We especially love fairies for their strong ties with nature. Connecting with fairies helps us form a deeper connection with the garden and Mother Earth. At Austin Children's Garden, we love to use the Herb Fairies stories to learn all about the magical world of medicinal herbs. To learn more about Herb Fairies check out their website: https://learningherbs.com/herb-fairies/
Fairy play can inspire creativity, imagination, and storytelling! When playing make-believe, kids get a chance to explore an entire new world where real life constraints don't apply. (They can fly! Govern a kingdom! Cast spells!) This enhances children's capacity for cognitive flexibility and, ultimately, problem solving and inventive thinking. Make-believe with friends also allows kids to experiment with social and emotional roles by provoking empathy and cooperation. Furthermore, playing pretend allows children to learn about themselves and work out their inner narratives while developing language skills.
Fairies also connect us to the past and give us insight into another time. Recorded folktales of fairies (though then they were often referred to as Hidden People or Little People) date back to as early as the 13th century. During that time, stories were a bit darker; particularly the stories of fairies. Some fairies were kind and helpful, but most were feared as they could appear at any time to cast an evil spell or curse on the helpless mortals!
As we observed the kids' natural interest in fairies, a folklore theme blossomed! This is an example of emergent curriculum where we take a topic that the children are naturally intrigued by and encourage this interest to expand so that they learn organically and holistically; children's interest in fairies opens up an organic opportunity to explore folktales.
A folktale tells a story based on oral traditions that have been passed down for many generations. Learning about folklore has many benefits for children. It improves communication and memory, encourages creativity and imagination, and provides a foundation for literacy development by introducing basic elements of stories. Fables teach social skills and can be a great starting point for many conversations about core values and ethics. Folklore, by nature, also celebrates diversity! By exploring various folktales from around the world, children are able to appreciate different cultures' values, beliefs, history, practices, and customs.
Check out below how we learned all about fairies, folklore, and fables... Oh my!
Into the World of Fairies
"My potion helps the fairies fly!"
"The fairies eat my potion!"
"The magic potion gives them their magic!"
We start with dancer's pose dancing at the fairy ball! On to locust when we swim through the beautiful waterfalls. Next is butterfly pose while we flutter around the garden. We then do warrior pose as we fly high in the sky. We end with child pose, resting peacefully at the fairy palace.
After reading Coyote and the Sky, we compared and contrasted day and night through art!
We were inspired by the vibrant colors and abstract shapes featured in Cuckoo!
Motivated by the power of sharing and working together, the kids made a collective soup from individual (and imaginary) vegetables!
This folktale features small, mischievous, and heroic spiders. Getting into the spooky spirit, we made some spiders of our own!
The story began with the usual introduction of "once upon a time..." with a boy named John, but then took many twists and turns with a trip to the lake during a terrible storm and ending with a rainbow-eating worm!!
Día de los Muertos and Halloween Celebrations!
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup honey
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup soaked flax seeds
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Grease a muffin pan with coconut oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT almond flour, cranberries, and raisins.
- Stir in almond flour until well combined.
- Stir in cranberries and raisins.
- Spoon batter into muffin cups, using wet fingers to press down any bumps on the tops before baking (makes 24 mini muffins).
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean