But when it comes to "girlie" things - in the total sexist, stereotypical way, I find my happy place. Princesses don't attack you and eat you. They say "hi, how are you? Would you like some tea?" and ask them to play their fake baby grande piano. This is much more my happy place. Unfortunately (not unfortunately - she can be whomever she wants to be!) Aryn is not that into Barbies or dolls or playing house or anything. She's a rough-and-tumble girl, much more interested in playing outside with her brother than playing with any kind of doll.
So when I read the May issue of The Newsy Neighbour (the awesome magazine I work at!) and saw the Family Pages article about Fairy Gardens, I knew I had to try this out with Aryn! And lo and behold, she loved the idea (yay!). So we bought a book on Amazon that ended up being the dumbest book ever, so we just went to good ol' (and free!) Pinterest to check out what we can do for our Fairy Garden.
The first thing we did was choose the perfect place to build our garden. We chose the front of the house because the locked gates can keep Lucas out. Apparently the chance of thieves and animals trumps Lucas' grubby little hands.
So we pulled out the plants we had there and cleared it off. Aryn was pretty pumped to be helping me.
She kept digging. We also found a huge hole in the bottom of the garden from a stupid gopher who took up residence until his timely and well-welcomed vacation to Mexico. Or was it the Dominican? Either way, he left as mysteriously as he arrived. I hope he's enjoying the sun.
Lucas had to help. It was not very much fun.
We painted the roof brown and the walls purple. Because, you know, fairies love purple.
Next step was gluing rocks to the side of the house. "Where did you get all those awesome rocks?" you may ask. Well, I stole them from the park. Yup, these awesome rocks are covered with stray cat pee and most likely coyote poop. Nothing says "Fairies" like pee and poop.
Whoever created the glue gun is amazing. I also like to think glue is made from melted plastic rather than... you know.... what glue is made from.
This is how the house looked when we finished the rocks. I also found some little pieces of wood at the school park and took it home for this craft. I don't even want to think about how disgusting this wood is.
The next step, and very important stem, was stealing some branch from the neighbour's tree for some greenery on the house. Sshhhhhh don't tell them.
We also painted the rocks with glitter paint, which made all the rocks fall off. Did you know glue guns aren't that awesome afterall? *insert angry face here* After Aryn lost interest because I kept whispering in a nice, calming voice "BE CAREFUL!" eight thousand times, I got to fix the house - alone. Yes - I am just fine admitting I took control of the house. My nerves couldn't take it!
I also used my strong calligraphy talents on the "Fairies Welcome" sign. Notice how "Fairies" is spelled nicely then "Welcome" is smooshed together? Yeah... that's what happens when you don't plan first.
And then we added moss. This moss is just from the dollar store. I read on the back that it is a good protector so hopefully it keeps the Fairy house protected. We all know how great dollar store items are.
The next step for the house was to put it in the garden. And here it is!
Next we painted some mini pots I got at a garage sale for $2. We painted them whatever colour Aryn wanted and then covered them in Mod Podge to protect them.
Then we painted the bird house. Again, I should be the spokesperson for the Strathmore Dollarama because we really did buy everything there. They had these little houses. Aryn wanted a yellow birdhouse, which she painted all by herself. My crazy mom-zilla-ness was put to the side during this one. She did a great job. We covered it in Mod Podge again once it was dry.
Look how much she's loving my guided, strict fun.
Then I attached it to a stick I got from a super cool store (the dollar store) and voilà! A bird house!
Next, we decided to paint some rocks. In theory, this idea was awesome. BUT, the rocks were glued onto some sort of plastic bedding. I assumed I could just pull off the rocks easily. I mean, Dollar store items break just by looking at them half the time so these rocks should come off super easily. Right? WRONG. These rocks were glued onto that stupid plastic crap with PL4000 or some sort of super glue used to put together spaceships.
But she had fun painting them with glitter glue!
Unfortunately, upon trying to rip these stupid rocks off of the plastic, every little bit of glitter glue got all over my hands. So, we had to re-paint them. Outside. And the glue came off again so I have to go back and re-paint them when Aryn's not looking. Stupid rocks.
But the rocks were used as a little pathway for the fairies. And the fence? The (gross and dirty) sticks I found at the park tied together with wire. We're thinking of adding little flowers to the fence but it hasn't been done yet.
The last part of the craft was making little pathway lights for the fairies. On the fairy websites, these little balls on top of a little stand were $14.99 EACH! So what's the thrifty, dollar-store-loving mom to do? Buy a bag of marbles ($1.25!) and some golf tees (we have a HUGE box full of them!) and glue them on.
And we put them in the garden.
So then we went to the garden centre. We went to Garden Scents just outside of Chestermere for some of the plants, and Home Hardware in Strathmore for the rest. I just let Aryn pick out what she wanted. We found a little bush that shouldn't grow larger than 1-2 feet, and some little mossy plants and greenery.
It was so much fun teaching Aryn about the dirt, and how to plant plants and flowers with ease and how to be careful. It was slightly frustrating when she was pouring the dirt onto the rocks (once again getting rid of said sparkly glue) but it was fun.
Aryn even got her own gardening bucket! I have had mine for a few years and she was so proud of hers.
Here's my girl super proud of herself while planting the garden with me! I just love her!
I highly recommend doing this with your little one! If your boy or girl isn't interested in fairies, you can make a gnome garden, or a super hero garden, or even a truck garden (you can plant flowers in the truck bed!!). Use your imagination and have fun with your little one!!