turn on all the faucets and then check for the next surprise. How fun would this be if a teacher turned the water green in her classroom sink?

It has been difficult to come up with different ways the leprechauns can cause mischief.

They have left gold flecks (glitter) in a path across the floor, hidden gold chocolate coins, left disappearing eggs (Jelly Marbles in water), colored green carnations (food coloring and water in vase) and leprechaun soup mix. Leprechaun soup is actually Pistachio pudding mix. When you add milk to the mix, it turns green. No one really likes the flavor, so we tend to pitch it after a few days.

Baby Got Craft has a great idea for using the pistachio pudding mix in Leprechaun dust. Put a little pistachio mix into a baby food jar, add milk and shake. I like how each kid can make their own individual serving. She also made adorable labels for the jars. I wish I were that crafty.

This year, I want to try my hand at green eggs. Not sure I’ll be able to stomach it, but it should be fun for the girls. I also found necklaces at Target and gold coins. I found a few people on Pinterest who have left leprechaun footprints.  The Crafting Chicks have a great idea to make tiny footprints with their hands.

Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest St. Patrick’s board for lots of leprechaun traps and additional ideas for the holiday that aren’t necessarily science based.

What do you do for St. Patrick’s Day? Do you set traps or have leprechaun visits?

 

Science Secrets of Leprechauns Revealed

Next to Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day is a favorite holiday of mine. From the first year the leprechauns turned our water green, I have worked hard to uncover the secrets of the leprechauns.

My crack team of Leprechaun Specialists have discovered how the sneaky little guys turn water and snow green, lay eggs and uncover hidden rainbows.

The leprechaun science doesn’t end there. Leprechauns maybe small, but they eat large sandwiches. The secret is in an inflatable eight-foot sandwich bag that is blown up with only one breath. They also make jewelry out of leprechaun beads that change color in the sunlight.

Don’t forget to build your leprechaun trap this year and fish for leprechauns using green worms.

You can win your own Leprechaun Science Kit from Steve Spangler Science and Mile High Mamas >

We’d love to hear about your leprechaun tricks and traps. Please leave us a comment about how you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

It Turned Green! Cool Science Tricks for St. Patrick's Day

We never miss an opportunity to teach a little science… even on St. Patrick’s Day. From Leprechaun traps, to green water, to Leprechaun eggs, we know how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Spangler Science offices… and trust that none of us will ever forget the day the toilet and faucet water turned green. Sometimes your creativity spikes and you find gold (pun intended) when you wrap your mind around a specific theme. So, here are some of our favorite tips and tricks for infusing a little science and a lot of fun into St. Patrick’s Day.

Green SnowHere are just a few ideas to get your green juices flowing. If you already have science staples like Instant Snow polymer, True Colors tablets, UV Color Changing Beads or just some green food coloring, you’re well on your way to creating very cool Irish science experience.

Leprechauns Strike – Green Water – It’s not uncommon for those little Leprechauns to turn everything green… even the water coming out of your faucet. Here’s how it works.

Green Flowers – It’s as simple as adding a little green food coloring to the water, but the effect it has on a white carnation is very cool. As the colored water is absorbed, children will be able to see how the water is absorbed into the plant and the petals of the carnation change color. Here’s the tip to making it happen quickly… Leave the white carnations out of water for a few hours to make sure they’re thirsty. Give them a fresh cut and place them in warm water with lots of green food coloring. The water needs to be a very dark green color.

Green Instant Snow – Since everything else is green on St. Patrick’s Day, why shouldn’t the snow be green, too? You’ll need some Instant Snow powder, a few plastic cups, green food coloring and a stirring stick. Place 20-30 drops of green food coloring in an empty cup and add about a tablespoon (about 10 grams) of dry Insta-Snow powder to the cup. Use a stirring stick to mix the powder. The polymer will absorb the green food coloring, but it won’t fluff up. Add a few more tablespoons of the dry, white Insta-Snow powder to the green powder and continue to mix. Keep mixing in the dry Insta-Snow until you get the green color you want. When you’re ready to make green snow, place one teaspoon of dry, green Insta-Snow into a clean cup and add about 2 ounces (60 mL) of water. The erupting green show will be a huge hit!

Leprechaun Traps – This is just one example of a simple Leprechaun trap that might spark a new idea.

Rainbow Beads - At the end of every rainbow is a pot of gold? How about a bag of white beads and a pile of green pipe cleaners? It might not look very exciting, but there’s something magicial that happens when you step outside and look at the beads – that change color! It’s easy to make a bracelet out of a few of our Color-Changing UV Beads (also known as Energy Beads) by threading 5-10 beads onto a green pipe cleaner. While you’re indoors, the beads remain white, but when you step outside into the sunlight, the beads change color. The beads contain a special UV sensitive pigment that changes color when it’s exposed to sunlight. The beads will change back to their original white color when you come indoors. Given your creativity, you’ll be able to weave the magic tail.

How to Make Gold Pennies - When times are tough, even Leprechauns feel the pinch. What if that pot of gold was actually a handful of pennies. Not to worry… here’s a way to make gold pennies. (This is a chemistry activity that requires strong adult supervision and some chemical know-how.

Read about Leprechauns taking over the Spangler House!

Leprechaun Eggs

Leprechaun Eggs – Ever seen a Leprechaun egg? Neither have we… but if they laid eggs, they might be magical in their ability to vanish! You’ll need some of our Jelly Marbles and some green food coloring. Jelly Marbles start out looking like BBs but grow to the size of a big marbles when you add water. Place a teaspoon of Jelly Marbles into a bowl of water (1-2 liters) dyed with green food coloring.You’ll need to allow them to soak for at least 3 hours – overnight is even better. Once your Jelly Marbles have been in the water long enough they will have grown to an astonishing new size! And… they might look just like the kind of eggs a Leprechaun would lay!

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see them in the bowl of water – they’re hiding right below the surface. Reach into the water and find them (and the kids will go nuts!). Take out a handful of Leprechaun eggs and drop them back into the green water to watch them vanish. It’s the science of refraction… but just enjoy the fun of it today.