Easy to Make Mini Leprechaun Hats for St. Patrick’s Day


Hi Friends,

I have been pinning a lot of St. Patrick’s Day ideas to my Pinterest board.  I had seen this idea several times for making mini leprechaun hats from styrofoam cups.  This idea has been floated around for a while but it is still fun and there are new littles learning about St. Patrick’s Day each year.  I tested the cooking time 3 different times in hopes of giving you the best directions.  The cups I used were from the Dollar Tree. If you can’t find the Mini Cups you can use regular-size coffee styrofoam cups the directions are the same!

leprechauns hats from styrofoam cups

Making the Leprechaun Hats

The oven must be preheated to 250 degrees before cooking. This is essential but I’m getting ahead of myself!  First, decorate the cups with permanent markers.  If you are worried about the littles getting permanent marker on their hands have them hold the cup with a small baggie over their hand.


They should be decorated in all sorts of fun colors and designs! St. Patrick’s Day is a magical day.  The markers must be permanent!!!  After they decorate place the cups somewhere fairly obvious in the classroom.  You can tell the children they are decorating them for a craft but don’t mention hats.  After school gather up the cups and take them home.  Leave a little mess behind.  The next day someone will notice the “stolen” cups.  Then the mystery begins,,,,

At home preheat your oven to 250 degrees.  I have seen various cook times for these hats.  If the oven is preheated you need between 3-5 minutes. I just plopped down in front of the oven and watched the cups.  As I said I tested the time three different times.  The picture below is after 4 minutes in the oven.  Some folks have mentioned the smell of the styrofoam cooking I did not find it bad at all.  In fact, this brand of cup had very little odor.  You must keep an eye on these while they are baking. None of mine stuck to the pan whether it was a dark or light pan.  They cool very quickly.

leprechaun hats from styrofoam cups

This is a picture of the baked decorated leprechaun hats next to the same bananas to give you some perspective on the size.

mini leprechaun hats made from styrofoam cups

Of course, the leprechaun hats should magically appear on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day after the leprechauns have visited your classroom!  The children will be amazed and it will be even better if they find some gold chocolate coins or some Skittles under the hats.

If you would like to learn more about the science behind rainbows check out this post!

I hope you enjoy making these hats with your littles!

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Hello and welcome to Science is for Kids! I’m Sarah, the author, and I’m glad you dropped by to visit my site. I love providing teaching ideas for elementary science teachers, and here, you’ll find my favorite lessons and resources to make learning science fun for kids. You can visit my About Me page to learn more.


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