OK practical penny pinching parents and grandparents, looking for a way to trot through the dog days of summer with your kids? Well when we see the first fireflies they always remind us of the fairies and so this year we decided to build a fairy house, or teepee in this case. We kept it simple, but they can be as elaborate as your imagination care to go.
Now fairies, or faeries you might say, don’t need much, but I’ve read they do prefer protection from the elements, a nice bed, a little water, and perhaps a flower or two. I find that children of all ages are more in tuned to fairy needs that I am, so they of course are the primary consultants.
Here are the materials we used, found in and around our house, as I’m sure you’ll find similar in yours.
- 6 bamboo sticks which we snapped to match in size, chopsticks would work too.
- Green twine– but rope, thread, yarn, string, any of these would work.
- One yellow baby t-shirt, with the sleeves cut off, and cut half way up the middle as the opening for the door. We also cut a blanket, pillow and towel out of this shirt, a 3 year olds idea.
- Flowers, and leaves, to decorate
- Small pebbles for a path
- A little cup to offer the fairy water
So, pull together several sticks, teepee style and bind at the top with your chosen cord. Open the base of the bound sticks up and push into the dirt. These can also be made indoors or in a flower pot, since fairies also live in large cities. (-: Then you or the children can cut the sleeves off the T Shirt and cut a line up the middle for the door. I cut out an upside down V shape so the door would remain open.
Now that your structure is built you can decorate with flowers and greenery, or jewelry and things that shine to get the attention of the little creatures. Children have good intuition for these types of things. My small daughter asked me to make a blanket and pillow out of the shirt and she found a leaf for a bed. Then she made a small book for the fairy to read. And my son collected small rocks for a path and found wires in case we wanted to wire it up for electricity. Afterward my daughter brought her own small dolls to explore it.
Elsie Wright with a fairy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I love this project so much for many reasons. For one, it was what I liked to do as a child. It makes a child consider what’s important to them for comfort. It’s more diverse than just blocks; it seems and looks real. It takes problem solving skills and patience and creativity. Also it can take a half hour to set up, or it can be the beginning to a long term project. It’s like a self made story unfolding and really holds my children’s attention for a long time. And it’s a great way for an adult to enter a childs world on their terms.
I’d love to hear about your Fairy Homes! Please let us know.