Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Outdoor Adventures: Fairy Houses by Erin Uda

Building fairy houses is a long-held tradition in many parts of Scotland, England, and New England. Legend says that fairies once lived all around us, but as people stopped believing, the fairies have retreated into their secret realm, coming out only when invited. Fairies are said to be nature-loving creatures, full of positive energy and love. Building a fairy house shows the fairies they’re welcome around you, and many say they’ve heard the faint sounds of laughing fairies once their houses are complete. Invite the spirit of nature and imagination into your home; build a fairy house today.
(Brooklyn's "Thinking Pose" on her "Thinking Stump")

It’s easier to gather the right materials if you take a moment to decide what kind of house you want to create. Sit down with your child(ren) and create a blueprint of what you want your house to look like.
Your house should reflect your personality: What do you want to tell the fairies about yourself? What shape should the house be? A box, cone, or cottage?

Talk about what kind of house you think your fairies will want. Do they like flowers, trees, water, or other items? Should you put plants and green things on your house? Should you build it all from wood to look like a tree? Should you build it from grasses, sticks and flowers so it feels light and colorful?

Be an artist, an architect and an interior designer. Think about what the fairies will need to live out in the woods. Talk about how the fairies don’t have any technology, but they live by using what they find around them.
Fairies love natural beauty. Look around to see what you can find in nature to build and decorate your creation. Gather flowers, sticks, leaves, seeds, nuts, bark, feathers, shells, pine cones, rocks, and anything else you can find. You could even brush your dog and use the hair to make a blanket or carpet! Remember to only use natural materials.
While you’re gathering, talk about good places to find each item. Smell the flowers and talk about the colors and designs, discuss what kind of nuts you found and what trees they come from.
You can also talk about what each item brings to your creation. What ‘energy’ does a piece of bark, a stone, or sand hold? Talk about water fairies, forest fairies, flower fairies, and other elements.

Remember to gather lots of flowers to decorate your fairy house and for the projects listed below, and look for easy to bend twigs, like willows or other soft wood to make the furniture.
Making a fairy house can be as simple as putting a small, fairy-like door at the base of a tree or as complicated as creating an entire mini-mansion, complete with furniture. The beauty is, you get to choose!
Once the frame of the house is built, make the inside inviting. Put up natural wallpaper, create furniture out of sticks and other items. Decorate with flowers, feathers, shells, or fur. Try using flower petals or sea glass to create fairy stained glass windows. Use twigs to create furniture for your house (beds, chairs, tables). Use leaves and flowers to make a blanket, or find some soft materials like corn silk or dog hair. If desired, decorate your house with fairy figurines to encourage visits, or leave something shiny to catch their attention.
Watch for fairies as you work. Ask questions: Do you see fairies out of the corner of your eye when the wind blows? What do the fairies think of your creation? What will they do in your new house?
You can work together with your child(ren) to create one large house, or you can each make your own. Don’t be afraid to make more than one, and if you have time, create a fairy garden around your fairy house or village.
When finished, place your creations in a natural area – maybe in your garden or a shady area under some trees or near flowers.
Experiment with different materials and watch the magic of your imagination come out along with the fairies. Be sure to come back often to see if anyone has visited your fairy house.
After the house is nestled away, help your child(ren) write a story, poem or song about how they felt while they were making it, or what they hope will happen in their fairy house.
If they’ve invited friends over to help them build, host a fairy tea party! Ask the girls to come over in fairy outfits (ballet items come in handy), make your own fairy wings and paint your faces with some glitter make-up. Then sit at a table and eat finger sandwiches, drink pink kool-aid and tell stories about fairies.
If you’re looking for an item to send home with the girls, press some of the flowers you collected and turn them into bookmarks or other fun crafts. Or, you can try your hand at THESE fun handmade fairies!

Recommended Book List:
  • The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies, Cicely Mary Barker
  • How to Find Flower Fairies, Cicely Mary Barker
  • Flower Fairies Paper Dolls, Cicely Mary Barker
  • Fairyopolis: A Flower Fairies Journal, Cicely Mary Barker
  • Magical Secret Garden, Amanda Li
  • Lavender’s Midsumer Mix-Up, Kay Woodward
  • Fairy Houses… Everywhere!, Tracy Kane and Barry Kane
  • Fairy Houses of the Maine Coast, Maureen Heffernan
  • Celia and the Fairies, Karen McQuestion
  • In the Realm of the Never Fairies: Secret World of Pixie Hollow, Monique Peterson
  • The Fairy Bible: The Definitive Guide to the World of Fairies, Teresa Moorey

1 comment:

  1. Oh I will for SURE be doing this one with my girls! Absolute perfect activity for them!