DIY Gnome and Fairy Garden Craft for Kids
DIY Art at Home: Fostering a creative foundation in your child with art
Imagine, create, experiment and discover! Art is where children learn to express ideas and feelings, solve problems, and develop self-confidence and self-discipline. You can nurture and develop an interest and passion for creative thinking in your own children right from your own home. All you need is some basic art supplies, time, and a kitchen table.
Presented here, are simple and fun literature and art projects offering a rich and creative experience for your child and are very simple for you to guide. Enjoy!
Acrylic Paint (Red and White)
Gardening Spade (for digging up moss)
Natural elements such as moss, acorns, pinecones, and twigs
The book Elves and Fairies by Jane Werner
Find a cozy spot for reading with your child and enjoy the classic The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies, by Jane Werner, and masterfully illustrated by Garth Williams. Spark your child’s imagination by reading and sharing thoughts from this charming and delightful collection of vintage stories and poems, and then follow up with the making of their own homemade fairy/gnome garden!
Prepare your kitchen table for an art project! An old re-usable vinyl tablecloth works best for protecting the surface and providing a water-proof background. An old newspaper will also do. Begin by setting out the clay.
1. Begin with the entire chunk of clay.
2. Pinch off about 1/2 and form a ball.
3. Use thumbs to press into the center of the ball, forming the mushroom cap. Score lines with a pencil tip.
4. Pinch off about 90% of the remaining clay to form a cylindrical shape for the mushroom stem.
5. Poke through the bottom of the shape with one thumb, forming a slight bell shape.
6. Pinch off a small opening, and gently form into the stem shape. Let pieces dry.
7. Have your child paint their “gnome home” bright red with white polka dots, using acrylic paint. The 2 pieces remain separate, no need for glue.
Fun fact: This whimsical looking mushroom is a real species called the Amanita muscaria, found deep in the woods!
8. Make a simple gnome shape with the last little bit of leftover clay. When dry, paint your gnome! The paint included in the kit has a beautiful glaze effect when dry. Use a black Pitt Pen for face detail.
Fun fact: Gnomes wear white hats at night if they want to be seen in the dark, and red hats if they do not!
And now the time has come to assemble your forest garden! Take a walk with your child in a wooded area and have fun hunting for mini pinecones, acorns, and pieces of fallen tree branches. Use your spade, and gently dig up a chunk of moss (with dirt attached) to fit in your pie pan. Pictured here, is a small fern that easily came up with the moss. My wooded area lines the coast of Maine, so I found a shell to serves as a pond!
Encourage your child to get creative with some of their own ideas; there could be little gravel paths, twig fences, or a stone table and chairs, or anything else! They can even come up with their own poem or story! Let your child take their time having fun designing and assembling their garden.
These little gardens can last for several weeks if kept out of the sun and watered regularly. For printable directions, download the lesson plan HERE. Enjoy!