A favorite childhood fantasy right in your own backyard
You can inspire your child’s imagination in your own backyard and connect them to nature at the same time! Children enjoy stories about fairies and elves and creating a home for them utilizing natural materials is a fun way to keep them busy and allow their imagination to bloom!
Making Elf and Fairy Houses
You can make them anywhere using materials you find in the yard or in a park. Ideas are fallen leaves, fruit, bark, seeds, nuts, sticks, moss, stones or anything your children find interesting. Follow these steps to help your child create on on his or her own.
- Find an appropriate spot to build the houses such as between the roots of a tree, beside a log, among a pile a stones or beside a boulder. Allow your child to choose a spoton their own.
- Allow your child to arrange the materials into a house they envision in their imagination.
- You can help them add walkways, windows, fencing, doors, and a even a garden.
- As children search and play they will become familiar with the natural materials and develop an awareness of the never-ending process of growth and decay as they find rotting leaves or chewed nuts.
- Allow them plenty of time to create whatever they want.
- Choose somewhere they can return to easily. Their play can be ongoing over time and they may create an entire village.
- Try visiting different environments where they can collect different types of materials.
- Make sure everyone washes their hands when finished!!
I introduced this activity to my children and my five-year old daughter was enthralled. She was so involved that she forgot to ask me to play tag or hide n’ seek, which is a daily favorite. My two-year-old son enjoyed copying my daughter and made little piles with his collected materials and he beamed with pride. We were outside until dusk and I had to drag them inside!
You can look forward to watching their little village grow over the next several weeks and then be buried under the first snowfall. It will be especially exciting to rediscover it next spring when it magically appears again after the snow melts.
You can end the day with a fun romp in the giant leaf pile. The perfect end to a perfect day outdoors.
Warning: Do not let your children collect fungi or berries that could be poisonous. If there is any question in your mind a “no touch” policy is best.