the other benefit of encouraging them using their imaginations is hearing their stories. when we tuck them into bed, it's usually accompanied with a bedtime story. i like to make up stories that always include a "gracie and maddie". the girls will listen to the first 30 seconds of my story before one of them sits up and interjects, "wait! let's have them be fairies!". a few more sentences into my story i'm corrected, "let's have it instead be about them protecting the pixie dust! and there is a mean alligator who wants to get it!" before long they're telling the story themselves, complete with detailed images of two brave heroines.
i'm a firm believer in celebrating this small window of our lives where we have little kids who love to make believe, dream and find joy in the simple things.
this activity can be adjusted for anyones schedule/ages/budget/location/etc. it can be a simple picnic, just the fairy hunt (or any other theme), or even just making the jars. whatever works best for your family!
you can view the segment here!
and i can't thank lindsey orton enough for coming along on our picnic and snapping pictures. i knew i would need pictures for studio 5, and having her come along allowed me to just enjoy the day with the girls. she is always so great to work with, not to mention my girls couldn't love her more!
we started off our day with a picnic in an orchard. spring is one of my favorite times of the year, especially in utah. we threw out a blanket and sat in the sun. i kept the food super simple (i'm all about simple when it comes to food). fairies love everything mini, so we kept all the food small- peanut butter and honey sandwiches cut into small triangles, a berry salad with white chocolate chips, and cupcakes for after. and if you didn't know, fairies only drink pink juice, so we couldn't leave that out!
part of the craft tutorial i did for studio 5 are the ribbon chandeliers. they are the easiest craft to put together, and bring such a great pop of color to any party. i picked up wooden embroidery hoops at hobby lobby along with an assortment of ribbon in all different widths, patterns and colors. a pair of scissors and a stapler, and you're all set. for my hoops i cut a bunch of pieces in 1 yard in length. i folded a two inch piece of ribbon over the hoop and stapled the ribbon. once i had the ribbon all the way around the hoop i hung it up (i hung mine of hangers on our shower rod) and cut the ribbon ends so they weren't all the same. it was as easy as that. the trickiest part is probably picking out all the ribbon!
you can really think out of the box with these. you can get several different sized embroidery hoops and cut the ribbons any length, whatever fits your space the best. for a bridal shower or wedding they'd be beautiful with cream and white ribbons with pieces of lace. you could add in the colors of the wedding too. made for parties, hung about a dining room table for a holiday or even hung in the corner of a bedroom (i'm thinking of doing these for the girls room).
the fairy treasure hunt
before the girls sat down at the picnic, i took an assortment of fairy treasures and hid them around the orchard. i picked up an assortment of items from michael's craft store (more info down below) that would fit into our fairy jars.
we sat and read our favorite fairy book, how to find flower fairies, and talked about all the places we could look for fairies. it really is one of my favorite books- the girls love spying the fairies tucked behind tree branches or rocks. it's one of those books that help the girls tell the story.
after reading the book the girls gathered up their baskets, magnifying glasses and nets and got searching. they loved finding the treasures around and were certain a real fairy had left them behind for them. the icing on the cake was the mini bottle of pixie dust they found. they used it later for the finishing touch on their fairy jars.
fairy homes in a jar
these little jars are my favorite craft i've ever made. along with being simple, they were fun, easy and something that could be recreated with tons of different themes. i was worried the girls would need tons of help putting them together, but soon after setting everything out, they got right to work and finished them nearly without any help (maddie needed some help getting everything pushed in hard enough). i loved how unique they could each make their jars. maddie had a pink and purple theme. gracie chose lots of flowers and butterflies.
i found almost everything i needed at michael's. it was so fun to pick everything out! a little goes a long way with these jars, you hardly need anything to fill a regular sized mason jar up. i found quite a few items in the miniature aisle (all the things to make a doll house).
- meri meri fairies (this whole collection is beautiful! i picked up mine from a local party store, zurchers, along with a great garland ($8!) that is currently hung in my girls room!)
- corsage pins
- mini mushrooms
- mini animals
- mini birdhouse
- ribbon spools
- cocktail toothpicks
- lots and lots of glitter!
make it your own...i think these jars would be great for a party craft or favor, centerpiece for a birthday party or garden themed shower, a safari themed party or afternoon adventure. you can collect rocks, twigs, flowers, even bugs from a family hike or walk. a small mason jar and you've got a fun jar to put on a shelf (or take for show and tell at school, gracie loves to show them off!). as we're getting ready for our cruise, i'm planning on bringing along some ziplock bags to hold the girls findings (rocks, sand, seashells, etc.) and as soon as we get home we'll put it all together for a keepsake of our vacation (also a great thank you gift for my parents!) that they can put on their dresser in their room. the reason i love these jars is because they're a visual reminder for the girls. seeing it each day creates a great topic of conversation (mom! remember when we...).