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June 14, 2016

Inspire imagination and a love of reading by complementing a book with a fun craft. Today, we'll discuss fairies so get out your magic wand and join the fun!

I have a passion for teaching and I love working with children. Pair that with my background in art and crafts, and I’ve found that developing craft ideas based on books for children of any age is right up my alley. I believe in bringing JOY to reading and, well, pretty much everything else in life - but we are talking books here. Enhancing the reading experience with something hands-on is a fun way to reinforce what you’ve read.

Some of my best story times have been chock-full of fairies. You smiled, didn’t you? Admit it--who can NOT smile when fairies are mentioned? Who can resist the thought of fairies making their tiny homes in the hollow of a tree or in a hidden corner? And the craft possibilities are nearly endless!

Two of my favorite fairy-based children’s books are The Knot Fairy and The Sock Fairy by Bobbie Hinman. In The Knot Fairy we are introduced to a playful pixie who visits children while they sleep and delights in weaving their hair into tangled knots - well, that explains a lot! The Sock Fairy reveals the answer to an age old conundrum - exactly where DO those missing socks disappear to? You guessed it...fairies!

But where do these somewhat troublesome sprites reside when not messing our hair or stealing our socks? In their own fairy houses created especially for them by children, of course. Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane, introduces the wide-eyed child to the possibility that fairies are all around, just out of our line of sight. If you build a home for the fairies, they will come. It's an activity that requires little preparation and simple craft items.

Make a Fairy House


  • colored and patterned paper
  • toilet paper rolls
  • tape or glue sticks
  • scissors
  • markers
  • cupcake liner cups


  1. Cut a rectangle of paper slightly larger than the roll then wrap and tape into place. A neat way to finish the top and bottom of the roll is to cut slits in the overhanging paper and turn it up inside the roll.
  2. Design and cut out doors and windows for your house. Apply these with glue. You can even cut the door opening three quarters of the way around and have a flap that opens for the door.
  3. Add a cute cupcake liner upside down or roll a piece of paper for the crowning glory--the top--and there you have it! Details like window mullions and flowers or vines can be added with markers. Think outside the box--or the toilet paper roll--as the case may be!

To finish off story time, we went outside and the children built their own versions of fairy houses using found materials (grass, twigs, nuts/nutshells, rocks--whatever we could find!). We built the houses around the trees in the park adjacent to the library, focusing on the trees with holes in their bases. The kids loved it and were amazingly creative in turning ordinary materials into intricate fairy palaces replete with furniture. I even blew bubbles to float in through the air so we could pretend they were fairies looking for a home! Magical!  

And magical is what exploring stories should be for children! Let crafts help bring books alive and inspire imaginations to soar! 

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Lou Anne works as the Children's Specialist at the Richland Park Branch Library. She loves working with children and young adults to create fun learning experiences, including craft projects. For more information about programs at NPL check out the Events Calendar.