Do you have a Nature Table in your house? A simple collection of both natural and human-made treasures, a Nature Table gently connect us with the seasons. It is not a play-place, but a quiet reminder inside of what is happening outside and our connection to it.
A branch or piece of wood and a cloth are plenty to get you started. You can add some wooden and woolen animals and a human figure or two if you have them. We've created some just for this purpose and also use the kids' playthings. Then, as you and your children explore outside the collection will morph and shift with found objects added to the table. Ours have been an ever-shifting display of flowers, stones, branches, nests, leaves, and nuts.
Until this winter we've always had one on a medium sized side table in the corner of our living room. It was irresistible to the cat who loved to jump up on it and knock everything onto the floor and so was usually in some state of tattered disrepair. We reorganized our space this winter and temporarily retired the Nature Table, but we've missed it!
Yesterday I spent some time organizing our exploding shoe collection by the front door. I hung some old IKEA shoe boxes on the wall for the kids and decides to create a mini Nature Table on top. This serves a double purpose of limiting clutter on the top of the cabinet and giving the kids a daily peek at the Nature Table.
The space we have to work with here is very small - which is perfect for us to help keep the collection from getting out of control or becoming another play space for the kids. Today it is simply a silk and piece of driftwood (thanks, Anne!), Mother Earth, a bunny, a lamb and a sheep. At bedtime last night Lupine and Sage slipped away and I found the animals and Mother Earth lying down, asleep on the silk.
We've enjoyed this book for ideas through the years, but really your own inspiration is all that you need. Some great Nature Table starters for Spring are:
~ Seasonal flowers from your garden or a flower shop
~ Bowl of sprouting wheat grass
~ Forced flowering branches from a crab apple tree
~ Light green or pale yellow silk or cloth
~ "Root children" dolls
~ Felt or wooden eggs
~ Lambs and chicks
~ Bird's nests
I will post photos of the table as it shifts through the seasons. Will you share yours? I've created a LuSa Organics/Clean Flickr pool just for you! Pop over and upload some pictures. I can't wait to see what you have to share.