The tradition of building fairy houses appears to have originated from a cluster of islands off Coastal Maine, USA.
“It is thought that fairies first left Tir na nog, the land of eternal youth, about 65 million years ago, to help heal the earth from the devastating effects of the asteroid impact that plunged the world into darkness and chaos. It is believed that the origin of the four fairy clans – air, water, fire and tree fairies – can be traced to this time. As little as 10,000 years ago, fairies are said to have been living commonly and openly in the Irish and Welsh countryside, serving as healers and holding fairy court where accused violators of natural law could be heard and reprimanded. These “fairy circles,” as they are called, evolved into community gathering places where important events such as the turning of the four seasons and the birth of the full moon are celebrated.” (see Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens)
Towards the end of 2013, our preschool commenced activity on the creation of a large outdoor fairy garden. This will be the focus of a future blog post as soon as it has been completed. Unfortunately, in a not-for-profit preschool environment, we have to live by the motto ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, as finances are often tight.
In a corner of this large fairy garden, we have a miniature fairy garden housed in an old wheel barrow. The children adore the wheel barrow garden and demonstrate a deep reverence for its presence. Their imaginations often work overtime as they conjure up images of the rambunctious small folk activity that goes on in this wee garden at night when the playground lies empty and bathed in moonlight. Several children race to this corner of the playground everyday on their arrival just to ascertain if there is any evidence or clues as to the late night antics of the fairies and pixies.
On one such morning, a group of children decided that the fairies were really in need of a fairy home, a place where they could be safe and comfortable. They talked excitedly about how they might be able to make one and determined the materials that they would need. They located sticks and paper-bark and began the process of building. There were a lot mathematical conversations involved in their endeavours as they determined the length of sticks they required, the size of the paper-bark pieces they would need and the overall shape of the structure. Their problem-solving skills were put to good use as they worked with materials that didn’t always respond to their expectations. The children eventually requested string and scissors as a means of securing the materials together. Creating knots was a new skill for the children to master.
On completion, B. determined that the fairy house needed decorating and searched the playground for suitable materials.
The following day, the children decided that the fairy house was in need of a door. The fairies clearly needed some privacy and protection from the elements.
So construction continued. They determined that the T-pee style house would need a triangular shaped door and searched for suitably sized sticks.
A few drops of rain certainly didn’t hamper their progress.
Paper-bark was woven through the triangular shape and the door was securely tied onto the house.
Perfect! A job well done. Now to see what the fairies think of their new home.
I recently purchased this gorgeous little book overflowing with delightful images of fairy houses created from found natural materials. I think the children are going to love it!