I have a little secret: I have spent more time renovating fairy houses than I’ve spent remodeling the house my human family lives in. Each of my boys has enjoyed countless days hunting for milkweed pods, super-soft moss, and smooth, flat stones. When I tell my youngest son we’re going on a treasure hunt, he is always happy to come along (not so much if I say “hey, let’s go for a walk!”) Not only do fairy houses provide us with the most intimate kind of bonding time (does it get any better than imagining a fantasy world with your kid?), but constructing little homes gets curious children outside, thinking creatively, and building awesome fine motor skills. (You try making a three-inch-high chair out of twigs!) Fairy houses can be as simple or as complicated as your child’s skills and imagination allow: A curl of birch bark with a moss roof is a perfectly cozy home, and a fairy door (glue sticks onto a door-shaped piece of cardboard) placed pretty much anywhere is the entrance to one. Have your child try stacking stones into a winding staircase, or fill acorn-cap bowls with tiny flowers or berries. Working on the house, and the one next door, and eventually the entire village can be an ongoing project—one that your child will enjoy throughout the year, year after year.
Put on a costume, use your imagination (fairies are not picky or judgmental), or pick up one of these very sweet kits to spur some outdoor creative play. Note that many of the fairy house kits include natural materials which you can find on your own:
PBS KIDS: Sticks & Stones is a nature craft kit with lots of cool make-it-yourself fairy projects appropriate for kids 4 and up.
The Deluxe Fairy House Kit has everything you need for creating a fairy house indoors or out.
This Mini Fairy Garden Kit includes mosaic beads, a tiny broom, and other adorable miniatures in a pretty tin.
The White Fairy Garden Kit comes with the teeny tiny makings for furniture, mushrooms, even a swing, packed in a small wooden box.
The Indoor Fairy House Kit is a fun option for winter. It's completely a kid friendly project, all they need is craft glue.