Building a pumpkin fairy cottage has become my children’s favorite autumn tradition! Even my teenager gets excited! We love adventure and spending time outside as a family. They have a beautiful sense of wonder and making a pumpkin fairy cottage is an opportunity for them to explore and use their imagination. I see each of their unique personalities come out when creating their little fairy cottage. First, we head out on our scavenger hunt to forage for a wide variety of natural materials for our little homesteads.
Supplies for making a pumpkin fairy Cottage:
- A Pumpkin: we use smaller pumpkins that would be similar to a small fairy house. You can use a larger pumpkin and it would be easier to carve. You could also buy a decorative pumpkin if your looking for a more whimsical cottage.
- Natural Materials: Leaves, stones, moss, fungi, pinecones, acorns, tree bark, flowers, sticks, etc…
- A Hot Glue Gun & Sticks
- A Light: you could use a candle or a battery-operated flameless light.
- Foraging Materials: Bag or Basket, and Scissors
How to Forage for natural materials:
Autumn is my favorite time to get out and forage with my children. I’m amazed by the number of items we discover on the forest floor this time of year! The vibrant colors and variety of trees in the Midwest give us so many options. You can forage anywhere, but be creative. You can start in your own backyard, your neighborhood, a local park, or your favorite hiking trail. We try to forage at a few different locations so we can get a variety of leaves, tree barks, fungi, and nuts or seeds. Remind your children that while foraging to check with an adult before picking anything that they can’t identify.
Prepping for the PUmpkin Fairy cottage:
When we get back home we lay everything out on our farmhouse table (covered in a table cloth) and start to sort our natural materials. Sometimes we have to get rid of items that are home to mini-beasts. My kids like to share some of their findings with each other and see what their siblings found. This is when the magic happens. I start to see them pulling together what they want to use, sharing ideas, and asking for suggestions. They are ready to create!
Prepare your pumpkin by cutting out the bottom and cleaning out the seeds. I have my kids wipe down their pumpkin after they get out all the seeds and make sure it is dry.
Have your children plan out their windows and door with a Sharpie marker. Remind them that windows and doors can be any shape. When cutting keep in mind that little imperfections can be covered and will likely not be seen. You can use a little Lemon EO to get off any extra marker.
It’s time to decorate and use your imagination! I use the hot glue gun and have each kid bring me their pumpkin once they know where they want to place a natural material. I put the glue onto the pumpkin and then gently press the material onto the pumpkin.
where to put your pumpkin Fairy Cottage
We placed our pumpkin fairy cottages in our front garden! They were just beautiful and my kids talk for weeks about the whimsical fairies that might be visiting! This year my youngest daughter decided to use her small pumpkin cottage in her fairy garden. She creates a seasonal fairy garden and what better house for autumn than a real pumpkin!
Looking for ways to increase learning about your pumpkin fairy cottage? Here are some great ideas for continuing your nature study.
- Sketch and label the anatomy of a pumpkin in your nature journal.
- Identify all the natural materials you used on your pumpkin cottage.
- Write a story about your pumpkin fairy cottage. Who lives there and how did they find it?