This activity is part of a series of low cost, hands on activities that can be used by anyone who has a passion for nature and who believes that a child's time spent in nature is not only important, but necessary. Each activity was either created by me or gathered from a variety of sources.
Natural materials: sticks, blades of grass, leaves, rocks, sea shells, flowers, pieces of bark or wood chips…
Optional materials: clay
15 - 60 minutes
Think about where a fairy or a gnome might live and what types of materials they might use to build their home. Think about what the structure might look like...would it look like your house? Like a tee-pee? Might it be nestled against a tree or in the bushes or might it be out in the open? Once you have decided how and where you'd like to build your tiny home gather your materials and begin. You can create a simple home or an elaborate community that includes multiple homes, a community garden, a play ground and paths.
How do you think fairies and gnomes would choose to build their homes? How might these tiny home be the same as your own home? How might they be different? If you could design your “dream” home, what would it include?
TIPS & IMAGININGS
Recycle an Altoids tin to use as the base of your tiny home or build your home outside somewhere.
Imagine how it might feel to be tiny and live in a tiny home...imagine how large the petals of flowers would look or how hard it would be to move a small rock…
This activity fits perfectly as an extension to your Nature Walk. Simply carry a bag with you on a walk and collect items as you see them. As you walk, look around for small nooks and corners that could possibly be the site of a tiny home.
Gnomes are tiny, human beings that look like humans and originated in Scandinavian folklore over 1500 years ago. While some people believe they are kind and helpful, others believe they are unkind and like to play tricks on humans.
It is well known that children have an innate connection to the earth and all of its creatures. They long to be out in nature, to get their hands dirty, explore and use their imagination. They know that the earth is ours to take care of, without being told. They find great joy in watching a lizard run across the steps ahead of them or in seeing a deer munching on the trees. They love to sow seeds, pull weeds and eat kale. Children thrive when given the opportunity to build a Fairy House out of natural materials or hide among the bushes or hang on the branches of a tree.
It is true that nature is dirty, it holds a lot of uncertainties and it is unfamiliar to our urban senses. It is not, however, something to fear. One step at a time, we can reestablish our relationship with Nature and in doing so, heal ourselves and our environment. What we should we afraid of is what might happen if we don’t heal our broken relationship with nature.
Whatever it is you're doing today, I hope you're enjoying yourself!