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Giving Kids the Gift of Nature’s Majesty: Download Our Free Fairy House eBook

One of the most uncomfortable and universal feelings that most parents grapple with is uncertainty about whether they’re doing the right things, teaching the right lessons, and instilling the right values when it comes to raising their kids. Most parents share the strong desire to have their kids exceed them in life – to be happier, more successful, and to avoid pitfalls that lead to hurt and sorrow.

And so it’s only natural that we try to give our children the tools necessary to navigate life’s travails. Almost everyone recognizes, however, that we’ve started to take it too far. We’re packing our kids’ schedules so full of organized activities, that there’s little room left – for us or them – to enjoy spontaneous moments of fun and adventure as a family. A bit of the magic of childhood is being lost.

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For many kids, the joy of outdoor play has gone missing. There are several culprits for this modern day phenomenon. Our own busy lives leave little time for unstructured play with our kids. Our kids are run ragged bouncing from school, to homework, to extracurricular activities which eat up most of the daylight hours. And, of course, there are more distractions than ever competing for our kids’ time, energy and attention. In today’s digital age, it can be tough for parents to get their kids away from the screen and playing actively outside.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to reclaim some of that time and prioritize the importance of living a nature-rich life with our families. If we don’t teach our kids about nature’s majesty, then they’ll be deprived of one of childhood’s most important lessons: that a walk in the woods, a swim in the lake, or a gaze at the stars is one of the most exhilarating and recuperative activities that you can engage in at any stage in your life.

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder…he [or she] needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” – Rachel Carlson

A Fairy Good Time in the Forest

One of the primary motivations of our family’s move to Traverse City was the easy access to some of the most beautiful natural surrounding found anywhere on earth. We try to immerse ourselves in nature as much as possible.

While our twin girls were only two years old at the time of our move, they enjoyed nothing more than trying to keep up with their older sister on the many trails in and around Traverse City. As we spent more time outdoors we observed our kids’ love for, and curiosity about, the natural world around them grow. We noticed that one of our girls’ favorite activities was gathering sticks, stones, pine needles and other natural materials, and then using them to build tiny structures in the woods. To an adult, what they built may have appeared to be just a sloppy pile of nothing, but to them it was a magical world inhabited by mystical creatures.

They were building fairy houses.

We saw how being out in nature, building and exploring, stimulated their senses and encouraged their creativity. We noticed how, when our kids would be on the trails building fairy houses, other kids who happened by would join in the fun.

It is from these experiences that we came up with the idea to build the Fairy Trails, Traverse City’s enchanted forest. It’s been great to see the Fairy Trails grow and flourish this year. We spent time on the Fairy Trails this past Sunday and were delighted to see many of the fun and whimsical new houses that continue to be built and placed along the trails. We also added a couple of new houses of our own that we constructed with the girls on Saturday.

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It has been extremely gratifying to hear from so many people who have reached out to express how much their kids have enjoyed the Fairy Trails over the last six months. Many families have discovered a new favorite hobby – building and placing a fairy house in one of Traverse City’s forests. Indeed, we’ve seen fairy houses pop up far beyond the Fairy Trails in places like Hickory Meadows and Pelizzari Natural Area.

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It won’t be long until the forest floor and the fairy houses get covered by a blanket of snow. While winter is coming, there’s still plenty of time to get outside and engage in an activity that enriches the health and happiness of your family: building a fairy house!

Free Fairy House Building eBook With Crafts!

In an effort to spread the joy, we created a free eBook that we’re releasing today! The information in the eBook provides you with all you need to know about building a fairy house with your children. From materials to use, to binding techniques, to fun crafts and activities, this guide has everything you need to stimulate your child’s sense of wonder about the possibilities of creating a mystical place that is inhabited by fairies and sprites.

Never built a fairy house before? Download the free eBook and give it a try – you may find that you enjoy the process just as much as your kids do. As an added bonus, we included some unique craft ideas to enhance the fairy house building fun.

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There are plenty of nice days left this year before the snow comes. We hope to see you out on the Fairy Trails!