July 9, 2007

fun with fairy houses

Here's something fun for a summer day: fairy houses! Surely this is a green activity.

Inspired by the fairy houses on an island of the coast of Maine, the books by Tracy Kane have been a huge success.

Fairyhouses.com says, "Fairy Houses are small structures made for the fairies to visit. Sticks, bark, dry grasses, pebbles, shells, feathers, seaweed, pinecones and nuts are just some of the natural materials used." But you must follow the rules of the forest:

1. Fairy Houses should look so natural they are almost hidden. A location close to the ground is best.

2. You should use only natural materials. Dry grasses, leaves, sticks, pebbles and pinecones are just a few examples of materials to choose.

3. Be careful not to use or disturb any of nature's materials that are still living, especially flowers, ferns, mosses and lichen. Fairies do not like to disturb or destroy anything that is growing in nature.

You can build them anywhere in any season. They can be simple or elaborate, with little tables and chairs or decorative walkways. It is a fun, creative way to play imaginatively outside. In my experience, both boys and girls enjoy building them.

And if you get really into it, you can check out the 2007 Annual Fairy House Festival in Portsmouth, NH on September 22 & 23rd. It consists of a self-guided walking tour of Fairy Houses displayed in the historic South End neighborhood of Portsmouth. There are many fancy fairy houses to view on the tour, or you can build your own.

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