November 26, 2014

A Faery Special Family Day

 

PHOTO BY ANNEMARIE DONKIN MESSENGER 2014

A Faery Special Family Day

A faery could guide children through the forest on a Faery Treasure Hunt.

For many Topanga residents, the Secret World of Faeries may be as close as your own backyard or nearest California ­State Park. Below are some fun, creative and magical ways to get outside and connect with the natural world while simultaneously exploring and discovering the Secret World of the Faeries.

“I’m going on a Faery H­­unt! I’m gonna catch a big one! I'm not scared, no I’m not scared!” By changing the words to the popular children's book, “I’m going on a Bear Hunt,” by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen, a seemingly normal walk or hike can be transformed into a Faery adventure.

Instead of looking for a bear, you and your children can go on a Faery Treasure Hunt, looking for clues along the path that let you know a Faery could be near. An ordinary hole in a tree can be transformed into a door that leads to Faeryland. A fallen feather might be a clue that a bird faery has flown near here. ­­­Various flowers, vegetation and landscapes might be the homes and hiding spaces of the Faeries.

PHOTO BY ANNEMARIE DONKIN MESSENGER 2014

A Faery Special Family Day

A sign seen outside the "Scented Garden" shop in Cambria, CA.

Through their exploration of Faeries, children can become intimately familiar with native landscapes, vegetation and the creatures. Through the familial experience of going on a Faery Treasure Hunt, children and their families can begin to either develop or deepen what educational theorist and author Howard Gardner, in his book, “Multiple Intelligences,” calls the Naturalistic Intelligence. Gardner states "the Naturalistic Intelligence involves the full range of knowing what occurs in and through our encounters with the natural world including our recognition, appreciation and understanding of our natural environment.” Children can opt to bring a basket for collecting any beautiful and special natural materials they find on the ground, which later can be used in Faery-related activities.

The materials collected on your Faery Treasure Hunt can be collected with the intention of making Faery Houses with them. The first step in making a Faery House is to choose where you would like the location of your house to be.

PHOTO BY ANNEMARIE DONKIN MESSENGER 2014

A Faery Special Family Day

The Faery Pledge sign found at the "Scented Garden" shop in Cambria, CA.

If possible, try to choose a place that is somewhat protected from the natural elements. The second step is to build your Faery House using the sorted natural materials that have been collected.

Once the Faery House has been built, communicate as a family to the Faeries that you have built a special Faery house for them and would like to become their friends! ­­Due to the variety of materials, children can begin to develop relationships and appreciation for the variety of textures, designs and colors that are a part of Mother Nature’s treasure chest. Through the building and construction process, children explore mathematical concepts of the natural objects such as their size, weight, mass, height and length. Lastly, allow this to be a child-led and child-directed activity. Rather than telling your children how or what to do, reflect back to them their own questions. This act of reflecting supports children in coming up with their own answers, resulting in an elevated sense of self-confidence and self-esteem.

Now that your family has had experiences connecting with the Faeries and nature through the Faery Treasure Hunt and Faery House building, it is time to deepen and extend upon these experiences through the creation of your own Family Faery Tale Yogic Adventure.

During Faery Tale Yoga, each family member takes three to five turns telling their part of a collaborative Faery Tale, which can include any combination of yoga, song, storytelling or dance. The yoga poses can be actual poses or made up poses. It doesn’t matter, just have fun with it. Faery Tale Yoga supports children in engaging their large muscle groups as they hop, skip, run, jump, stretch and strengthen their muscles in accordance with various traditional and non-traditional yoga poses. Lastly, Faery Tale Yoga frees the hearts, minds and imaginations of children as they joyfully embody the characters and act out the Faery Tale story through a multi-media yogic experience!

“Every blade of grass has an angel standing over it saying ‘Grow! Grow!’” The Faeries are those angels who take care of earth, land, and sea.

The above activities are just a few ways that your family can begin to enter the world of Faeries, as well as begin to cultivate caring, healing relationships with the Faeries and the earth. As your family begins spending more time outside exploring and connecting with the Faeries, you just might start thinking like Faeries do!

You might notice a plant needs water or there is trash lying on the ground. Caring for and protecting the earth, just like the Faeries do, can transform your family into an earth Faery Crew. A Crew who knows just what to do to show love to the earth and the Faeries too!

Meghan Mulqueen, M.A. is the Creative Director and Founder of the Secrets of the Faeries Company, which creates beautiful one-of-a-kind, dynamic, creative, and multi-media Faery Party and Family Nature experiences throughout Los Angeles and Southern California. When she is not supporting children and their families in learning the Secrets of the Faeries, she works as a Preschool teacher at First Presbyterian Nursery School in Santa Monica, CA. Please visit her website, www.secretsofthefaeries.com for more information.