Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Outside” initiative gets a boost from inspired Fairy House builders across the USA. This unique activity offers a great way to get children outside and excited about the natural world.
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What is a Fairy House?
Fairy Houses are made from twigs, bark, leaves, stones, feathers, seashells, and other natural materials to attract fairies and nature’s friends. If you make a house, will you get visitor? This is what engages children’s imaginations and sparks the creative process. The pride and joy is clearly evident on excited faces as children design the “perfect” house that will surely attract special visitors. These whimsical habitats are as unique as their creators – ranging from the very simple up to elaborate “fairy mansions.”
The benefits of building Fairy Houses are many
- Encourages curiosity of the natural world
- Kids are inspired to head outside and use their imaginations
- Nature-play teaches appreciation and respect for the environment
- Fun for all ages
Building fairy houses has been popularized by author/illustrator, Tracy Kane’s award-winning “Fairy Houses Series® of books. Having discovered this tradition that originated on islands off the coast of New England, Kane was inspired to create what has become a classic series. According to Kane, “Building fairy houses is a fun way to discover the outdoors and is great exercise.”
A National Problem
“Let’s Move Outside” is Michelle Obama’s program designed to help children become healthier and more involved in nature and outdoor activities. It highlights a national recognition of problems with childhood obesity and their disconnect with the outdoors. Richard Louv’s book, “Last Child in the Woods,” concludes that many children are becoming alienated from nature, suffering from what he terms “nature-deficit disorder.” Building fairy houses offers a unique remedy through an activity that inspires an appreciation of the environment.
Imagination at Play
The family activity of creating fairy habitats engages children’s imaginations and rekindles interest in the natural world. A pine cone becomes a tree, pieces of bark become a roof, a shell becomes a bathtub, acorn caps become dishes. Will they get a visitor? Perhaps a chipmunk, frog or butterfly…and of course the potential for fairy guests!
Fairy Houses villages are springing up in parks, schoolyards, nature centers, and botanical gardens across the country. With the help of “Fairy Houses” and other creative ideas that support the “Let’s Move Outside” initiative we are re-connecting Kids with the outdoors and helping them become tomorrow’s stewards of our sensitive environment.