I used to think it was just my boys, but I am coming to understand that all children pick up sticks, rocks, and shells, pieces of grass and dandelions...if allowed. And why shouldn’t they? Children have a natural curiosity to observe, to touch and enjoy all that is around them. So I have always encouraged our boys to explore and collect specimens at their will. But as I began to hear rocks in the dryer and find pieces of sticks in the carpet and caterpillars crawled across the breakfast table, it was clear we needed a better system of holding our treasures. And I wanted a way for these objects to be celebrated more as nature's gifts to us.
Enter the nature table.
A nature table is a great way to help small children mark the seasons of the year. And I can not think of a better way to help the littlest ones appreciate and celebrate the gifts nature gives us with each new season.
Any space dedicated to found treasures from nature will do. It might be a small table on your front porch or a shelf in your living room. Or if space is an issue, even a nature “box” serves the same purpose. Any place where seasonal bits of nature are collected, handled and observed over and over again is perfect!
An old trunk behind our couch serves as our nature table. In the Spring, our table included a small vase of flowers, seashells (there are always shells really), etc. And now that it is autumn, it hosts colorful leaves in various shapes, small dead branches fallen from trees, acorns, shells, stones, seed pods, feathers, and even a dead
Fall Nature Table from tara.mama.wendy
Stefani's nature table
The beginnings of bluebirdbaby's simple nature table