Liesl van der Hoven – what a remarkable woman! The creator of Fairy Caravan, the story therapist, the inspiration of mindfulness, to me and to many children. What an absolutely genius idea!
“Liesl is an artist, story teller and the owner of Fairy Caravan.
She creates handmade toy characters using her illustrations printed on fabric. She also writes and illustrates stories about these characters which she shares in an online story club.”
With her philosophical mindset (and Masters Degree in Philosophy) paired with her imagination and illustrative flair, characters come to life, stories become three dimensional.
I believe that stories are a wonderful way of explaining concepts to children. By sharing mindful methods of dealing with problems in easily understood stories, it is my aim to share coping skills that will serve a child throughout his/her entire lifetime – Liesl van der Hoven
She goes into a complete creative surge when she develops her characters, so it is no surprise that this beautiful energy and attention to detail transpire into Fairy Caravan’s little creatures. 100% cotton, safe printing methods, consideration for the environment – these are all the things I believe in and look for in a product.
What I value most of all, is how her stories have the potential to support and inspire children to face challenges while growing up. Liesl does her research, and with the help of play therapists she formulates a recipe of ‘read and play’ which captivates children This is one of the underpinning methods for mindfulness, to truly be and stay in the moment, to be aware of every emotion and sensation in that space and time.
Each story has a message and teaches kids very important skills. Play and learn, read and imagine.
We sometimes condemn technology, but Liesl uses it to convey her special stories by means of a Story Club which is accessible through a tablet or Smartphone. She says: “the stories still work their same magic when a parent reads them to a child at bedtime!
I am just in awe of how this whole process translates into this amazing effect it has on my child.
All of the Fairy Caravan toys and dolls start off as hand-drawn illustrations on paper. Once I have completed an illustration and scanned it to my computer, it is time to have it printed on fabric. – Liesl van der Hoven
I remember reading and I remember playing as a child, but this is something much more holistic, it opens up this amazing world where characters come alive and tangible, it re-enforces the story by letting your child take the character home and extend the story into their own little lives.
How wonderful to have this in Mishka’s formative years, to make her aware of her now and here, to get her to be mindful without even knowing it. As adults we have to remind ourselves of this concept, what if we had this ‘training’ of the mind, would we not be much more in tune with what is really going on around us instead of dwelling on the past or skipping to the future. Would we not be much more pleasant to be around, for others and for ourselves.
Fairy Caravan inspires and captivates – but that is not all, each story has accompanying activities – in my next post I will share one of her stories and show you just how all of these aspects come together.