Information for Libraries
Bring a little magic to our public parks and green spaces!
One objective of the Mohawk Valley Library System’s Fairies & Gnomes Summer Learning Project is to bring a little magic to our communities!
In addition to the creation of natural, found-object fairy/gnome homes at participants’ residences and on library lawns, we are hoping to expand our miniature, hands-on projects to local municipal parks and public green spaces — wherever fairies and gnomes might be found!
Toward that end, we encourage participating libraries to reach out to their local municipalities to secure permission for the creation and temporary park-siting of these whimsical architectural designs by participating children and their families.
When contacting the municipality, library personnel should be prepared to briefly describe the activity and to identify the population that will be participating in the program. The officials may want assurances that mask-wearing and social distancing will be observed, and they will likely want to know who should be contacted if there are any problems or damage. They may also want to know if/when projects will be removed and by whom.
Potential questions to ask include the following: Are there any areas that are off-limits to fairy and gnome house construction? Is it OK to post the laminated signage near the fairy/gnome houses? (Please see the signs that Kaitlin has made with Jen’s illustrations.) Are there any rules regulating the use of the park, in general? This information should be communicated to all participants.
Is it necessary to secure written permission for this activity? That depends on the library and the municipality. Since this is an open-ended activity for children and their parents and is not a library-coordinated event, written permission may not be required. Please use your best judgment. At the very least, document the name of the official with whom you consult, the date of any communication, and any other pertinent information.
Finally, please let us know which parks and green spaces in your community will potentially house fairy and gnome constructions so that we can include that information on the map on our website!
Library Programming Ideas
Virtual Storytime anyone? Gnome storytime to adapt from Leah of Sunflowerstorytime.com
Kansas City saw a Great Gnome Escape in 2019, adapt some of their ideas for a safe distancing Great Gnome Escape. For example, ask local businesses to hide pictures of gnomes in their store windows, and have families take pictures.
Create a Fairy and Gnome: Imagine Their Homes STORYWALK. Best practices for a DIY Library Story walk here. Look through the picture books on the Booklist (link) here and purchase at least 2 copies of the title to DIY. (Note: Board book stories not recommended, too thick!)
Hold a Library Clothesline Children’s or Teen Art Show, featuring fairies and gnomes. Here’s some basic instructions to get started. Just make sure you design your Clothesline Art Show around safety and social distancing principles.
Chalk Drawing! Offer chalk to kids in small plastic bags to use (and keep, not share) to draw on suitable surfaces, both horizontal and vertical! Have kids design and draw fairy and gnome doors on library exteriors (check with administration first!), decorate sidewalks with fairy and gnome sightings, if enough space (or ask the local town for the use of the outside basketball court or other large blacktop area) create an obstacle course using chalk drawings and instructions, then add tiny fairy and gnome footprints to lead the way.
Fairy or Gnome Mailbox -- Encourage letter writing by giving kids pre-cut small stationary paper in a plastic bag for a “take and make” activity, let them decorate and write letters to the fairies and the gnomes at the library. Create a small Fairy or Gnome Mailbox from a decorated milk box with an opening for the letters. Ask some teens to decorate, remove daily, quarantine for 3 days, and create a board with tiny messages back. An envelope template is here.
Lady Librarian’s Literacy, Lifestyle, Lookbook Log offers a Gnome Storytime with stories, rhymes, and a simple gnome craft!
If you want different felt gnomes, Storytime Mellie shares her felt gnome patterns at Flannel Friday.
Sample Letter to Send to Towns and Parks
Click below to download in Word.
Fairies & Gnomes: Imagine Their Homes Elevator Pitch
Click below to download in Word.
Downloadable Images for Signage and Clip Art
*Click on the image, then right-click and choose "Save As" to save the image on your computer.
Downloadable Buttons for Your Website
These colorful buttons can be used as links on your library's website to connect patrons to 518fairyhomes.com. To download, click on a desired image, then right-click and choose "Save As" to save the image on your computer.
Making Fairy Dolls Kits
Here are an instruction sheets and a supply list for any library that is making flower fairy kits for "take and make."
See our Events page for more info.
Click the icon to the left to download printable instructions.