Ideas for a Super Simple DIY Fairy Garden

Here in North Carolina, the daylight hours have finally gifted us warm sunny days, and with that comes a renewed energy and longing to be outside as much as possible.  I’ve noticed to get my kids outside, I have to give them a little nudge. I can’t just tell my nearly 3 and 4-year-old “why don’t you go play outside!” yet. Instead usually, if I get the chalk out, start watering the plants, or set up a super simple activity just to get them physically outside, they’ll join me. Then they’ll end up outside for hours doing whatever they wish.

Last week, I made these sweet simple little fairy gardens for them to play with after naps and they were a huge hit. I remember my mom, a horticulturist, making these for my sisters and me when I was little and I loved them so much. Perhaps the best thing about these is that it takes very little skill and zero dollars. An old mirror or a sheet of aluminium foil can be turned into a little lake, sticks lined up as a wall, leaves as fairy wings or beds.  All you need is a bit of imagination and you’d be surprised with how many ideas you can come up! If you don’t have that big of a yard, take everyone on a little scavenger hunt somewhere to round up items (with permission!). This is such a great, easy activity this time of year for kids of all ages.  I thought I’d share a few photos and a list of items that you could use for you to take it and run with it yourself!

Some basic things to start your own fairy garden:

  • A large shallow pot, tray, a shoe box or anything really to house everything
  • A piece of aluminium foil, an old compact mirror or a small metal tart pan as a lake
  • Rocks and pebbles
  • Forest moss (usually at the base of trees or wooded areas as the ground). Alternatively, you could use any sort of ground cover or small-leaved plants grouped together
  • Small sticks and branches turned into fences, furniture, and trees
  • Old abandoned bird nests as the fairy’s beds
  • Little pine cones
  • Feathers
  • Lichens
  • Acorns
  • Wildflowers
  • Cardboard

A few helpful tips:

  • I cut out pieces of cardboard which I glued a row of sticks to for a backdrop/fence of sorts. It’s not necessary but I thought it’d be nice to have a sturdy wall.
  • While this was intended to be a fairy garden, gnomes, animals, and a lone Lego man have slowly found themselves a new home 🙂 If you don’t have any toy fairies, try glueing two large leaves (I used Bay leaves) to a wooden peg doll or even around a stick!
  • Just do a very basic one so your little one can add to it as she or he wishes. While it’s nothing like Ava’s mouse house, as I type this, the fairy gardens outside our back door now have homes made from an old broken flower pot and acorn caps turned into bowls. One of my kids made her own tree from dead branches and leaves she loved. So sweet!



Comments (1)

Esther in Amsterdam
June 20, 2019

This reminds me of the summer two years ago, we made fairy houses and LOVED it! Thanks for the reminder, I think Ava will be inspired to make an outside / natural mouse house!! xx

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