Make a Magic Leprechaun Pouch
Now that you're dealing with a fourth grader, you might as well resign yourself: talk about leprechauns and you're going to see some serious eye-rolling. But knowing the “truth” doesn't mean a kid can't still have some fun on St. Patrick's Day, especially if it means doing a little magic for some younger kids. Here's a variation of a classic trick in which your kid can make a message “appear” in a pouch out of thin air (well, almost). Check it out!
What You Need:
- Two 9 "x 12” pieces of green felt, 1 piece white
- Craft glue or hot glue gun
- Gold stick-on jewels
- Thin white yarn
- Embroidery needle
- Regular green thread (it should match the color of green felt)
- Standard needle
- Pouch template (download here)
- Lightweight white paper and gold marker
- One flat, gold-foil wrapped chocolate coin
What You Do:
- Download the pouch templates. Cut one long rectangular piece from a piece of green felt, and then cut one each from the two circle templates.
- Cut about 36 inches of yarn, and thread it through the eye of an embroidery needle. Double the yarn and make a knot at the end.
- Hold the green felt rectangle horizontally, and then pull the ends together to make a tube. Use the white thread to whipstitch them together, like this:
- Now turn the tube inside out, and sew the wider of the two circles to one end, to make a bottom for your pouch, like this:
- Turn the whole pouch inside out again. Now you've got a bottom on your bag, and if you look inside you'll see the seam you just made. Now it's time to make your "magic" pouch bottom. Place a bead of glue along the seam, only two-thirds of the way around, like this:
- Place the smaller circle on top of the big one, so that it's glued securely along two-thirds of the circumference of the circle, but one-third is unattached. This will be your "secret flap."
- Now, decorate the front of your pouch with a shamrock design, using the stick-on felt hearts, the gold stick-on jewels, and gold glitter paint, like this:
- Thread your embroidery needle with another 30 inches of white yarn. Double the yarn and make a knot at the end. Next, sew big white stitches in a circle, about 1 inch below the very top of the bag. Leave several inches at each end, and clip. This will be the "drawstring" for your pouch!
- Cut a 2” x 4” strip of the white paper and have your fourth grader write a “lucky leprechaun” message for a little kid or for anyone he'd like to show this magic trick. Since this is fourth grade, and kids are studying literary devices, seize the “lucky leprechaun” moment and have your child use alliteration (when every word begins with the same letter) when writing his message. Here's a message, for example, using the letter "L." “Look! Lovely leprechauns like little kids like YOU!” If you're doing this magic fan for a chocolate lover, you might also insert the flat gold-foil coin as well.
- Now you're ready for the magic. Have your child carefully insert the paper between the two bottom layers of the magic pouch. Then he should hold the pouch open so that it looks completely empty. Say, “See? Nothing here but air. But if I call a leprechaun, I can get a magic reply!” Tell your magician to make a big show of holding the bag up, and saying a bit of blarney to call upon some leprechaun “magic.” Then, he can reach into the bag, and pull out the paper and chocolate coin that are inside. He'll then read them ceremoniously and hand over the chocolate. So what if leprechauns aren't quite real. For folks ofall ages, they can still bring marvelous message magic (and provide your kid chance to practice alliteration, too!).
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.