We are huge Ben & Holly fans! I think sometimes that I like Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom even more than Noah does. Maybe it's because I'm British (just joking, while I was born in England, we moved before I was 2, so I doubt I can consider myself really British), but I just like their humor. A lot of the voices are the same as Peppa Pig, so if you aren't paying attention you might think you are watching another episode of Peppa... except that the story lines are very different. In case you've never heard of it, it's about a fairy (Holly) and an elf (Ben) and their families. They are super tiny and live in a little girl's (Lucy) garden. My favorite characters are Nanny Plum (Holly's nanny) and the Wise Old Elf (who basically has every job in the book). Noah originally found the show on YouTube, but since then we've been recording it and watch it often.
I figured why not use this show as inspiration for some crafts to do with Noah. First up, we made a "fairy garden". While you would think fairies would live in these gardens (duh!), we quickly realized ours would be a bit different. At first I tried to find Ben & Holly figurines, but they seem to only be sold from British companies and I wasn't really in the mood to pay a lot for them. And I personally had a hard time finding generic, plastic fairies and elves. So we took some creative license and turned these fairy gardens into a flower gardens filled with Noah's favorite things...
My favorite part of "fairy gardens" is that you have total creative freedom. Take a trip to the dollar or craft store and grab any little thing that you might find in nature (and even things that don't). Your options are endless. While Noah prefers the creepy crawly (snakes, lizards, and bugs), you could also do butterflies and princess type things.
Random stuff from the dollar store. We included plastic snakes, bugs, lizards, and dinosaurs, drink umbrellas, mini windmills, rocks/stones, and shells. Then because Grandma was helping us out with this craft, she also picked up mini Transformers and mini Paw Patrol figurines. Totally makes sense that Optimus Prime would be living in a fairy garden!!!
Once you have all your goodies, it's all about assembly. First you fill the flower pots with soil. I recommend either having a saucer or filling the bottom with rocks first. You don't want the soil to fall out of the pot, but you also want the pot to drain when you water the flowers.
Just as you would when planting any flower, dig a little hole in the soil and place the flower inside.
Now is the fun part... filling your pot with all the goodies. The idea is that this is where your little fairy (or Transformer/Paw Patrol pup in Noah's case) lives. There are really no rules here, just let your child have fun :)
We had enough materials to make multiple gardens, and since Noah was so into doing them, we let him make 3. We now have them out on our front stoop for all of our guests to admire.
In Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom, Ben the elf flies around on a lady bug named Gaston. Since this is a British show, they call it a lady bird, and I secretly love that and want to start calling them that too! After making our fairy gardens, I thought it would be so fun to make our own little Gaston :)
White card stock (cut into a half circle) or a paper plate (cut in half)
Red tissue paper squares
Black construction paper - cut into 6 legs, circles (for the spots), and the head with antennae
Crayon (if you want to draw a nose and mouth)
I had Noah cover the white card stock with glue. Then he just stuck the tissue paper squares all over the body of the ladybug.
Using more glue, he attached the googly eyes to the head and the head to the body. Then he glued on all the black spots.
I then helped him attach the 6 legs using scotch tape. While you could use glue, I find that tape just works better for the long haul.
Noah decided his ladybug had to have a nose and mouth, so we grabbed some crayons.
My favorite part was that when he finished the ladybug, Noah wanted to make some mud for it to "sit in". So he grabbed the brown crayon, colored a piece of paper, and then cut it down to size. I then helped him tape it to the bottom of the ladybug. I love that he is so creative!
^^^ "I got glue on my hand, I need a wipe!"... this kid really doesn't like being dirty!