Why children should make and have a
Fairy Garden of their own?
Benefits of DIY Fairy Gardens:
Fairy gardens for children go beyond fun. There are several benefits that children receive when they make and own their very own fairy garden. These benefits contribute to the learning and development that is essential for a successful future. Each of the following benefits are identical to the opportunities that schools provide for young children. You will find that the following areas are nurtured in education for positive learning outcomes, resulting in a thriving future. Below you will find how Fairy Gardens are effective experiences for children's learning and development.
By creating their very own Fairy Garden, children practice fine motor skills as they complete tasks that require small muscle, bone and nerve coordination in their hands and fingers by picking up and grasping small objects and making refined movements to control the production of their masterpiece (grasping and placing ornaments, grasping and controlling tools such as teaspoons and tweezers). Undertaking everyday tasks requires fine motor skills and therefore is an essential skill that should be fostered in young children. By acquiring these skills, children develop appropriate independence in life skills. Children's ability to strongly use their fine motor skills boosts their self-esteem, which is beneficial for their academic achievement. On the other hand, children may be affected negatively if lacking fine motor skills. Not only in relation to their emotional well-being, but it also gives them limited opportunities or in engaging in play or daily tasks or creates simple tasks to be challenging. Promoting fine motor skills in your child does not require a lot of work. Providing them with small opportunities, that require them to use their hands and fingers, regularly will meet this. In addition to making Fairy Gardens, tasks such as drawing/painting, beading, cutting, play dough, tying shoelaces, cooking, gardening, typing, origami, hanging clothes or playing a musical instrument, can be offered.
A successful fairy garden is achieved when a child-like imagination is present. Children’s creativity and imagination are promoted through DIY Fairy Gardens as they explore beyond the scenery that is visible. The imagination children use while making and playing with Fairy Gardens also foster their cognitive and social development. Creativity and imagination are essential to children’s learning and development as it allows them to become innovators, critical thinkers, problem solvers and explorers. This encourages them to use their senses to learn about the world around them through exploration and discovery. Creativity allows children to experience feelings of accomplishments and pride which can boost their confidence, leading towards positive social skills. Furthermore, creativity and imagination can support children's social and emotional well-being as they express their feelings through Fairy Garden play.
Along with children's creativity and imagination that are promoted by Fairy Garden play, it also encourages literacy skills as any Fairy Garden masterpiece holds many stories about the infinite world contained in a pot. Literacy involves listening, talking and writing and contributes to language development. Fairy Garden play entails more than arranging miniature figurines in a given setting. The imagination that children hold supports this literacy aspect as they describe the magical world. Even before children learn to read words, they are capable of telling stories through pictures in a book. In a similar way, children can share stories of their Fairy Garden scenery. It is important for parents to support Fairy Garden play in children and use it as an opportunity to extend their learning. This can be done in several ways:
Have your child make a story about their Fairy Garden.
Ask your child to explain how they made their Fairy Garden and what they used.
Ask your child simple questions about their Fairy Garden and the imaginative characters such as 'who, what, when, where and why?'
Encourage your child to write a letter to or from the Fairies.
Have your child listen to your Fairy story.
Ask your child what they can hear in the Fairy Garden.
By using real plants, children can also develop responsibility in taking care of their environment. Sustainability helps children learn about how our current attitudes and decisions towards our environment can impact the future. The main lesson for sustainability provided by Fairy Gardens is becoming water-wise. This teaches children the responsibility of using the appropriate amount of water needed and turning off taps properly to save water. Parents should encourage children to be completely responsible in taking care of their Fairy Garden including filling up their water source and watering their Garden wisely. To maximise this learning, parents should encourage independence in becoming water-wise during every day tasks such when they are washing their hands, having a shower, brushing their teeth, providing water for pets and water pot plants or your outdoor garden.
As children make and play with their Fairy Garden, they use and develop science inquiry skills and understanding. Planting and caring for plants allow children to develop an understanding of the needs for plants in order for them to survive. They will also learn different parts of a plant such as its roots, stem and leaves and can compare the difference between succulents with plants in their backyard. Children may even recognise that the leaves of a succulent feel different and can promote inquiry skills such as questioning, predicting and investigating. Fairy gardens will also provide children with the opportunity to explore cause and effect as they observe changes to their plant/s if under-watering, over-watering or watering adequately, and similarly with light exposure. These inquiry skills are important for experimenting that is highly encouraged in schools as vital skills required for an active and thriving future.