Welcome to my Fairy Garden

A couple of weeks ago I taught a class for children about fairies. It was a great experience and the kids loved it! We got to play outside, do sketches, learn more about fairies and how they help us and make Fairy Houses!

Making the Fairy Houses was the part that everyone enjoyed the most, including me! I even had one of the staff members from the store come in just to join us to make them. The boys worked diligently and it was neat to watch what everyone created. I had provided a variety or materials for them such as popsicle sticks, twigs, glass beads, tin foil, etc. to create whatever they wanted.

I was really excited about these Fairy Houses as I had seen some in Greengate Garden Center and thought it was a fabulous idea. They had all kinds with miniatures to add, but I found them to be expensive. Then when I was searching on the internet I found ideas to make your own and I liked how they used natural materials to make them. This was also a less expensive way to go and I could easily make more than one. So I incorporated into my class.

Unfortunately I did not get a chance to finish it in the class so I brought it home incomplete. I had intentions of getting back to it to finish it up but seemed to be unable to. Finally yesterday I sat down with the twins while they played play doh (I love that stuff) and finished making my house. I was very happy with how it turned out and immediately put it out in the garden. Now when I go by and see it it makes me smile and the kids love it too. I think we might just have to make some more…

 

 

Playing with the Fairies

As a child, growing up fairies were not uncommon. They were in our books and stories and parents would often refer to them as helpers of some kind or another. Magical, whimsical creatures that are playful and fun, yet can also be mischeivious.

As I grew up I never thought much about it until I embarked on my spiritual path and started learning more about Angels, Fairies and other realms. It’s all pretty fascinating and if you choose to believe and work with them, can be quite magical.

Fairies are the protectors of animals and the environment. They are wonderful healers, helpers and help us to remember the importance of play. Though they are the most abundant outside they can also reside inside as well. They love lush, wild and natural gardens and will help you create a beautiful garden if you wish (among many other things).

Children especially can relate to and connect with the Fairies. Because they are so open, creative, imaginative and accepting with pure hearts full of love, the fairies often easily connect with children.

A great way to welcome fairies to your garden or home is to create fairy houses – and whether you choose to believe in them or not, this is a great craft for the kids that is lots of fun and can add wonderful decor to your garden.

In fact I taught a class last weekend with children about fairies and we made our own fairy houses. In a class full of only boys they were focused and engaged for 45 minutes making their houses with great attention and detail. I was also so excited about it I started my own fairy house, which is not quite finished yet.

You can make your house out of pretty much anything but here’s what you need to get started:

popsicle sticks

white glue

glue gun (for use with adult supervision please)

small glass beads – clear or colored 

twigs

leaves

acorns or pinecones

play doh or clay

small pieces of bark

small stones

tin foil

For the base you can either make four walls out of popsicle sticks or you can take twigs and glue crossing over each other, log cabin style. This is how I started my house and then made a popsicle stick roof. Basically what you want to do is create a base for your house, four walls and a roof and then decorate it adding in things like a stone chimney (toilet paper roll with small stone glued to it and put on the roof), glass beads to outline doors and windows, clay to cover the roof and give it texture, etc. Get creative!

 

You can either have the kids sit down and design their house first on paper or if they like to create as they go along that works too. What I did was take the kids outside to create their design and then gather materials to make their house. They gathered things like leaves, twigs and small stones – I had brought old branches from my raspberry bush – to make their houses. The more natural materials you can use the better as the fairies will appreciate it! Also ensure that you are not picking live things to create your house, gather things that are already on the ground.

Whatever the kids come up with will be beautiful and appreciated. You can also make a house within your garden by building around existing trees and bushes, setting up paths, etc. And the fun part is putting it in your garden and then watching for signs of the fairies coming there!

For more information and ideas on how to make a fairy house check out these websites http://www.fairyhouses.com/about-fairy-houses/how-to-build/ http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Fairy-House

For more information about the Fairies I’d recommend Fairies 101 by Doreen Virtue. This is a very easy read and a great introduction to them and what they are all about.

And if the kids want to come join us in our class it is once a month at Angels Embrace in Okotoks. It’s called the Kids Angel Club and we learn and do all kinds of fun things!

Luke and Chloe’s First Hike

Giant Cedars Trail

One of the great things about children is that if you introduce things to them when they are little they usually just accept it. They approach everything with wonder and delight, curiousity and a willingness to try.

When you introduce it at a young age they do not have the fears or hang ups that we do as adults, the beliefs that we can’t or shouldn’t, or the stubborness to refuse what you are suggesting because they ‘don’t want to’. This is one of the beautys of being a child and spending time with a child. They remind us to try it all and to move forward fearlessly because you never know what joys you are going to experience.

We have introduced things early on with all of our children, in many things, but specifically in introducing camping and hiking to them; all at around the age of 2. Matthew’s first hike was the Fenland Trail in Banff, a 2 km loop through a lush forested area. He completed it easily and then we did another short hike after lunch that day. I think he did 5 km total that day and he was only 2 or 3.

Luke and Chloe’s first hike was a few weeks ago on our way to visit my parents in Oliver, BC. We had stopped for lunch at the Giant Cedars trail in Mt. Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia. There was a picnic area and washrooms to use and after our tummies were full, we went for a walk along the trail.

The Giant Cedars trail is an easy, self guided, 500 m loop with some of the oldest trees in the Columbia Mountains. Featuring the largest western red cedars and dark brown western hemlocks, this boardwalk trail is lush, green and alive. As soon as you enter the trail you can feel the warmth and comfort of a such an old forest.

Chloe taking the stairs at the beginning of the trail

It is a great trail for kids with lots to discover and explore. There are benches along the way so you can sit and relax, enjoying the serene atmosphere and the magic of an old growth forest. Both Chloe and Luke effortlessly went up the stairs that start the trail. Chloe was delighted by the little brook flowing by and would stop every time she saw water. She would scream in delight, “water!” and then bend over, hands on her thighs to take a closer look.

Devil's Club

We meandered along the trail checking things out, the Giant Devil’s Club, the nurse logs and fungi. We read the interpretive signs at different points along the trail describing the age of the trees (over 500 years old), the animals who live there, such as bats, bears and caribou; and how they all make up an important and healthy functioning ecosystem.

Luke was very excited about the fairies which he shared were in their houses; which he told me were the splits in the trees or under the lush underbrush. Both Luke and Chloe walked the whole way, with Chloe stopping to hug and kiss trees and Luke checking out the flowers. Matthew of course ran the trail, cause as usual he had energy to burn. It took us half an hour to do the trail, but is typically done in 15-20 minutes, depending on how fast you move along the trail and if you stop to linger.

Fairy Houses

It is a great place to relax and unplug for a while, to just sit and soak up the atmosphere. It is also a super easy hike for kids and will be a great first or early experience for them.

Hugging a tree

The key to hiking with kids to make their first experiences easy (short enough that they can walk it without feeling tired or have to be carried), achievable (something that they can do all by themselves without feeling discouraged at the end), interesting (lots of things to see, check out and explore) and in proper footwear. Now I would not run out and buy hiking boots for my 2 year old, but it is a good idea to ensure that they have sturdy, closed toed shoes, like runners. If you make their first experiences enjoyable and memorable than they will quickly and easily develop a love for hiking (and an appreciation for their natural environment) as they grow up.