This summer I stepped away from offering my traditional fairy garden camp at the preschool to try something new. Inspired by Imagine Childhood's mud brick house, I knew I wanted to introduce this method to my class. I'll admit I was a little nervous about it all coming together as I had hoped, but it did...beautifully! And the kids were so excited and so proud of their creations that my heart just swelled.
Last week, I mentioned that I had been working on my mud brick recipe. I tried making them in ice cube trays as was suggested, but found that forming them by hand worked much better for me and I knew would make much more sense for the kids. I was a little concerned that mine took two to three days to dry...for a camp that lasted four days, this would not work. To be safe, I made of pile of extras "just in case".
Next we began the brick making process. Each child had a piece of cardboard to lay their formed bricks on to dry in the sun.
While the bricks dried outside we went inside to practice building houses using our crayons.
Day two: To my great surprise, the 98 degree and very sunny day we had the first day was enough to completely bake our bricks. We were ready to start building! (I was a little worried that I might have to dry them out in the oven). We made more mud to use as mortar and using pie tins I bought at the dollar store we began making our houses. First we put a layer of dirt in the pans, then started by laying our bricks.
Day three: We added the roof using sticks, popsicle sticks, grasses and even a leaf.
Day four: Adding details. Upon request, some of the kids brought in their own special treasures to add to their fairy houses. Some of the items were: pinecones, shells, small stones, a feather and even a small ear of corn! What I had for them to use were some dried flowers, moss, corks and anything in the garden that appealed to them. How sweet are these!
(for better views, you can see them on flickr starting here).
Waiting in the cubbies to go home.
Children are naturally drawn to these little details and it's pretty much a sure thing that they will want to open the little door. Which each child did. Every single day. On the last day of camp I put a bit of fairy dust in the door of my necklace so when they opened it, they knew right away a fairy had been there. I love that I don't have to say a word. It just takes one child to come to this conclusion and then they all know it as truth. While the children were playing, I sprinkled a little of the fairy dust into the doorway of each house so when they came back to them, they all shouted with glee that a fairy had already moved in. I love that. The beauty of childhood and their spectacular imaginations.
Wishing you all a magical and beautiful weekend.