Craft Box Fairy Garden

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Craft Box Fairy Garden

Craft Kit

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70% positive

2 reviews from the community

Review of "Craft Box Fairy Garden"

published 18/01/2017 | snow_drops
Member since : 20/07/2016
Reviews : 215
Members who trust : 22
About me :
Just had my little boy, so you won't see me around Ciao as much as usual for the next wee while :)
Super
Pro interesting and different, kept my daughter entertained, teaches about nature
Cons some of the pieces are poorly made
exceptional
Durability
Value for Money
Quality

"Craft Box Fairy Garden"

Craft Box Fairy Garden

Craft Box Fairy Garden

Craft Box Fairy Garden


Price: from £6.99 to £20.99
Available: Very.co.uk, Amazon.co.uk
Suitable: from age four to eighteen
Offers: the best price I can find is £6.99 on Very.com

Toy Type: craft set (requires assembly)


There are a few different ‘My Fairy Garden’ craft sets available currently, and ours features a little blonde fairy, toadstool, white mouse, cottage, and clothes line – from looking online, this version appears to be the best seller. There is a huge variation on price for this set, so please do a quick search online before purchasing as you could easily pay triple the price in some stores.

First Appearances - Packaging

The ‘My Fairy Garden’ craft set comes in a large cardboard box, measuring 29 x 29 x 16cm and weighing 558g. The front and back of the box look attractive, with photos of the assembled Fairy Garden and a fantasy-style font used for the name. The only part that’s slightly misleading is that the photos show the Fairy Garden with fully grown grass. In fact, the set doesn’t include soil or compost, and your child will need to patiently wait for a while until their Fairy Garden grows to look like these pictures.

What’s inside the box?
Inside the box, we have:
  • A good quality instruction booklet and activity guide (12 pages, all in English, with photo)
  • 1 light orange plastic bowl to contain the garden
  • 1 kneeling fairy figure (she has blonde hair and semi-transparent blue wings)
  • 1 pink and purple fairy cottage made out of foam (needs to be assembled)
  • 1 clothes line with a set of pegs (also requires assembly)
  • 1 item to hang on washing line (a pink piece of material)
  • 1 little packet of grass seeds to sow
  • 1 painted toadstool
  • 1 packet of colourful gravel stones (in a bright rainbow of colours)
  • 1 white mouse figure
  • 1 white shell
  • 1 pack of plastic eight flowers (with white, yellow and purple petals)
  • 1 little packet of star sequins

Playing with it
There is quite a lot in this set, and since my daughter is only three, we’ve had to do it all together, rather than leave her to do it alone. So, our experience of playing with it will be quite different to that of an older child. I felt there were too many small parts to leave her unsupervised, and most of the assembly was too fiddly for her to do alone.

First of all, if you want to assemble the Fairy Garden as the set suggests, you need to have some compost or soil to start off your fairy garden. I knew that my daughter would want to play with the pieces first, so rather than getting the soil ready, we unpacked all the pieces and she spent a long time playing with them in her own way. She put the colourful stones in the bowl and mixed them up, arranged the plastic flowers in them, and played with the fairy and mouse characters for a long time before wanting to move on to actually setting up the garden.

Next, it’s time to put together the fairy cottage – my daughter needed me to do almost all of this as it was too difficult for her. I’d imagine that children would need help with the cottage until age seven or eight, unless they were highly dextrous, as it’s very fiddly! The fairy cottage comes in 10 pieces: the floor, four walls, front door, and four pieces to assemble the roof. Of all the parts included in the set, I was most disappointed with the house. It’s made of thin foam, with edges that slot together, but the pieces don’t stay in place (even when an adult has fitted them), the roof falls off, and the whole structure drunkenly slopes to the side. I had thought that my daughter would be able to open the door and play at putting the fairy and mouse characters inside, but when she tried to open the door, it either came off or made the building come to pieces and fall over. It’s quite frustrating for a young child, in our experience. It would have been preferable to make the house out of another, more sturdy, material, such as thin wood; or alternatively, even make it out of simple cardboard with pieces which were firmly stuck together with glue or tape.

When you are ready to add the soil, you then have fun setting up the Fairy Garden. You can use regular soil from the garden, or bought compost, either will do (we used a mixture). You can either follow the instructions of how to set your garden up, as there are different ideas included in the booklet, or you can do it your own way. You can spend some time deciding where to arrange the pieces, then when your decorations are in place – the fairy, mouse, toadstool, flowers, washing line, shell, and house. We found the washing line decoration wouldn’t stay upright in the soil. I tried setting it up in a few different ways, but it collapsed, so we just abandoned it in the end.

Once your decorations are in place, sprinkle the grass seeds around and water it lightly. After that, pop the bowl on the window sill and wait for your living garden to grow! Remember to water it lightly every couple of days so it doesn’t dry out.

The Fairy Garden can be returned to so your child can play with the characters, or set the pieces up in different ways. They could also add their own little ornaments, signs, or small plants. My daughter likes plants and flowers, so I’m hoping we’ll return to this little set to play with as the grass grows. The soil is quite shallow, so I think it would be best suited to plants which don’t need long roots, such as small succulants or little wild flowers.

Educational Value

Although the Craft Box Fairy Garden set isn’t marketed as an educational toy, I think it has a lot of educational value. Playing with craft sets in general helps young children to develop their fine motor skills and concentration spans. This particular set allows for teaching about nature, seeds and plants in a creative way. We also spoke about colours a lot due to the rainbow gravel. As I said above, my daughter used the characters for role play games as well, with me and on her own, which promotes social learning. We’ll go back to look at the garden every few days so my daughter can see the seeds starting to sprout and grown into grass, which is a lovely real-time lesson in botany.

Quality

The Craft Box Fairy Garden set is quite unusual, in my opinion, in that the pieces range hugely in quality. The fairy figure, gravel, and pegs seem to me like fairly high quality pieces. Some pieces are of average quality, but then others are much lower quality, particularly the house which falls apart.

Safety and Storage

This toy is advised for use under adult supervision. It contains lots of small parts, so isn’t suitable for younger children or those who might put items in their mouth or nose. As it involves touching seeds and soil, children should be supervised to ensure they wash their hands well after use.

Once your Fairy Garden is set up, you have to find a place to store it in the bowl. The bowl is quite a wide circular shape, so it was tricky to find a window sill wide enough to fit it, and it’s a bit precarious where it currently sits, for my liking. I think that a long, rectangular shaped bowl (like a traditional window box shape) would have made storage easier.

What Would I Change?

Although my daughter and I enjoyed playing with this toy together, I would change a few things about this craft set:
  • The white mouse character isn’t very attractive; I’d rather switch it for a squirrel or little bird (but admittedly this may be because I’m not a fan of mice!)
  • Perhaps include an additional fairy friend, to allow more interactive play
  • Option to include compost (for those who may not have a garden, so don’t have easy access to soil or compost)
  • Have a rectangular bowl, so it’s easier to store on a window sill
  • Improve the quality of the house or replace it with something else
  • Remove the clothes line, or make it easier to stand up

Value for Money

As I said above, the price for this set varies hugely. At the lower end of the price scale, I think it represents very good value for money, especially for older children who have longer attention spans and could potentially spend hours playing with this fairy set.

Further Fairy Fun

Once I started looking online, I found lots of similar sets mini garden from the same company. There are small flowerpot sets, little cottages, and so on. For a fan of fairy gardens, it seems there is a lot to choose from!

We would like to visit a local wood which has ‘fairy doors’ on some of its trees – I think this would link in nicely to playing with the set, and my daughter is hopefully young enough that it will still seem quite magical!

Overall

Overall, my daughter has enjoyed playing with this Craft Box Fairy Garden set, but in her own way of playing with the individual pieces, rather than setting up a garden, as it’s intended. I think this is set represents good value, especially at the lower end of the price scale, and can imagine it would keep children entertained up to nine or ten years old.

Photos

1. Front of box
2. Back of box
3. Bowl and some of the packets
4. Putting the house together
5. Some of the items included
6. Playing with the gravel
7. Close up of the rainbow coloured gravel
8. Finished Fairy Garden
9. Finished Fairy Garden on the window sill

Community evaluation

This review was read 366 times and was rated at
94% :
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exceptional

Comments on this review

  • euphie published 26/01/2017
    e :o)
  • boticon published 22/01/2017
    Exceptional review
  • Mac83 published 19/01/2017
    E Rev :)
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Product Information : Craft Box Fairy Garden

Manufacturer's product description

Craft Kit

Product Details

Long Name: Fairy Garden

Type: Craft Kit

EAN: 5026175604015

Manufacturer: Craft Box

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since: 30/12/2014