Gardeners are planting the seeds of imagination and watching them grow. Through building garden fairy houses, families are coming back outside to enjoy nature’s daily magic.
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Originating on islands off the coast of New England, building fairy houses is a family tradition that dates back for generations. Tucked in the hollow of a tree, under a rocky ledge or as the centerpiece for a flowerbed, fairy houses are small structures made entirely from natural materials you can find right in your own garden. These whimsical abodes can be built from twigs, bark, leaves, stones, feathers, seashells, dried flowers or husks. The only rule is not to harm living things or the fairies won’t come.
Popularized in recent years by Tracy Kane, noted author and illustrator of The Fairy Houses Series®, building fairy houses captures young imaginations and encourages children to observe the wonders of nature right outside their own home. “Building fairy houses is an activity that the entire family can enjoy together,” Kane said. “It encourages children to venture outdoors and observe the environment close-up, on a scale they can relate to and understand.”
Tracy Kane’s Series includes five children’s books and a DVD. Books include illustrations and photographs, along with instructions on how to build a fairy house. In the latest book, Fairy Houses and Beyond!, Tracy and her husband Barry Kane take readers on a pictorial tour of the evolving world of fairy houses for all locales and seasons. It includes entire fairy house neighorhoods, coastal communities, theaters, and even a fairy house spa. The book shows what can be done to transform your garden using a little creativity and the plentiful natural materials that surround us.
“The magic of building fairy houses begins when children start collecting materials to build their own fairy house,” Kane notes. An important benefit is that children leave the TV, computer and video games heading outdoors on a voyage of discovery. Collecting natural building materials is a learning experience that inspires awareness and an appreciation of nature.
Then the challenge comes when children and families begin the job of designing and building their fairy houses. “No two houses are alike,” Kane observes. “They are as varied as one’s imagination and as unique as their creators. They can be simple or elaborate, colorful or camouflaged, impromptu or intricately designed.”
Once the house is complete, children wait and watch to see if the fairies will move in. “They soon discover that fairies often come disguised as toads, butterflies, birds, bees, chipmunks, or even spiders,” Kane said. “All living creatures are welcome. Children observe and learn about the wonders of nature, teeming with life and activity right in their very own gardens.”
The Fairy Houses Series® has received eleven prestigious awards and has been critically acclaimed as a “must-have for children’s collections.” Books and DVD in the Fairy House Series® are available directly from Light-Beams Publishing, IPG and major wholesalers.