I’ve already gushed about my lifelong love of forts and how I consider fort-building to be the original STEM challenge, but for many years my children have preferred an outdoor STEM challenge of much tinier proportions.
Fairy House STEM
My children adore constructing fairy houses, the tinier the better!
We live in New Hampshire. This is the land of Tracy Kane and her fantastic fairy houses. My children are huge Tracy Kane fans. We love the film Kristen’s Fairy House and every single one of Kane’s books. We love the Kane-inspired fairy house tours that happen locally; they are among our most favorite field trips. If you ever have the opportunity to go on a fairy house tour, you must!
To say that Kane’s work has inspired my children would be an understatement. Her books, tours, and DVD have ignited creativity and imagination.
Our backyard woods is a treasure trove of fairy houses. Each spring, their creations become more elaborate. Their creations this year have been especially impressive. They now have a fairy kingdom! Together, with their worry dolls that double as fairies, they while away the hours lost in play.
How to Make Your Own Fairy Village:
If you are a Kane follower, you know that traditional fairy houses are made out of natural materials only. One must search long and hard to find the perfect supplies!
- Take time to collect your materials. Bring a backpack on family hikes and collect items over time.
- Or, do it all in one fell swoop. Spend the morning gathering necessary items.
- Find the perfect location. Fairies like to be hidden away, safe from predators!
Now, we used to be Fairy House purists and use only all-natural materials but recently we’ve cheated.
A couple weekends ago, my husband was working and Kara and I had plans to record our first podcast . I needed the kids to be quiet and it was a gorgeous day, so we went to our local dollar store and spend about $15 on fairy-related items such as beads, gems, artificial flowers, seashells, and pinwheels. We also found some unused flower pots in our attic and incorporated those into our design plan as well.
The kids spend the entire morning creating, lost in play, while Kara and I spent the morning playing around with our very first podcast! When Kara and I had finished, I was amazed at the creativity that had happened in our backyard. Here is a recent tour that Leo gave. You might need some Dramamine to watch it, so be forewarned!
Fairy House Resources:
It is easy to make your very own fairy house village. All you need is a little inspiration and a dollop of imagination and you’re good to go! Here are some of our favorite books on the topic.
Kids and Nature Resources:
As homeschoolers, we all fall victim to the doubt and worry (Should I be doing something else instead… Did we do enough…). Of course, math and reading are important, but do not underestimate the power of play in a child’s development and later success.
I believe that fairy houses are educational. Why? Because children are creating outdoors, learning about the natural world, building those STEM skills, and- above all- playing. If you need a little convincing, check these out: