Summer Nature Table

Summer Nature Table

I’m a bit behind on sharing all the things we’ve been up to. Here are some shots of our summer nature table this year, all of which were taken in June. (It’s the end of July now! Holy moly!)

My new favorite easy-peasey craft is to create these watercolor circles. I wrote a tutorial about this for Earth Day here. Of course, you can have fun creating these using all kinds of colors. Since I had these lovely tie-dyed-looking circles, I decided to incorporate them into our nature table.

Summer Nature Table Decoration

I had a wreath from the dollar store on hand, and I taped on our painted circles to make a kind of large flower. I’m used to having a wreath up above this piano top nature table of ours, so this seemed to fit the bill.

As usual, I have some of Lucas’s watercolor paintings framed in black frames on the wall. These can easily be changed out for something new, but so far I haven’t done it. I’m very fond of these three paintings. I’m 39 and I’m still a sucker for rainbows. The kids love them, too, so we’ll just go with it. (Daddy’s penchant for modern art is indulged at his office.)

Lucas's Painting and Nature Table

I also framed this beautiful painting Lucas made in third grade. It gives me a lazy, summery, contented feeling to see it there in the center. I kind of want to fall asleep on a picnic blanket in the middle of that lovely meadow and wake up with just the mildest of sunburns.

Summer Nature Table

On the right is another painting by Lucas, which he made at grandma and papa’s house.  I like its tropical paradise imagery that certainly matches our temperatures, if not our actual proximity to the ocean.  And it seemed to go nicely with a beach and ocean made of playsilks and this lovely wooden tall ship model, which is still “in progress” I am told.

Wooden Tall Ship Model on Nature Table

We’ve added other objet d’art, such as a pretty ceramic fish, some seashells, an orchid plant (to go with the island feel), a sailor puppet Lucas made in kindergarten, a particolored goat from Mexico that was a gift from GG and Mimi, and a wooden horse we made for Asher. Now that we’ve been to the woods a few times this summer, we have some pinecones and moss and other goodies to add.

And here’s my secret: I create levels by wadding up scrap paper and placing it underneath the silks. This gives the look of rolling hills or sand dunes, and can even help create wintery gnome caves when the season is right.

Mermaid Aquarium Finished

Finally, we had to add a second summer nature table for a while because this mermaid aquarium we made was just so darn cool. We created this for a Little Acorn Learning ebook and it graced our home beautifully for weeks this summer.

Autumn Nature Table

You might have gathered that I get kind of excited about seasonal holidays. I love Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter, of course, but I especially love them within their context of their seasons. When I look at our cultural holidays from the perspective of how the turning of the wheel influenced/influences people’s lives and consciousness, I’m overjoyed to participate. These things hold great meaning for me, much more so than any store gift.

When we became a Waldorf family (which may have been before our first child was born, depending on how you look at it) we quickly adopted the nature table as a means of expressing our appreciation for nature and the changing seasons. OK, maybe it was me more than Ian. But still. It dovetailed so nicely with my own inclination toward nature religions that it was almost automatic. Now that we have Waldorf, I don’t have to go into the awkward conversations about my unconventional spiritual tendencies, I can just say, “It’s a Waldorf nature table,” and be done with it. Of course, nobody ever asks me.

Autumn Nature Table with Equinox Wreath

I’m not entirely sure whether the children even notice this seasonal display. Occasionally they will bring in something from outdoors and we will place it on the nature table.  My mushroom family makes its debut on the table this fall.

Autumn Nature Table

Spent seed pods from our day lilies, needle-felted gnomes, a knitted cat, a big black rock from the Black Rock desert, rocks Lucas painted, and a decoupaged candle holder that the children made last for last year’s autumn equinox. In the background, we have Daniela Drescher’s In the Land of Elves picture book opened to the autumn page. (Drescher makes gorgeous books, by the way!)

Autumn Nature Table

We have on this side wheat and preserved autumn leaves from a craft store, more gnomes, and a cut geode candle holder. Everything rests on gold and orange play silks.

By the way, this is the ONLY clean and beautiful space in my home at present. Chaos reigns around here most of the time.

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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