Fairy house building is a creative outdoor activity that can expand the imagination and bring to life the small things in nature that are easy to overlook. All you need is a small outdoor space and a few natural materials. Then — taking as much time as you want — construct a small home, fit for a fairy, frog or any other small creature that comes to mind.
This zero-cost activity is great for kids, families and even adults who are looking for ways to have fun in their own backyards. And right now, as people stay at home and practice social distancing during this stressful time, fairy house building may be just the thing to take people’s minds off the pandemic — even if it’s just for a few minutes.
But first, here are a few guidelines and suggestions for building a fairy house.
Fairy house rules
Fairy house building is simple and has just a few rules, according to Liza Gardner Walsh, a Maine children’s librarian and author who has written several books about fairy houses, including “Fairy House Handbook,” “Fairy House Cooking” and “Fairy House Crafts.”
“It’s really the most open-ended activity that I know of,” Walsh said. “Generally you’re just trying to make a small shelter out of natural materials.”
While gathering these materials, one important rule is to not cause harm to the environment. For example, if you want to use bark, don’t take it from living trees. Instead, search for trees that are dead and on the ground.
The location of your fairy house is also important to consider. In some shared outdoor spaces, such as preserves and parks, building a fairy house may not be appropriate. Many people visit these places to enjoy nature, not man-made structures. In addition, these places may be home to rare plants and delicate habitats that could be damaged by the fairy house building process.
When in doubt, ask permission from the landowner.
For this reason, one of the best places to build a fairy house is on your own property.
Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com.
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