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You're In Luck: Leprechaun Footprints Are Super Easy

Take a step in a festive direction.

Originally Published: 
A mother and daughter celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
Anna Bizon/Getty

Celebrating any holiday can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a great source of stress on moms who are trying their hardest to make each occasion extra special for their kiddos. St. Patrick’s Day is no exception to that rule. Fortunately, there are a few really cute things you as a parent can do to make the day memorable, or perhaps even, magical. This includes making leprechaun footprints for your little ones to find in the morning — serving as proof that your household did, in fact, have tiny visitors whizzing through the house the previous night. And, as luck would have it, leprechaun footprints are actually super simple to make and to clean up (so long as you use the correct kind of paint, of course).

As a mom myself, I know how sacred free time can be. You love your children more than anything, but at the same time, you need (and deserve) some time for yourself, which means you may not want to spend a huge chunk of your “me” time creating elaborate holiday gimmicks — especially when there is Netflix to be watched! That’s a huge part of what makes creating leprechaun footprints so appealing. It’s quick. It’s simple. And as a bonus, it’s easy to clean up. Besides, the world right now can feel like a very un-magical place. If being a little extra in the name of your kids’ happiness brings you joy, unleash your inner leprechaun.

Bottom line: It gives your kids a cherished childhood memory without leaving you exhausted from all the effort. Talk about a win-win! Here’s all you have to do.

What are leprechaun footprints?

In case this is something you’ve never heard about before, the gist is to create a trail of tiny, green footprints in your house on the night before Saint Patrick’s Day that your child will stumble across in the morning. This gives the impression that a leprechaun came to your home during the night to drop off some goodies (and maybe even cause a little mischief). It’s somewhat similar to the whole Elf on the Shelf concept, but you don’t get to see the leprechaun — just his teeny-tiny footsteps.

How do you make leprechaun feet?

First and foremost, you want to make sure you get your hands on some green, washable fingerpaint. Washable is the crucial word here unless you want a seriously unfortunate mess on your hands (and your floor… and your walls). Then you take your hand and make a fist, paint the pinky side of said fist green, and stamp that part of your fist onto whatever surface you want the footprints to appear (hardwood floor, paper, windows, etc.). Finally, just add the toes at the top using your pinky finger.

It’s really that simple! However, if you’re more of a visual person and would prefer to see it done, check out this helpful tutorial video below:

Is there any other alternative to paint?

Then again, maybe you just aren’t comfortable with using paint, even if it’s washable, on any part of your home (especially green paint, which isn’t exactly a subtle color). That’s perfectly fine. Another option would be to buy leprechaun footprint stickers and leave a path of them somewhere that’s easy to find. Depending on how old your child is, they may be able to spot the sticker line to know you planted the footprints there, but it’s still a cute, fun alternative that’s completely mess-free and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to pull off.

The important thing to remember is that this is supposed to be fun. So do whichever option feels best (and easiest) for you. At the end of the day, it’ll result in you having another cherished memory with your child — and there’s nothing that feels much luckier than that.

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