If you have visited our blog before, you likely know we like to be outside. We love to be out exploring and almost always we come home with treasures from our adventures. These treasures get played with, put in bins and baskets, and used in crafts, just like in these amazing indoor nature activities. But recently I have been introduced to the idea of nature tables … specifically a Waldorf nature table.
We have been attending a parent-child class at our local Waldorf school. One of the many things my children are drawn to at this class is the nature table.
What is a Waldorf nature table? It is simply a collection of natural materials, often displaying a simple scene from the current season. The beautiful thing about a nature table is that it can be anything at all – any collection of things from nature, things found on a nature walk, stones and sand from the beach, anything!
I had been meaning to make one at home for some time, but it took a push from a fellow Woodsy Mama to actually have me create one. Ann, from My Nearest and Dearest, decided to organize a day for several nature loving bloggers to post about their current nature table. So finally (finally!) my kids have their very own, Waldorf inspired one. Be sure to click through to all of the other nature table ideas listed at the bottom of this post! You are bound to be inspired to try this simple, meaningful nature learning idea.
Our Winter Waldorf Nature Table
This nature table (like most everything we do) is a mix of a few things … not solely a Waldorf nature table. We added some tweezers for Science exploration, a pencil to document anything that might need documenting, and a mirror for a touch of Reggio – and because my toddler is incredibly fascinated by mirrors right now. Besides this, our winter nature table did have a Waldorf flare.
This nature table came to be after some time outside. We had a lovely break from our ridiculously chilly weather and we were able to be outside without the air hurting our faces 🙂 We gathered up some twigs, tree branches, pine needles and pine cones and headed indoors to make the much anticipated table.
Our little Waldorf gnomes were perfect additions to our nature table – and provided my little ones with characters for the stories and adventures this table would come to hold. We also brought inside a little bit of snow which was perfect for sticking the branches into and creating forests.
This table has only been used for a day – and has already been a huge hit with all of the kids. The tweezers have been used to pull leaves and pine needles off of branches,
The mirror has been used to hold snow, pine cones, and lots of 16 month old silly faces and kisses.
And the pencil has not been used yet … But I still hold that you never know when something will need to be documented!
Most importantly this table acts as a wonderful tie to the natural world while we are inside playing. It has already allowed my little ones to explore winter things which they generally can’t explore in great detail due to the mittens and snow.
I really look forward to changing this table with the seasons and seeing how it changes over time with the interests of my little ones. I am very eager for our Spring table … oh how we are ready for Spring!
Looking for more nature table ideas? Be sure to check these ones out too:
A Winter Nature Table from My Nearest and Dearest
A Nature Activity Table from Mommy Loves Trees
Nuts and Seeds Nature Table from Rain or Shine Mamma
The Perfect Winter Nature Table from Natural Beach Living
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Ann @ My Nearest and Dearest says
This is beautiful, Sarah! I especially love that you included a mirror. I think we’ll use one next time too. 🙂
This is so neat, Sarah! I’m learning more and more about the Waldorf pedagogy and really like it. I’m going to include tweezers and a mirror next time too!
So glad you liked it Linda! Glad you played along – I love your nuts and seeds table!
Emma @ P is for Preschooler says
It isn’t easy to explore nature outside in the winter, so I love how you brought it inside! Makes me want to dig in the snow to find some nature materials to bring in our house – I think my daughter would love to explore them too!
Thanks Emma! It’s neat when you start to look – there are lots of things that aren’t even buried in the snow! We scavenged off of neighbors bushes and trees 🙂