Literacy-Inspired Fairy Garden

For our fairy garden this year, we decided to try and make our children’s favorite stories come to life for them.
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Of course, before we could build castle, a hobbit hole, and a viking village, we had to plant a garden.¬†Due to our current living situation, we wanted the garden to be fairly mobile however we didn’t want to sacrifice size for the sake of mobility. The answer seemed to be this barrel planter with handles. Large yet mobile.
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To reduce weight and make it easier to move the garden about, I lined the bottom of the barrel with empty soda cans.
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For drainage, I put a layer of sand at the bottom of the barrel.
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Then we got to the real garden fixtures: dirt and plants.
We tried to pick plants that resembled trees and shrubs, which mostly ended up being herbs, although we did use some small flowers to fill out the gaps.
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I had a little help from SunnyGirl deciding where to place the plants around the garden.
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We also cut the tops off a couple 2-liter soda bottles and used them to outline areas within the garden for a beach and lake.
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I’m sure Sunnygirl and LittleMan would have been content with the garden at this point. A safe place to explore plants and dirt. To dig and build.
Gardens are wonderful in those ways.
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Fairy gardens offer all the same benefits of gardening for children, with also the added benefits of small world play. So once the garden was all set to go, we got to work on the houses and other small world aspects.
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To represent the Chronicles of Narnia series we included a “lamp post” which is actually a $1 solar light.
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The Hogwarts castle from the Harry Potter series is actually two water bottles covered in in duct tape. Also note the Quidditch field made from small plastic rings and toothpicks.
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For the Isle of Berk from the How to Train Your Dragon book series, we used sand and sea shells for a beach and some glass gem stones for water. We made boats out of bottle caps with duct tape sails. Viking boats would in actuality be long and narrow, however in the book series Hiccup’s boat, the Hopeful Puffin, is round and doesn’t sail very well so bottle cap boats suited our small world well.
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From the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we made a false-front hobbit home to bury into the dirt by gluing popsicle sticks together with wood glue and painting on a round door.
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From Roald Dahl’s BFG, we included the BFG’s cave in Giant Country by painting a cave door onto a rock.
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For my favorite children’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, we simply made a little rabbit hole to lead down into Wonderland. LittleMan seems to think the rabbit hole is the perfect place to put sticks.
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The children really seem to be enjoying themselves with this year’s fairy garden.
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SunnyGirl’s favorite part is quite obviously the beaches of Berk, she loves to use the sea shells to dig in the sand and move the boats about the garden.
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And I just love the way having a space like this encourages the children to work and play together.
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2 Comments to Literacy-Inspired Fairy Garden

  1. That’s it – I want to come live at your house! I love that you even included a Quidditch field!

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