Fairy Garden Camp for Preschoolers
I’ve been working on this trend for well over 10 years now and it was the missing link in my research – just how young can children be to get them out in the garden playing with miniatures safely? My fear was the small accessories the little ones could easily plop in their mouths.
Then lo and behold, this blog popped up on my radar the other day that shows how a Mom put together a fairy garden camp (think dinosaurs, farm or safari animals for the boys) for her preschool group. It is finally safe to say that anyone from 4 to 104 years old can garden in miniature.
The camp was four days long and three hours per day, so she also filled it up the schedule with stories, songs, nature walks and games to keep those little attention spans occupied when they weren’t working on the gardens. (Excuse the “she,” I can’t find her name on the blog.)
Using the simple ideas and some pre-made items that her sons helped her craft beforehand, the group built and decorated a mini garden themselves – and all are truly cute and unique. It was a great idea to stretch it out for all four days and it paid off in the planning and design. All of them look well thought out with the wonderful details that make a mini garden enchanting.
Take a look at the blog and make sure you click through to part two and three because those are the chapters that show and tell you how to do it. She’s done a great job of documenting and sharing too. Come back here for some more pointers after.
For the containers, she uses saucers and lines the bottom with gravel for drainage – which really turns them into dish gardens if they don’t have holes for the water to escape. If they are meant for indoors, be sure to put a ¼” layer of charcoal on top of the gravel before the soil goes in, to keep the smell of stagnant water away. Be careful of dish gardens outside as the rain may drown the plants.
If you want to get some more life out of the child’s fairy garden, select plants that require the same light and watering to get the best results. The environment the garden will live in – inside or out, shade/indirect light or full sun, water-loving or dry – and the watering requirements are the important things to pair up for a healthy and longer living mini garden scene.
When working with a group of kids, get all the same plants with the same needs or you’ll drive yourself nutty. For example, get a series of indoor plants that all like regular water and bright, indirect light. I know this adds work and time to your already busy agenda but the garden will have a better chance of survival this way. Your local garden center will be glad to help and, with several weeks notice, they can get any number of plants for you.
Besides saucers, think of pots, baskets, wagons or trays for the kids to build a mini garden in out of doors, I’m sure they’ll get a huge kick out of anything they can carry or wheel around.
Now you can introduce the young ones to gardening, teach them, get their imagination working and keep their hands busy all at the same time. I don’t think it can get better than that.
See the Fairy Camp blog here.
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