Fairy gardens are something that has seem to catch on in popularity lately. These whimsical garden displays can be elaborate or simple, and they add a bit of fun to normal green space. What is fun about these gardens is that they can be personalized to specific tastes, with some gardeners creating magical worlds with an amazing amount of detail.
As a summer activity, the LO and I set out to create our own fairy garden for our daily “project”. To begin, she and I went to Jo Anne Fabric where they sell an array of fairy garden items. Together, we selected four small pieces that we would use in our garden at home. In an effort to give her a sense of ownership to the project, I would hold up two items and ask her which one she thought we should purchase. By doing this, she may feel more invested in the “project” and develop a sense of responsibility for it. After we chose our fairy garden items, we went off to Home Depot to purchase potting soil, plants, and the vessel that would house our garden. While I had hoped to create an herb fairy garden that would serve a dual purpose, we settled on a few green ground covers and a white Begonia that she selected.
Upon our return to our house, I found a few articles online that describe what a fairy garden is. While she ate her lunch, I read them to her; and we discussed the things we would need to complete ours, what plants need, etc. If I had planned this out a little more, I would have taken her to the local library to find a book on fairy gardens, fairies, or gardens that we could have prelude this activity with. While she napped, I placed the plants into our clay pot. When she woke, I had her help me scoop out the soil and place it into the pot. Then together we discussed where to place our fairy objects, as well as a few corks I had that serve as “stepping stones” in our miniature world. The final touch was explaining that plants need water, and having her water garden (something I hope to get her in the habit of daily).
All in all this is an easy way to spend a summer day. As previously mentioned, this project can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be. If she were a bit older, I would try to have her draw pictures or write short stories about her garden and the happenings of her little “sprite” world. Activities such as this are good sense they build language and fine motor skills, promote a sense of ownership and responsibility, and introduce LOs to research and planning tactics.