Happy 4th of July!
Home with the kids this Fourth of July weekend? You might be looking for some quick and easy family activities to keep everyone entertained. Here’s a fun DIY Isla and I did last weekend that fits the bill perfectly!
If your kids are anything like my girl, they probably love to be creative and make things. Sometimes it’s tempting as parents for us to intervene and help make their creations “perfect” — but this is one time where you can really let their imaginations run wild!
What You’ll Need:
- A planter or other large container
- Garden soil
- Various plants (let the kids pick!)
- Interesting materials to construct a “house”
- A kiddo with some imagination!
About 3 hours.
Note: Most of our time was spent on popsicle stick construction and glue gun lessons. This can be a much shorter activity if you want to use a premade fairy house!
Getting Started: Make a Plan
We got the idea for this activity from watching Garden Answer on Youtube. She makes some super elaborate fairy gardens, and Isla’s been wanting to create one of her own for awhile. We decided to take advantage of the fact that school’s out and she’s home from camps/activities this week…so fairy gardens it is!
Off we went to our trusty local garden center, Newman’s Nursery. Isla picked out a container she loved, and some plants that went well together. Of course she wanted the biggest and most expensive planter in the entire place…but we compromised on a really nice 18” model that has some good depth and a large surface area for luxury fairy living.
Once we had our container, plants, and soil, we headed home to do the planting. I was so impressed at how Isla intentionally mixed plants of different sizes and heights to create some visual depth. Proud designer mama moment!
Build a Fairy Home
With the “forest” in place, it was time to build Isla’s fairies a home. Again, I let her take center stage on designing this one so she could totally own this project! After researching online (we Googled “making fairy houses for children”), she decided she wanted a custom model: a roof style from one picture, walls from another, and signage from a third. Interestingly enough, this really mirrors the design process we go through with our own clients: look at inspiration online, and then figure out how to execute that with the things you have!
Anyway, we ended up with an adorable popsicle stick house, complete with thatched roof thanks to some palm fronds I’d pruned from one of our indoor plants. Check out the signs and how she tucked that one flower behind the house — adorable!
Even though this part involved some tearful glue gun shenanigans, burnt/broken popsicle sticks, and a purposeful lunch break, I was so impressed with her desire to push through and finish building what she started!
We’ve always encouraged Isla to keep creating, and she enjoys making things instead of just having us buy everything. I think this comes from the fact that she’s literally growing up in the middle of constant creativity. From the moment we brought her home from the hospital, Matt and I have been building our house and making things from scratch all around her! Isla just turned 8, and we love watching her creativity grow every year.
I also love that this finished project represents Isla’s imagination come to life. She knew what she wanted this to look like, and I didn’t worry about convincing her otherwise. Even if you’re not a design professional, you can still use activities like this to teach your kids the value of making things for themselves. It’s so empowering for them to realize the are really capable of creating things on their own!
Add Some Fairy Inhabitants
One final piece of inspiration: as we were checking out at the garden center, we saw a container of 500 ladybugs on sale for $9.99. Isla asked if we could bring them home to release in the garden…why not?
This last-minute addition turned out to be so awesome! It was such a blast to watch them all scuttle toward new homes in our peach tree, and they’ll be great for the few aphids I was just starting to see crop up among our plants.
Have extra family visiting this weekend? You could host a fun ladybug release as a neat holiday activity for kids of all ages! Ladybugs are helpful for controlling the population of damaging garden pests, and the kids will love getting to see a ton of them all in one place!
This activity made such a nice little outdoor garden day for our family; I hope you enjoy creating this easy project with your kiddos!
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