Driven by a Child’s Imagination

My daughter is six years old. The other day, she asked for a cardboard box so she could build a fairy house. She made it herself and filled it with grass and a carrot and some candy, which she thought the fairies would like. She was so excited about the idea, that after she went to bed, I made a little paper flower daisy chain and forged a note from a fairy named Daisy. I left it in the house and ate the carrot and waited to see what she would think.MAKEZINE_5FamilyFri_Badge

What she thinks is that we have a spring fairy named Daisy, and she is really, really excited about it. The rain destroyed her cardboard house, so I offered to help her make a better one.

Building a Better Fairy House

Anna started drawing her ideas on our whiteboard. I wanted to use corrugated plastic as the building material, so it would be weather proof. I had a simple sloped roof and a square floor plan in mind. Much like a birdhouse but sitting on the ground. Anna however, had other plans.

She wanted a round roof sort of like a thatched cottage and a place to hold flowers on the top. She wanted windows and a door and a whole yard decorated with little shrubberies and flowers and other things she thought a fairy would like.

I decided that an octagonal structure would get us close enough to the round look she wanted, and we got to making it.

Fairy House Template

Before you begin, download and print two copies of the Fairy House Template. Be sure when you print that you do not change the scale. The dimensional mark shows the height of the template is 4.00 inches.

Steps in Pictures

I’ve included the pictures for all the steps below for convenience. You can click on a picture to see it larger, and then scroll left and right through the steps. You will find the same pictures accompanying each step.

Andrew Terranova

Andrew Terranova

Andrew Terranova is an electrical engineer, writer and an electronics and robotics hobbyist. He is an active member of the Let's Make Robots community, and handles public relations for the site. Andrew has created and curated robotics exhibits for the Children's Museum of Somerset County, NJ and taught robotics classes for the Kaleidoscope Learning Center in Blairstown, NJ and for a public primary school. Andrew is always looking for ways to engage makers and educators.

  • terre

    you are the dad I pretended I had! keep up the good work…

  • gobygirl

    The idea of a true fairy house is to not use any artificial (or living) materials, as they are meant to be kept outside indefinitely for the fairies to live in. The fairy house “movement” is about teaching children (and adults…) how to enjoy and be respectful of our natural world. While the time and effort put into building a fairy house and then seeing it destroyed by the weather can be discouraging for children, teach them to look at it as an opportunity to always be changing and improving their house. In turn it is encouraging more time spent outside!

    • Andrew Terranova

      I can appreciate that sentiment. However, this particular fairy seems to be into recycling and re-use. The corrugated plastic used in the house was saved from being litter or landfill waste, which I think is cool.

    • Cindi

      Really? I wasn’t aware that either way was wrong. The way this is done teaches the child to reuse. This is an awesome way to accomplish that. NO fairy would EVER hurt a child’s feelings by ignoring this house! How rude of you.

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