Family Fun #6: Summer Magic

One of the things I love about living in Ann Arbor is that we have fairies living here. Lots of them. You doubt? We have fairy doors all over town. We have a fairy car that appears regularly at our annual car show. And of course we all know that in the summer the woods and hills are full of fairies and fairy magic. Take some time this week for some magical explorations.

1. Build a fairy door. I was amazed at the variety of YouTube videos on building fairy doors. Why would any home be without one? You could watch one video or half a dozen—or none at all. Think about what fairies in your area could use to build. Craft sticks? Pieces of an old doll house? Wood scraps from the garage? Fairies are very inventive and flexible thinkers. Think about what is unique about your home and family (or business or school) and create the door that will lure just the right fairy to live there. Fortunately, we don’t need to worry about how the door will open. The fairies will take care of that.

2. Or if you, like me, are entranced by all things small and magical, try building a fairy garden. I will admit it, these photos made me want to run out and start planting. And the directions for making everything from fairy fairy mailboxes to fairy tire swings—well, the website had me hooked. But fairy homes and gardens can be much more humble things. Find a quiet corner of woods or garden and build with the leaves and twigs around you. Nothing can be more appropriate for building fairy furniture. Check out this fairy bed from the Open Window Studio blog and think about what you could build for fairies in your area.

3. Do you think fairies are just for girls? Shakespeare didn’t! Oberon, King of the Fairies in medieval and Renaissance literature, is probably best known as a character in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This might be just the time to introduce your children to Shakespeare’s most magical play, perhaps using this narrative from the UK’s Bitesize Theatre Company. If they like the story, there are lots of YouTube videos of scenes, including this trailer for a production done almost entirely by children. Who knows, perhaps you’ll inspire a play of your own.

4. Or maybe you’d like to learn some magic of your own. Here’s an easy introduction to creating a magic tube. Think about how you could adapt this trick to make other things appear. Explore the rest of the website and see what other tricks look like fun.

5. Every wizard, magician, or fairy needs a wand. And as Harry Potter has taught so many of us, each wand should be uniquely matched to its owner. Here’s a website that gives directions for making a Harry Potter wand from paper, glue, and paint, with pretty impressive results. (These are especially nice because they have minimal potential to be actual weapons–not that I know any children who would do that….) You can also find the same directions in pdf form, but only with a membership to instructables. Be sure to make the wand your own. You could make a sleek and colorful magician’s wand, a glittery fairy wand, or a weathered wizard’s wand (try saying that three times quickly)!

Enjoy some magical summer days and do share what you do!

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