Fairy Gardens Bring Joy During Pandemic
By Garance Borrut and Beatrice Marx

Beardo by Mason Vosmek

A fairy is a small, winged creature that is useful to spread pollen, but will also help all kinds of animals such as birds, butterflies, bees, hedgehogs or squirrels. Fairies are herbivores and can be found anywhere on earth, even in Antarctica!   

A fairy garden is a tiny special village humans make for fairies with gardens, homes, and even parks with cool features like swings or hammocks. You can often find them in front yards where everybody can see and admire them. They can even be found indoors, in a flower pot or terrarium.

 

When you walk by Hanna Muth’s house, right by the front steps stands a fairy garden on a small slope. It has animals and magnolia pine cone trees placed in it and a little bridge leading to three fairy houses. Two houses consist of a tower and a stone house, inhabited by many fairy figurines. There is also a mushroom house. Muth, the owner of the minuscule village, said that it was originally her mother’s idea, even though she mostly created it. She has worked on her fairy garden a lot more since March 2020, showing that a fairy garden is a good hobby during the pandemic.

Fairy gardens provide a welcome to some of Hyattsville’s tiniest residents. Courtesy of Kit Slack

Because of COVID, many people now enjoy walking, and for Skye Kelly, having a fairy garden was a way to make her front yard more interesting: “Our garden was dull and I wanted to decorate it.” She noticed that lots of people stopped to look at her fairy garden and commented that it brought joy to them every time they passed by. 

 

Here are three tips to build your own fairy garden: 

(1) Find a good location: Muth suggests that you should have enough space for all your decor. People should also be able to see it from the sidewalk.

(2) Use waterproof materials: things like twigs, stones, clay, branches of bushes with leaves, etc. You can also recycle things like old bowls, broken flower pots, plastic containers, or wooden, metal or glass boxes. 

(3) Start small, have fun and add on!

 

HES STEM Fair Continues Despite Covid

 

By Evan Muynila and Tes Schooley

 

Third through fifth graders at Hyattsville Elementary School (HES) are doing a virtual STEM Fair this year. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Students get to pick their own questions and do their projects. Ms. Muscardin is the STEM fair coordinator and a 3rd grade teacher.

 

Students put their project information on Google Slides and will present to their science teachers. The students that are invited to the school STEM fair will share their slides with judges that will be asking questions. Students that receive the highest scores from the judges will move on to the county STEM fair. Students will not have to make tri-fold boards this year.

 

Ellie Wheatly is a 5th grader who is doing a project about slime, and she is seeing which activator makes the stickiest slime. She says some obstacles during the pandemic are “getting supplies because you have to order and wait for it to come” and “getting in contact with teachers.” Some of Ellie’s suggestions are that students should not wait until the last minute, they should put a lot of work into it, and ask lots of questions.

 

The STEM fair is scheduled for March 22. “Since we’re virtual, some obstacles for students are the lack of hands-on experiments in the classroom, using new websites, and online tools,” Ms. Muscardin explained. There are also some challenges for teachers, like limited class time, difficulties helping students pick topics and get tools, and the push to meet deadlines so winners can go to the county fair. 

 

HES Needs Your Help! Volunteer to serve as a virtual STEM fair judge on March 22 from 2-4 p.m.  Contact Ms. Muscardin at gloria.muscardin@pgcps.org.  

 

Sugar Vault Bakery Brings Sweetness to Route 1

By Marta Vaidyanathan

 

Sugar Vault is an amazing bakery known for its over the top sweet treats and creations, especially cupcakes. Their elaborate desserts, filled with odd yet impressive combinations, are designed to be fun and tasty for everyone who tries them. Recently, I sampled some of their desserts with my family.

 

Red Velvet Nutella Cupcake: The cake was good, but the frosting didn’t taste as much like Nutella as I would have liked.

 

Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcake: We enjoyed the flavor, but the frosting was a little too sweet.

 

Caramel Cluster Cupcake: This one was one of my favorites. However, the caramel was a bit hard.

 

Peach Cobbler Doughnut Cake: This one was really tasty. But for some people, there may have been a bit too much going on.

 

If, like me, you don’t like things too sweet, this might not be the best bakery for you. However, all my younger siblings really enjoyed everything. My younger brother Michael said, “They were yummy, but too sweet.” The cake on every cupcake was tasty. Overall, they were good, but the frosting was just too sweet for most of us. Other people must have different views, though, because people from Alexandria and D.C come here just for the cupcakes. Sadly, the bakery is only open for pickup on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Created by contributors in grades K-8, the HyattsKIDS Life & Times features local news, columns, and comics from our city’s youngest journalists. Our editors are Evan LeFevre and Claudia Romero Garvey.  To participate, contact adult adviser Mary Frances Jiménez: mf_jimenez@yahoo.com. We also invite readers’ questions for our “Ask a HyattsKID” advice column.