Submitted by Peggy Knock and Ellen Cibulka, preschool teachers at Sacred Heart Villa.
The children in the PreK 2 class at Sacred Heart Villa have experienced a fairy invasion. It began by the reading of The Fairy Herb Garden Books by Kimberly Gallagher. The children started pretending that fairies were visiting the gardens. This play went beyond the stories and gardens to encompass classroom areas both inside and out. Loose parts became fairy accessories, mud kitchen creations became fairy cakes and potions. The children used herbs pinched from growing plants, mud, leaves and collected rain water to concoct the potions. This play blossomed into outdoor explorations of our gardens and natural spaces to find fairy treasure, increasing the joy the children felt when outdoors. The teachers noted the development of the “academic” skills of literacy (storytelling), math (sizing), science (biology) and problem solving that occurred when “fairy play“ was happening. The Pre K2 class then discovered fairy homes with help from their art classes and a donated manufactured fairy garden. The children began to construct homes for fairies inside and outside.
A field trip to Litzsinger Road Ecology Center had been planned. When the class found out about the trip, their discussion of fairies expanded to include LREC. Upon arrival at LREC, the children listened to Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane, read by LREC Volunteer Educator, Linda Kram, just to get their juices flowing! Litzsinger gave them natural landscapes to find evidence of fairies and to construct homes out of nature!
big screen TV’s, phone chargers, hammocks, beds, pathways, stairs, trees, decorations, trampolines, and tents
stumps, shells, sticks, bark, plants, roots, and mud
The children said…
“We gathered nature and left it in a pile so that the fairies could build their own home.” L.K.
“The mud was soft and like a sponge. We made a trampoline with the mud.” G.K.
“I used a stick that looked like a tent for a tent.” K.G.
This experience was real (instead of just discussing fairy homes), exciting, and educational for the children. They came back from the field trip even more excited about fairy homes!
The Pre K2 students have come up with a list of things they would like to permanently make for their upcoming Spring Fairy Garden. They are currently under construction in the classroom. When it comes to fairy homes and gardens, they have come up with many thoughts of what they are going to put together. The list includes tables, benches, chairs, waterfalls, bird feeder, beds, drinking fountain, and the list goes on! They are hard at work using natural materials and lots of glue!