Fairy Houses 101
Objective: If there were to be one art project to create with kids that wins the award for our absolute most favorite of all time, it is hands down, no questions asked… outdoor fairy house building! Really nothing else even comes close. Eight years ago, our love of fairy houses started when we were given the honor of creating an installation for the Florence Griswold’s Wee Faerie Village exhibition, along with 100 4th grade students. As the days warm up, head outside and let your very own backyard (or beach, garden, forest, or playground) become your inspiration. This is a wonderfully playful, crafty AND problem-solving activity for every age.
- Start collecting natural materials: pinecones, pieces of loose bark, acorns, assorted sticks, leaves and grasses, mosses, stones, seashells, feathers, etc… Each season will yield a different collection of items.
- Start with finding a location: a plant pot, a nook in a tree, a corner of a garden, an old stump, a rock wall, etc…. Remember that fairies like hidden, sheltered locations
- Get building! There is no wrong way to make a Fairy House!
- Experiment with how different materials can be used: pine cone sections turn into roof tiles, 2 sticks placed in the ground with a leaf strung in between makes a great hammock, a shell upside down could be a bathtub, the top of an acorn makes a great bowl… The more details you can think of the better!
- View the art of Andrew Goldsworthy and his use of natural materials in his incredible installations.
- Check out the book entitled Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane. It’s a great prompt for engaging in nature made art and provides ideas for how to incorporate materials from each season into your construction.
- Have your child tell you all about the fairies that inhabit the structure he/she built. Perhaps they built a fairy bakery, or hair salon, or a restaurant. Maybe a mischievous fairy lives there. Maybe they built a fairy size castle for the king and queen! Help them write a story about the characters they imagined.
- Check back each day to see how the fairy house weathered. Maybe it was knocked over in the wind (time to build another) or maybe a ladybug moved in overnight! You never know.