Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Simple Nature Table

"A child, more than anyone else, is a spontaneous observer of nature." - Maria Montessori 

We live in an inner-ring suburb of a major metropolitan area, so "nature" may not be the first thing that comes to mind when in our home. Nevertheless, nature is all around us. And, I'm determined to make it a part of our children's lives. I recently set out to create a very simple nature table in our home to bring a little slice of nature a little bit closer to home. 


The table itself is very simple! It's just the top of an existing shelf in our toddler play area. I started with a glass vase {a pretty old pop bottle that is both sturdy and replaceable} with some fresh flower clippings from our yard. Then, I added our new discovery boxes. These simple boxes can be opened and closed to contain a variety of treasures. I asked the kids to look for things they wanted to place in the boxes. So far they have found a dead beetle, a feather and a rock. 


Next I added a large turkey feather, and a basket of rocks. The rocks were each hand picked by the kids during our last trip up to Lake Superior. To finish, I added one of our favorite nature books "A Seed is Sleepy." 


And that's it! There are no real rules or expectations at the table. Just exploration and wonder. I often find the flowers have been picked apart or the rocks carefully lined up. On several occasions our magnifying glass or pocket microscope have also found their way to the table. I hope to make changes to the table as the children find treasures and as the seasons change. But, otherwise, this simple table serves as a reminder of the beauty that surrounds us.   


Do you have a nature table in your home? How do you keep your children connected to nature? 

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