We have finally finished Sophie’s play area in the garden (except for the shed which I hope to turn into a play house next summer). After completing her barefoot sensory path and play pergola, we covered the rest of the area with play bark. The bark didn’t stay on the slope very well so I decided to turn the three tree trunk stumps into fairy houses with a fairy garden.
I wanted to add some plants that would stay small so I bought some alpine plants. I also bought a couple of varieties of creeping thyme which I hope will eventually grow and cover lots of the slope.
During one of Sophie’s naps I planted the alpines and thyme and added some details to the fairy garden such as stone steps and bark doors.
I bought a cheap toy from a charity shop and took the tyres off to use in the fairy garden. I used one tyre to make a swing using a branch and some twine.
I also used another one to make a mini version of Sophie’s dinosaur small world tyre.
I found these mini pallets in a shop called Tiger which are supposed to be coasters but I used them to make a mini version of Sophie’s mud kitchen.
When Sophie woke up from her nap, I took her out to show her. She enjoyed emptying the tyres but that was about it! After a few weeks of Sophie not really playing with it I decided to hide some bugs in the fairy garden after we finished our bug hunt.
This captured her interest and she came over to have a closer look. Sophie pretended to make the bugs crawl around and then knocked on the doors that I had made out of bark.
You can see some of the alpines haven’t survived (maybe because Sophie trod on them!) but some have flowered and the thyme now has gorgeous purple flowers.
She still loved emptying the tyres and posting them on the tyre swing but this time she started to fill them back up too. Here are some bugs having fun in the sand pit that she created!
She put one of the bugs into the pond so I added some water to it.
Sophie was soon splashing away in there too!
I think the idea of a fairy garden was too abstract for Sophie, who has never heard of fairies! By adding some figures for her to use, she began to play and we now have a ‘bug garden’. The figures are made from plastic so we have left them outside in their bug garden and Sophie often plays with them when she is in the garden. My next project is to make a bug hotel to attract real insects and mini beasts for her to find.
Follow Play at Home Teacher:
Like it? Pin it!