Fairy Houses All Year: A NetGalley Review

We have recently redone our the landscaping area directly in front of our house. It used to be all bushes, which I have never liked. Something about how meticulous they have to look in order to be attractive has never appealed to me. I’ve always been partial to more of an English cottage garden, less structure, more natural growth. I’ve been planning this new area for a couple of years and fell in love with the idea of miniature gardens and houses.
This sweet little book gives ideas for anyone, young or old, who want to build miniature gardens or houses throughout every seasons. One of the neat ideas is to keep a journal throughout the year where you can write down ideas for materials that you find. They also suggest noting if you think fairies have visited. While our family does not have a problem playing make believe this is not something I would encourage my daughters to do because we try to make a clear distinction between reality and make-believe. 
The photographs of children creating houses and pictures in nature are delightful. They are beautiful and fun. The children are clearly just having fun and creating, definitely not posed, which makes it more fun to read.
I really love the step-by-step guide right in the beginning for building simple enough for children to follow. I also like the suggestions for what to collect for each season. There are also some fun activities to make like dandelion chains and candied violets. 
The only downside to the book in my opinion is the encouragement to fully believe in fairies. I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but we have always tried to distinguish truth from fiction. Is there any harm in children hearing fairy tales? I don’t think so. We love telling fictional stories to our kids, especially ones that reflect truth from Scripture like The Chronicles of Narnia. At the same time we make a clear distinction between make-believe and reality because we never, ever want our children to think we have told them a make-believe story about Jesus and the miracles He performed, most importantly His death and resurrection which provides our salvation. 
So, I did enjoy this book, but read with caution if you are concerned about how your children will perceive this book. 
Disclaimer: I received this title from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way. I was not required to write a positive review.

Field Trip: Home Depot Project

When free field trip opportunities come our way we jump at the chance. I’ve seen these projects at Home Depot advertised for a couple of years, but we hated to take one of the girls and not both. I thought this one looked like a lot of fun so my husband called to check on the ages and they said that even though there is a suggested age range, everyone is welcome! So we packed up the girls on this usually cook Saturday morning and ventured to our first Home Depot Kids Project Workshop!

The workshop area is set up outdoors, but is enclosed with an orange barrier and underneath the cover close to the store. I appreciate the care taken to make this as safe and enjoyable as possible. The only downside to the morning was the store had not received their order of kids’ aprons. Since this project involved painting that would have been really nice. We hope to get one next time!
The nice Home Depot employee gave the girls a variety of colors and our girls were thrilled to have their favorites as choices! Beth picked pink, Rose purple, and Grace blue. Beth liked painting, but did not appreciate the cold wind that was blowing. May is usually very warm in the south so we anticipate warmer weather next month.  She liked handling the screwdriver although she did need a little help from us to get it tight enough. She loved the color of pink paint and happily painted the back of her planter pink once she finished up with the screwdriver. 

Rose loves working with her hands and likes to make crafts. Before we even started she asked excitedly, “Can we come again next week!?!?” Her only frustration is she likes to do everything on her own and doesn’t always like to wait on help from one of us. She did quite well getting the screw in place for the project and only needed a bit of help getting it started. Her favorite part of the project was planting the flowers for the planter. 
Grace jumped into this project without any hesitation! She knew right away she wanted to paint it blue and went at it with gusto. She did want to mix the colors more than she wanted to paint at first though. I liked that the brushes the girls used were sponge brushes. They easily painted on the wood and did not give such a think coat that it took a long time to dry. Grace is still young enough she doesn’t mind extra help from her parents. She was younger than the target age, but had a lot of fun and did a great job! 
Finally the girls were ready to get flowers for their planters! 
Everyone was so kind and engaging with the girls. I can imagine there might be times when this could be a rather thankless job, but the employees were all very patient and pleasant, directly instructing the girls and allowing them to fully participate in every aspect of the project.
Grace wanted to add a lot of dirt! She was just tall enough to reach the into the cart and scoop out some dirt for her pots. 
Beth has always loved playing int he dirt and really enjoyed this part as well. I liked that the project included more than just the building and incorporated gardening as well.
The girls were allowed to pick which flowers they wanted in the planters. Each chose one red and one purple. We’ll make sure these get hung in a nice sunny spot outside! 
This is definitely a great way to give kids a hands-on project with no cost to your family! In addition to the project the kids each get a project apron (getting ours next time!) and a project pin to place on their apron. Collecting a variety of pins is just one more fun aspect to this outing! We look forward to participating each time one of these activities is available!
Family Friendly: 10
Kids Engagement: 10
Likelihood to return: 10