So I decided to finally establish our nature table.
I was inspired by the story about nature images in children's literature, and by a visit to our local private Waldorf school, which also sells delicious little gems and visual treats for adding interest. The pre-pre-k classroom we visited of course had a beautiful nature table.
Starboy and I went foraging for nature in the yard to get the table started. The wind has been blowing, and Starboy noted that "The nature is cold today."
We don't have much growing in our yard, except for weeds and those kinds of plants that miraculously survive despite months of neglect, even in the shade.
I'm pretty sure this one is a weed.
Our nature table is a giant cutting board from HomeGoods (TJ Maxx), covered with a handmade playsilk (last year's eighth grade fundraiser at the Waldorf school's faire). I couldn't find a tray with short sides that I liked, and we didn't really have one to set aside, so the cutting board seemed like an inexpensive way to go. Our house is small and we may need to move the table around, so it seemed like a good idea to make it portable. Also If we put it away for a while, at least we can use the board to carve a Thanksgiving turkey or something. Or an enormous amount of vegetables.
I wanted Starboy to participate and feel like the table is for him. We added on Starboy's pond with fish to the side, and a duck swimming in it (the duck actually is basked in autumn sunlight, but we're not going to worry about that detail, especially since it looks like a unicorn shot with golden arrows anyway). They both seemed kind of spring-y, and it gives the little frogs a place to play.
So far it's not that impressive looking, overall, but as a process it's a great experience for him, and a creative outlet for me. I'd love to have some more trees, and I plan to work on some felt plants and birds. A work in progress.
The only challenge has been keeping the cars out of the nature table. Starboy tends to test things out by running cars through them. He's having a hard time understanding that cars aren't a part of nature—especially since we drive them through the pines to our campsites and park them there.