Outdoor STEM With Fairy Houses!

I love this time of year! After a New Hampshire winter, it feels so good to shed those layers and spend the afternoon outdoors. I love how happy my kids are at the end of the day. I love their little muddy fingers, their filthy smiles. I love the sediment in the bathtub–the sign of a day filled with adventure.

Image source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

Last year, around this time, I wrote an article about the benefits of fort construction. Today, I’d like to talk a bit about the benefits of building teeny-tiny forts, also known as fairy houses.

Outdoor STEM with Fairy Houses!

This is the land of Tracy Kane and her fantastic fairy houses. My children are huge Tracy Kane fans. We love the film Kristen’s Fairy House and every single one of Kane’s books. We love the Kane-inspired fairy house tours that happen locally; they are among our most favorite field trips. If you ever have the opportunity to go on a fairy house tour, you must!

Fairy Pumpkin!
Image source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

Every spring, my children make their own fairy village in our backyard.

How to Make Your Own Fairy Village:

If you are a Kane follower, you know that traditional fairy houses are made out of natural materials only. One must search long and hard to find the perfect supplies!

  1. Choose a location or container
  2. Pick a theme
  3. Draft your design
  4. Gather materials
  5. Build!
Image source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

Kids and Nature Resources:

As homeschoolers, we all fall victim to the doubt and worry (Should I be doing something else instead… Did we do enough…). Of course, math and reading are important, but do not underestimate the power of play in a child’s development and later success.

I believe that fairy houses are educational. Why? Because children are creating outdoors, learning about the natural world, building those STEM skills, and–above all–playing.

Here are some ideas to take your nature play to the next level:

Now, it’s your turn. Do your children love to build forts and fairy houses? Share here!

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Cait is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. You can read about all of these things and more at My Little Poppies. Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast. She is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and G+.