Imagination is a part of childhood and should be nourished where ever possible. Most of us grew up listening to fairy stories, and believing in the unbelievable. When your parents said something to be true, you believed it – this makes the fantasy world become ever more real in your child’s eyes and heart.
When I was approached to write an article about a little doorway that leads into the fairy land beyond the walls, I jumped at the chance.
As a family my husband and I are always trying to evoke imagination, in as many aspects of the kids’ lives as possible. We tell them stories about the tiny people that live in the trees. The seed pods that have dropped from the trees are their hats, and falling leaves are their air boards. It’s so magical seeing your son trying to put on one of the seed pods as a hat, over and over again!
Sally from ‘Lil Fairy Door has created a doorway for our children’s imagination to flow into. It’s such a simple and yet powerful way to get those creative juices flowing for not only the kids but us as parents.
There are a number of different colour doors you can choose, Pink, Blue, Rainbow, Springtime, Frozen, Christmas, and it goes on. There are lots of accessories you can get with ‘Lil fairy door, from mini mail boxes for the fairies to leave notes, little mushrooms, grass and moss matts, mini Christmas Wreaths, little fairy footprints and a lovely Tooth fairy certificate kit.
I was sent a ‘Lil Fairy Door Kit, which you can paint yourself! You receive a plain white door, and some powdered eco earth paints that are made with real earth and 100% non toxic. You just add a little water to create the desired depth of colour you want. A lot of pre made paints on the market have chemical stabilisers, petrochemicals, fillers and preservatives – having safe water soluble paints for your child to play with is a big plus – Easy to clean up too! In my ‘Kit’ there was also a beautiful little natural twig paint brush, I will admit due to it’s beautifully natural form it wasn’t the most ideal to actually paint with. But that could be because I wanted clean straight lines – I ended up using it as my fairy dust brush. I’ll most definitely keep hold of it though, I have totally fallen in love with it – It kind of makes me feel like a fairy!
When using the paints I would suggest adding water very slowly. I put a bit to much in my first colour and it went too watery, I ended up mixing some of the colours and was able to get the texture I needed and some lovely colours.
My husband and I set up our little fairy door ready for the kids the next morning. I was getting creative and wanting to bring the whole outside in, my husband had to rein me in slightly!
We brought out the felted fairy garden mat and surrounded it with all the little people (their toy figures), as if they’d been waiting for the fairies to arrive.
We brought the kids out the next morning, they were quite shocked – in a lovely way. They were both knocking on the door and trying to open it. We told them that the door could only be opened from the other side by the fairies, Pixie seemed to be happy with that, however Bert wanted the door open! The kids then got Pixie’s pixie dolls and were knocking their hands on the door. I guess hoping they had more luck than the kids!
The kids seemed to really enjoy building a little story about the door. Who knows where their imagination will take them!
We have already used the idea of there being fairies to our advantage. Pixie had a pretty horrible splinter in her finger and wouldn’t let me near her to get it out. We waited till she was asleep and got the torch and tweezers out! Next morning I asked to look at her ‘Hurty’, she realised it had gone and she looked quite surprised. I told her that maybe the fairies had taken it out in the night, Pixie agreed and then proceeded to tell me that there were 3 of them – This comment is the beginning and it melted my heart .
Rika is a unique and interesting company founded in Brazil in 2004, by designer Ricardo Geldres and artist Kareen Nishimura. They mostly use reclaimed materials, and some recycled – such like rubber, cardboard and also renewable resources – with this they create some really quirky toys. What caught my eye though were their robots, they are so fun! I look at them and feel as though child has designed them. They have – I feel – really captured a child’s imagination, on how they’d make a robot themselves, from what they could find in their craft cupboard. In saying that it looks like a child’s made it is very much a compliment, and by no means meaning it looks badly made – they look really durable and solid, as you can see.
Rika also make – cardboard cars, an array of animals from rubber, wallets, handbags, lamps and baskets.
Most people are aware that one of the most important parts of a child’s upbringing is Play. Children learn vast amounts about themselves, others and the world – real and imaginary – this creates the back bone of our generations to come. Nurturing this in my eyes is essential and SO MUCH FUN (not only for the kids)!
Makedo are encouraging us to reuse and recycle what would normally be thrown out – boxes, paper cups, toilet rolls, tissue boxes, the list is endless – they have enabled kids to truly Make what their imaginations can see.
There are two sorts of kits you can buy, the ‘Make anything kits’ which is where you do exactly that – you get a safe-saw, pins, clips and lock hinges along with a poster of inspiration, and you let your imagination run wild and free. The ‘Guided kits’ are filled with the same parts – along with card cut outs to use for example a Robot, Aeroplane and Monster faces to name a few.
This is the ‘Make anything Kit’
These are some of the ‘Guided Kits’
Here are some of the amazing ideas you can make.
Graphic designer Debbie Smith realised her family were not particularly environmentally conscious, Debbie set out to change this – so her children would grow up aware of the earth and it’s precious resources – This is when the Idbids were born.
There’s Scout the cloud, Lola the flower and Waverly the water drop, all with their own areas of expertise on how to take ‘iddy biddy’ steps to improve the environment.
The Idbids come with a colourful photographic story book (printed on recycled paper and with eco-friendly inks) teaching kids how they can look after the planet. You also get an Idbids field guide that has 10 ‘iddy biddy’ steps on becoming greener, with a certificate of completion issued by an online reward program once your child has finished. There is also an organic cotton bag so your child can carry round their green kit whenever they please.
The Idbids plush toys are made by Under the Nile with 100% Organic Egyptian cotton – without the use of chemicals or pesticides. The dyes used are vegetable or metal free. All farms and facilities used to produce the Idbids product are certified Fair-trade.
Idbids at this time only post to the US and Canada. I’m certainly looking forward to when this becomes international.
Under The Nile was born 13 years ago by a mother whose baby was coming out in rashes wearing clothes, she couldn’t find any clothes soft enough that helped her baby’s skin. I have found out from reading her bio that cotton is known to be one of the world dirtiest crops due to the amount of insecticides used – So going organic with cotton really does seem to be worth it in my eyes.
I first bought one of the Bean Veggie toys when the kids were quite little, the website said it was good for teething so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s really firmly packed so although not rock hard, it’s hard enough for soft baby gums. I then went on to buy the Carrot and the Fruit basket, which too got gummed away at. Although the teething time is now over (thank goodness) these toys are still very much in use, we use them in imaginary play with tea sets, and when cooking dinner on the floor with my pots and pans, I’m sure when they get older still they’ll enjoy them with new imaginary games.
Each Fruit & Veggie has a delicate little face stitched onto it that gives them a very sweet personality – They are made inside to out with 100% Organic Egyptian cotton, that’s had no pesticides or chemicals used at any stage during the growing and production process and are completely non toxic.