Keeping a Nature or Seasonal Table in your home is a beautiful, creative and educational experience to share with your children and can be as simple or elaborate as you like. A nature table provides a dedicated way for your family to follow the natural cycle of the year.
A simple shelf space, a deep window sill, a centre piece of the dining room table or a side table all make a perfect stage in which to explore nature at home, inside. Make sure wherever you choose that your children can see and engage with the display, that they can visit anytime to observe, explore and appreciate connecting to nature.
Children will love the ritual of helping to create an indoor nature alter at the beginning of each new season and the ongoing invitation of collecting, making and displaying things they gather on walks, adding seasonal books, postcards, photos or poems and craft inspired by that season. This hands-on engagement provides for so much incidental learning, building connections to the natural world and a deeper understanding of the seasonal rhythms of the year.
The foundations for setting the scene can be a simple piece of cloth and an interesting branch or rocks collected on a nature walk plus a little vase of local flowers. Use colour to help convey the ‘mood’ of the season, so be inspired by the colours in nature around you.
Autumn – collections of interesting autumn leaves of changing colours (you can also paint some with melted wax and once dry attach to windows or hang from a branch like a mobile). Gather acorns or other nuts and pods from your local area. Make some toadstools and little gnomes from gum-nuts or peg dolls with simple felt capes.
Winter – some bare wintery twigs and a little cave made from some airdry clay with a sprinkling of crystals or pebbles. A slice of crystal agate in frosty blue tones looks like a magical frozen pond. Some thinly pulled white wool fleece on branches and base looks like Jack Frost has been. A little campfire crafted from sticks and fire coloured wool creates a hint of warmth for little gnome folk.
Spring – pastel tones, butterflies and bees are lovely crafting ideas to explore. A blossom branch and a woven little nest made from twigs/ raffia/ string/ wool and some little clay or felted eggs. A sprinkling of flowers or a flower garland adds to the beauty of spring.
Summer – a seaside theme is a good one to explore for summer with watery tones, seashells, hand-made sea creatures and/ or a boat, driftwood, mermaids and sunshine.
To help get you started on creating your own Nature Table we have some free seasonal craft patterns to download (just add to cart) in our Craft category and links below to inspire and support your seasonal table explorations.